Sibel Edmonds' Deposition Disclosures: Congressional Bribery, Blackmail and Espionage
Breaking down the formerly-gagged FBI whistleblower's sworn testimony...
By Brad Friedman on 9/2/2009 1:24PM
It has now been over a week since the video tape and transcript from the remarkable 8/8/09 deposition of former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds was publicly released. Previously, the Bush Administration invoked the so-called "state secrets privilege" in order to gag Edmonds, in attempting to keep such information from becoming public.
The under-oath, detailed allegations include bribery, blackmail, espionage and infiltration of the U.S. government of, and by current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials and agents of the government of Turkey. The broad criminal conspiracy is said to have resulted in, among other things, the sale of nuclear weapons technology to black market interests including Pakistan, Iran, North Korea, Libya and others.
Even as many of these allegations had been previously corroborated to varying extents, by a number of official government reports, documents and independent media outlets (largely overseas), not a single major mainstream media outlet in the U.S. has picked up on Edmonds' startling claims since her deposition has been made fully available.
Granted, last week was a busy news week, with the death of Ted Kennedy, the release of the CIA Inspector General's report on torture, and the announcement that Michael Jackson's death was ruled a homicide. And, it's true, a 4-hour deposition and/or 241-page transcript [PDF] is a lot of material to review, particularly given the wide scope of the charges being made here. Still, given the serious national security issues at stake, said to have the been among the most important matters of the past 8 years, one would think someone in the corporate MSM might have taken the time to go through the material, and report on it. Particularly as Edmonds' claims have previously been found "credible" "serious" and "warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review," by the DoJ Inspector General, and confirmed as such, on several occasions, by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and many many others.
So for the benefit of the U.S. media, and other readers, who may find it helpful for this large body of newly-available information to be culled down into more digestible pieces, I will attempt to break down the deposition, a bit, into some of its subject matter-based component parts. I will try to go through the major disclosures from the deposition, one-by-one, in a series of pieces which might help others to further report and/or investigate these breathtaking disclosures from a former FBI official who, following 9/11, listened to and translated wiretap recordings made from 1996 through 2002, in the FBI's counterintelligence and counterterrorism departments, under top-secret clearance.
In this first break-down article, we'll look at the answers given by Edmonds during her deposition in regard to bribery and blackmail of current and former members of the U.S. Congress, including Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Stephen Solarz (D-NY), Tom Lantos (D-CA, deceased) and an unnamed, currently-serving, married Democratic Congresswoman said to have been video-taped in a Lesbian affair by Turkish agents for blackmail purposes.
In further breakdown articles, we'll look at her disclosures concerning top State and Defense officials including Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz and, perhaps most notably, the former Deputy Undersecretary of State, Marc Grossman, the third-highest ranking official in the State Department. Also, details on the theft of nuclear weapons technology; disclosures on Valerie Plame Wilson's CIA front company Brewster-Jennings; items related to U.S. knowledge of 9/11 and al-Qaeda prior to September 11, 2001; infiltration of the FBI translation department and more...
Though Edmonds was careful to not "discuss the intelligence gathering method by the FBI," she notes in her deposition that her claims are "Based on documented and provable, tracked files and based on...100 percent, documented facts."
Among the specific charges she levels against current and former U.S. Congress Members in the deposition:
Dennis Hastert: "[S ]everal categories. The acceptance of large sums of bribery in forms of cash or laundered cash ... to make it look legal for his campaigns, and also for his personal use, in order to do certain favors ... make certain things happen for foreign entities and foreign governments' interests, Turkish government's interest and Turkish business entities' interests. ... other activities, too, including being blackmailed for various reasons. ... he used the townhouse that was not his residence for certain not very morally accepted activities. ... foreign entities knew about this, in fact, they sometimes participated in some of those not maybe morally well activities in that particular townhouse that was supposed to be an office, not a house, residence at certain hours, certain days, evenings of the week."
Stephen Solarz: "[A]s lobbyist ... acted as conduit to deliver or launder contribution and other briberies to certain members of Congress, but also in pressuring outside Congress, and including blackmail, in certain members of Congress."
