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Alcee Hastings Claims Innocence To Dems

The leftwing lickspittles at TPM MuckRaker have posted what they purport to be a letter (the no longer Honorable) Alcee Hastings has sent to his fellow Democrat congressmen:

November 20, 2006

Dear Colleagues,

Because I know you and because many of you are mindful of my 14 years in Congress, and in order not to stoke a simmering fire which had the potential to adversely affect Democrats in the ’06 election, I elected not to participate in the “discussion” about whether I should be appointed Chair of the HPSCI.

The noise and misleading, poorly informed, misinformed, and sometimes venomous attacks on my integrity and character by pundits, politicians, and editors screaming the word “impeachment” (ignoring a Not Guilty verdict in a court of law) in a frenetic attempt to justify denying me a position I have certainly earned and am completely competent to perform requires now that I set the record straight.

Colleagues, some of the things I write you may be familiar with. Some you may not know. It is all meant to edify you so that you have the best information possible in case you are asked about me or read about me in the paper or online.

Recently, I asked our Speaker-elect to set aside 45 minutes to meet with me and Professor Terrance Anderson of the University of Miami. Terry is the most informed person in the world regarding my trial in U.S. District Court, the 3 ½ year investigation by the five judge 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, the 26 judge Judicial Conference, the seven person impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives, the 12 person U.S. Senate trial, and the numerous appeals to courts at every level. In particular, Professor Anderson could explain to anyone interested about our experiences at the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. And finally, the decision after my election as to whether or not I should be seated in the House of Representatives.

Having read the above paragraph, you would immediately discover that there is a whole lot of information that is not being discussed at all.

Second, I hope that my fate is not determined by Newt Gingrich, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Michael Barone, Drudge, anonymous bloggers, and other assorted misinformed fools. Nor should faceless and nameless people at the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, the L.A. Times, the Dallas Morning News, and others take liberties without at least giving me an opportunity to respond.

I do take Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post’s judgment as partially informed opinion. And, she did speak with me for one hour and five minutes, resulting in a two-sentence quote. And, using excerpts of my trial without asserting that the information came from me, and that the more than plausible explanations before a 12 person jury that heard all of the evidence was accepted by them.

In fairness to the Washington Times when they wrote, “Don’t Do it, Ms. Pelosi” in their editorial, they did give me an opportunity to respond. I called Tony Blankley and he invited me to his Editorial Board. I went and spent 1 hour and 25 minutes explaining every thing about my life that they wanted me to. And, I answered every question asked by them and the board member that did do exhaustive research. But, like everyone else, including Members of Congress, he did not review the trial transcript.

While in this vein, let me mention a few other things about others I mentioned above.

Newt Gingrich opined that it would be an “unmitigated disaster” if I became Chairman of HPSCI. First, I went on the Intelligence Committee when he was the Speaker of the House. Second, I was appointed by then Speaker Gingrich as the only Democrat on a committee headed by Doug Bereuter to study the reversion of Hong Kong and Macau to China. And, I might add, he invited this potentially “disastrous” person to travel with him to Asia. And, I saved him from at least one major protocol gaffes. What irony!

Sean Hannity, who screamed that I was “unworthy” did not deem me unworthy to be co-host, in the studio, in place of Alan Colmes for two days a few years ago.

Michael Barone would not return my calls (3 of them) requesting that he speak with me.

Jonathan Alter, who I did not mention above, did return my call. He was doing a piece for Newsweek on me and other potential chairs. His comment to me after a 45 minute conversation was, “gee, I did not know all of that” and, “you need to get that information out there.” He did not write anything about me at that time.

Friends, some months ago Karl Rove was said to use you, me, and others in our Caucus as poster bogeymen and women to influence the electorate, particularly the Republican base. Obviously, that strategy was not totally successful.

So, what are we to believe? I did not cause us to lose the ’06 election, but I will cause us to lose in ’08? We all know that if I am appointed as Chair, and as I intend with Speaker Pelosi’s tutelage and help to do a very good job, talk about the HPSCI Chair won’t even be an afterthought.

I was impeached and removed after I was acquitted by a jury in a nearly one month federal trial. It is amazing how little importance is given to this fact. It is also baffling. I dare say that a person whose future depended on a decision as to whether or not that person committed a crime would think the chances of receiving justice far more likely in a jury trial than in an impeachment. That is because ALL of the jurors hear and see ALL of the evidence in a trial. In my impeachment proceedings, the evidence was taken and received by a committee, and all members of the committee were not present at all times. The committee then made a recommendation to the House regarding impeachment and to the Senate regarding removal. Most of the congresspersons and senators who voted never saw the evidence. Many of them never read the reports of the committee or reviewed the daily videos. Iraq and the budget are not the only times votes have been cast without adequate review and knowledge of the facts.

My life was voted on in that same manner.

In a jury trial, the evidence is the only consideration. In an impeachment, politics is central. A trial is of the first priority. The impeachment proceedings compete with votes in the various committees who are holding simultaneous hearings and with votes taken on the floor. The protections mandated in a jury trial are substantially reduced in an impeachment. The list of differences goes on and on.

