Friday, July 15, 2005


courtesy of josh marshall we find this article in the new republic about karl rove's lawyer, robert luskin.

the article parses luskin's recent comments about the rove scandal and concludes that luskin constantly contradicts himself:

Not since William Ginsburg, Monica Lewinsky's hapless first attorney, has a lawyer had such an inept public debut. Legal veterans of scandals past are scratching their heads. "He's publicized his client more than his client might like," says one of the lawyers central to the Lewinsky drama. "I've been surprised by the disclosures. I don't know of any strategy behind it, and a lot of people are looking at it the same way."

so luskin's completely full of shit, which we already knew, but it is nice to see all his misstatements, lies, and spin compiled into one place like this. very effective.

but wait, there's more! the article also goes into luskin's history, covering the laughably inept "gold bars" incident. you might wonder who first broke the gold bar story. it wasn't josh marshall; he was simply the one to re-discover it in light of the rove scandal. in fact, republicans broke the story themselves because they used to hate luskin. that is, until he took on rove as a client. how wonderfully ironic that republicans gave us all this ammunition...

Over his 25-year legal career, Robert Luskin has defended a colorful cast of characters, including a drug kingpin, several figures on the fringes of the Clinton scandals, and, most recently, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. But scoring Rove was a coup. Luskin is an unlikely choice for a Republican, let alone Rove. In fact, during the 1990s, a wide swath of the conservative movement spent a good chunk of its time trying to destroy his reputation. For the last ten years, Luskin has served as the in-house prosecutor for the Laborers' International Union, where he has been charged with fighting corruption. The right was miffed that the Clinton administration let the Laborers clean house on their own rather than under the tutelage of the Justice Department, as was done with the Teamsters. One gadfly conservative organization, the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), turned discrediting Luskin into its own personal crusade. They produced a highly unflattering 13-page report that set off a cascade of critical stories and editorials in the conservative press. Under the headline "Luskin's Ties to the New England/Patriarca Crime Family," the report documented a fishy episode wherein Luskin was forced to return $245,000 in legal fees that he received from a client named Stephen A. Saccoccia, who was sentenced to 660 years in prison for laundering South American drug-cartel and mob money. A U.S. attorney, accusing Luskin of "willful blindness," reasoned that, when Luskin started getting paid with solid gold bars (he ultimately received 45 of them, worth $505,125) and wire transfers from Swiss bank accounts, he should have known the payments were from illicit sources, especially since his client's crimes involved gold bars and wire transfers from Swiss bank accounts.

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