Politics

David Vitter Senator David Bruce Vitter Sen David B Vitter Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgHere’s a quick follow-up on yesterday’s Lawyer of the DaySenator David Vitter (R-LA), who recently confessed to having been a client of the escort service run by the so-called “D.C. Madam,” Deborah Jeane Palfrey.
Check out this video, put together by the TPM crew. These were our favorite parts:

1. Vitter’s daughter: “Way to move it, Dad!”

2. Sen. Vitter: “In life’s most important moments, we’re not Republicans or Democrats. We’re parents.”

Or, more accurately, philandering spouses.

3. The senator’s wife, Wendy Vitter (also noted by various commenters):

“I’m a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary. If he does something like that, I’m walking away with one thing, and it’s not alimony, trust me.”

If the Ginsu guy rings your doorbell, Senator Vitter, you’d best send him packing.
Update: Another ex-madam has fingered Sen. Vitter. See here.
Vitter Va-Va-Voom! [TPMtv / Talking Points Memo]
Earlier: Lawyer of the Day: David Vitter

Peter Barta 2 Peter A Barta Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe continue to follow the story of Peter Barta, the Legal Aid lawyer who allegedly made secret videotapes of his female colleagues getting dressed. Tales like this — along with associate pay raises, of course — are the raison d’etre of ATL.
After we quoted a tipster stressing that Peter Barta did policy or cross-examination debate in high school, rather than Lincoln-Douglas debate, commenters argued vociferously over whether C-X or L-D debaters get laid more. One commenter helpfully provided a link to the website for alumni of the Stuyvesant High School debate team. Here’s the entry on Barta:

Peter Barta ’92 – Debated with Eric Yuen. Came back and coached for a while. “After NYU, I went to law school at Georgetown. Now, I work as a public defender with the Legal Aid Society in Manhattan. Essentially, I’m still debating.” (3/12/03)

And still acting like a horny high schooler. And living at home with mom.
As it turns out, though, Peter Barta is not the Stuy policy debate team’s most (in)famous alumnus. That honor surely belongs to Dick Morris, the noted political commentator and consultant.
Yes, THAT Dick Morris. The self-described “sex addict”. And devotee of toe-sucking.
A new nickname for C-X debaters: C-XXX debaters?
Stuyvesant Policy Debate Alumni [official website]

David Vitter Senator David Bruce Vitter Sen David B Vitter Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgThanks to Senator David Vitter for making it so easy to pick our Lawyer of the Day. From today’s Washington Post:

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) apologized last night after his telephone number appeared in the phone records of the woman dubbed the “D.C. Madam,” making him the first member of Congress to become ensnared in the high-profile case.

The statement containing Vitter’s apology said his telephone number was included on phone records of Pamela Martin and Associates dating from before he ran for the Senate in 2004….

“This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible,” Vitter, 46, said in a statement….

This is not the first time Vitter has found himself in a sticky situation:

During his Senate campaign, Vitter was accused by a member of the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee of carrying on a lengthy affair with a prostitute in New Orleans’s French Quarter. In a radio interview, Vitter then called the allegation “absolutely and completely untrue” and dismissed it as “just crass Louisiana politics.”

We believe him. The French Quarter? How tawdry!
For a Harvard grad and Rhodes Scholar like Vitter, only the high-class escorts of Pamela Martin & Associates — college-educated women, including at least one Ph.D. — would do.
(Random speculation: Might Senator Vitter have been a client of the Akin Gump Escort?)
Senator’s Number on ‘Madam’ Phone List [Washington Post]
Sen. Vitter Apologizes for Number Showing Up on Phone Records of Alleged Prostitution Ring [Fox News]

* We’ll probably have more to say about this one later. For now: WOW. Tell us how you really feel, John Koppel! [Denver Post]
* What kind of tree would you be? The kind that robs banks. [AP]
* Don’t mess with the police — even if you’re an old lady charged with not watering your lawn. [KSL.com via Drudge Report]
* Laying the groundwork for the Twinkie defense? [New York Times]
* Nothing to do with the law yet, but surely that will change. Any news this baaad generates litigation. [Marin Independent Journal]
Update: With respect to the first link, in case you’d like to know more about John Koppel, check out his wedding announcement.

