Did AP's David Gram get it wrong?
Alert for ConyersBlog Readers: Feline reports the "Jeffrey Taylor" listed below is not the same Jeffrey Taylor she is referring to on ConyersBlog. She apologizes for the confusion. [See ConyersBlog: feline on March 22, 2007 - 3:48am.]
Updated: 8:35P EST, 8 April 2006 with this link.
In re A. Jeffry Taylor, 903238692, Abatiell & Associates Rutland, Vermont (Rutland Co.) Born 1943; Admitted 1970; University of California, B.A.; Loyola Marymount University, J.D.
Allegation: Probable cause for a preliminary inquiry into TAYLOR's PUBLIC STATEMENTS, possibly to be considered by the Vermont Disciplinary Bar.
David Gram of the Associated Press covered the Vermont effort to issue a state proclamation against President Bush. Gram reports,
Jeffrey Taylor, the Clarendon resident who first put forward the idea of using the "Jefferson's Manual" provision, said he expects that even if Vermont lawmakers sent an impeachment message to the U.S. House, it would be "dead on arrival" in the Republican Congress.Ref
Does someone have some fact checking problems here; and is it more of the attribution problems, discussed by Josh Marshall, [ click ]? It's one thing if the media swipes ideas and research without attribution; quite another if an attorney fails to mention an important detail on where they really got the information. It's worse when the attorney's story doesn't add up and leads to more inconsistencies and questions. Kind of like what happened with the WMD issue and Iraq.
Taylor is reported in the open media to be behind the idea of the Jefferson's manual. Unfortunately, his story doesn't quite add up. If you review his comments, you'll see a curious issue: How was he able to determine so quickly after November 2005 that nobody else had thought of this; and why do some of the words appear to match those in the 1974 Nixon Articles of Impeachment?
The issue relates to two matters: What was said about the authorship; and what was said about the source of an idea. The core issue is for purposes of the disciplinary board: Has the atotnry made public statements and engaged in conduct that are contrary to the Vermont rules of attorney professional conduct; and what is to be done?
This is a high profile case. And it is striking that an attorney would apparently make misleading statements about whether he did or did not alone develop an idea or novel concept. It is one thing to solve problems; it is another to take credit for solutions others have developed. This is the core of the attorney's comments: Who do we believe; and is there an issue that would raise questions about the integrity of the attorney and cast doubt on the Vermont professional legal system.
One Judicila Officer was removed from the bench for lying about his address: It brought the judicial system into direpute. [ Click ] SOme attorneys have a duty to clarify miscommunications. [ Click ]
Let's explore the genearl issues, then refer to the evidence we have as reported in the media, and inquire into whether or not the attorney's conduct does or does not contradict the Professional Standards of Conduct.
Here's the common phrase that is in both resolutions: You'll see this is common in the Nixon Resolution and the Bush-2001 [Click ] You're free to compare the phrases across all three of the articles of impeachment. The issue is: How much credit do we want to give someone -- regardless their statute -- based on phrases they have apparently lifted from documents more than 30 years ago? The fact that Taylor may or may not have been a prosecutor in the state of Vermont is irrelevant. The issue is: Does the public understand that the phrases are or are not original work of the person who is taking credit for those words? If the public has no problem with that -- fine. But don't ask me to think, "Wow, Mr. Taylor started this from scratch." Rather, he appears to have cut and paste. If the world is "OK" with that, fine. But don't ask me to believe that he originally authored the proclamation. Rather, he did something else: Cut and paste, and rearranged things. That not an original work; it's a complication.
It's curious that the words exactly match, yet Taylor's given credit for drafting the proclamation. Fine, why the "big celebration" about that; why not simply say, "Hay, we revised the text?"
As to the issue of whether the AP did or didn't get it wrong: The point is that Taylor's comments across multiple different reports isn't painting a single picture. Rather, there are discrepancies in his account of the Jefferson Manual. It doesn't impress me that attorney has or hasn't got an inconsistent story; the issue is why are people so quick to say, "Yes, the legal profession in Vermont is the one that did this research." Rather, it appears that someone else has done the research, and Taylor's statements that he came up with the idea don't mesh with his apparent misunderstanding of the House Rule 603. That's something for Taylor to explain:
We proceed on the assumption that the text is true ni teh proclamatoin, and also matches the 1974 and 2001 documetns not by chance, but by choice. There is one person who had control over this: Mr. Taylor, an attorney and former prosecutor, who now sits as a Chairman on a City Committee, and has appeared before the Vermont State Supreme Court on issues of attorney discipline.
Going forward, the issue is: Are these issues that raise doubts about the attorney's conduct; and should he be the one that is pubilcly associated with the Vermont effort to be presented to Congress.