These differences are not necessarily so egregious in view of the fact that the purpose of an impeachment is not to determine whether a crime has been committed but to determine whether to remove a constitutional officer from his position. The hearings are only a means to that end.

The germane question is, if I have not been convicted of a crime, should impeachment in and of itself prevent me from being chair of a committee in Congress.

There are several reasons why it should not. First of all, the Senate had the option to prohibit me from holding federal office. It specifically chose not to. The ordinary meaning of that act is that impeachment is not to be a bar to my being elected to Congress and consequentially should not be a bar to my being as great a congressperson as my talents allow me to be.

Second, I have been on the Intelligence Committee for seven years. Like Jane, Silvestre, Bud, and others, I have been entrusted with America’s secrets. And, I have never violated that trust.

Colleagues, I am sure each of you knows well the high importance of protecting classified information. Further, you may be aware of how Members conduct oversight.

What you may not know is the extent of my involvement in learning about our nation’s intelligence operations. Please consider the following:

I have visited and consulted with more than 30 intelligence stations around the world over the past several years.

I have visited ports in Rotterdam, Los Angeles, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Singapore, West Palm Beach, and Seattle.

I have visited, consulted, or spoke to Joint Terrorism Task Force offices in Chicago, Boston, Miami, and the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area, and NATO on three occasions. Others that come to mind are Langley (three times), NSA, Tampa’s Macdill Air Force Base, and Southcom.

Returning for a moment to the impeachment, during that period I learned more than I already knew about how the government had not played fair in its attempt to convict me. Preeminent among these findings is the fact that the FBI tampered with the evidence to trump up their charge that I lied. It was whistleblower Frederic Whitehurst of the FBI who came forward with the revelation that Fred Malone in the FBI laboratory cut the strap of a man-purse of mine (they were popular in the ‘70s) and then testified that the lab determined that I had cut the strap to provide myself an alibi. That and additional revelations about improper FBI conduct in my case caused Judge Sporkin of the Federal District Court of the District of Columbia to state that if he had the constitutional authority, he would reverse the impeachment. (Incidentally, Judge Sporkin was a Reagan appointee.)

Friends, I was not convicted of anything in a court of law. Ever. I was acquitted by a federal jury after the United States of America spent $40,000,000.00 and left no stone unturned in its attempt to convict me. I have served the people of Florida’s 23rd District honorably and with distinction for 14 years.

Obviously, I could write a book or two about the politics of my impeachment. Suffice it to mention how my impeachment was initiated: concomitant with my indictment, the Congress passed 28 U.S.C. 372, the Judicial Conduct and Disability and Reform Act. The law required implementation in the 13 U.S. Circuit Courts. Then Chief Justice Warren Burger appointed the Chief Judge of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, John Godbold, to implement the above-referenced law.

Two and one half weeks after my acquittal, in a regularly scheduled meeting of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, and after the conclusion of the agenda of the day, Judge Godbold made the following statement, “Judge Hastings has been found not guilty, and no one has filed a complaint against him.”

Two judges, William Terrel Hodges (Middle District of Florida) and Anthony Alaimo of Brunswick, Georgia, in testimony before the U.S. House Impeachment Inquiry said they went to dinner that night, and among other things, discussed Judge Godbold’s entreaty. They said they took it to mean that Judge Godbold wanted a complaint filed.

Standing alone, the matters related would not sound any alarm. That would ignore the fact that the law, 28 U.S.C. 372 requires the Chief Judge of the Circuit where a complaint is lodged to determine the meritoriousness of the complaint. In this case, that would be Judge Godbold.

It gets more bizarre. Judges Alaimo and Hodges awakened the Clerk of the 11th Circuit that same night at or about midnight. They retrieved from the Clerk newspaper clippings and used them as the basis of their complaint against me.

Colleagues, you need to know that neither of the Judges was present at any time during the trial proceedings that led to my acquittal. One is from Tampa, Florida, the other from Brunswick, Georgia. I was on trial in Miami, Florida.

Also, the transcript of that trial had not been prepared. How in Heaven’s name could these people file a substantive complaint? The answer is obvious; they could not and did not. So that complaint led to the remaining events that are so convoluted, voluminous, complex, and mundane that it would boggle the mind.

I commend to you two rather definitive pieces regarding my circumstances. One by Professor Terrance Anderson (mentioned above), the other is the floor statement of Senator Arlen Specter, the Vice Chairman of the Hastings Senate Trial Panel.

As I said earlier, no one knows more about this matter than Professor Anderson. And Senator Specter did the real heavy lifting on the Senate Trial Panel. (There were other statements, pro and con, though none more comprehensive.)

Colleagues, I know you have many, indeed, too many matters to attend to. I implore you, though, to please give this matter as much time as you can. I have no choice but to live with this decision. I have labored hard here for 14 years, and I will make you proud if I am selected to Chair the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Most Sincerely,

Alcee L. Hastings

There is no way on God’s green Earth Mr. Hastings should be allowed to chair the House Intelligence Committee.

It’s enough of a disgrace (and more importantly, a security risk) that this thug is even in Congress.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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