February 19, 2009, - 1:20 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Longtime readers of this site are familiar with the case of Richard Convertino, a former federal prosecutor who convicted Al-Qaeda terrorists, and Judge Gerald Rosen, a Napoleonic federal judge who worked behind the scenes to overturn this conviction in his court. In the past, I’ve written about the events in the New York Post.
New readers can catch up here, here, here, and here, among many other posts I’ve written on this matter. But here’s the Debbie’s Notes version:
Convertino, a then-Assistant U.S. Attorney and rising star, was opposed every step of the way by Justice Department officials, as he prosecuted Al-Qaeda terrorists who plotted to blow up a U.S. Air Force Base in Incirlik, Turkey (which the U.S. and Israel used as a take-off base for their respective AWACS and F-16 aircraft) and various U.S. sites, including Vegas’ Luxor hotel and Disneyland. Wit all the odds against him, Convertino got convictions against the terrorists. But jealous, publicity-seeking and politically correct superiors who were in bed with the Islamic organization that gave these terrorists job-training, worked to get the convictions overturned.
They had a willing participant in Judge Rosen, who improperly and unethically leaked information about the case before him to Detroit Newsistan reporter (and fabricator) David Shepardson, and who went on ex-parte fact-finding missions, etc.–all of which are improper and unethical behavior for a federal judge.
As part of their plan to overturn Convertino’s conviction of Islamic terrorists, the feds went after Convertino and ultimately indicted him over trumped-up charges. After a month-long trial, a federal jury acquitted Convertino in less than 45-minutes. One of the Al-Qaeda terrorists, Karim Koubriti, now has a Commercial Driver’s License, drives a truck carrying who knows what, and is suing Convertino.
Now, Convertino is suing the federal government over all of this, and at the center of it is Detroit Free Press reporter David Ashenfelter who refuses to disclose the sources of information that was illegally and criminally leaked to him. The sources are believed to include Judge Rosen and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathon Tukel. While the case was before him, Rosen improperly discussed the case before him to several reporters, including an AP reporter, a U.S. News & World Report reporter, reporters from both Detroit major papers, and with me (my discussion with him was on the record, which is why I’m disclosing it here).
Full disclosure: These Detroit Free Press also leaked and outed the name of a Muslim informant to the Justice Department, whom I represented (in an unrelated, different matter). That informant, thereafter, had to leave the country and had several attempts on his life.
The lilliputian Judge Rosen’s behavior, during the initial terrorism trial and its aftermath, was such an outrage that some of it may have constituted federal crimes, including the Privacy Act, which prevents the disclosure of private information. Rosen now has an attorney and is trying to avoid being deposed and required to testify in federal court for Convertino’s lawsuit. You have to scratch your head when a sitting Federal Judge–now the Presiding Judge of U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan–has an attorney and may be guilty of committing federal crimes. (For the curious, the liberal Rosen was appointed by George H.W. Bush.)
Tonight, Judge Rosen–again, a subpoenaed witness in a federal trial and the Chief Judge of a Federal Court in which a contempt motion in a lawsuit over this matter is pending–will be a participant in a forum put on by the liberal media to defend Free Press reporter Ashenfelter’s right to shield federal employees who broke the law, helped free Al-Qaeda terrorists who planned to attack America, savaged an innocent man’s reputation, and outed a Muslim federal informant, spurring attempts on his life.
Another participant in the event is David Ashenfelter’s lawyer, Herschel Fink (who is a personal friend and a great lawyer, but on this case we completely disagree). The only person in the Convertino case not invited to this one-sided forum is Stephen Kohn, Richard Convertino’s lawyer.
It is highly questionable and completely improper for Judge Rosen to be participating in this event. But, as I’ve detailed on this site, the short, nasty, and brutish Judge has a history of violating all respected and required canons of judicial behavior.
Since Judge Rosen is repeatedly trying to avoid testifying in the Convertino lawsuit, one wonders why he’s now deigned–in this completely improper forum–to open his big mouth and let loose. Surely, if his position is that he has no testimoney to offer that is material to the case, then he would have no place in tonight’s forum.
And if he does have something relevant to say, it’s improper for him to be saying it at The Detroit Newsistan and Free Press offices. The proper forum for him in which to testify is a federal court, where he and his lawyer will probably plead the Fifth Amendment.
On the other hand, since, for years, Judge Rosen has been illegally and unethically leaking information about a federal terrorism trial before him to Detroit Newsistan and Free Press reporters, at least now, he’s finally being open about it.
One other thing about Judge Rosen that I reported previously. He covered up that two criminal defense attorneys representing the Al-Qaeda terrorists in his courtroom stole stationery of another federal judge and impersonated him on his stationery to third parties. And it’s not the first time he’s done this. As I also reported:
Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm (former Michigan Attorney General), when she was Assistant U.S. Attorney, stole official stationery of terror trial Judge Gerald Rosen, forging his signature on a letter.
Rosen knew about this, but refused to turn the matter over to federal authorities, so that Granholm could be prosecuted for the crimes she committed (theft, forgery, impersonating a federal official, etc.). Instead, Rosen covered up the crime, and by doing so, may have committed a crime, himself. Should Barack Obama choose to nominate Ms. Granholm to the U.S. Supreme Court as has been rumored–or some other position needing confirmation–Judge Rosen could be, again, called to testify.
And I’m sure he’ll have his lawyer in tow.