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Posts tagged ‘Lanny Davis’

Ex-NYPD Chief Kerik: My Attorney Helped Send Me to Prison.


Image: Ex-NYPD Chief Kerik: My Attorney Helped Send Me to Prison

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Former NYPD Commissioner and 9/11 hero Bernard Kerik has filed a complaint with the New York state bar accusing his high-profile attorney Joe Tacopina of working with prosecutors to send him to prison.

Kerik was sentenced to time behind bars after pleading guilty to two misdemeanor charges and admitting accepting $165,000 in apartment renovations from a company that was allegedly tied to the mob, The New York Daily News reports.

Tacopina, representing Kerik, assured him his legal troubles were over, but two years later Kerik was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison.

Kerik now accuses his attorney of helping federal investigators put him behind bars.

In his complaint to the bar, Kerik accuses Tacopina of being involved in “conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, and/or misrepresentation.”

He also accuses Tacopina of revealing information crucial to his defense to federal investigators, improperly contacting Kerik in 2007 after he was indicted, and attempting to defraud Kerik of a seven-figure finder’s fee as part of a real estate deal.

The charges were filed before the disciplinary committee of the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department.

Tacopina denies the claims, and his attorney Lanny Davis says that if any of the accusations were true, Tacopina already would have been sanctioned.

“Mr. Tacopina in 22 years of law practice has never received a bar complaint, let alone any discipline,” Davis told the Daily News. “Mr. Tacopina’s spotless record with the bar speaks far louder than the lies and innuendo that are being spread by those with an obvious agenda.”

One of Kerik’s major complaints is that Tacopina met with prosecutors, an accusation Tacopina denies. He says he only met with prosecutors once or twice for less than two hours to authenticate financial records.

But Kerik says that in March 2007, prosecutors disqualified Tacopina from representing him and then converted him into a witness against his former client.

Kerik says Tacopina then contacted him, which is against court rules. Tacopina’s attorneys deny that claim.

Kerik is also considering a malpractice suit against Tacopina, said one of his attorneys, Boston-based Raymond Mansolillo.

“We’ll assess the information that we’ve gleaned, and we’ll determine which avenue to take,” Mansolillo said. “I’m looking into whether any [of Tacopina’s representation] had any indirect or direct effect on where Bernie ended up.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in White Plains, which prosecuted Kerik, declined requests for comment.

But documents obtained by The Daily News show that the office questioned Tacopina.

“You can’t talk about things that would lead your client into an ambush,” Mansolillo said. “We have information that they did talk. We don’t know why. Those questions may have to be revealed by the U.S. attorney. It could go in a lot of directions.”

The men were close friends and business partners for years before Kerik faced the federal charges.

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The Gospel And the Way We Speak.


Daniel Darling

Over at ERLC.com, I’m in the midst of a series of blog posts on speaking with grace in the culture. Here’s the second in this series: 

Mark DeMoss is a longtime public relations consultant who has represented some of the most well known evangelical figures such as Jerry Falwell and Chuck Colsen. DeMoss has also served as an adviser for several presidential candidates.

In 2009, conservative DeMoss teamed up with liberal Lanny Davis to create the Civility Project. Both men, informed by their Christian faith, were deeply convicted by the caustic rhetoric consistently employed by both sides of our political divide. The two men sent letters to every sitting member of Congress and every governor with a simple request. Would each public servant sign this simple pledge?

I will be civil in my public discourse and behavior.

I will be respectful of others whether or not I agree with them.

I will stand against incivility when I see it.

The Civility Project spent several thousand dollars and launched an extensive PR campaign. But after two years, DeMoss and Davis shut down the effort. Only two politicians signed on: Virginia Congressman Frank Wolff and Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman. In an interview with the New York Times, DeMoss expressed his disappointment, particularly with his own tribe: “The worst emails I received were from conservatives with just unbelievable language…some words I wouldn’t use in this phone call.”

It’s easy to react to this story with typical outrage at Washington. It’s easy to be cynical about the American politician. But maybe we should ask ourselves if the problem of incivility is simply a fault of the political class or a reflection of the larger culture?

Some evangelicals use the state of political discourse to advocate withdrawal from politics. But, if we’re to embrace the full impact of the gospel, we’re to love our world like Jesus loved the world. In the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6), we’re told to pray for God’s will to happen “on earth as it is in Heaven.” The resurrection of Jesus wasn’t just a ticket out of hell for believers, but the reversal of the curse, the sign that death, sin and the enemy have been defeated and that Christ is coming back to renew and restore his world. The Church, then, serves as a window into a future kingdom.

