August 12, 2009, - 3:41 pm
Who is Jonathan Tukel?: Justice Dept. Attorney Who Outed Muslim Informant, My Client (& Probably Cost Him His Life); Ann Coulter’s Friend
Longtime readers know the story of former federal prosecutor Richard Convertino.
Rick, a rising star at the Justice Department, built a career on convicting drug kingpins, mobsters, and eventually Islamic terrorists. In 2003, he obtained convictions of members of an Islamic terrorist cell living in Detroit, who planned to blow up the U.S. Air Force base in Incirlik, Turkey (from which U.S. and Israeli war planes take off), a Jordanian hospital, a Vegas casino/hotel, and Disneyland.
Jon Tukel: Federal Prosecutor Deliberately Leaked Terror Trial Info, Including Name of Confidential Informant, Now Head of Natl. Security
Two juries found that the men–Muslim aliens–were Islamic terrorists. But political ambitious, Islamo-pandering figures in the Detroit U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Justice Dept. in Washington never wanted him to convict them. They blocked him every step of the way, and after the jury verdicts, they conducted a witch hunt to find ways to overturn the case. They–not the terrorists’ criminal defense lawyers–moved to overturn the case. And then they prosecuted Convertino, after months of anonymously attacking and savaging him in the Detroit, national, and global news media.
I represented, pro bono, a secular, pro-American Shi’ite Muslim from Lebanon who risked his life, assisted in the case, and served as an FBI informant in many other cases. (I represented him in a suit in which he was suing Hezbollah money launderers and cigarette smugglers for money they extorted from his father in Lebanon.) Although he was not an “informant” in the Detroit terror cell case, he assisted in it, and as an informant in other cases, helped put over 200 Islamic criminals involved in drug deals, money laundering, cigarette smuggling, etc., behind bars.
That Muslim–in a show of appreciation from America–was deported back to Lebanon (and I, therefore, could not continue his lawsuit), unlike the Detroit terror cell members, like Karim Koubriti, who is now driving a truck and will become a U.S. citizen.
But, once he got there, there were numerous attacks on his life, and, after a while, he eventually stopped contacting me. Before that, I was the recipient of numerous, valid complaints from him about how he was being ripped off by Steven Emerson, for whom he did a lot of work (and in response, got treated like crap and not paid what he was told he’d get in return). I believe this secular Muslim informant–who did so much work for America–is now dead.
The reason this Muslim informant had attempts made on his life–and why he is probably now dead–is because his name was leaked to Detroit Free Press reporter David Ashenfelter, who irresponsibly published it on the paper’s front page in January 2004. Rick Convertino begged Ashenfelter not to publish the informant, my client’s, name. But Ashenfelter did so anyway, jeopardizing his life.
For years, we suspected that the leaker was Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel. Now, as confirmed by federal documents, we know that he is the man responsible causing the attempted hits on my client, one of which was probably finally successful. Mr. Convertino is now suing the federal government over their illegal actions revolving around the terrorism case. Pursuant to that suit, a court filing, last week, disclosed that Mr. Tukel admitted in an April deposition that “he talked extensively to Mr. Ashenfelter on his cell phone on the evening of Dec. 12, 2003, concerning matters related to Mr. Convertino.”
Ashenfelter hid behind the phony “the public’s right to know” in order to hide the identity of his sources–one of whom was also the highly unethical judge on the case, Gerald Rosen, and another of whom we now know is Jonathan Tukel, a man who will sacrifice an informant’s life, in order to get revenge on a competitor within the U.S. Attorney’s Office. This is the behavior of a mobster thug, not a Justice Department official (with all due apologies to the Mob for comparing it to Jonathan Tukel).
But the public has a right to know when an employee of the federal government–the so-called “Justice” Department–endangers the lives of informants, deliberately outing them.
Yes, a federal judge improperly gave Ashenfelter cover, but now Mr. Tukel–a likely indirect murderer–is trying to hide from his obligation to disclose e-mails involved in his leaking operation that endangered my client and likely killed him. He is trying to protect e-mails he sent using U.S. government e-mail, under a phony “attorney-client privilege” excuse. But Mr. Tukel sent e-mails to his lawyer James Robinson (a former Deputy Attorney General and, in a huge conflict of interest, also Judge Rosen, the other leaker’s, attorney) on taxpayer time and using the U.S. government e-mail system.