Bob Livingston: "Until 1999 ... not very legal activities on behalf of foreign interests and entities, and after 1999 acting as a conduit to, again, further foreign interests, both overtly and covertly as a lobbyist, but also as an operative."
Tom Lantos: "[N]ot only ... bribe[ry], but also ... disclosing highest level protected U.S. intelligence and weapons technology information both to Israel and to Turkey. ... other very serious criminal conduct."
Unnamed Congresswoman: (Though not identified as such during the deposition, Edmonds has since confirmed her to be a Democrat) "[T]his Congresswoman's married with children, grown children, but she is bisexual. ... So they have sent Turkish female agents, and that Turkish female agents work for Turkish government, and have sexual relationship with this Congresswoman in her townhouse ... and the entire episodes of their sexual conduct was being filmed because the entire house, this Congressional woman's house was bugged. ... to be used for certain things that they wanted to request ... I don't know if she did anything illegal afterwards. ... the Turkish entities, wanted both congressional related favoritism from her, but also her husband was in a high position in the area in the state she was elected from, and these Turkish entities ran certain illegal operations, and they wanted her husband's help. But I don't know if she provided them with those."
Roy Blunt: "[T]he recipient of both legally and illegally raised donations, campaign donations from ...Turkish entities."
Dan Burton: (And others) "[E]xtremely illegal activities against the United States citizens who were involved in [covert] operations that were ... against ... foreign government[s ] and foreign entities against the United States' interests."
Hastert, Livingston and Solarz, as Edmonds notes in her deposition, would all go on to become highly-paid lobbyist for Turkey and/or Turkish public interest groups after they left the U.S. Congress.
* * *
What follows below are the key exchanges relating specifically to criminal corruption by members of the U.S. Congress from the 8/8/09 Sibel Edmonds deposition, in the Schmidt v. Krikorian case, currently pending before the Ohio Election Commission. The full deposition transcript is here [PDF], and more details, including the complete video-tape of the entire deposition, can be seen in our original coverage of the deposition's release...
• I've removed various attorney cross-talk, objections, etc., and reformated the deposition for, hopefully, easier readability here.
• I've tried to augment with the text with links to supporting or referenced material where appropriate.
• Edmonds works dilligently, throughout the deposition, to word her answers in ways that work around her existing FBI non-disclosure requirements by referring, when possible, to specific details about her allegations which have already been otherwise publicly reported in some fashion or another, or that she says she was able to independently learn or corroborate outside of her employment at the FBI.
• As Edmonds speaks with an accent, her grammer is sometimes imperfect, as reflected in the literal transcription.
DIRECT EXAMINATION, questioning by Krikorian attorney, Dan Marino....
(Beginning on page 46)
Q: All right. Now, on that Website and this States Secrets Privilege gallery [ed note: photos on that page identified by Edmonds expert Luke Ryland here], it seems like you have photographs of various individuals, correct?
Q: Is Dan Burton one of the people who's in the gallery?
A: His picture is there, yes.
Q: Okay. Why is his picture there?
A: I can't discuss the details of those individuals not legal activities in the United States, but those pictures, his and others, are there because State Secrets Privilege was mainly involved to cover up those individuals illegal, extremely illegal activities against the United States citizens who were involved in operations that were, again, against order [sic] foreign government and foreign entities against the United States' interests.
Q: And Dan Burton is a representative, member of Congress from Indiana; is that correct? Is that the right place?
A: I believe he is.
Q: Okay. What about --- it also appears that you have a photograph of Dennis Hastert in the gallery.
Q: Okay, and why is his photograph there?
A: Again, just information that's public, has been public, is he would be one of the primary U.S. persons involved in operations and activities that are not legal, and they're not for the interest of the United States but for the interest of foreign governments and foreign entities.
Q: Now, again, Mr. Hastert was the Speaker of the House and Representative from Illinois?
A: At the time he was.
Q: Can you tell me anything about what your concerns are about Mr. Hastert?