A few years ago I read a book that really helped me consider a third way. City of Man, written by two political veterans, Michael Gerson and Pete Wehner, advocates principled, but wise engagement. I had the chance to interview both men on my blog. I asked Gerson why weary evangelicals should still care about politics and culture:

“Because the Bible teaches that God is the author of history and isn’t indifferent to the realm of politics and history. In addition, politics can have profound human consequences. It matters whether the state is a guardian or an enemy of human dignity. The idea that people of faith can take a sabbatical from politics to collect their thoughts and lick their wounds is a form of irresponsibility. It is, in fact, an idea that could only be embraced by comfortable Christians. Particularly for the weak and the vulnerable, there is no sabbatical from the failures of politics.”

This thinking lines up with Jeremiah’s instruction to the Jewish exiles in Babylon. Thousands of miles from their homeland, a minority in a pagan culture, God’s people were instructed in Jeremiah 29:7 to plant roots in in a world that was not their home: But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

This is a great call not to be indifferent to the plight of their communities and their nation. Loving our neighbors and our cities means we should have an active role in shaping society. In this way, applying our understanding of Scripture to cultural questions obeys the command to love our neighbors (Mark 12:31). By “seeking justice and loving mercy” we demonstrate our obedience to the God we love (Micah 6:8).

In recent years, evangelicals have reprised the phrase, “common good” to communicate the goals of civic engagement. Christians should not keep quiet in the face of suffering. We should be voices for the voiceless, motivated not by the pursuit of power, but a genuine desire for the welfare of our cities. Sometimes this means interfacing with issues with widespread cultural agreement. But at other times it requires a certain gospel-infused courage to tackle issues that cut against the cultural grain.

It’s beyond the scope of this particular blog series to examine the specific issues of importance. Rather, I’d like to talk about the way we speak. If the gospel compels us to love our communities, then it’s not enough to let our voices be heard. We must commit to applying the gospel to the very words we chose.

Lanny Davis on Obama Adviser Dan Pfeiffer: He’s Too Inexperienced.


The prickly attitude of White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer as he answered questions about the IRS scandal on the Sunday’s network news shows reveals an inexperienced aide at work, says Lanny Davis, who was special counsel to President Bill Clinton.

“He had some poor choice of words that are a reflection of inexperience,” Davis told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

Story continues below.

 

“[He is] young and inexperienced . . . I don’t know how old he is, but [he is] young in tone.”
Pfeiffer went on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” CBS’ “Face the Nation,” ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” and “Fox News Sunday” and pointedly said the administration would not participate in a “partisan fishing expedition.”

He also said the question of whether any laws were broken in the IRS scandal was “irrelevant.”

Davis, a principal of Lanny J. Davis & Associates, believes Pfeiffer might have taken sharp questions by journalists too personally.

“I have a general rule . . . dealing with the press corps. Even if I was personally offended by a question, or even if the question itself was offensive, I felt that the press had a right ask me . . . and I had to answer rather than criticizing the question,” Davis said.

“And the worst thing to do is to do it on television. It’s one thing for me to have an argument with a reporter on the phone, like what a jerky question that was. But that’s not doing it on television.

“Dan Pfieffer needs to get some experience about not criticizing the question but just providing a straight forward answer.”

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By Bill Hoffmann

WSJ: White House Knew of IRS Probe in April.


The White House‘s top lawyer was alerted the week of April 22 to early findings from an internal audit of the IRS that showed a number of conservative organizations had been improperly targeted for scrutiny, but didn’t inform President Barack Obama, sources told The Wall Street Journal Monday.

The president has said he learned of the controversy at the same time it became public on May 10. If the Journal’s reporting is accurate, the revelation suggests that Obama’s inner circle was aware of the targeting debacle, but somehow didn’t inform him.

The revelation has sparked a debate about whether the Office of the White House Counsel and its chief lawyer, Kathryn Ruemmler, should have immediately informed the president, and what, if anything, was known by other senior officials at the time, or even before the November 2012 election, the Journal reported.

Lanny Davis, a former special counsel to President Bill Clinton told the Journal that “anyone who knew about this a few weeks ago and didn’t tell the president shouldn’t be in the White House.”

