August 15, 2005

Dick "Dastardly" Durbin caught in his own lie

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (Full of it-IL) was the source of statements in a Los Angeles Times article last month by George Washington University professor John Turley regarding Supreme Court Nominee John Roberts. The statements amounted to a religious litmus test for the nominee.

Durbin has repeatedly and vehemently denied making such a statement.

Turley has produced an audio tape that proves his side of the equation.

"The taped message is consistent with my notes as well as my email and telephone communications with editors," George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley wrote in a letter earlier this month to Mr. Durbin. "There was never a question as to the accuracy of the [column]. The only issue ever raised by your staff was whether you would be mentioned in the article."

In a column last month in the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Turley wrote that during a private meeting with Mr. Durbin, Judge Roberts "was asked by Sen. Richard Durbin [Illinois Democrat] what he would do if the law required a ruling that his church considers immoral," Mr. Turley wrote.

"Roberts appeared nonplused and, according to sources in the meeting, answered after a long pause that he would probably have to recuse himself," wrote Mr. Turley, who added that it was "the wrong answer."

Conservatives immediately accused Mr. Durbin of applying a religious "litmus test" to the Roberts confirmation, and Mr. Durbin said the column was inaccurate.

"I don't know who was his source," Joe Shoemaker, Mr. Durbin's spokesman, said the day the column ran. "Whoever the source was either got it wrong or Jonathan Turley got it wrong."

Mr. Durbin's office refused to comment on the letter.

"I'm not going to dignify this with a response," Mr. Shoemaker said. "Turley got his facts wrong."

But Mr. Turley said that on the day before the column ran, he read the relevant portions of his column to Mr. Shoemaker.

"Mr. Shoemaker confirmed that he was present at the time and that 'it happened exactly the way the Senator said,' " Mr. Turley wrote in his letter to Mr. Durbin. "He agreed that the recusal statement was 'incredible.' "

The only quibble at that time, Mr. Turley said, was whether to quote Mr. Durbin by name even though the senator never requested anonymity.

My message to Durbin & Shoemaker (and to quote hacker-geek slang): "PWND!"

Posted by mhking at August 15, 2005 09:50 PM | TrackBack
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