A: This information has been public. [ed note: See detailed 2005 Vanity Fair exposť here, Hastert attorney's reply (six months later) and Edmonds' reply to it, here at The BRAD BLOG.] The concerns, again would be several categories. The acceptance of large sums of bribery in forms of cash or laundered cash and laundering is to make it look legal for his campaigns, and also for his personal use, in order to do certain favors and call certain --- call for certain actions, make certain things happen for foreign entities and foreign governments' interests, Turkish government's interest and Turkish business entities' interests.
Q: Did you have reason to believe that Mr. Hastert, for example, killed one of the Armenian genocide resolutions in exchange for money --- ... money from these Turkish organizations?
A: Yes, I do.
Q: So if I were to say that a member of Congress --- if I were to just walk out on the street and say, "Gee, I think members of Congress have taken money from these Turkish organizations in exchange for denying the Armenian genocide," would that be an unreasonable assumption on my part?
Q: Are you aware of other members of Congress, other than Mr. Hastert, taking money from Turkish organizations in exchange for denying the Armenian genocide?
A: Yes, and not only taking money, but other activities, too, including being blackmailed for various reasons.
Q: Stephen Solarz is on your gallery as well. I believe he's a Representative from New York. Is that correct? I'm really guessing.
A: He used to be.
Q: Was, right?
A: Correct. He is a registered lobbyist for the --- or was registered lobbyist for the government of Turkey.
Q: And Mr. Hastert is also a registered lobbyist for the government of Turkey now?
A: That's what I have read and it was announced, yes, he is.
Q: And why is Mr. Solarz in your gallery, if you can tell me?
A: Mr. Solarz and certain others in the gallery, as lobbyists they also acted as conduits to deliver or launder contribution and other briberies to certain members of Congress, but also in pressuring outside Congress, and including blackmail, in certain members of Congress.
Q: And Mr. Solarz and others would be doing this on behalf of these Turkish organizations?
A: And the Turkish government, correct, both.
Q: Would you say that --- would it be your opinion that the Turkish government through these Turkish organizations in the United States and otherwise has corrupted members of Congress?
A: Absolutely, yes.
Q: And is that based on you just speculating or is it based on something else?
A: Based on documented and provable, tracked files and based on facts 100 percent, documented facts.
Q: It looks like you have a photo of Bob Livingston on your gallery as well.
Q: And I believe he's a Congressman from I want to say Louisiana at some point.
Q: He was the one that was going to be the speaker, but then left.
Q: Why is he in your gallery?
A: Until 1999, until he left for activities that he was engaged, not very legal activities on behalf of foreign interests and entities, and after 1999 acting as a conduit to, again, further foreign interests, both overtly and covertly as a lobbyist, but also as an operative.
Q: When you say "as an operative," what do you mean by that?
A: In order to explain, I will give you an example maybe. Is that okay?
A: Just a hypothetical example or --
Q: It's okay with me.
A: Okay. If an individual has companies set up and clients in offshore islands like Cayman Islands, for example, and is able to as an operative to launder money by foreign entities that were obtained illegally, and some of them had to do with narcotics, and used these Cayman Islands offshore accounts to do that, and then some of that money goes to the congressional people, I would call that not overt. I would call that covert operations, covert operative, operations for that person rather than the classic lobbying operation.
Q: One of the other entries on your Wikipedia entry indicates that you had accused Mr. Hastert and other, quote, high ranking members of U.S. government of --- let me make sure I'm reading this correctly. The entry says, "Edmonds also accuses Dennis Hastert of taking bribes." I think we've talked about that; is that correct?
Q: And then it says, "And high ranking members of the U.S. government of selling nuclear secrets to Turkey and Pakistan."
Did you allege that high ranking members in the U.S. government had sold nuclear secrets to Turkey and Pakistan?
A: They were involved in operations that were obtaining illegally U.S. weapons and nuclear related technology and sell it to foreign governments and also foreign independent operatives.
Q: We've talked about some members of Congress having connections with the Turkish government or Turkish organizations. Are there others that you're aware of other than the ones we've discussed already?
A: Congressional members?
Q: Congressional members.
