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Monday, September 13, 2010

Impeachment Trial of Federal Judge Begins in U.S. Senate

Impeachment trial of federal judge gets under way in U.S. Senate
by the CNN Wire Staff - September 13, 2010

  • Judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr. was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives (Porteous is from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana)
  • Task force: Porteous engaged in a kickback scheme and intentionally misled the Senate
  • Rep. Adam Schiff: Porteous "participated in a pattern of corrupt conduct for years"

Washington, D.C. (CNN) -- The U.S. Senate on Monday started the impeachment trial of federal judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr. -- the first such trial since the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton in 1999. The Senate Impeachment Trial Committee will submit its summary to the full Senate, which is expected to vote later this year. The judge is accused of corruption and accepting kickbacks, as well as lying about his past to the Senate and FBI regarding his nomination to the federal bench. In March, the House of Representatives voted unanimously to impeach Porteous, making him the nation's 15th federal judge ever impeached. Porteous is from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Last year, the House Judiciary Committee Task Force on Judicial Impeachment held evidentiary hearings that led to unanimous approval of the four articles of impeachment, citing evidence that Porteous "intentionally made material false statements and representations under penalty of perjury, engaged in a corrupt kickback scheme, solicited and accepted unlawful gifts, and intentionally misled the Senate during his confirmation proceedings," a House release said. "Our investigation found that Judge Porteous participated in a pattern of corrupt conduct for years," U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Task Force on Judicial Impeachment, said in March. "Litigants have the right to expect a judge hearing their case will be fair and impartial, and avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Regrettably, no one can have that expectation in Judge Porteous' courtroom." In a statement at the time, Porteous' lawyer, Richard W. Westling, said the Justice Department had decided not to prosecute because it did not have credible evidence. "Unfortunately, the House has decided to disregard the Justice Department's decision and to move forward with impeachment," he said. "As a result, we will now turn to the Senate to seek a full and fair hearing of all of the evidence." Porteous was appointed to the federal bench in 1994. In 2007, after an FBI and federal grand jury investigation, the Justice Department alleged "pervasive misconduct" by Porteous and mentioned evidence "that Judge Porteous may have violated federal and state criminal laws, controlling canons of judicial conduct, [and] rules of professional responsibility, and conducted himself in a manner antithetical to the constitutional standard of good behavior required of all federal judges." The complaint said the department had opted not to seek criminal charges for reasons including statute-of-limitations issues. But Westling said the statute of limitations was not applicable.

The impeachment task force held hearings late last year that focused on allegations of misconduct by Porteous, including:

  • Involvement in a corrupt kickback scheme;
  • Failure to recuse himself from a case he was involved in;
  • Allegations that Porteous made false and misleading statements, including concealing debts and gambling losses;
  • Allegations that Porteous asked for and accepted "numerous things of value, including meals, trips, home and car repairs, for his personal use and benefit" while taking official actions on behalf of his benefactors; and
  • Allegations that Porteous lied about his past to the Senate and to the FBI about his nomination to the federal bench "in order to conceal corrupt relationships," Schiff said in a prepared statement. Porteous was invited to testify, but he declined to do so, Schiff said. "His long-standing pattern of corrupt activity, so utterly lacking in honesty and integrity, demonstrates his unfitness to serve as a United States District Court judge," he said.
Porteous, 63, has not worked as a judge since he was suspended with pay in the fall of 2008, Westling said. The last impeachment of a federal judge occurred last year, when Judge Samuel B. Kent of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas resigned after being impeached on charges of sexual assault, obstructing and impeding an official proceeding and making false and misleading statements, according to the website of the Federal Judicial Center. The Senate, sitting as a court of impeachment, dismissed the articles. Before then, Judge Walter L. Nixon of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi was impeached in 1989 on charges of perjury before a federal grand jury. The Senate convicted him and removed him from office that year.


Victim said...

Oh wow..I got excited at first glance of reading the caption of this article..I thought they were talking about Judge Shira A. Scheindlin...Oh well...Do you think her name should be added to that impeachment list? Why don't we ask the few select cases that were marked related to Christine C. Anderson, where on August 8, 2008, Judge Scheindlin put all the related cases into one order and dismissed them!!! Luisa Esposito, Kevin McKeown, Eliot Bernstein, Stephen LaMont, Suzanne McCormick, Eleanor Capagrosso, John Petric-Toleno,

T Finnan said...