But others say the White House counsel was correct to withhold the information from the president, since the inspector general’s report was not finalized and that his early knowledge of the situation could have led to charges he was trying to unduly influence the outcome of the independent investigation.

Dan Pfeiffer, a White House senior adviser, said on NBC Sunday that the matter “was handled in the exact appropriate way.”

“We do not ever do anything to give the appearance of interference in an investigation,” he added. “What would be an actual scandal would be if we somehow were involved.”

Republican lawmakers, meanwhile, are moving forward with their own investigation into the matter, with hearings set for this week before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

“Exactly who in the administration knew what about the IRS targeting is one of the key outstanding questions,” Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said in a statement, the Journal reported. “In waiting so long to address wrongdoing and inform the public, President Obama and his administration seem more preoccupied with having deniability than quickly addressing serious wrongdoing.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Melanie Batley

George W. Bush, the President and the Man, Revisited.


Image: George W. Bush, the President and the Man, Revisited

Portion of an exhibit in the museum area at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas.
Lanny Davis’ Perspective: Today, April 25, on the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas, Texas, four living presidents — Jimmy Carter, No. 39; George H.W. Bush, No. 41; Bill Clinton, No. 42; and Barack Obama, No. 44 — will honor one of their colleagues, George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, at the dedication of his presidential library.
So I take this occasion to remind my fellow liberal Democrats, many of whom continue to attack Bush in harsh and personal terms, of three things about him that I don’t think they understand or appreciate.
First, while there were many polices under Bush with which liberal Democrats (myself included) disagreed — such as tax cuts, the Iraq War, and not paying for either (as well as the Afghan war) with current revenues rather than borrowed money — there must be a distinction between disagreement and personal attack.
For example, many Democrats still use the “lie” word in describing Bush’s rationale for the Iraq War — that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. This turned out to be wrong. But Democrats in the Clinton administration also believed Saddam had WMDs, as did most experts in the U.S. intelligence community.Our politics have become so poisoned and our government so dysfunctional precisely because too many people — on both sides — can’t make a distinction between lies and being sincerely wrong.

Second, Bush is known for his brilliant slogan when he first ran in 2000, describing himself as a “compassionate conservative.” But let’s not forget that on many issues, Bush was more “compassionate” than “conservative” — indeed, he was sometimes closer to Republican Theodore Roosevelt’s free-market progressivism than William Howard Taft’s laissez-faire conservatism.
Examples include “No Child Left Behind” education reform, presented together at the White House by Bush and the liberal icon Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., in the early days of the Bush presidency; support for broad immigration reform, very similar to the bipartisan legislation recently proposed in the Senate; and an extension of Medicare to include prescription drug benefits — the most far-reaching and generous Medicare reform since Lyndon Johnson.
Third, it is important to remember what a good man with a good heart George W. Bush is. I know from personal experience.
As I have written before, I remember sitting next to Bush when we were in the same residential college at Yale (Davenport — he graduated a year after me). I recall an evening when a group of us was sitting in the common room outside the college dining hall after dinner and a fellow Yale student walked by who was known to be gay, but in those days was not “out.” Someone said some ugly homophobic slurs. I didn’t like it, but sat silently. But Bush snapped, saying something like “Hey, knock it off. Why don’t you walk in his shoes awhile and feel what he feels?”
I remember thinking, “Whoa. This guy is much different inside than the fun-loving frat brother partying with me at Delta Kappa Epsilon.” As I watched him grow and evolve over the years, overcoming times of great personal pain and challenge to become a two-time governor of Texas and a two-term president of the United States, I only came to admire and like him even more than that evening at Yale.
My late mother always used to say you can judge people on how they love and treat animals — good if they do, bad if they don’t. When Bush’s beloved dog, Barney, died recently, the statement he issued exemplified for me the inner core of goodness on my mother’s scale of judgment.
“Barney never discussed politics,” he said in bidding Barney a sad farewell, “and he was always a faithful friend. Laura and I will miss our pal.”
I know my mom in heaven, who would never have voted for George W. Bush for president, would have read that comment about Barney and insisted: “He is a good man.”
I agree.
Godspeed to you, George Bush, and blessings for your mom and dad and family on this great occasion.
Lanny Davis is the principal in the Washington, D.C., law firm of Lanny J. Davis & Associates, which specializes in strategic crisis management. He served as President Clinton’s Special Counsel in 1996-98. Read more reports from Lanny Davis — Click Here Now.

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