Q: Can you identify some of them?
A: Their pictures are on the --- I have pictures included in my Website, and they can be identified. There's several there outside the ones you named.
Q: I just --- I looked at the Website but didn't recognize --
Q: --- some of them. So would you be able to tell me who the other pictures are?
A: Others have been --- they're all identified as public information.
A: Tom Lantos is one of them.
Q: All right.
A: I believe he passed away, and Tom Lantos' office would be not only with the bribe, but also in disclosing highest level protected U.S. intelligence and weapons technology information both to Israel and to Turkey. His office was also involved with that. It was not only bribery, but it was other very serious criminal conduct.
Roy Blunt is there. There have been individuals with a question mark there.
The reason there's a question mark is I lacked I was terminated by April 2002, but this particular Congresswoman --- the Turkish --- these Turkish organizations and operatives, if they can't do it by money, they do by blackmail. So they collect information on sexual lives and other information like that, and with this particular Congresswoman, it being 2000 until I left, they --- this individual, this Congresswoman's married with children, grown children, but she is bisexual.
So they have sent Turkish female agents, and that Turkish female agents work for Turkish government, and have sexual relationship with this Congresswoman in her townhouse actually in this area, and the entire episodes of their sexual conduct was being filmed because the entire house, this Congressional woman's house was bugged. So they have all that documented to be used for certain things that they wanted to request when I left. So I don't know whether she --- that Congresswoman complied and gave. That's why I couldn't use her name because I don't --- I meant her face because I don't know if she did anything illegal afterwards.
But she was --- there are things; information was being collected for blackmail purposes, and her lesbian relationship, and they, the Turkish entities, wanted both congressional related favoritism from her, but also her husband was in a high position in the area in the state she was elected from, and these Turkish entities ran certain illegal operations, and they wanted her husband's help. But I don't know if she provided them with those. I left. I was terminated.
Q: And can you tell me how you know all that, everything you just told me?
A: I can't discuss the intelligence gathering method by the FBI, but in general terms, when foreign targets among themselves discuss how they were going to achieve certain goals, objectives, and if those communications are collected and recorded, not only do you have that communications, but in some cases they involved field office surveillance team to see that actually they completed.
For example, if they say --- somebody says at five o'clock they're going to bug his house, the surveillance team would go out and see that he had (unintelligible). So there were various ways that things were collected.
Q: All right. So just to make sure I understand this, the Turkish entities were at least preparing to blackmail this Congresswoman.
Q: And is this Congresswoman still a sitting member of Congress?
Q: And why, if you know, would they want to blackmail this Congresswoman?
A: I don't know what reasons they had, why they just didn't do money. They needed --- I was trained as a language specialist by my agent for --- to find personal information, and one of the things that we was taught in the FBI --- everyone was taught in the counterintelligence --- that the target U.S. persons, whether they are in Congress or executive branch or whatever, first go by foreign entities to what they refer to as hooking period, and it was very common; it's a very common way of trying to find vulnerability, and that is sexual, financial, any other kinds of greeds, and it was --- it was done a lot, was being done a lot, and in some cases certain people from Pentagon would send a list of individuals with access to sensitive data, whether weapons technology or nuclear technology, and this information would include all their sexual preference, how much they owed on their homes, if they have gambling issues, and the State Department, high level State Department person would provide it to these foreign operatives, and those foreign operatives then would go and hook those Pentagon people, whether they were at RAND or some other Air Force base.
And then the hooking period would take some times. Sometimes it takes months, sometimes one year. They would ask for small favor, but eventually after they reviewed the targets that the U.S. person --- some small favor, then they would go blackmail and that person would give them everything, nuclear related information, weapons related information. It always worked for them. So it was not always money.
Q: If you know, what was it that these Turkish entities wanted from this Congresswoman?
A: I know for sure that Armenian genocide was one, but also where she came from, that city or the district where she came from is where certain Turkish operatives, lobby groups run illegal businesses for fund raising for themselves to generate money, and for laundering that money they needed her influence in that district where she is from and also her husband because he husband was also involved, had some high level position, not an elected person, with where she came from, and they had another Representative who was making it possible, but supposedly she at that point was kind of --- was an obstacle. That's all I know.
