According to the article, he denied the meeting. The article says he denies “such... communication,” but that could mean a lot of things, given the weasily language that politicians use. He could simply mean that the content of the communication was misrepresented. But if so, the question is to what degree it was inaccurate. Are we dealing with the definition of “is?”
Whatever the interpretation of his denial, though, you get the impression that he would like to deny that he participated in the decision to let Zimmerman go. Yet, if that were the case, you would think that he would simply deny that he had any role in it, instead of indirectly attacking it by disputing the accuracy of the statement by the family.
Assuming that he did have a role in making that decision, then I would call that “backtracking.”
And the way I'm reading it (which I admit might be fairly attributed to my bias), he's denying "decided not to follow a detective's advice."
I agree with your point, if all he is denying is some sort of meeting; or the distinction between a phone call and face-to-face, then why the outrage? Why call the family liars for something picayune?
-- Whatever the interpretation of his denial, though, you get the impression that he would like to deny that he participated in the decision to let Zimmerman go. --
That could be. I've never researched for the interaction between Wolfinger and Lee. I agree with your remark, he could have easier said that he was not involved in the decision.
-- Assuming that he did have a role in making that decision, then I would call that "backtracking." --
If he did have a role in the decision, and then said he didn't, I'd call it lying.
Thanks for your thoughts. Gives me something to think about and look into.
"Therefore, we respectfully request that the United States Department of Justice investigate the circumstances surrounding this meeting between Chief Bill Lee and State Attorney Norm Wolfinger, in which they disregarded the lead homicide investigator's recommendation to arrest George Zimmerman for manslaughter," wrote Crump in the letter to [Deputy Assistant (US) Attorney General Roy] Austin.
And Wolfinger's response without CNN's cruft spitting up the context:
"I am outraged by the outright lies contained in the letter by Benjamin Crump to Deputy Assistant Attorney General Roy Austin dated April 2, 2012," wrote Wolfinger. "I encourage the Justice Department to investigate and document that no such meeting or communication occurred. I have been encouraging those spreading the irresponsible rhetoric to stop and allow State Attorney Angela Corey to complete her work. Another falsehood distributed to the media does nothing to forward that process."
I'm still looking around for accounts that have Wolfinger saying he met with Lee, or Lee saying he met with Wolfinger, or similar (with Wolfinger being involved in the discussion, the night of the shooting); where the account is attributable to an official source.
If I don't find something, I think we're stuck with an ambiguity for now. ...
Maybe not. Read Crump's letter - he alleges Zimmerman family members were present. I can understand why Wolfinger would be upset about that allegation.
Roy Austin, Deputy Assistant Attomey General
U.S. Department ofJustice, Civil Rights Division
950 PeMsylvania Avenue, NW
Washin&on, DC 20530-0001
Dear Mr. Austin:
Pursuant to our previous meeting reSarding the United States Department of7ustice's review of the shootinS death ofunarmed teenager, TraWon Martin, at the hands ofarmed gunman, George Zimmerman, you informed us that you and United States Attorney Bobby O'Neill would be leading the investigation on behalfofthe department. You told us that the department plaMed to review the tragic circumstances ofthe shooting incident itself, in addition to the Sanford Police Department's investigation and conduct. During our meeting you instructed the family and thei? 1/2 attomeys to contact you ifwe became aware ofpertinent information related to this matter.
Since our last meeting we have obtained new information which is ofpar_mount importance in considering whether or not a fair and impartial investigation was conducted by the Sanford Police Department. In particular, we learned that on the night of February 26, 2012, within hours ofthe shooting in which TraWon Martin was killed, Sanford Chiefot_Police Bill Lee met with State Attomey Norm Wolfinger. We also believe that family members ofshooter George Zimmerman were present at the police department. It was i? 1/2Mher revealed that State Attorney Norm Wolfinger and Chi? 1/2efBill Lee oveMled the recommendation ofthe lead homicide investigator, cms Serino, who recommended that George Michael Zimmerman be arrested for manslauShter for killing TraWon Benjamin Martin. More poi_antly, Mr. Serino filed an affidavit stating that he did not find Zimmerman's statements credible in light ofthe circumstances and facts surrounding the shooting. merefore, we respecthlly request that the United States Department of7usti? 1/2ce ilIvestigate the circumstances surrounding this meeting between ChiefBill Lee and State Attorney Norm WolfinSer, in which they disregarded the lead homicide investigator's recommendation to arrest George Zimmerman for manslaughter.
We look forward to your thorough and comprehensive review ofthe suspicious circumstances surrounding this meeting, and the decision to disregard the recommendation ofthe lead homicide investigator, Mr. Serino, who felt compelled to prepare an at_fidavit memorializing his recommendation to arrest the shooter George Zimmerman.
One of the more fanciful stories advanced by the race-baiters is that George Zimmerman had an inside connection via his father and his legal connections to the SPD and the States Attorneys office. The story was advanced that that States Attorney drove to Sanford the night of the shooting (a 50 mile drive) to override the homicide detective's wish to prosecute. I believe it is this rumor he is refudiating.