Skip to comments.Ex-GOP aide [Miranda, who exposed Dem strategy to block W's judicial picks]: Dems derailed hiring
Posted on 03/13/2005 1:54:00 PM PST by cloud8
Staffer in spying case says political threats hurt prospects at firm
WASHINGTON--A former top Republican Senate staff member who resigned under pressure last year for spying on his Democratic staff colleagues is now accusing them of threatening partners at a law firm that was considering hiring him--including the firm's chairman, a prominent Boston attorney--in order to scuttle his job offer.
In an affidavit he submitted to federal prosecutors this week, Manuel Miranda, a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, said that Democratic staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee telephoned partners at the firm of McDermott Will & Emory in January and asked them to not hire him.
Miranda alleged that staff of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, were among those who called the partners, including the firm's chairman, Boston-based Harvey Freishtat.
Another McDermott partner, Stanton Anderson, allegedly told Miranda that Democrats threatened to slow down major pieces of legislation in which they had an interest if Miranda were hired.
In February 2004 Miranda resigned as Frist's judicial nominations adviser, amid furor over the disclosure that he and a lower-ranking GOP staffer had infiltrated Democratic Judiciary Committee staff computer files for more than a year, monitoring their confidential plans in fights over judicial nominations. He has maintained he broke no law.
In his affidavit, Miranda recounts being told that he had landed a job with the McDermott law firm, but when he showed up for his first day of work, on Jan. 18, an office administrator told him the deal was off.
He said Anderson had previously told him that Democratic staffers "had launched a campaign against me," and that Anderson "feared that they may have gotten a committment from his Firm's chairman in Boston, Harvey Freishtat, not to hire me."
Anderson is also the chief legal officer and a lobbyest for the US Chamber of Commerce. Miranda cited a bill that would limit class-action lawsuits, recently approved by the Judiciary Committee, as one piece of legislation Anderson would not want delayed.
Freishtat and Anderson did not return calls seeking comment.
However, Miranda conceded that Anderson told him that the firm decided against hiring him because of a federal investigation into his role in the Senate affair, not because of the alleged Democratic calls.
Still, Miranda said, Anderson had previously known about the investigation and not thought it a problem.
"Mr. Anderson tried to urge me to let it go and reiterated several times that the stated reason for his firm not hiring me would be to point at the Department of Justice investigation," Miranda's affidavit said. "He was especially intent on deflecting focus on his Firm's chairman in Boston."
In a letter to prosecutors, Miranda's lawyer, Adam Carter, said that notwithstanding Anderson's claim, several unnamed Democratic staffers should be investigated for "extortion."
In an interview yesterday, Miranda noted that until now, his speeches and op-ed pieces have targeted fellow Republicans who did not support him--especially former Judiciary chairman Orrin Hatch of Utah, who in November 2003 pronounced himself "mortified" at the "improper, unethical, and simply unacceptable breach of confidential files" by Miranda--not Democrats.
"I don't think I've ever said a rancorous word about Democrats," Miranda said. "I can understand why they created a big storm to distract from their memos. Like they say in the movies, that was business, not personal. But in this case, they went way over the line. I think they violated the law."
Miranda suggested investigating staff for several Judiciary Committee Democrats, including Kennedy and ranking member Patrick Leahy of Vermont.
Spokesmen for Leahy and Kennedy dismissed the allegations.
"He may have us confused with the Republicans' 'K Street Project' and the way it operates," said Leahy staffer David Carle, referring to an alleged GOP plan to punish the clients of lobbying firms that hire Democrats. "Mr. Miranda's latest filing is in keeping with how he operated in the Senate and with his earlier court filings, and his record speaks for itself."
In March 2004, A Senate Sergeant-at-Arms investigation concluded that Miranda and another former staffer had infiltrated Democratic computer files from 2001 to 2003, copying 4,670 confidential memos and passing some on to conservative media.
By exploiting a password error on a shared committee staff server, they were able to monitor Democratic plans as staffers and liberal advocacy groups discussed which of President Bush's judicial nominees to try to block.
Sergeant-at-Arms William Pickle referred the case to the Justice Department in April 2004, noting a law against exceeding one's authorization to access confidential information on a government computer.
Miranda said he has never been contacted by prosecutors.
In September 2004, Miranda sued then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, asking for a declaratory judgment that he broke no law and an injunction prohibiting the Justice Department from investigating him. A judge dismissed the suit, but he has appealed.
I think Miranda got royally shafted last year by the Republicans---like Orrin Hatch, the same ones that don't have the cojones to confront the obstuctionist tactics that the dems like Leahy, Kennedy and Reid not only get away with, but brag about---
I, like Miranda, blame the Reps more than the dems, the dems are just being the slimeballs that they always are, but, you would think that some of the REPS that found out about the underhandedness of the dems would have found a way to REWARD this guy with a job by now!!!