Q: In your experience, I mean, was this hooking technique used with other members of Congress by Turkish entities?
A: Well, when I worked for the FBI, I work on operations that were not only current, but specific period of 1996 till 2000, 2001, December, 2003 January [ed note: That's likely a transcript typo, likely meant as "2002 January" instead]. So there were a lot of things that certain field office had provided me to go over, and some of that I didn't complete, but one example would be with regard to Mr. Hastert. For example, he used the townhouse that was not his residence for certain not very morally accepted activities.
Now, whether that was being used as blackmail I don't know, but the fact that foreign entities knew about this, in fact, they sometimes participated in some of those not maybe morally well activities in that particular townhouse that was supposed to be an office, not a house, residence at certain hours, certain days, evenings of the week.
So I can't say if that was used as blackmail or not, but certain activities they would share. They were known.
Q: With respect to the Congresswoman who they were --- you don't know what happened ultimately because you left, right?
Q: Or you were terminated.
Q: But with respect to that Congresswoman you said one of the things that they wanted was you said Armenian genocide. I assume you were referring to the fact they wanted her support --
Q: --- to oppose the Armenian genocide resolution.
A: Yes, and she was not leaning that way during that stage, until this hooking start.
Q: And does it surprise you that they would go to those lengths to gain her opposition to such a resolution?
A: Not at all.
Q: Why not?
A: I don't know what their reason is, but they are going to this extent. I mean, they may have --- I can only guess what their reasons are, but I think they would do anything. It's a very important issue, and whether it's money, whether sexual blackmail, anything they would do to not let this happen or get the support so it wouldn't happen.
Q: Are you aware of --- other than the people that we've talked about, and I want to come back to Roy Blunt in a minute, but aside from the people we've talked about, are you aware of other current sitting members of Congress who you believe have been given money by the Turkish lobby, Turkish government to oppose the Armenian genocide resolution?
Q: The pictures are there, and I just talked about that Congressional woman with the question mark because I don't know whether she complied with their --- but those are everything that --- those people are all there, that Website pictures.
Q: Why is Roy Blunt in your gallery?
A: One of the individuals who was the recipient of both legally and illegally raised donations, campaign donations from foreign entities.
Q: And what foreign entities?
A: The ones that I'm aware of, Turkish entities. It's just like a network because those people, they worked together, and I don't have expertise in PAC, but a lot of --- there are so many ways that these PAC things can be not very legally distributed from one person's, let's say, Mr. Hastert's campaign to that individual or let's say it's a foreign registered lobbyist, like Livingston can get foreign money, but then clean it and then give it to him. It's just so many ways. it's a very complicated maze-like network on how they get this money cleared and into people, into people's pocket and also their campaigns.
Q: Now, are you --- has it come to your attention that some members of Congress once they've left Congress like Dennis Hastert engaged in lobbying for the Turkish government?
A: Dennis Hastert is known publicly. Stephen Solarz is known publicly. He used to be a Congressman, and then he became lobbyist as soon as he left both for Israel and Turkey.
Bob Livingston, he within a year after he left Congress, he became lobbyist for the government of Turkey, and he is registered under Foreign Agent's Registration Act.
But then there are people who work for these lobbying firms who are not the top, but they have received their share while they were working, whether they are in Pentagon.
One person was Defense Intelligence Agency person, Dana Bauer, and now she works for Bob Livingston, but this individual, Ms. Bauer, did a lot of favors and illegal favors to --- for government of Turkey and others, and then was hired by Livingston and put on a big salary to represent Turkish government.
So it's not only top tier of the lobbying firm, but then the people who work for them later and the various layers of those people.
Q: How about Richard Gephardt? You know, who he is, right?
A: Yes, I do.
Q: And do you have any information about whether or not he took money from Turkish organizations?
A: No, I just have (unintelligible) information based on what I read that he joined the lobby firm for --- that represents Turkey, the lobby that Mr. Hastert got hired, but I don't have any information.
