Thursday, January 3, 2008

Mukasey Is Giuliani's Best Friend-Hello? Senate?

When the Senate Judiciary Committee met to consider the "I don't know if water boarding is torture" nominee to replace Roberto Gonzales as Attorney General of the United States, they kept coming back to the same theme over and over, and maybe rightly so, but in doing this, they overlooked a glaring conflict of interest, or did they?

Michael Mukasey is now and always has been, a close friend of Giuliani, starting when they both worked as young prosecutors and moved on to the law firm of Patterson Belknap together, and in fact, Mukasey returned to the firm after he stepped down from the federal bench. Mukasey was also chosen to swear Giuliani in at his mayoral inaugurals in 1994 and 1998.

That sounds innocent enough, but when one starts to look a little deeper into the many conflicts of interest surrounding both of these men, a pattern of deceit and lies emerges that should cause everyone to call into question not only Giuliani's integrity, but Mukasey's also.

Take for example, that as head of the DOJ, Mukasey will have to deal with a case in Texas involving Ken Caruso, a long time friend of both men, who is accused of bilking millions of dollars out of Republican donors. Caruso, who has consistently refused to co-operate with investigators, is a partner with Mukasey's son, Marc Mukasey at the law firm set up by Giuliani in 2005, called Bracewell and Giuliani. Caruso is represented by Patterson Belknap, Mukasey's current and Giuliani's former law firm.

New York State Senate Majority leader Joe Bruno, who has strongly endorsed Giuliani, and received strong support himself in return, is under investigation for his role in a cocaine distribution case involving Thomas Ravenal, Giulinani's former South Carolina Campaign Chairman, who himself is awaiting sentencing in the same case. Mukasey's Justice Department will have to make a recommendation on whether or not to prosecute Bruno for his role in that criminal enterprise.

In the Oct. 30th edition of the Village Voice we learn these little ditties: "Even the recent ruckus about Verizon and its cooperation with the National Security Agency's domestic-surveillance program may put Mukasey in a Giuliani-connected bind. The company has admitted that it turned over 94,000 customer records to the NSA, many without a court order, since January 2005, and a Justice Department inspector general's report in 2006 found that similar potentially improper record transfers occurred for years before that. Verizon is a prime client of Bracewell & Giuliani."

And this: "In addition, Paul Crotty, the respected federal judge who joined Mukasey on the Manhattan bench in late 2005, was the regional president of Verizon, which is based in New York. Crotty was Giuliani's corporation counsel and contributed $5,500 to his federal campaign committees before he became a judge—$1,000 more than the legal limit (the excess was returned). When Crotty left, a Verizon press release stated that he was "responsible for government relations and regulatory affairs for Verizon's largest telephone operations company," but a company spokeswoman declined to answer questions about his possible involvement in the surveillance decisions, and Crotty did not return telephone calls from the Voice. Justice has already filed lawsuits in an attempt to protect Verizon from the subpoenas served on it by several states, and Mukasey will clearly be faced with a multiplicity of issues arising from the surveillance program."

Also this: "Even Mukasey's current clients at Patterson have connections to both Giuliani and the Justice Department that raise disturbing questions. He represents the Renco Group, the private holding company that owns 40 percent of the joint venture that manufactures Humvees and has seen its profits soar in Iraq. Renco chairman Ira Rennert and his wife have maxed out their donations to the Giuliani campaign at $4,600 apiece. The Justice Department is suing a Renco affiliate for a magnesium plant that has polluted the Great Salt Lake in Utah, and federal prosecutors have been described in news accounts as "determined" to make Rennert "personally pay for the way his companies conduct business."

Top all of this off with the fact that Mukasey has represented Linda Lay in her lawsuit defenses against the victims of the entire Enron scandal perpetrated by her deceased husband Ken, and the pattern sharpens closely. And let's not forget that Mukasey's son Marc has also been tapped to throw Bernie Kerik to the wolves by running interference for the Giuliani campaign and blocking Kerik's defense lawyers from finding out exactly what Giuliani knew and when he knew it in regards to Kerik's own criminality.

Throw in a bunch of at best dubious involvements of a federal judge, and his family members in the campaign for Giuliani, and what emerges is a criminal attempt to deceive the Congress at Mukasey's confirmation hearings.

So while the Judiciary Committee was trying to decipher the meaning of Mukasey's mumbled responses to water boarding, and his allegiances to the current President, they never thought to take a look at his other political allegiances, or cases that he might have to decide whether or not to prosecute. We didn't get anything more than another huckster as the 'new' Attorney General, and both he and Giuliani's ties to criminal elements should automatically disqualify them from being any more than street sweepers, not the Attorney General of the United States, and quite possibly, President of the United States. Or, again, was any of this truly missed? Or is the game afoot once more? Could the thinking behind Mukasey's nomination been to have a crony already in place in the case of Giuliani's election? Batmanchester

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