Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Pay up!

Baghdad Bob McDermott needs to get the check book out:

"WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal appeals court ruled today that Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., violated federal law by turning over an illegally taped telephone call to reporters nearly a decade ago.

In a 2-1 opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that McDermott violated the rights of House Majority Leader John Boehner, who was heard on the 1996 call involving former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

The court ordered McDermott to pay Boehner more than $700,000 for leaking the taped conversation. The figure includes $60,000 in damages and more than $600,000 in legal costs.

McDermott leaked a tape of a 1996 cell phone call involving former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to The New York Times and other news organizations.

The call included discussion by Gingrich, R-Ga., and other House GOP leaders about a House ethics committee investigation of Gingrich. Boehner, R-Ohio, was a Gingrich lieutenant at the time and is now House majority leader.

A lawyer for McDermott had argued that his actions were allowed under the First Amendment, and said a ruling against him would have "a huge chilling effect" on reporters and newsmakers alike."

In case you forgot, this case is nearly ten years old. Covered here in 1997 by CNN, the tape was aquired by a elderly couple who just "happened" to pick up a cell phone conversation on their "scanner" while driving in Floirda.

"The couple who made the tape, John and Alice Martin, are longtime Democrats and active in the National Education Association. They say they began taping the conversation simply because they thought it would make a good gift for their soon-to-be-born grandchild.

Realizing its possible significance, they contacted their congressional representative, Rep. Karen Thurman (D-Fla.), who sealed the tape in an evelope. Thurman gave the tape back to the Martins who delivered the tape in person to Rep. McDermott on a trip to Washington, D.C."

One wonders now just what other things McDermott has been privy to, especially since he and Rocky were both tripping the night fantastic in the Middle East back in 2002. A trip which according to this Wikipedia article: "McDermott received a $5,000 contribution to an unrelated legal defense fund from Shakir al Khafaji, an Iraqi-American businessman with alleged ties to the Oil for Food scandal">

Oh the tangled web we weave!

H/t Michelle Malkin

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