15 May 2009

wst... exclusive: dc madam deborah jeane palfrey attorney montgomery blair sibley: "david vitter and the rule of law"

wst... note: below is a guest post by montgomery blair sibley, former attorney to the late deborah jeane palfrey a/k/a the d.c. madam.

mr. sibley submitted this post in support of his new book
"why just her the judicial lynching of the d.c. madam deborah jeane palfrey."
Starting with the execution of search on her home and seizure warrants for her bank accounts in October 2006 through her death on May 1, 2008, the 598 page book traces Jeane's final 20 months as the judicial system time and again failed to live up to its promise to insure justice.

Instead, unwittingly sitting atop a list of the most powerful men in the world, that system made sure that Jeane's story would never be fully told.

David Vitter and the Rule of Law

By: Montgomery Blair Sibley

By now, most everyone knows that Senator David Vitter was a client of the D.C. Madam, Jeane Palfrey’s escort service.

The savvy Senator was quick to send out a press release admitting he made calls to Jeane and, with wife at this side, offered an apology “to all those I have let down” and vowed to resume his work in the Senate. What a nice guy.

How compliant the press was in not pressing him on details of his “meetings” with Jeane’s escorts and other escort services he apparently used in D.C. as well, according to escorts with whom I have talked.

Moreover, the good Senator was rumored to have certain predilections in sexual practices which might have nauseated even his most ardent supporters in the “family rights” movement.

To that end, and to get ready for the trial I was to conduct for Jeane, I served a subpoena on Senator Vitter. While he could – and did – easily avoid the press, a Sixth Amendment criminal subpoena is not so easy to avoid without being in contempt of court. However, as I will describe below, a compliant court can make such avoidance as easy as walking out of a press conference.

By the Court’s order of November 13, 2007, the U.S. Marshal’s service was directed to serve a subpoena duces tecum upon, among others, Senator David Vitter.

click here to download copy of that subpoena [142 kb]

The Vitter subpoena was served by consent upon his counsel, Hank Asbill, Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, 1101 New York Avenue, N.W., Suite 1100, Washington, D.C. 20005. As for Senator Vitter, his counsel Hank Asbill has indicated that his client has no documents responsive to the subpoena, but refuses to put that representation in writing signed by the Senator as required.

Additionally, Hank Asbill refused to indicate what efforts were made by Senator Vitter to comply with the subpoena of his documents. Notably, no motion to quash was filed by Senator Vitter. Plainly, there was non-compliance with the subpoena by Senator Vitter. He was hiding behind his counsel.

Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 17(g) states: “The court may hold in contempt a witness who, without adequate excuse, disobeys a subpoena issued by a federal court in that district.” Moreover, 28 U.S.C. §1826(a) “Recalcitrant Witnesses” states: “(a) Whenever a witness in any proceeding before any court of the United States refuses without just cause shown to comply with an order of the court to testify or provide other information, including any book, paper . . . upon such refusal, or when such refusal is duly brought to its attention, may summarily order his confinement at a suitable place until such time as the witness is willing to give such testimony or provide such information.

As such, I moved to immediately incarcerate Senator Vitter because he refused to comply with the subpoena issued by this Court.

click here to download Defendant's Motion To Hold Senator David Vitter And Randall Tobias In Contempt Of Court For Failing To Comply With This Court's Subpoenas four page .pdf [115 kb]

But of course, the Rule don’t apply to Senators and if a judge were inclined to apply such a sanction, such a judge would be removed from the case and another, more considerate judge would be assigned.

That is what happened here. The judge who issued the subpoena to Senator Vitter was taken off the case and a new judge assigned. That new judge “quashed” the subpoena of Vitter and Senator Vitter was allowed to walk without consequence for his refusal to attend the command of a federal court.

Nice work if people will vote for you to have such a job. And you wonder why Jeane despaired so at the treatment she received?

There is one rule for women and one for men.