Q: For the firm called DLA Piper?
Q: Law firm. Are you aware of them lobbying for the Turkish government?
Q: Let me give you a hypothetical and just get your understanding of what might be going on because it's particularly relevant to our case.
You have a hypothetical Congresswoman from State X. Her district has no Turkish population to speak of or Armenian population to speak of. She's the largest recipient of Turkish PAC money in the 2008 election cycle. All right?
She meets with Livingston and Rogers or Livingston Group when they're escorting members of the Turkish parliament to a reception. She receives fact sheets from the Livingston Group talking about Turkish relations; goes to luncheons in honor of the Turkish Foreign Minister, and she opposes Armenian genocide resolution and, in fact, refuses to even recognize the genocide as a historical fact.
What's your sense? What does it tell you is going on there in --
A: Based on several that I personally know about in terms of how they conduct and how they behave, those elected officials who are serving the foreign government's interest, I would say that's modus operandi that you describe. It's a classic fit of how individuals who happen to owe their position and favors to a foreign government, in this particular case Turkey, behave at and the kinds of people they associate with. That modus operandi classically matches of the individuals I know who were serving Turkish government's and other Turkish entities' interest.
Q: And your view, based on what you know, would it be a reasonable statement to say that that Congresswoman is taking money from Turkish interest in part for denying the existence of the Armenian genocide?
A: Say based on my knowledge, my experience, and what I know, that money --- those Turkish entities' lobby organization will not give a penny to anyone unless they have a prior pact with that person. This is what you're going to do for us, and that has been the case at least up till 2002.
[Ed note: After a detailed explanation, by Edmonds, of her statement from her pre-deposition declaration on having "obtained evidence that the government of Turkey had engaged in practices and policies that were inimical to American interests and had, in fact, resulted in both the direct and indirect loss of American lives."...]
Q: All right. So if I were to say that --- if I were a Congress person and I'm taking money from the Turkish government either directly or indirectly, would it be a fair statement that I'm taking money from a government that has engaged in policies and practices that cost American lives?
Q: I assume that --- well, let me just ask you, and I'm not trying to put you on the spot. If you can't answer, just tell me. Would you be prepared to tell me who the Congresswoman is that we've been talking about? [Ed note: He's referring to the one said to have been "hooked" into having a lesbian sexual affair which was secretly taped for blackmail purposes.]
A: I would have, and it wouldn't be because of classification I don't believe. I if in case this congressional person did not bend under the pressure in case. I just don't want somebody, innocent person's reputation destroyed because I don't know if this person complied with whatever she happened to be blackmailed later. I think I --
Q: All right. That's fair enough. I take it then from what you've told me that the people you've identified, the people that you've talked about today you're certain about.
Q: And what you've told me today about those people is not based on speculation.
Q: Any doubt in your mind that the Turkish government has caused American lives?
Q: Caused a loss of American lives?
A: No. And not only American lives. Even in other countries and some innocent Turkish lives, too, but American lives, too, yes.
Q: Any question in your mind based on everything that you've experienced that the Turkish government has infiltrated members of Congress to get their support against or their opposition to the Armenian genocide resolution?
A: None whatsoever.
CROSS EXAMINATION BY BRUCE FEIN, attorney for Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH, 2nd)...
(Beginning on page 159)
Q: Mr. Burton you said received bribes from the government of Turkey. What years were those bribes received?
A: My information that is limited for the time period 1997 until January 2002.
Q: Mr. Blunt, what was the time frame of the information relating to bribery?
A: Mr. Blunt, to the best of my recollection, the same time period.
Q: Mr. Hastert?
A: To the best of my recollection, the same time period.
Q: Steven Solarz?
A: To the best of my recollection it would be 1999 to January 2002.
Q: Mr. Gephardt, Richard Gephardt.
A: And I'm sorry. I have to go back. Mr. Solarz, referring to his capacity as his firm. He was not an elected representative during those --- so we're not talking about congressional. We're talking about --
Q: The people that you had --
A: Okay, and that would --- their activities of receiving or those kinds of activities in the context that I explained for Mr. Solarz's role would be 1999 until January 2002.
