POLITICS, AMERICAN STYLE
DL Blewitt, J.D. April, 2016
By the time I was 29, I was an ex-judge, losing politician, accused felon, and in deep shit. College and law school in no way prepared me for this ordeal. It seemed that I was being bombarded by all sides at once for no reason other than I was. It is hard to describe the feeling of depression after losing an election by 200 votes. On top of that, my opponents didn’t play fair. Their tactics could best be described in the terms of Judge Winner, while describing a prosecutor’s conduct, as “chicken shit.” Each incident might be a story in itself, but for now, an inventory should suffice. I was featured in a local newspaper when I started my own office. Joe French, a younger lawyer, in a fit of self-righteous filed a grievance with the disciplinary group because he claimed that it was advertising, which was against the legal ethics at that time. The disciplinary committee informed me that it was not ethical because I did not request to read the interview first and edit it. It never occurred to me that I should ignore the First Amendment, but that was the case. I look at current advertising of lawyers and fantasize at the feeding frenzies the committee could have with modern lawyers.
The next problem occurred when Bill Gray, a public defender and Robert Jenkins, a prosecutor accused me of plotting to bribe a witness. When made in court, the local judge commented that the allegation was inconsistent with his knowledge of my character and observed that I was a candidate for office opposing the prosecutor’s party. Thankfully, the Sheriff’s office and my investigator recorded the whole transaction when it occurred because it was staged by a local police detective which the Sheriff believed implausible. The officer was sent to the mental hospital by officials who were fearful of being implicated in scandal. The DA was irate when he requested the sheriff to arrest me and was told that I was actually investigating an extortion attempt on my client, not trying to bribe a witness. Meanwhile, the County Chairman of the party disenfranchised my constituency, who were mostly students, by ruling that voters had to live in a precinct for 90 days before they would be eligible to vote in a primary.
My “fans” then intensified their efforts with all kinds of allegations including burglary, robbery, kidnapping, extortion and pissing on the sidewalk. The detective in charge of that investigation actually became a friend after he found out how he was used in attempt to destroy me. A client, whom I tried to convince to hire another lawyer, called an official and allowed me to listen on an extension while the official told him to keep using me as a lawyer until he could get something on me. I felt like the character invented by Kafka in his book, “The Trial.”
When I lost the election, I assumed that the pressure would lessen. Wrong. The efforts moved from local heat to Federal heat when I was told that the IRS was investigating me. My law firm had six lawyers in it when I started my campaign. After the election, there was just me. I had no income for 5 years and barely made expenses. When the audit was over, I owed taxes and penalties to the IRS of about $7000, a rather nominal amount, if I had any clients left. After 87 weeks of investigation, the auditor disallowed my travel deductions for five years and then added penalties and interest. I couldn’t appeal because I would have had to have paid the assessment first, before any appeal. In order to hinder me further, the IRS raided my office and seized my desk, chair, dictation machines and typewriters. Things were bleak.
However, I managed to make some friends. These happened along because of the excesses of the attacks. Things started to appear in my mailbox. People would join me in restaurants and tell me things.
But the most remarkable thing that happened was an article I read in the Wall Street Journal the week before the auditor made the assessment. It was about a lawyer in Yuma, Arizona named Ronald McKelvey, who had just won a judgment against the IRS because he proved that he was targeted by the IRS for audit by a Federal Drug Agency because he defended drug cases. I called Mr. McKelvey and was briefed by him on his case. I was ready, in fact, anxiously anticipating the visit by the IRS auditor the next week.
When he arrived my attorney and I met him with smiles. He commented that is seemed happy considering that I was just about to be assessed by his agency. I told him I had talked to McKelvey in Yuma. He turned sober and commented that they were afraid that I would read that. He asked me if I was going to sue. My lawyer made a deal that we wouldn’t sue, if he would tell us why I was being target and harassed. After playing 20 questions, I found out. The answer shocked me.
I assumed that the culprit was a Federal law enforcement agency of some sort. I had represented clients in 10 different states by then and had become a pain in the ass for the Feds. I also had some credentials as a student of criminology and drug abuse as well as being involved in several social movements, none of which would have made friends in the Government. I was active in the civil rights and anti-war movements and trained lawyers for draft defense through the AFSC. I was speaking out against drug enforcement and criminalization of drug offenders. None of this made me popular with the Nixon Administration.
However, my assumption was way off. The IRS agent told me that I had been targeted at the request of the CIA. I had never heard of them at that time, but I soon learned as much as I could about them, mostly for my own survival. The auditor stated that he thought that I made the agency nervous because of the connection with both Galya Tannenbaum and Professor Thomas Riha, a professor who mysteriously disappeared and a former graduate student of Henry Kissinger and first cousin to Zbignew Brzenski, both national security advisors to presidents. They were both clients of mine and I had already been threatened by the Government to not talk to people about them. Three decades later, I discover that I was wrong. As I wrote earlier, this mater toppled a government. What could be worse than the plight of the plumbers and Nixon’s crew running roughshod over our constitution. I was to find out, but it took many years and much sacrifice. Now, as a casualty of the Drug War, which was recently identified by the a White House Counsel as a Nixon ploy to harass blacks, war protesters and other liberals.
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