U Conn 2 University of Connecticut Bullets Bubbly pimps hos.jpg* That’s one way to have “smaller government”. [CNN]
* Maybe the jury can pick a day to wear their “pimps ‘n hos” jumpsuits. [New York Times via How Appealing]
* Corzine signs New Jersey greenhouse gas legislation. [Jurist]
* So where was Hillary on Friday night? [AP]

Al Gore III mugshot mug shot marijuana pot Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgIf you’re driving 100 miles per hour, but in a hybrid vehicle, can you still get pulled over? Unfortunately for Al Gore III, yes. From Reuters:

The 24-year-old son of former Vice President Al Gore was arrested for drug possession on Wednesday after he was stopped for speeding in his hybrid Toyota Prius, a sheriff’s official said.

Al Gore III — whose father is a leading advocate of policies to fight global warming — was driving his environmentally friendly car at about 100 miles per hour on a freeway south of Los Angeles when he was pulled over by an Orange County sheriff’s deputy at about 2:15 a.m.

Speed limits suck. Why can’t we institute a system of “speeding offsets,” like the market for carbon offsets? Grandmothers in Boca Raton, who consistently drive 10 miles under the speed limit, could supplement their incomes by selling the right to speed. Who needs Social Security?
After the traffic stop, things only got worse for young Al. From the New York Daily News:

Deputies then searched the car, and Gore faced an inconvenient truth when they allegedly found a small amount of pot and mind-altering pills – Xanax, Valium, Vicodin and Adderall.

“He does not have a prescription for any of those drugs,” [a sheriff's spokesman] said.

Finally, we loved this little detail:

Al the 3rd lives in Los Angeles and works for GOOD magazine, which describes itself as “media for people who give a damn.”

If this arrest is BAD for Al’s career at GOOD, we hear they’re accepting résumés over at High Times.
Al Gore’s son busted for drugs in hybrid car [Reuters]
He’s our li’l eco-maniac! [New York Daily News]
Al Gore’s Son Busted! [TMZ via Jezebel]

Welcome back! Hope you had a nice Fourth of July holiday.
This gentleman certainly did, protesting yesterday outside the White House. We appreciate the shout-out to this very fine website:
White House protestor Abovethelaw Above the Law legal blog.jpg

scooter smile.jpg
Well, that was fast.
Smile, Scooter! President George W. Bush has just commuted your sentence!
The President wiped away Libby’s prison term, but the $250,000 fine will stand.
Here’s the grant of executive clemency and the President’s statement, which reads in part:

I respect the jury’s verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison.
My decision to commute his prison sentence leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby. The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged. His wife and young children have also suffered immensely. He will remain on probation. The significant fines imposed by the judge will remain in effect. The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant, and private citizen will be long-lasting.
The Constitution gives the President the power of clemency to be used when he deems it to be warranted. It is my judgment that a commutation of the prison term in Mr. Libby’s case is an appropriate exercise of this power.

Is Lady Justice weeping, or doing the wave? Here’s an open thread for comment and debate.

Scooter Libby.jpg
All eyes turn toward President George W. Bush today, as a three-judge panel of the DC Circuit (Sentelle, Henderson, and Tatel) denied Scooter Libby’s request to stay out of an orange jumpsuit while he appeals his conviction for perjury and obstruction of justice.

Today’s decision further increases pressure on President Bush to pardon or commute the sentence of the 56-year-old lawyer who was Cheney’s right-hand man and an architect of the administration’s national security policies. The White House repeatedly has said that Bush is not intervening in the case, at least not yet, but many conservatives have been urging Bush to grant Libby some form of reprieve.

We’re sure it’s occurred to the White House that there’s a major holiday coming up. Whatever Bush decides to do, he should announce it tomorrow around 5:00 pm. That way it’ll be old news by the time Chuck Schumer pops up on Meet the Press this weekend.

Italia Federici hottie Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgSee here. And another one is going to prison.
Just another day here in the nation’s capital.
P.S. Best name ever for a paramour involved in a corruption case: Italia Federici.
Senate Subpoenas White House, Cheney House [Wonkette]
White House, Cheney’s Office Subpoenaed [Associated Press]
Ex-Interior Aide Is Sentenced in Lobbying Case [New York Times]

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