ONly the State of Vermont can answer this. The issue is whether Vermont wants to be associted with sterline leaders, or those who appear to have some questions surroudning them. In order to take the high ground on issues of impeachment, we must stay on the high ground, not allow our desire to do good, get overshadowed by pesonal agendas. This is at the heart of the dispute against the Presidnet. It appaers this may be going on with Mr. Taylor.
There is much more, and I'm sure you'll see this is fairly simple to understand: Can we beleive what Mr. Taylor has told us? The same qustion of doubt surrounding the President. Unlike the President who has immunity, Mr. Taylor has a higher calling: The legal profession. Will we permit one set of standards to go by the way side in order to impose standards on a different individual? This is at the herat of what inspires the Iraqis to resit invasion: Americans speak of accountability and participation, only if that conduct is consistent with American objectives.
Inthis case, the objective is Taylor's objective. It remains to be understood whether we are walking down a path in harmony or dischord with the Vermont attorney standards of conduct. It would be a sad day to find Vermont ignored a state issue in order to pursue a national issue. There are 49 other states.
My goal at this point is simply to sound the alarm: What I'm seeing isn't adding up. In fact, I'll go so far as to say there are striking similarities in the two issues: Bush's approach to the Iraq WMD; and the Taylor approach to the Jefferson Manual. At this juncture, all we can ask are questions. But based on the public infomration -- which Taylor has appared to endorse, and not retract -- all the information is not adding up to support what Taylor is saying.
Let's consider the similarties between the Iraq WMD issue and the Taylor Jefferson Manual issue.
Comparing the Issues of Iraq WMD and the Responses on Questions about the Proclamation
Common theme: Invalid basis to reject concerns with media sourcing: Citing the wrong names and the wrong incidents.
Let's deal with the issue of The AP author. It is irrelevant whether or not Barr did or did not get fired. yes, the Vermont delegation did write the President in inquiring in to the matter.
Here's the problem with the claim of "David Gram" of the Associated Press has been fired: That is incorrect: The person who was fired was Christopher Graff. David Gram, the author of the piece which Mr. Taylor is quoted, is still with the Associated Press, and has had information published under the AP byline in the last 24 hours. [ Google ]
Thus, not only do we have resistance to consider the source; but we have -- just as we had with Iraq -- diversions based on false information. This is not looking good.
Once more, the issue here isn't that the issue is or isn't correct; but that rather than face the issues -- questions about what the attorney did or didn't say -- we have a very nice smokescreen. Same thing we had with Iraq.
The point of this discussion is to say clearly, it is not clear that "legal researchers" in Vermont were the ones who figure out the Jefferson Manual.
What he says vs what is most likely
Taylor appears to ask that he was the first one to come up with the idea on the Jefferson Manual. He has allegedly fatally asserted something contrary to this conclusion, and contary to his interests which would be admissable.
Further, going off what Taylor has said in other sources, it appears he's looked at something on the internet that told him:
However, going off words that Taylor has let stand in the open media -- which we are being asked to rely on -- that implies that Taylor has looked at something. But this isn't what he apparently wants us to believe. Rather, he wants us to believe, apparently:
The issue is: Why isn't Taylor mentioning the word he's copied; that website which has all the informatoin about Jefferson's manual, and the fact that the approach had not been yet started, and that Vermont would be first; is there something he doesn’t want to talk about; and why not simply say, "Hay, I got this off the internet. They were talking about it. And I thought, great Idea."
But that's not what he's saying in the Press; but even his story -- that he alone though up the Jefferson's Manual -- doesn't square with his other fatal admissions:
Rather, if we compare his conduct with the Vermont State Attorney rules of professional conduct, we might raise some other questions.
Vermonters Apparent Reluctance to face some issues
Before we turn to Taylor and the Vermont Attorney professional conduct standards, let's consider the questions that Vermonter are reluctant to ask:
Refocusing on Taylor
The issue is: Is there something that Mr. Taylor has said -- as reported in the open media, including the Associated Press and Vermont media -- that raises questions as to what happened: Where did the information come from; where did the idea originally come from; and should these be issues which the Attorney Discipline system reviews?
This is a high profile situation, about to enter the floor of the US Congress.
Again, given the above copying of text -- that matches 1974 and 2001 -- it seems curious that rather than focus on the issue of "what is the story" behind Taylor, the issue shifts to "other things" -- just as it was done in Iraq over the WMD issue. In the case of Taylor when there are questions about what he is reported to have said and the questions that his story does not add up, the issue changes to "other things":
Here's the point: Rather than address these issues, we're getting more of the same as we got over the WMD:
We want it all in one singe line, and we don't want to read long comments. Wow, maybe that's an interesting thing to follow up. What hapens if the world takes another three years -- as we have done with the Prsident -- to really find out the truth about the Jefferson's Manual? Is it impossible to provide a straight story now on something about to land on the floor of the Congress, and be entered into the official record, as a first step against removing a President of the United States from office?