Check this OUT!
This sounds like extortion to me.
Miranda never should have hacked into those files and copied them.
But if the Democrats wish to see him punished, they should not resort to extortion to do it. Not that obeying the law is something that particularly concerns Democrats.
Where's the link?
> I, like Miranda, blame the Reps more than the dems, the dems are just being the slimeballs that they always are...
You, Miranda...me too. Spineless Trent Lott, now Feckless Bill Frist. The Republicans need to start acting like they're the party in power. This Nuclear business to end the filibuster is a display of weakness, not strength.
Sorry, it was from Wednesday's Boston Globe. I keyed it in from the hard copy.
OK, now let's get some things straight here:
a.) Miranda did not 'hack' into anything, as the definition of 'hacking' is generally understood. He took advantage of a security hole in the server, which gave him access to the 'Rat files.
b.) Miranda in turn discovered that 'Rats were busy at work launching all sorts of unethical and possibly illegal plans to block the judicial nominees of the Bush Administration. At this point, any possible finding of wrongdoing on the part of Miranda is overshadowed by the larger issue of 'Rats corrupting the nomination process for judges.
c.) Miranda WAS shafted by Senator Orrin 'No-Balls' Hatch, who chose to focus on Miranda getting access to data on the 'Rats shenanigans, instead of properly putting the spotlight on the misdeeds of the Senate Democrats and their staffs.
d.) Miranda appears to have been shafted once again, and if AG Gonzales has a fraction of the integrity that everybody seems to think he has, he will go after the perpetrators of this conspiracy to deny a man an honest job. There's no excuse for it. Refer to the Biblical example of how King David, having riches, many wives, and everything he could want, chose to steal Bathsheba from Urriah the Hittite, and gave the orders to leave Urriah on the battlefield to face a certain death. The same principle is at work here: a group of powerful and wealthy people, who have all sorts of prestige and honor, have chosen to stick it to a guy who actually did NOTHING wrong, except to point out their own wrongdoing.
They're gonna pay. One way or the other, they'll pay.
You put it so much better than I did---
I was so very upset about this when it happened, but it seems that even Fox News just ignored the ramifications of the way the it was handled just get swept under the rug---
If you rememeber the dems didn't just use unethical ways to obstruct judiciary nominees and such---they actually coordinated the obstruction in order to facilitate the timing of the "affirmative action" case before the Supreme Court---I can't remember the names of the players, but I thought it should have been "looked into" much more vigourously, BUT
Ole Orrin Hatch steps in with Lindsay Graham and on C-span actually apologizes for what "happened to the democrats", puhllllllleeeze--
And anyone that doesn't think that this episode has anything to do with the cockiness of the dems when it comes to obstructing Bush's judicial nominees, is blind!!!
> Miranda did not 'hack' into anything, as the definition of 'hacking' is generally understood.
The MSM conveniently feigns ignorance of anything high tech.
> He took advantage of a security hole in the server, which gave him access to the 'Rat files.
Wandering into a place labeled No Republicans Allowed would be quickly thrown out.
The legal question is whether a political entity is entitled to a proprietary claim on its data on a government owned server.
"Miranda wasn't exactly playing by the rules"
Would you like to give some evidence of that ..??
Because I don't consider his finding UNPROTECTED files on his computer to be anything even remotely related to the word illegal.
If the dems didn't want him to be able to look at those documents - they should have passworded them - instead of leaving the file open as an ICON on the desktop [how stupid is that].
And .. I'm glad to see he has taken this to authorities. This is collusion, coersion, bribery, etc. by the Kennedy staff, and Kennedy himself calling the head of a lawfirm and telling them they will hinder legislation - that's CRIMINAL behavior; but for Kennedy - that's nothing new.
If I recall .. It was Leaky Leahy that changed the computer system so that documents could be accessed by either party
I never did stay up on this story. Leahy changed the system deliberately so that Democrats AND Republicans could share information via computer and so there was no hacking or stealing of confidential files?
Me: "Miranda wasn't exactly playing by the rules"
CyberAnt: Would you like to give some evidence of that ..??
I meant the rules (not federal law) that we all grew up with, that if you wander into a place where you are obviously unwelcome, you avert your eyes and get the hell out. Rules that are certainly not played by in the Beltway, except by the naive Orrin Hatch.
Now if you are so STUPID as to leave the door open when you are discussing how to subvert the President's judicial slate, you can't go to mommy and shout "RULES!" unless the intruder is a Republican, in which case, he will resign immediately.
Hey! I think you got it.
I originally wasn't sure if Miranda was snooping - because they have networked computers (and I know how that works), but I heard him being interviewed on some program - and he said that the document WAS AN ICON ON HIS DESKTOP - he didn't have to go snooping anywhere to find it - it was right in plain sight.
I was stunned!