D.C. Madam: Rumsfeld Ally Ready to Testify Against Her

image love to Art for Life auction.

I wrote here that I doubted new names would be aired on tonight's 20/20 in the D.C. Madam case and they weren't. 20/20 has aired and gone, and no new names were revealed.

I also laid out what I thought would be the probable strategy of those clients she threatened to call in her defense:

The clients are hardly going to be willing witnesses. What if they just tell her lawyer, when they get their subpoenas, there was sex involved? Surely, she won't publish their comments since it would be adding to the Government's case against her and hurtful to her defense. Nor would she dare actually put them on the stand.

At least one of the clients' defense lawyers apparently agrees.


A lawyer for Harlan Ullman, a renowned military analyst and Washington Times columnist, says his client won't back down if he is called to testify by Jeane Palfrey, who prosecutors say ran an illegal prostitution ring for 13 years.

"Any notion that Ms. Palfrey has that Mr. Ullman will help her in any way is incorrect," said Ullman's lawyer, Mark Mukasey, in a statement to the Blotter on ABCNews.com.

Ullman intends to testify there was sex involved. Palfrey thinks that could land him in jail beside her.

I don't think so. I bet his lawyer wouldn't be making these comments unless he already had an immunity deal from the Government in exchange for Ullman's testimony against Palfry. All Paltry is doing is by revealing her clients' names amid subpoena threats is garnering more witnesses for the prosecution.

< NORML's E-Bay Auctions Featuring Prisoner Art | Gitmo Detainees Rebuffing Their Own Lawyers >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    oops - the one para should read (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by scribe on Sat May 05, 2007 at 11:12:04 AM EST
    2.  The "not newsworthy" statement came after telling pretty much the whole story of Palfrey and the service, etc.  If it wasn't newsworthy, why bother spending 15 minutes of network air time (even at 10 PM Friday) on it?

    Palfrey is ill-advised. (none / 0) (#1)
    by walt on Sat May 05, 2007 at 04:06:35 AM EST
    Even if, even if-if-if, she was attempting to run a legit escort service (is there such a business?), it is hardly imaginable that she could be certain that every one of her ladies was a straight-shooting sort of rental eye-candy.

    If only a few of them decided, only a few times, to turn a trick at the end of the party, Palfrey is toast.  From the start, this seemed to be very much a "less-than-zero sum game."  One play-for-pay by any lady & Palfrey would be down for the count.

    And why would a middle-aged bachelor in DC care about admitting to & testifying about a professional evening on the town, night in the sack & generous cab-fare home for the lady?  This is hilarious.  It's also stupid.

    Too bad.... (none / 0) (#2)
    by lilybart on Sat May 05, 2007 at 06:53:47 AM EST
    I was hoping more of these "do as we say not as we do" self-righteous repbulicans would get exposed.

    well walt, simply put (none / 0) (#3)
    by cpinva on Sat May 05, 2007 at 07:06:05 AM EST
    paying for sex is as illegal as being paid for it is. not to mention the embarrassment of having to admit, in public, that the only way you can get laid is to pay someone generously. kind of an ego killer.

    so no, unless everyone on her list is being granted immunity to testify, i just don't see jeralyn's scenario playing out. further, they would then have to testify that they contacted her, knowing that she ran a prostitution ring. in the absence of concrete evidence to support that assertion, the government has a "he said, she said" case.

    what someone thinks, vs what is, or what someone else thinks, isn't automatically mutually inclusive, regardless of what some prosecutor may say to the contrary.

    personally, i see this case going nowhere, fast. the only reason this is even in the news at all is because of the publicity guaranteed, not because it's, to paraphrase george tenet, "a slam dunk case".

    bottom line: they hope to pressure her into a plea bargain, they don't actually want this going to trial.

    i think jeralyn is absolutely right. . . (none / 0) (#4)
    by the rainnn on Sat May 05, 2007 at 09:45:08 AM EST
    palfry isn't ultimately going
    to do herself any good in a
    court-room with this gambit.

    that said, i will offer one caveat. . .
    as to her outside-the-court-room strategy. . .

    [and i will pay homage to denzel
    washington's trial lawyer character
    in "philadelphia" for this great line:

    "here in the court-room, justice wears
    a blind-fold -- she is blind. . .  but, now out
    there -- out on the streets, the b!tch has eyes. .

    so, no one here is saying it, directly -- but
    anyone with "eyes" -- street eyes,
    that is -- knows this. . . she is actively
    building her legal defense fund, accepting
    money, "on the sneak", from clientele too
    afraid to see their names made public,
    and from those with the means to buy her silence. . .  
    but what if the government
    flips the script on these jokers?

    here endeth this session of street-law 101. . .

    I watched the 20/20 piece last night and found it (none / 0) (#5)
    by scribe on Sat May 05, 2007 at 11:09:54 AM EST
    more than a little interesting.