Dramatic events are unfolding; but as with Iraq, dramatic reluctance to ask the touch questions. If we are to believe Taylor's words, we have plenty of time until the November election before anything can happen; yet if we are to belive his actions, he is moving quickly to do something he does not fully understand. House Rule 603 is privileged, meaning it cannot be buried in the RNC controlled committee, contrary to what someone who understood Jefferson's Manaul -- as Taylor would have us believe -- would know. Yet, Taylor asserts teh opposite: That the 603 proclamation could go nowhere in the House. Yet, the Congress has to face facts: ARe they willing to vote against imepachment simply because they are in the RNC? Taylor appears to believe so; if that apparent beleif is true, then why the Rush to act in Feburary, and how did he know that nboody else had done this?
This leads us back to the big mystery website Taylor appears to be reluctant to talk about.
A reasonable person would conclude Mr. Taylor looked something up on the internet, found out what was going on, and determined nobody else had done it.
The problem Mr. Taylor has is it appears he hasn't included some important details in his version of the events. Let's go through a line of questions the State Disciplinary Board and Open Media may wish to follow-up on with Mr. Taylor, and "his really neat idea" to rely on the Jefferson's Manual:
Let's go down the list:
I'm for getting the facts straight. If someone can give us some clean story on why it took at attorney "so long" to transfer the information from the Jefferson's Manual to Vermont I'm all ears.
At this point, it sure seems odd.
David Gram of the Associated Press, you interested in fact checking?
Taylor's Martindale Hubbel reference. Note he's listed as being born in 1943, which would put him at 63.
Taylor is reported to be with the Rutland County Committee CLick, matching the Martindale Hubbel listing.
The other Taylor is from Wells River, VT.
Let's consider the cases listed in VT:
169 Vt. 310
160 Vt. 319 -- Attorney for a defendant in a atty misconduct case, 1993
So Taylor knows full well what the VT Standards of Conduct are.
Here are the VT Standards of Professional Conduct: [ Click ] and the VT Standards of Conduct [ Click ]
Let's review some representative language from the Vermont standards:
A lawyer's conduct should conform to the requirements of the law,
both in professional service to clients and in the lawyer's business and personal affairs.
The legal profession's relative autonomy carries with it special responsibilities of self-government. . . . Neglect of these responsibilities compromises the independence of the profession and the public interest which it serves.
"Knowingly," "known," or "knows" denotes actual knowledge of the fact in question. A person's knowledge may be inferred from circumstances.
"Reasonably should know" when used in reference to a lawyer denotes that a lawyer of reasonable prudence and competence would ascertain the matter in question.
An agreement by which a lawyer acquires literary or media rights concerning the conduct of the representation creates a conflict between the interests of the client and the personal interests of the lawyer.
A client has a right to discharge a lawyer at any time, with or without cause, subject to liability for payment for the lawyer's services.
A lawyer may refuse to offer evidence that the lawyer reasonably believes is false.
However, an assertion purporting to be on the lawyer's own knowledge, as in an affidavit by the lawyer or in a statement in open court, may properly be made only when the lawyer knows the assertion is true or believes it to be true on the basis of a reasonably diligent inquiry. There are circumstances where failure to make a disclosure is the equivalent of an affirmative misrepresentation.
When evidence that a lawyer knows to be false is provided by a person who is not the client, the lawyer must refuse to offer it regardless of the client's wishes.
Generally speaking, a lawyer has authority to refuse to offer testimony or other proof that the lawyer believes is untrustworthy.
A lawyer shall not:
(a) unlawfully obstruct another party's access to evidence or unlawfully alter, destroy or conceal a document or other material having potential evidentiary value. A lawyer shall not counsel or assist another person to do any such act;
(b) falsify evidence, counsel or assist a witness to testify falsely, or offer an inducement to a witness that is prohibited by law;
. . .
(f) request a person other than a client to refrain from voluntarily giving
relevant information to another party unless, in a civil case:
RULE 4.1 TRUTHFULNESS IN STATEMENTS TO OTHERS
In the course of representing a client a lawyer shall not knowingly make a false statement of material fact or law to a third person.
. . .
(c) A lawyer shall be responsible for another lawyer's violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct if:
(1) the lawyer orders or, with knowledge of the specific conduct, ratifies the conduct involved; or
(2) the lawyer is a partner in the law firm in which the other lawyer practices, or has direct supervisory authority over the other lawyer, and knows of the conduct at a time when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take reasonable remedial action.
RULE 8.3 REPORTING PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT
(a) A lawyer having knowledge that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, shall inform the appropriate professional authority.