Q: And Mr. Richard Gephardt?
A: I don't have any information on Mr. Gephardt.
Q: Having received any government bribes --
Q: --- or otherwise?
Q: Do you have any information relating to bribery and blackmail of incumbent members of Congress that were after January of 2002?
A: You mean direct information?
Q: Yes, based on personal knowledge.
Q: If I used the word "a government sponsored political action committee," what is your understand of a government --- a foreign government sponsored political action committee? What does that mean to you? In specifics, does that mean the foreign government is giving money to that political action committee or other things of value?
A: I'm not sure.
Q: Does it have any meaning to you at all?
A: Government --
A: --- sponsored --
Q: --- political action --
A: --- political action committee?
A: I guess, again, I don't know. I haven't read the description or definition of that particular terminology. The meaning to me would be it would be either by, commerce, commerce/business sponsored, and doesn't mean necessarily money or the lobbying and the advocacy for by a certain group.
Q: Okay. If it's not money, what are the other things that come to mind?
A: I'm not sure.
Q: But money would be the most prominent thing that would come to mine or not? Other things compete with money as to what it means?
A: I guess that depends on which country, foreign country you're dealing with and what --
Q: Dealing with Turkey, if it's Turkey, if it's the Turkish government sponsored.
A: If it's a Turkish sponsored PAC, up until, let's say year 2000 to January [ed note: likely transcription error, should be "2002 January"], it meant certain things. I don't know what has meant since then, but up until 2002, it would have meant something.
Q: And what was that?
A: When their donations are made to a certain PAC or a lobbying, well, during that time period it was only done to PACs or PACs that are related to congressional candidates who have made covertly promises and deals because they have overt promises. Yeah, I will be promoting commerce, et cetera, but covertly to further certain interests or agendas of certain business and entities and sometimes or most of the time those work hand in hand with certain government agents, foreign government agency.
Q: So that was giving money prior to 2002; government, Turkish sponsored PACs would be giving money to the PACs to give the money to the members of Congress?
A: No. You asked for the reason. You said why would they give and I --
Q: No, no. If I spoke that, it was inartful. I'm not asking why they gave. I'm just saying a government, a Turkish government sponsored PAC prior to 2002 --- I think that was the time frame you were referring to --- meant in your understanding that the government of Turkey gave money to the PAC in order to give to members of Congress. I'm not asking what they sought in exchange.
A: Right, and they did so overtly and covertly. For example, sometimes the money in the form of a suitcase of cash would go to a certain person or business entity, and from that business person/entity, would be divided to ten people in order to not trace the origin of that money to that particular Turkish government agent or Turkish government group.
So they did it in steps. So it just depends.
Q: So it would be like you would use or they would use the middle men. All right. It has come --- the origin of the money is the government of Turkey. They give till it looks like a private business or entity, and they tell them you then turn around and maybe give it to another middle man so that there is some kind of chain of custody that separates the government of Turkey directly from the end user, but the origin of the money is from Turkey.
A: Or a government entity associated with the --
Q: A government owned corporation or enterprise of some type.
A: Or it can be an entity, let's say. Let's say it can be a military attache person that is doing that, that the Turkish military attache and that person is --- you know, that military attache person is employed by the Turkish government, and suddenly he says, Okay. I have a suitcase of $45,000, and how are we going to distribute that?" Unless they have a candidate in mind, there are ways they did it, and that would be --- one way would be to give some of that cash. They get the citizens, Turkish people who are citizens here. You know, they give them cash, and they have each one of those citizens write some amount like under $200, let's say, to a particular candidate.
Even though that money didn't come from those U.S. citizens, the money came from Turkish Embassy, and as long as it was under 200, they can get 500 Turkish people. Each one write $200. So that's one of the ways they do it.
