Whistleblower Asked to Testify in Ohio Genocide Denial Case
WASHINGTON—Attorneys for FBI whistleblower Sibel D. Edmonds have requested that Attorney General Holder review the state secrets privilege invoked in her case and reverse the decision made under former President Bush. This will free her to testify on behalf of Democratic Congressional candidate David Krikorian, in connection with a complaint initiated by Genocide denier Rep. Jean Schmidt before the Ohio Elections Commission
Edmonds was illegally fired from the FBI due to her protected disclosures. An independent investigation by the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General confirmed the serious misconduct committed by the FBI and the illegality of her termination. On or about October 18, 2002 the previous administration invoked the state secrets privilege in order to have Ms. Edmonds’s whistleblower/First Amendment claims dismissed and to protect the government from embarrassment.
Edmonds has now been requested to provide sworn deposition and affidavit testimony in a case pending before the Ohio Elections Commission in the Schmidt v. Krikorian case. This case raises nationally significant issues of electoral fraud and violation of law. The state secrets privilege has stifled Ms. Edmonds for the past seven years, and this deposition will be the first time that she will put her knowledge on the record.
Schmidt has brought charges against her likely Democratic opponent in the 2010 election for what she claims are false statements made by Krikorian in connection with Schmidt’s vocal opposition to Congressional measures to commemorate the Armenian Genocide. During the last election cycle, Schmidt received more than $30,000 in contributions from individuals and political action committees advancing the Turkish government’s position to deny the fact of the Armenian Genocide and oppose Congressional measures to commemorate what is widely acknowledged as the first Genocide of the twentieth century. The trial on Schmidt’s charges is scheduled for August 13 before the Ohio Elections Commission.
Since her election to Congress, Jean Schmidt has become an active and vocal apologist for the Turkish government’s position on the Armenian Genocide and has solicited and received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Turkish Americans and affiliated political action committees. David Krikorian has been working to expose the connection between Schmidt’s actions as a Member of Congress and her political contributions.
“Jean Schmidt’s active participation in the Turkish Government’s campaign to deny and cover up this internationally recognized crime against humanity is well documented and readily traceable” said said Mark Geragos who will serve as the lead attorney on the case.
“Schmidt’s mertiless complaint against David is yet another attempt by the Turkish Government and its apologists to intimidate those with the audacity to speak the truth about this ongoing human right violation. David Krikorian understands that the Turkish Government’s attempt to suppress the truth about the most heinous crime known to humankind transcends the interests of Armenian Americans and is a cause for concern to all those of good conscience. David is a man of principle and despite Schmidt’s specious allegations, remains undeterred in his resolve to bring this important human rights issue to light,” added Geragos.
Given the pendency of this case and the request for her testimony, the National Whistleblowers Legal Defense and Education Fund requested that the Attorney General immediately and independently review the basis upon which that privilege was initially invoked, and formally and in writing withdraw that privilege. At the time of this release, two separate deadlines for the Department of Justice to respond to the attorney’s letter had passed, and consequently the deposition has been scheduled for Saturday. Although a request was hand delivered to the Department of Justice, the Attorney General’s office informed counsel that they were having difficulty locating it.
According to Stephen M. Kohn, the Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center and one of Ms. Edmonds’s attorneys, “The Obama administration must take a fresh look at how the state secrets privilege was improperly used to hide government misconduct from the public view. The Edmonds case was the first case the ‘privilege’ was invoked, and it must be the first case the ‘privilege’ is revoked. The government’s misguided attempt to cover up wrongdoing by abusing the state secrets privilege to bully a whistleblower must end. Ms. Edmonds has been requested to provide testimony in court. She will do so unless the government again invokes the privilege to quash her First Amendment rights.”
Edmonds’s deposition is scheduled for Saturday, August 8, at 10:30am. It will be held at the National Whistleblowers Center at 3238 P. St. NW, Washington, DC. The event is open to the press.