RULE 8.4 MISCONDUCT
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:
(a) violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;
(b) engage in a "serious crime," defined as illegal conduct involving any felony 102 or involving any lesser crime a necessary element of which involves interference with the administration of justice, false swearing, intentional misrepresentation, fraud, deceit, bribery, extortion, misappropriation, theft, or an attempt or a conspiracy or solicitation of another to commit a "serious crime";
(c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;
. . .
(h) engage in any other conduct which adversely reflects on the lawyer's fitness to practice law.
Let's start over.
First, as the public record reports the Rutland County passed the Resolution on 28 Feb 2006.
Please provide the following information:
A. The date that you specifically drafted the resolution;
B. The data that you looked at the Jefferson's Manual;
C. The date that you reviewed the Jefferson' Manual online;
D. The approximate time between when you first read of the Jefferson's manual related to rule 603, and the time that you preserved the Proclamation to your agency for review.
Next, there is a small discrepancy. We're asked to believe that the Attorney just happened to be looking at the Jefferson's Manual. Brilliant.
Could the Attorney discuss the events and information that prompted him to look at the manual prior to Feb 28, 2006.
Here's the issue. Why did it take so long to provide the resolution; and what was the basis for action. Here we are, led to believe that "nothing will happen."
Let's review the quote:
And Jeff Taylor of Clarendon, Vermont, a 63-year-old attorney who has vivid memories of his antiwar protesting during the mid-1960s, told us this week he recently took a close look at Jefferson's Manual. His eyes lit up at the text in Sec. 603:
In the House there are various methods of setting an impeachment in motion: by charges made on the floor on the responsibility of a Member or Delegate; . . . by a resolution dropped in the hopper by a Member and referred to a committee; by a message from the President; by charges transmitted from the legislature of a State or territory or from a grand jury.
"Well, let's have Vermont be the first!" thought Taylor. He decided "to get the ball rolling by starting with the local Democratic committee."
And so, on February 28, the Rutland County Democratic Committee unanimously passed this resolution, authored by Mr. Taylor: [ Click ]
The above article leaves the impression that Mr. Taylor was flipping through the Jefferson's manual of looking at it, and it suddenly solved a problem he had.
Let's consider that: What specific problem -- Mr. Taylor -- did the rule 603 actually solve?
Let's consider the timing issue:
Taylor said Section 603 of the Manual for House Rules provides that state legislatures can file charges with the U.S. House. If just one congressman or woman agrees to use that as a basis for a privileged motion for impeachment, it would go to directly the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, where impeachment proceedings are initiated.
“I’m not self-delusional, thinking that this would be a success with the current Congress,” Taylor notes. “If it were to be launched with the 109th Congress it would be dead on arrival, tabled by the Republican majority. That does not, however, prevent individual citizens from making clear their displeasure at the current course of this government and an interest in having Bush essentially stand trial for his crimes and misdemeanors against the American people, against the Constitution.”
What’s more, Taylor said, such a measure would be a threshold for the 110th Congress. “If power changes, then the chances for some action to correct the constant, continuing problems that we have become much higher.”Click
According to Taylor's own words above -- as reported in the media -- he has doubts about whether the method will work.
This is curious. If the method isn't going to work -- what was the big rush in February to do something?
Let's say hypothetically that in November 2005 you were looking up the Jefferson's Manual, and got around to looking at the matter. The issue before us:
 First, you are reading the Jefferson's Manual and say, "This is the solution."
 You spend some time thinking -- possibly between November 2005 and February doing something -- and then madly rush to act.
 But when asked about it, you say -- words to the effect that it really can't be hoped to do anything with the RNC controlling the Congress.
This is someone baffling. Why do I have the feeling that there's a missing piece of information here?
Let's start over. Walk through with us the events surrounding your review of the Jefferson's Manual.
Please explain to the public what you were actually physically doing. Where were you, what were you doing. Now, discuss whether you do or do not have a computer.
Can you discuss whether the words that you put in the resolution just happened to match the words in the 1974 Nixon impeachment; and the 2001 Bush Impeachment articles; but perhaps you don't have access to a computer?
Let's try it another way. The later statements that you provided to the media suggest that you have doubts this proposal would work. Could you discuss -- if that public representation, which you've left unqualified in the open media -- what the basis for your doubt is?
Surely, if you were reading the Jefferson's manual, and you thought it would solve a problem -- there would have to be some sort of explanation why there was a mad scramble to immediately get it on the docket or agenda.
So that's what's puzzling. The contrast between:
It seems quite unusual. Reading the Jefferson's Manual, thinking this is a solution, but then suggesting -- it really may not work.
Kind of odd. Fast reaction, urgency to get something on the calendar or agenda, but then here we are March 2006, one month later -- and seven months until the election. RNC still controls the Congress.