Big deal; every 25 years or so a federal judge is impeached, with those odds, the corrupt have little to fear. Here in NY we have the NY Constitution saying:
§ 23. a.Judges of the court of appeals and justices of the supreme court may be removed by concurrent resolution of both houses of the legislature,if two-thirds of all the members elected to each house concur therein.
b. Judges of the court of claims,the county court, the surrogate's court, the family court, the courts for the city of New York established pursuant to section fifteen of this article, the district court and such other courts as the legislature may determine may be removed by the senate, on the recommendation of the governor, if two-thirds of all the members elected to the senate concur therein.

Now, Majority Senate Leader Samson and Governor Paterson know of many corrupt judges that could be removed in the Senate by action in Senate alone. And Samson could have the Senate pass a resolution removing other judges requiring a concurrent resolution from the Assembly and thus pass the buck to the Assembly.

But where is Paterson in making such recommendations or Samson in asking after his judiciary committee hearings?

Submit your recommendations for Samson's and Paterson's attention.

Anonymous said...

But where is Paterson in making such recommendations or Samson in asking after his judiciary committee hearings?

they can't, the get bought off or told not to touch it by some other thug!

Eliot Bernstein said...

Note to Will Gallison,
Will, please refrain from your insults of me on facebook and please do not call my wife again with your vieled threats to scare her. I find it disgusting that you would call someones wife and threaten her behind the back of her husband, it really is belittling to you. Your acting so two years old.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

the above comment is genuinely great for comedy purposes. thanks nyc!

Anonymous said...

SHIT IS ON !!!!!

Anonymous said...

Enough damage has been done to our families.

Back off each other.

Know your enemies.

Sun Tsu said...

"Keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer"

Anonymous said...


Eliot Ivan Bernstein said...

A. I am not sure Sun Tzu, not sure who Sun Tsu is, said that about friends but the statement may be in fact about slaughtering your enemies in close quarters.
B. In that regard, yet another Iviewit Defendant Lawyer/Law Firm an central conspirator in my RICO and ANTITRUST has become entangled in, yes, ripping of little ole ladies of their property, how Nazish of these Judenraut wannabee Jews who know nothing of g-d. Jews who swear false oath to g-d to get a law license and g-d shall damn them, the bigger they are the harder they fall and the more of them to fall the larger the thud.

Lawsuit accuses attorney of arranging low-ball deal for Boca Raton mausoleum
May 06, 2010|By Jane Musgrave, The Palm Beach Post

WEST PALM BEACH — An attorney trying to persuade city and county leaders to back his plans for a $1.5 billion development that would transform the downtown area masterminded a plot to cheat two elderly widows out of tens of millions of dollars, according to a lawsuit filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.

In the lawsuit, attorney Michael Masanoff is accused of working both sides of a real estate deal to help steal a problem-plagued mausoleum in Boca Raton from the widows. Further, the widows' attorney claims, Masanoff lied under oath about his misdeeds.

If he can persuade a judge to let him use a confidential memo, attorney Edward Ricci said he will seek criminal charges against Masanoff for perjury. He will also ask the Florida Bar to take action against Masanoff.

The complex lawsuit reaches far beyond Masanoff, who is asking county commissioners to let him use 10 acres of county land to develop a $500 million slice of his long-discussed Transit Village, a proposed massive complex of condos and offices near the city's Tri-Rail station.
In the lawsuit, Ricci is also aiming for U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton, who oversaw Masanoff's work when Masanoff worked at Klein's former firm, Sax, Sachs & Klein. Klein's former partners Spencer Sax and Peter Sachs are also in Ricci's sights. All of them, he claims, had to know what Masanoff was up to.
The allegations, which Masanoff, Klein, Sachs and Sax vehemently deny, are stunning. But they have been overshadowed by the bizarre twists the case has taken.
"I have to say, in over 30 years of doing this, this is a very unusual and disturbing event," Masanoff attorney Jane Moscowitz said of the latest bombshell.
The basis of the case that has spun out of control is the 2003 sale of an 18-acre, half-finished mausoleum on Military Trail once known as Heritage Manor Memorial Park. Hired to represent Elishka and Kathleen Michael, who inherited the mausoleum when their husbands died, Masanoff began working behind their backs, Ricci claims.
Instead of looking out for the Michaels, he worked with Ed and Art Falcone, brothers who made millions developing residential communities before Masanoff sparked their interest in providing eternal resting places for the dead. Working with an attorney who was then under investigation for securities fraud, Masanoff spurred the widows to sell the mausoleum for $6.1 million even though he and the Falcones knew it was worth as much as $40 million, Ricci claims.
Eliot I. Bernstein
Iviewit Holdings, Inc. – DL
Also, check out
Eliot's Testimony at the NY Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings Part 1
and Part 2 @
Christine Anderson Whistleblower Testimony @
and Eliot Part 1 - The Iviewit Inventions @

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