Chabot Wiggles Out

(Photo: Canyoudig-it.com)
So far Congressman Steve Chabot will not have to testify in the trial of five anti-war activists who held a sit-in in his office last fall. This morning Hamilton County Municipal Judge David Stockdale granted a motion to quash Chabot’s subpoena.

The judge said, however, that he will revisit the question if my four co-defendants and I present evidence contradicting Chabot’s affidavit. In it, Chabot says he has no knowledge of the sit-in. But as our attorney, William Gallagher, told the judge, Chabot’s aides repeatedly told us during the sit-in that they had talked to Chabot on the phone, he was aware we were in his office and he had received documents we brought for his consideration. Furthermore, Chabot met with several of us a few weeks later to discuss the reason for the sit-in, namely our belief that the war in Iraq is wrong.

“Representative Chabot asked that these defendants be charged,” Gallagher said. “Representative Chabot is the leaseholder. He’s listed as the victim.”

But John Filamor, attorney for the House of Representatives, argued that Chabot was too busy to return to Cincinnati to testify and has no relevant information. Perhaps most surprising, Filamor argued that requiring Chabot to testify would violate Chabot’s rights under the “speech and debate clause” of the U.S. Constitution.

Gallagher responded by quoting Chabot’s own speech during the impeachment trial of President Clinton in 1999. On that occasion, Chabot argued that even the president isn’t above the law: “Controversies of various kinds exist at all times and in all communities,” Chabot said in 1999. “To decide them, the courts of justice are instituted. Their decisions must be regulated by evidence, and the greater part of evidence will always consists of the testimony of witnesses.”

Now Chabot sees it differently. After consistently supporting the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, he refuses to answer questions about it in a public forum.

The lawyer for the House of Representatives faxed his motion late Thursday, four days before the trial. As of Friday morning, the motion hadn’t even been filed with the clerk of courts. Gallagher pointed out Hamilton County doesn’t allow motions to be sent via fax. But the judge allowed the motion to proceed.

Gallagher rejected Chabot’s claim that he is too busy, pointing out that he received the subpoena three months ago and the House of Representatives has no business scheduled until 6:30 p.m. Monday. Most important, Gallagher offered six weeks ago to fly to Washington to take Chabot’s sworn deposition.

“At the 11th hour, to say now he can’t come here because he has business is disingenuous,” Gallagher said. “I made that offer a month and a half ago.”

Trial is set for 9 a.m. Monday on a charge of criminal trespassing. We remain confident the jury will agree that the real crime is the war itself.

— Gregory Flannery

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12 Comments on “Chabot Wiggles Out”

  1. Natasha Says:

    I knew in my heart that we would never get Rumsfeld to appear. The ones in power can do or not do whatever they desire. They quite literally are above the law.

    However, I’m outraged that Chabot is lying to avoid testifying.

    I guess I should be beyond outrage at this point. After all we’ve been lied to by our administration(s) for years. Stupid me…

  2. KnockOff Says:

    Seems like Flannery has got his panties in a wad because his little playboy Cranely lost to Chabot… Get over it!

    Chabot has more important things to do then entertain the qualms of a bunch of unemployed hold-overs from the 70’s (aka hippies).

  3. Dan Says:

    The difference now is that he appears to be guilty of perjury as well as violating the Rights of these individuals. Chabot’s affidavit is a sworn document to the Court. The plot thickens.

    Thanks Greg, et.al.

  4. Gregory Flannery Says:

    Dear Knockoff: Unemployed hangovers? You’re full of shit.Let me tell you about my co-defendants. Barbara Wolf is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Ellen Dienger works for a social-service agency, helping poor people. The Rev. John Rich is a minister. Sister Mary Evelyn Jegen has spent a lifetime serving others. Our group does include two “unemployed” people; they’re 15-year-old high-school students, both of whom have far more courage than you. At least they didn’t hide behind a pseudonym when they took a stand.

  5. Marilyn Says:

    Jack Off, er, Knock Off, your ignorance is showing.

  6. Sam Robinson Says:

    Has anyone else noticed how much shrinkage there’s been lately among the ranks of the Bush trolls? It’s one of the most satisfying signs of the decline of the Bush regime.

    In the old days, after Bush stole his first election, and at peak times like immediately before the Iraq invasion, every leftie web site seemed to attract a higher grade of wingnut trolls than I see anywhere these days. They were driven to us from links at famous, popular rightie web sites and warblogs. I was never more proud than the day Michael Graham first featured one of my sites at Redneck Nation web site. The trolls he sent to Cincydemo attacked cleverly, with fury and gusto.

    But the rightie web sites don’t draw traffic like they used to and the warbloggers are mostly gone. Knockoff tries to invoke powerful strawmen against Greg, but without bothering to find a shred of truth on which to build them, his argument rings too false. Before the collapse of the Bush regime the wingnut trolls at least knew how to argue in ways that sounded true. Knockoff is wornout. He seems to have lost the memory of why he still believes. Lacking brains enough or faith enough to argue well, he needs an echo chamber. But there don’t seem to be any other fools here joining the attack.

    The silence of the wingnuts at Porkoplis blog and progressive magnets like it all over the internet unmasks the whimpering last gasps of Bush’s collapsing regime.

  7. Jeremy Flannery Says:

    “…the qualms of a bunch of unemployed hold-overs from the 70’s…” These sound like the words of an apathetic, ignorant person choosing to belittle the brave, selfless actions of those standing up for what they believe. Disagreeing with a logical argument would be commendable, but you obviously didn’t even consider what it means to be arrested, tried and possibly convicted and incarcerated for the sake of others’ well-being. So you chose a great pseudonym: insignificant, uninspired “Knockoff.” Not that you have to accept that state of being, Knockoff…so what will you do?

  8. Kevin Osborne Says:

    Plus, as everyone who reads this blog and City Beat knows, Greg definitely isn’t a Cranley supporter.

  9. Brian Says:

    You Go Greg,
    You really Knocked Knockoff’s socks off.

  10. g Says:

    There’s a whole lot of people here that take themselves far too seriously.

  11. Truth Says:

    Greg, if you really want to get the truth out — that’s what a reporter is suppose to do, right — why don’t you post the transcript from the judges hearing on the motion filed by the House attorney? While you, and your attorney, have been making false accusations, looks like the judge saw right through it. Other, non-biased media, have reported that Chabot said he was in Washington at the time and did not personally witness what took place…not that he didn’t know about the protest or meet with you after the fact. I guess we should expect your reporting to be biased, you are making the news (protesting/getting arrested) and then trying to report it. How is that fair?

  12. Gregory Flannery Says:

    Dear Truth, I don’t need the trascript; I was at the hearing. The motion filed by Chabot’s attorney says, “Congressman Chabot was not present and has no first-hand knowledge of what transpired in the Cincinnati office on Sept. 27 or of any facts relevant to defendants’ cases.” We disagree. Chabot’s staff said they told him we were there. We’d like to question Chabot about what he knew. Why, for example, did Chabot’s staff wait seven hours to have us arrested — was it because Chabot told them to? If so, didn’t that give us permission to be there? Lack of permission is central to a charge of trespassing, and maybe the jury would like to know what Chabot said and did during our sit-in.


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