Let's go over it again:
Here's the question:
It's almost as if you had some guiding spirit that was compelling you to act; and yet despite this insight, you had doubts. Yet, here we are, you're out there letting everyone know that you looked it up, solved the problem, but now you get to wait for seven months. Still chipping away. Still unable to explain the speed of your response, but the apparent reluctance to believe that it would work.
Here's what I think happened, sometime after November 2005 you were reading something and thought it was a nutty idea. Then along came the internet and you got reminded on something.
Low and behold, nobody else was taking credit.
You knew that the RNC controlled Congress wasn't going to do anything.
Sometime after November 2005 you came up with the idea -- had doubts -- and then suddenly shifted gears. You had doubts whether it would work, but then wanted it on the agenda.
That's the issue:
It appears you do have a computer. It also appears that something that you read online after November 2005 prompted you to act.
Here's what the world really wants to know:
Here's what I would encourage the supervisory attorney at the law firm do -- or the lawyers that may decide to interact with Mr. Taylor do:
Let's consider what we know. In 1993 you appeared before the Vermont Supreme Court. Your client was facing a disciplinary issue.
What is to be said of an attorney that acts the way that you're acting:
Doesn’t that seem kind of strange?
Here's the issue: And this is just my personal opinion and not necessarily widely held, I don't believe your story. It doesn't add up. In fact, I can't tell from what you've said -- and allowed to stand in the open media -- what is or isn't your real concern. Bluntly in my view I doubt what you are saying and I think what you have done is
) engage in any other conduct which adversely reflects on the lawyer's fitness to practice law.
Things don't add up.
Surely, if you thought this wouldn't work, why the rush?
And if you thought there was no hope, what would prompt you to read Jefferson's Manual?
Here's the issue. This is a very minor point. But how long do you want this to go on: You're going to get more questions; and you want the public to believe that your story adds up. Frankly, I'm not sure what your story is.
Here's the real question: What prompted you in Vermont to get the idea that Vermont was well positioned to do this?
And what strange confluence of events led to this outcome:
This means that you knew there was a first -- Vermont. No one else.
Taylor's words, as reported: "let's have Vermont be the first"
This means you had to check something. You had to do some checking, Mr. Taylor.
Tell us: What did you check, on the internet to know:
Why didn't you cite the source of where you got the idea?
Ladies and gentlemen of the world, I ask that you carefully consider what you have read above and invite Mr. Taylor to retell his story. Let his answer:
Let's have a straight story Mr. Taylor.
Mr. Taylor: You have seven months to get your story straight. The story at this juncture should be clean, consistent, and without question.
Rather, the more we look at what you've done, and the fatal admission -- that you knew Vermont would be first -- tell me one thing: You looked this up on the internet; and combined with the apparent "miraculous similar words" between 1974, 1991, and 2006 impeachment working, It appears as though more likely than not that you may have very well lifted the comments from another website.
What are we to believe?
What is most likely?
What is an attorney who has appeared before the Vermont State Supreme Court to be expected?
I don't mind if you're in doubt. I do not mind that if you want to say that you're an attorney, but there's a question as to whether you are or are not being candid -- whether there is something else you are holding back on that you haven't mentioned.
Why the desire to push this issue?
What's the driving force behind your knowing in February 2006 that Vermont would be first: What did you read, what information was in your hands, what were you looking at on the internet?
Until I get a very clean story, I am going to have to put your name in the, "Has very serous questions about" box.
There are more questions on the way.
Time to get your facts straight Mr. Taylor. It's going to be a long seven month slog between now and the November 2006 election.
The last thing I want to find is that the very man who may take credit for "coming up with the idea" is doing the same thing the President is doing: Making misleading statements, not being truthful, and telling us things that do not add up.
Maybe there's a perfectly logical explanation. Maybe there's just a complete misunderstanding.
But think about this. The action this country is proposing to take against this Executive is based on information that has yet to be authenticated.
Moreover, the allegations being made against the President are serious: That he lied to the American people; that he deceived them to believe something that was no true.
And this late in the game, we find out that things do not add up. Nothing. There's no evidence.
It would be quite ironic if the very man who claimed to solve the problem in Iraq was so-to-speak "lawfully removed form office" based on a proclamation form a man whose story didn't add up.
Mr. Taylor wants the world to believe -- as did the President -- that we can trust him. Fine.
Mr. Taylor's name is not yet in the history books. Neither is President Bush’s.
Mr. Taylor: If you want your name to be in the history books, then you need to come clean:
Mr. Taylor: You are proposing to remove a man from the White House on the basis of a document that you have crafted; yet your story appears to be no better than his.
There was a website you were looking at that confirmed to you that Vermont would be first. How else can we explain your knowledge, certainty, and speed of action in February 2006?
You need to share with the public what that website was. You need to tell the public what you actually did on your computer.
