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Deposition of Sibel Edmonds Underway, DoJ a 'No Show', All Questions Being Answered...

Written by Subject: Whistleblowers
By Brad Friedman on 8/8/2009 8:51AM  
'State Secrets' privilege NOT asserted, FBI whistleblower answering ALL questions on Turkish infiltration of U.S. Government...

Live blogging coverage of the Sibel Edmonds deposition at the National Whistleblowers Center in Washington D.C. For background see previous coverage:

8/5/09: Sibel Edmonds Subpoenaed, Set to 'Break' Gag Order 8/7/09: EXCLUSIVE: FBI Attempts to Block Edmonds Testimony in OH Election Case 8/7/09: EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: DoJ Pressures Ohio Election Commission to Block Edmonds Testimony

[Updates at bottom...]

8:00am PT (11:00am ET): The deposition has now begun inside the National Whisteblowers Center, and has not, apparently, been blocked by an assertion of the "state secrets" privilege by the DoJ.

The BRAD BLOG has some folks covering outside the testimony this morning, and I just spoke to some of the folks on the ground outside the NWC, just before the deposition was set to begin, including David Krikorian who flew in last night from Ohio.

Krikorian said that he hadn't yet seen anybody from the DoJ there yet, and both he and Edmonds confirmed that there hadn't been any new action (that they knew about) since the late-night legal back and forth between the DoJ and OEC on Friday night. Though Krikorian added that he "wouldn't be surprised" if someone from DoJ showed up. We'll find out later today if they did.

He said his team intended to ask detailed questions on the three major points they'd described in their press release [PDF] issued earlier this week, focusing on whether and how "The Government of Turkey had illegally infiltrated and influenced various U.S. government institutions and officials, including the Department of State, the Department of Defense and individual members of the United States Congress."

Krikorian did not seem dissuaded by the FBI's and then the DoJ's attempts to block Edmonds' testimony, and that they intended to be thorough in their deposition. "That's pretty much the whole point of this exercise," he told me.

Schmidt (R-OH)'s attorney is Bruce Fein, the one time Assoc. Deputy Attorney General in the Reagan Administration who has, over the past several years, become a fierce critic of the George W. Bush Administration. He believed the deposition would not take long, though Krikorian's people may have a differing opinion there.

There are apparently a handful of mostly independent and foreign media outlets present outside the NWC. No corporate MSM, from the reports I've gotten. Independent TV/media, an Armenian English language weekly, and press attache representatives of some foreign governments are among those present.

8:40am PT (11:40am ET): During a break, Edmonds and the attorneys stepped outside.

DoJ still a no-show, so the questioning has proceeded, and Edmonds has been able to say "everything that she hasn't been able to say so far, implicating many members of Congress in a criminal conspiracy," according to interviews with Fein and others.

Edmonds' attorney, Michael Kohn said: "The Justice Department decided not to show. Therefore, the deposition has gone much more smoothly than we had anticipated."

Edmonds told me in a brief phone conversation during the break: "Bruce Fein is raising objections to everything", though that's to be expected. She said she's been asked, and has answered, questions on Dan Burton (R-IN), Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Stephen Solarz (D-NY), and other questions on those high-ranking officials and lobbyists in her "State Secrets Gallery".

She added that "somebody said the FBI was given the wrong time, for 11:30 instead of 10:30", though she didn't see how that could be, given that the time for the start of the deposition has been well publicized. In any case, it's now 11:45am ET, so we'll see if they showed up during this break. They have now gone back into session...

9:41am PT (12:41pm ET): Another break...Edmonds still being questioned under direct. Fein believes his questioning cross-examination will last two hours or so once he begins. They are now breaking for lunch. DoJ/FBI still did not show up.

The deposition is being videotaped and Edmonds hopes that it can be released as soon as possible after the deposition, though there has been some objections about releasing the video tape...


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