Skip to comments.Battling the Clintons, and Each Other (Judicial Watch may tie up Peter F. Paul)
Posted on 03/16/2005 4:47:57 AM PST by Libloather
Battling the Clintons, and Each Other
By IAN URBINA
Published: March 15, 2005
WASHINGTON, March 14 - After organizing a fund-raiser for Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2000, Peter Paul turned on the Clintons with a vengeance, claiming that they bilked him out of nearly $2 million in campaign donations.
His pursuit of former President Clinton and the senator from New York was championed by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group that has sued the Clintons repeatedly over the years.
But now Judicial Watch and Mr. Paul are battling each other. Mr. Paul says that the organization used his case solely to draw donations while doing little to solve his legal troubles. Last week, Judicial Watch filed court papers in California seeking to sever ties with Mr. Paul, who has, in turn, threatened to sue the group for nearly $1 million.
"It's a pretty complicated situation," said Skip Pita, who is representing Mr. Paul in his negotiations with Judicial Watch. "At this point, they have offered my client a sum of money in exchange for his releasing Judicial Watch and their lawyers of any potential claims against them, but my client does not believe that the terms are fair."
Mr. Paul says Judicial Watch let his civil suit against the Clintons linger in court while using it to raise more than $15 million since 2001 from people who dislike the Clintons. Mr. Paul also says that by botching his defense in a criminal case concerning stock fraud that he pleaded guilty to last week, the organization caused his unnecessary detention in a Brazilian jail for two years while he awaited extradition to the United States, which occurred in September 2003. The group is now backing out of its agreement to pay the legal fees relating to Mr. Paul's criminal case, Mr. Paul says.
Thomas J. Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, says that his organization has tirelessly pursued the civil suit against the Clintons, having spent more than four years on it. In the criminal case against Mr. Paul, Mr. Fitton said, Judicial Watch never agreed to pay legal fees after Mr. Paul hired a separate lawyer last October, and the organization offered him a lawyer but he refused it.
"The fact that the Clintons are still stuck in the civil lawsuit speaks volumes to our success in the case," Mr. Fitton said. "We stood by Peter when no one else would, so frankly, we are a bit surprised by where this is coming from."
Whatever its source, the recent bad blood between Judicial Watch and Mr. Paul cannot help but work in the Clintons' favor.
Late Monday, Judicial Watch and Mr. Paul had still not come to an agreement over who would file the papers due on Tuesday in a California appellate court responding to Mrs. Clinton's motion to dismiss the civil suit against her. Questions about the 2000 fund-raiser have created a political embarrassment for Mrs. Clinton, who is preparing to run for a second Senate term and possibly pursue a presidential bid.
"I've got a great case against the Clintons, but Judicial Watch is going to tie me up in pointless litigation," said Mr. Paul, who added that he planned to sue Judicial Watch for $900,000 so that he could use half of the money to pay his criminal lawyer and the rest to pursue the civil suit against the Clintons. Without naming names, Mr. Paul said that he was assembling a "dream team" of Republican lawyers to replace Judicial Watch in that civil suit.
"It's too bad I have to start all over again because the point here is to bring the Clintons to justice," Mr. Paul said.
It all started in March 2001, when Mr. Paul says Judicial Watch agreed to handle his criminal and civil legal matters.
At the time, Mr. Paul was in Brazil, where he had gone in December 2000 to attend to a second business that he owned, soon after the collapse of Stan Lee Media, an Internet company that he had co-founded. Mr. Paul was facing criminal charges of stock fraud relating to the company. He also had a civil suit against the Clintons, in which he says that he gave close to $2 million in services and donations to Mrs. Clinton's Senate campaign based on promises that Mr. Clinton would join Mr. Paul's Internet company when the president left office. These promises were never fulfilled, he says.
Mr. Paul said that by failing to dedicate sufficient resources to his civil suit, Judicial Watch left the case to idle in California courts. And in taking an overly combative approach to negotiations with the Department of Justice regarding Mr. Paul's return for trial in the United States from Brazil, Judicial Watch lengthened his prison stay, Mr. Paul said.
"Had Peter's prior counsel been more willing to plea with the government, as we were willing to do, it would not have taken two years to get him out of the Brazilian prison," said Joseph R. Conway, the lawyer whom Mr. Paul hired in October 2004 to take over the criminal case.