You need to share with the world the exact details -- as best you can -- of when you came up with the idea; what you were looking at, what you were reading, and why we should trust you more than the President of the United States.
That burden of proof rests with you Mr. Taylor.
The Congress and the American people will want to know more about you.
I find it ridiculous what you are saying. It doesn’t make sense. You would have us believe that you're moving quickly; but that is at odds with your later doubts.
Taking all of the above and comparing it to the Vermont Attorney Professional Standards, I have doubts.
But more troubling, is the same issues over the WMD issues in Iraq -- which never got answered -- appear to be getting a pass this time, but with a different country and a different man. His name is Mr. Taylor, and he lives in Vermont.
I see no difference between Mr. Bush and Mr. Taylor. Two stories, but they don't quite add up the closer you look at them.
You have a very big problem Mr. Taylor. Seven long months, and your story within weeks isn't adding up. A very bad sign.
Mr. Taylor you have 30 days to correct the record. After than date, all statements you leave unqualified and allow others to rely on – will be treated with the same scrutiny you or any other fact checker or investigator may provide.
If you story is not quite right, I suggest you be very clear with what website you were reading. You may think that you’re taking credit, but the blogosphere has a question. You have thirty days. In my view, your career hangs in the balance.
Who do we trust America: Mr. Taylor, or Mr. Bush?
Two men with stories that don’t add up. Are they both innocent, or is one of them lying?
It would be truly ironic if during this escapade, the man who hoped to claim victory, fell as did the President's Chief Legal Advisor may soon do. Here's the "Dibar Gonzalez"-project. [ Click ]
Who wants to join disbarment list?
May I remind you Mr. Taylor, is that should you publicly testify at any time, the world will now know which questions to consider before they address the issue you may be testifying about.
As with the issues with Iraq and impeachment, it remains up to the public to decide whether they connect the dots, or whether the inexplicable goes unchallenged.
You have 30 days Mr. Taylor. Then all bets are off.
30 Mar 2006
Time's up Mr. Taylor.
Headlines: Attorney Behind Bush Impeachment Effort Allegedly Commits Fraud
RUTLAND CTY, VT -- Vermont Attorney A. Jeffrey Taylor, widely cited as the original idea of the Bush Impeachment effort, has allegedly committed fraud.
Investigators have unearthed inconsistent statement in Taylor's public statements, raising questions into his reliability as an attorney.
Taylor, who has made appearances before the Vermont Supreme Court, is a licensed attorney in the State of Vermont. The Rules of Professional Conduct forbid attorneys from advertising.
It remains a matter for the Vermont State disciplinary board to adjudicate whether Mr. Taylor’s public comments amount to fraud, or other possible sanctions.
Taylor was behind the effort to impeach President Bush using a little known House rule permitting state Impeachment. The Vermont Attorney received public acclaim in the open media.
There was one small problem. Taylor is reported in the open media to have stated he didn't believe the method had a chance, raising questions as to why he would move so quickly on the proclamation in February 2006, eight months before the election.
Curiously, when asked about the details, Taylor is reported to have said that he was able to confirm Vermont would have been first. This led to questions about which websites Mr. Taylor had been looking at to inform him that nobody else had used the method, and that Vermont would have been first.
There was another problem. Careful examination of the Proclamation included language and text surprisingly matching the language in the 1974 Nixon Articles of Impeachment, and the draft language against President Bush in 1991.
Taylor received wide acclaim for drafting the Vermont Resolution calling for Bush to be impeached over lying to the nation over the reasons for the Iraq war and committing other high crimes.
Attorney standards of conduct prohibit advertising and conduct that amounts to fraud.
It is a concern when a licensed attorney fails to provide a consistent story, or information stands uncorrected in the open media. At issue is the reliability of an attorney to provide truthful statements, and the public's confidence in the legal profession.
The Nation is ill served when -- in an effort to assert justice and protect the Constitution -- an attorney allegedly permits incorrect and misleading statements to stand uncorrected.
It is not appropriate for anyone to lecture the Commander in Chief over alleged misrepresentations, all the while failing to cite the original information used to make that determination.
The Constitution exists to be protected. The oath to that Constitution is one we should take seriously, not because we serve the Constitution, but because the Constitution is the legal framework.
One standard of Conduct is the law and model rules of professional conduct. Our nation cannot blindly stand silent while our Constitution is trashed, nor can we sit silent when efforts to protect that document appear related to equally dubious claims and assertions.
Are we to find that the legal profession will use an incident to advertise; and probing deeper we find issues raising questions about the basis for those claims? If we are to rely on that Constitution, then the law must equally apply to the President and to the legal profession.
We may rely on standards of conduct to guide prudent use of power and information. When it comes to information and the law, here appear to be two standards in America: We rely on them for power and statute, but appear to deny those standards when it comes to accountability.