Jon Tukel Helped Terrorist Karim Koubriti
Against Prosecutor Rick Convertino
Mr. Tukel’s client was and is supposed to be you–the taxpaying citizens of the United States of America. And we have a right to know the extent to which federal servants working for us will go to jeopardize the lives who help stop crimes and get the bad guys.
Until things change, it is because of actions like Mr. Tukel’s that I would not advise a client–particularly a Muslim–to become an informant for the U.S. government. The government did nothing to punish Mr. Tukel, shielded him, and he goes on with his lazy “work” at the U.S. Attorney’s office (spending taxpayer time and resources to plot his stonewalling). What message does this send to anyone that would become an informant for the FBI or any other federal agency? To me–and to my client, who learned too late–it means that you cannot depend on U.S. government bureaucrats to keep your identity a secret. And, therefore, it is not worth it to risk your life so long as reporters and the Justice Department defend people like Jonathan Tukel.
So, who is Jonathan Tukel?
He isn’t some liberal from the Obama or Clinton Administrations. In fact, he was the Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan–the number two Justice Department official in town under President George W. Bush.
Although I hope and believe she would never condone this disgusting, despicable behavior and probably isn’t aware of it, Mr. Tukel is a good friend of Ann Coulter’s, and she personally thanked him in one of her first books, as well as her latest book, “Guilty: Liberal Victims and Their Assault on America.” In “Guilty,” she specifically identifies Jon Tukel as one of her friends and credits him among several others with helping her write her book. They are good friends from their days at the University of Michigan Law School, and it is believed that she used her influence prior to this whole affair to get Mr. Tukel a top job at the Justice Department–a Deputy U.S. Attorney General job in Washington–in 2003, toward the beginning of the Bush Administration. He was a miserable failure, was basically fired, and quickly returned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit.
I certainly hope Ann will re-evaluate her friendship with this thug.
Regardless, Mr. Tukel remains employed by the Justice Department–instead of behind bars, where he belongs. Even worse, he is now Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Counterterrorism Unit a/k/a the National Security Unit, where he oversees all federal investigations into terrorism and can jeopardize more lives of Islamic informants, the few that there are.
And, while I used to be a strong cheerleader for serving as a government informant, Jonathan Tukel should serve as an example to all potential confidential informants to think twice–especially if you want your identity to remain a secret.
With vengeful cretins like him in charge, you’re putting your life–and likely hastened death–in his hands . . . and big mouth. The names and identities of confidential informants at the mercy of Jonathan Tukel are likely to be made more obvious on the street than Mr. Tukel’s hair plugs.
There are many appropriate words to describe Jonathan Tukel, most of them R- and X-rated. But the most accurate ones–other than scumbag–is simply this: traitor and rat.
Jonathan Tukel is, incredibly, now also a lecturer at the University of Michigan Law School, this fall. One wonders what courses he’s teaching. A couple of suggestions:
* Do As I Say, Not As I Do: Ethics for Attorney Conduct
* How To Betray Informants and Screw America’s National Security in Ten Seconds Flat
* I Helped Terrorists and Got Away With It, and All I Got Was this T-Shirt (and a Continued Govt. Job)
Tags: Ann Coulter, David Ashenfelter, Detroit Free Press, Detroit Terror Cell, Detroit Terror Trial, Disney World, Eastern District of Michigan, FBI Informants, Federal Prosecutors, George W. Bush, Guilty: Liberal Victims and Their Assault on America, hair plugs, Hezbollah, Incirlik Air Base, Investigative Project, Islam, Israeli Air Force, James Robinson, Jerry Rosen, Jon Tukel, Jonathan Tukel, Jonathon Tukel, Jordan, Judge Gerald Rosen, Justice Department, Karim Koubriti, Las Vegas, Lebanon, Muslims, public's right to know, Richard Convertino, Rick Convertino, Shi'ite, Steven Emerson, Truck Driver, Turkey, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Attorney's Office, U.S. Department of Justice, University of Michigan Law School, Vegas