Mr. Paul said that in the meantime, Judicial Watch had him write a Christmas note to be included with their fund-raising letters stating that the organization needed money to support Mr. Paul's family while they pursued his case against the Clintons. "In fact, they didn't give my family a cent, but I was stuck in prison - so how was I going to raise a stink about it?" he said.
Mr. Fitton rejected Mr. Paul's account. "Peter hasn't the slightest idea about our how we fund-raise or what money we have made," he said. "We actually have lost money on his case."
Mr. Paul, who is under house arrest awaiting sentencing in the stock fraud case, may also be an important witness in a criminal trial against Mrs. Clinton's campaign finance director, David Rosen, who was indicted in January on charges of failing to report in-kind contributions and producing a false invoice in connection with an Aug. 12, 2000, fund-raiser for Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Rosen, who has pleaded not guilty, goes on trial on May 3 in Los Angeles.
"I don't see our relationship with Mr. Paul being resurrected," Mr. Fitton said. "But we're still going to pursue the Clintons, you can be sure of that."
Shocking! Shocking! /sarcasm off
Mr. Paul says Judicial Watch let his civil suit against the Clintons linger in court while using it to raise more than $15 million since 2001 from people who dislike the Clintons.
Just to clarify. The $15 million must be what they raised just from Mr. Paul's case. JW in total has taken in $75+ million over the past few years according to their IRS 990 filings.
I'm still wondering why JW is a nonprofit. It's hardly a charity.
It's been obvious for about 5 years that no client with a legitimate claim should hire Judicial Watch.
so JD's goal is to be stuck in court for four years? Wow, what an endorsement.
I wonder if they tell all their clients, we'll tie up your claim in court for decades.
"I'm still wondering why JW is a nonprofit. It's hardly a charity."
It hardly has a purpose other than mailing shocking circulars and cashing checks.
I'd suspect the Clinton machine broke a few kneecaps and convinced Mr. Paul to turn on Judical Watch-or else!
Will someone please tell me if Judicial Watch has brought a single one of its cases against the Clintons to a successful conclusion? All it seems to do is file the suits and use the filings for publicity so it can raise more money.
I have long suspected that Judicial Watch is an arm of the DNC. It milks money from conservatives with the promise of great results while actually accomplishing nothing. By taking on these cases and then doing nothing it acts to protect the guilty parties. This case only strengthens my suspicions.
As I pointed out after his arrest, the fugitive Peter Paul could have waived extradition and returned to the U.S. immediately.
BINGO!!!! IMHO JW is the DNC mop to clean up and control any potential or real liability blowing back into the Democrats.
Any "dream team" of Republican lawyers must include the incomparable Ann Coulter. (My dream at least).
A dream team of lawyers to bring the clintons down? Like Ann Coulter...only in your dreams, I'm afraid.
JW currently has over $16,500,000 in assets.
This is a "charity" we exempt from taxes?
Judicial Watch; the Mig 29 of legal organizations. Never shot down shit!
Some smart people may say that your analysis is correct. :)
And people are beginning to wonder how much was actually spent on Peter's case.
With all due respect Hal, under the laws of Brazil, unique in the world, all extradition proceedings must be determined by the Supreme Court of Brazil with absolutely no possibility of the defendant waiving that process. The US government, in its own opposition to my bail request when I was finally returned to the US in September, 2003, advised the court that once they commenced extradition, it takes a minimum of 18-24 months to complete. However, the US at all times had the power to withdraw the extradition request, terminate the process, and allow me to return voluntarily (with an escort)the very next day, if it wanted me back. It refused to allow me to do that, even after 59,874 supporters filed petitions (along with contributions toward my case through Judicial Watch) with Attorney General Ashcroft in November, 2001, asking him to allow me to do just that, so I could give testimony about the Clinton's misconduct. Not only did the US refuse to allow me to return voluntarily, it used the progressively worsening prison conditions I was illegally subjected to, at the direction of the US Embassy, to try and coerce me to plead guilty to the original "pump and dump" stock fraud indictment filed against me as the only way it would allow me to return to the US immediately. Then, the government waited 58 days AFTER it was notified to pick me up and return me to the US. That notification was delayed procedurally by the US for EIGHT MONTHS after the Supreme Court found that I was extraditable and after I waived any appeal of that 5-4 decision, to finally pick me up. Upon my return the original pump and dump indictment that the government demanded I plead to was superseded by a new indictment that radically changed the charges against me to misusing margin accounts under the supervision of Merrill Lynch.
To HAL9000 and the rest of the FReepers, krucader_bravepages_com is the real Peter Paul.
Your assessment is incorrect.
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