[Ed note: The allegations made in David Rose's 2005 Vanity Fair article include Hastert having received some $500,000 vis a vis donations of $199, one dollar below the line required for identifying the donors name, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash delivered in a suitcase. Only one other member of Congress, at the time, had received more money in that type of $199 donation. Hastert's attorney rejected the premise on his behalf, though Edmonds noted in a response posted by The BRAD BLOG, that his attorney failed to answer to the specifics of the allegations. His office has still refused to disclose the identity of those donors.]
Q: Okay. All right. That answers my question.
If a PAC gave campaign contributions to a member of Congress who was a sponsor of the Armenian genocide resolution, then you're pretty certain that would not be a PAC that got any money from the Turkish government?
[Various objections, questioning continues on p. 175]
So I'm really asking --- I guess I can ask it in a similar language. That is, if a PAC did give money to members of Congress who were sponsors of the genocide resolution, then is it your conclusion or opinion that PAC was not receiving any money from the Turkish government?
A: That would be impossible to guess because Armenian genocide was one criteria, but there were other criterias also, and that included, as I said, the criteria that's related to the weapons purchase from the United States, and which general in Turkey is going to get a claim of this thing, and who's going to get what money.
So there were, as I said, the Armenian genocides was one of three or four criteria that they considered and honored in order to give money or not only money, but also other ways of giving position, a certain company to the son of certain congressional person or keeping certain things secret or et cetera. So that was one of --- the Armenian genocide bill was one of them.
So maybe I'm saying in a hypothetical situation that particular candidate may be a sponsor of Armenian genocide, when on the other three criteria that are extremely important or two other criteria, that person or candidate may be doing important, very important favor or giving important favor.
So I can't --- I can't tell you. It just depends on the situation. Or that candidate may be in a or incumbent may be in a very sensitive committee in Congress or Senate and in the position of obtaining some very important classified information they may want. So it can be other things under that scenario that we just discussed.
Q: Right. So they look at a variety of criteria. Even if they don't satisfy all of them, they may be some money because they view some of the issues as more important than others.
A: May be.
RE-DIRECT by Dan Marino, attorney for David Krikorian...
(Beginning on page 208)
Q: If you would look at Paragraph 14 of Ms. Schmidt's complaint, please, and I'm referring specifically to her reference to a letter from Mr. Krikorian. She quotes it as saying that Ms. Schmidt insanely, quote, denies the Christian Armenian genocide at the hands of the Muslim Ottoman Empire." And then it goes on to say a couple of lines down, Jean Schmidt has taken $30,000 in blood money from Turkish sponsored political action committees to deny the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children by the Ottoman Turkish government during World War I."
Do you see that?
Q: Now, do you think that based on everything that you know that Mr. Krikorian is coming out of left field by saying something like that?
A: As I said, based on my first hand information, my own knowledge, anybody who strongly comes and denies this and also has that kind of relationship with the Turkish sponsored PACs and organizations, et cetera, at least in the past, has been exactly for this particular reason. It's been representing the other foreign interest and not being objective represent the United States interest.
So this, again, as I said, it fits. I don't know anything about this lady, but it fits the modus operandi of all the others who were on the payroll one way or another. To just do this, they were on the payroll of the Turkish government entities, certain Turkish government --
Q: So it wouldn't surprise you at all for Mr. Krikorian to say something like that under the circumstances, right?
A: I mean, there's no that doesn't surprise me.
Q: If you look at Paragraph 20 of her complaint, she says it would be a crime under federal law for the Turkish government or any foreign national to fund a political action committee that made donations to a federal candidate seeking election to Congress, among other federal offices, and she cites a federal statute. Do you see that?
Q: Now, many of the things that you describe which you have personal knowledge of would be crimes under U.S. statutes, correct?
A: Absolutely, and they would have these people in jail, those people.
Q: If Mr. Krikorian asked the question --- this gentleman asked the question of those voters, why would you want to vote for someone who has taken money from the government, whose policies and practices cost American lives? Would that be a crazy question for him to ask under your --- based on your experience?
A: Absolutely not, and that's where I would even go further. For any candidate who starts really getting that kind of a close relationship with any foreign government to that degree and to get that kind of support because of that, I --- that would be a very valid --- that would be a valid question, and I would not want to vote for someone.