It’s hypocritical to rely on the internet to find out that [a] nobody used this method related to Jefferson’s manual [b] that nobody was first; and [c] that Vermont was first; and [d] find the language for the proclamation – but then fail to cite the internet as the real source of the information.
Just as the President looks at the Constitution as a “just a scarp” so to does the legal profession look at the internet.
It remains to be understood how many of Taylor’s clients have been billed for time Taylor actually spent on the internet.
It remains unclear what work products have relied on internet sources, but clients have been billed as if that work product were original.
It is an issue of public standing when one fails to cite a source. No reasonable person could claim that they “though up” to use the Jefferson’s Manual; while at the same time concluding that Vermont would be first. Taylor would have had to have reviewed extensive information on the internet to determine that nobody else was doing it. Rather, it appears he relied on a specific website to confirm for him that the effort was novel, and that Vermont was within striking distance of being the first.
Under the Vermont rules of professional conduct it is a matter for the State Disciplinary Board to review whether the subject of an alleged fraud investigation has or has not made any material misstatements, committed fraud, or has allegedly destroyed evidence in a computer system.
At this juncture, it is inexplicable how Taylor in February could be clear that the method had not been used all the while knowing that some of the language matched that of the Nixon Articles of impeachment unless he had access to a computer. We encourage the Vermont Legal Community to carefully review the facts and explore whether Taylor has allegedly committed fraud; and or whether in an effort to allegedly cover-up the real source of the Jefferson’s Manual has altered information in his computer system.
It is troubling when someone is reluctant to cite sources. It remains a question why the internet was used, but not cited. It remains unclear who Taylor is attempting to reach out to with his public media statements. It may be one thing to believe that the WWII generation may not know much about the internet, but America does.
Vermont is connected to the internet. It remains unclear why Mr. Taylor has many inconsistencies in his story. At first glance, it appears he is reluctant to cite sources. Is there a reason that the public might cast doubt on the proposed proclamation or impeachment effort if the source of the idea was on the internet?
The irony is the very internet Taylor appears to have relied on -- as the basis to assert that the method had not been used elsewhere -- may be the very means why which Taylor may be reviewed for debarment over alleged misrepresentations, alleged fraud, and alleged conduct casting doubt on the Vermont Legal community.
It is troubling to find that an open source discussion may have been ignored. Whether Taylor has or has not done anything criminal remains to be understood. At this juncture, it is clear that there are many questions to be answered. Not just in the White House, but in a small town in Vermont which may have a number of legal clients suddenly wondering about their legal bills.
This President appears to have committed high crimes and misdemeanors. It is unfortunate that in an apparent zeal to attract attention to an otherwise stellar career, a fine attorney as Mr. Taylor appears to have overreached. He appears willing to use the internet to find out the facts, but apparently would have the world believe something different. If true – and what appears most likely – is not different than what the President has done.
Mr. Taylor you story doesn’t add up. Neither does the President’s. One of you has a big problem. If you are correct, then the President may be impeached. If you are wrong, the President may still get impeached.
I don’t believe you Mr. Taylor and I’m not sure why Vermont or the American public should either. There’s a reason that you’re not being quite straight with us. Do those reasons match those of the Presidents, or is there a reason you apparently enjoy using the internet, but don’t want anyone to know what you’re looking at?
We are fully prepared to litigate this matter. We shall seek full discovery of all your computer equipment between November 2005 and February 2006. We may make adverse judgments about the timing of your announcement, and the apparently failure of you to distance yourself or correct the records.
We are fully prepared to litigate an Anti-Slapp Statute claim. Issues related to defamation, libel and slander are protected when they are appropriately couched with an opinion. You’ll notice the above statements do not accuse Mr. Taylor of a crime, nor do they accuse him of misconduct. Rather, we simply say the attorney has allegedly committed fraud.
The above comments may or may not be consistent with any ongoing investigations; and may or may not be subsequently found to be true. The alleged defendant Mr. Taylor – as is Mr. Libby – is not a criminal. He is merely an alleged wrongdoer.
It remains a matter of personal choice whether you and your clients do or do not use the above information in assessing the suitability of your current working relationship with Mr. Taylor, or whether you inquire into his insurance coverage for alleged malpractice, or include in your attorney-client agreements audit rights.
If someone is willing to make alleged misleading statements about where they got information, are they willing to do something more for a bigger prize? The President thought so. Ask Mr. Taylor, he knows all about the President’s misstatements.
Mr. Taylor please provide the public with written-signed assurances – under penalty of perjury -- that you do not have any book deals, or have received any other valuable consideration related to your alleged failure to cite the original source of you “really neat idea”. It would be a shame for the public to fall victim to the President’s misstatements, only to find out they had been allegedly defrauded again.
David Gram of the Associated Press isn't the only one who appears to have problems with fact checking and citing sources. This was the same problem behind the WMD issue with the President.