    My conclusion was more along the lines that someone got to ABC.  That, or they just wanted to re-prove their Repug bona fides, which suffered so badly for breaking the Feeley Foley story last fall, after having done such a masterful whack-job on the Clintons with "Path to 9/11".

    Here's why I say what I do:
    1.  Ross held up the phone records, someone intoned there were all sorts of CEOs, lobbyists, etc. on them, and the Ross declared it "not newsworthy".
      Now, ask yourself and be honest - if the names were Democrats, do you think for a second it would be "not newsworthy"?

    1.  The "not newsworthy" statement came after telling
    2.  They spent a lot of time on the unfortunate case of one of the women - a U. Md. professor who wanted to make a little extra money to supplement her allegedly-meager salary, wound up getting busted and publicly humiliated so badly that she killed herself.
    3.  They also had on a sociologist or some "expert" on the sex trade, who said (A) the men are more predators than victims, (B) the women are the ones who always take the hit while the men slip back into the respectable shadows.
    4.  As to every one of those outcalls which crossed a state line (and, since this is a federal case, that means "all" of them) the man is on the hook for violating the Mann Act. You know, causing a woman to be transported across state lines for an immoral purpose.  Five years exposure.  Yet, Palfrey says she offered to flip and the feds were absolutely not interested.
    5.  I recall the USA for the D.C. is a so-called interim replacement.  He is also close to the woma who's head of the criminal division, someone routinely reviled as a political hack - who herself was installed just before the Abramoff case suddenly stopped boiling.

    So, from all this I take away:

    1.  The USA for D.C. is not going to prosecute the men.
    2.  The government, knowing the identities of her customers (they gave her the phone records in discovery), is going to use that information (by having it) to keep those repugs' named in line and loyal.
    3.  The message to women is "you're expendable and powerless" (or something similarly denigrating) - a perfectly Repug attitude.  (I heard once that "Republicans are the men who hate women and the women who need them for that."  This fits the bill.)
    4.  By blowing up Palfrey, the Repugs get to show their religious base they're still on board.  Scarlet woman gets hers and all that.
    5.  All copies of those phone records will be destroyed before the next administration.  By accident, of course.
    6.  I wouldn't be surprised if some of the customers were involved with Abramoff.

    But who knows.  Decon will accuse me of pitching this reasoning because I own Alcoa stock and want to up the sales of tinfoil....

    Mobsters (none / 0) (#8)
    by squeaky on Sat May 05, 2007 at 12:33:48 PM EST
    How much time is Palfry looking at? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Freewill on Sat May 05, 2007 at 11:39:55 AM EST
    She has been incarcerated before and came out a few years later a millionaire. Prisons are a great place to recruit potential "ladies-in-laiding".

    I take it that Palfry is exposing the hypocrisy of Washington. The first name to be scandalized was the name of the Aids Czar, Abstinence Only, No Illegal Sex message bearer, Randall Tobias.
    Was this a coincidence? I personally doubt it was.

    Is there a possibility that if Palfry is incarcerated she would not be able to $ell the rights to her story? Is it possible that her $tory, which could bring in lots of revenue, could be generated by someone else not legally bound?

    Now let me pose this question: Is it possible that Palfry knows that she is not going to win so, before she becomes incarcerated she is trying to bank as much as possible?

    She's said she had to pay for her legal fees. Couldn't this one time opportunity enrich several people at the same time?

    I just wonder how much the legal fees will run? I also wonder if a lawyer is ever barred from partnering with a convicted felon once that felon has served their debt to society?

    Madam still wins (none / 0) (#9)
    by Saul on Sat May 05, 2007 at 03:48:21 PM EST
    Jeralyn might be right.  The witness could say sex did occurr and at first glance one would say that she is not going to call that witness but if she knows she is going down and going to get some time in the slammer why not name the Johns on the on the list. If she looses the case and is found guilty of promoting prostitution, then the government must now go after the Johns on the list who contributed to this prostitution.   She might not win her case and if she doesn't win that list will still be published just so she get get even with those witness that refused to help her. She wins either way.  

    again, for those of you who think as much of (none / 0) (#10)
    by cpinva on Sat May 05, 2007 at 04:40:29 PM EST
    fantasy law as i do: this case will not see the inside of a courtroom, period.

    jeralyn, do you seriously think these guys are going to get on a witness stand, under oath, in public, and say "why yes, i did pay for sex with these women." if you truly think that, you are truly deluded.

    ms. palfrey has them, and the gov't, by the proverbial short hairs. they were incredibly stupid to even start this. now, they have to figure out a semi-graceful way of getting out of it, without it totally blowing up in their collective, smug faces.

    with respect to harlan ullman, and his lawyer, they're both full of it. when push comes to shove, they'll back up so fast, their asses will bounce off the wall.

    i'll bet money on it.