Let's review again, in light of the above what Mr. Taylor said, and ask -- is this really about the President, or is this about someone who in the 1950s missed the chance to visit Bob Hope in Korea:
That does not, however, prevent individual citizens from making clear their displeasure at the current course of this government and an interest in having Bush essentially stand trial for his crimes and misdemeanors against the American people, against the Constitution.”
What’s more, Taylor said, such a measure would be a threshold for the 110th Congress. “If power changes, then the chances for some action to correct the constant, continuing problems that we have become much higher.”Click
The issue is: Why do some "individual citizens" get to make their "displeasure" known; and why is the focus of these "displeasures" at "the government" and not also at the lazy legal profession that failed to challenge this abuse of power?
At this point, it appears that the real source of this idea wasn't the legal community, but it was somewhere on the internet.
The contrast is stunning. Again, spring boarding off Taylor's words, it would be a real tragic error -- in the wake of this failure of the American legal profession and defective legal community to adequately check abuse power -- to find that the "correct the constant, continuing problems that we have become much higher is part of the same legal community that apparently cannot solve a problem but for a private citizen movement outside the legal profession.
Who did this? It appears the American legal community wants America to believe more non-sense.
The real answer is: We don't know. Nobody knows where the source of the information is. Nor can anyone point to the website that Mr. Taylor used to learn many things.
It's one thing to solve a problem. It's quite another to claim credit for another person's work. But still extraordinary to let the public believe they are the source of an idea, yet they appear to have failed to cite the source on the internet where they were able to conclude:
Here's the problem with Taylor's representation of the Rule 603. If he really knew what 603 was all about, he would have learned that it was privileged.
This means one thing: That it is impossible for the RNC to bury this in committee, thus destroying Taylor's concern about whether the impeachment could or could not occur before November 2006.
On this fact alone, it appears as though Taylor hasn't done the full work on 603, nor does he understand how the 603 proclamation used before November will force the Congress to publicly commit whether they are for or against the rule of law.
On that point alone, we doubt Taylor's version of events.
The "continuing problems that we have become much higher" is not something that is isolated to the RNC, nor to the government. It is a failure of the American legal system to effectively challenge non-sense. If what Taylor has done is true -- effectively lift the Jefferson's Manual-Bush Impeachment Proclamation from another source, but hopes to take credit, then we have more of the same: Misrepresentations to drive the public to conclude incorrect outcomes.
We in 2006 have a problem with a failure of checks and balances. This is a Constitutional and legal issues. No thanks to the lazy legal profession which has let down America.
Mr. Taylor, which website did you read the idea about "Impeachment - Proclamation - Jefferson's Manual - Vermont - and Bush"?
You can't claim credit for "knowing" Vermont would be first, unless you read about the approach and someone else spent the time finding out: It had never been used, it could be used, and that nobody else was doing it. There was not enough time between November 2005 and February 2006 for you to complete all the research, conclude there was nothing else, and draft the proclamation.
If we are to believe that this miracle of research was possible, the Country cannot explain -- no should it believe -- why this President remains in office in 2006. The speed at which you supposedly moved should have quickly energized the nation in the wake of 2003 that there was a problem.
But here we are, three years after the frauds committed on the DC Court, and the American legal system has yet to move on what the President did or didn't say before the DC court to continue an illegal war.
How do we explain the sudden "idea" of the Jefferson's Manual in 2006, but four years of the legal community doing nothing about this President's illegal NSA activities? Bolton knew well of the NSA intercepts, as did many others.
The issue is: Who are we going to believe, Mr. Taylor? Your story doesn't convince me that the legal profession is part of the solution. Rather, the legal profession -- and specifically you and your alleged misrepresentations and the apparent laziness of the American legal profession -- is what has allowed this President to do what he is doing.
The right solution isn't to have let the disaster get this far out of control, then arrive to save the day with a "really neat idea." The really neat idea would have been for the legal community -- when it learned of the 2003 WMD fabrications and the 2002 abuses in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib to have moved then to rally the nation and protect this Constitution.
2006 is too late for the legal community in America to take credit.
The American legal community in America is part of what Mr. Taylor calls the "continuing problems that we have become much higher". Look at Gonzalez' statements before the Judiciary. Senator Feingold is livid as are other Americans over the misstatements on the NSA illegal activity.
Don't put the legal community or yourself on a high horse, Mr. Taylor. The "continuing problems that we have become much higher" appears to be staring you in the mirror every day, as it does every American who took an oath to this Constitution.
Where were you and "your really nice friends in the legal community" when we really needed you in 2001 when the legal arguments were getting crafted to permit this illegal NSA activity and unlawful war of aggression?
This is what is expected from Mr. A. Jeffrey Taylor inter alia: