The following is a provocative letter I sent to the White House Counsel, Charles F.C. Ruff, in June 1997. Charles Ruff was a former Covington & Burling partner and also served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia years earlier. In June 1997 Lanny Breuer, Esq., another Covington & Burling partner, also served in the Office of White House Counsel. Lanny Breuer is currently Chief of the Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, was a Covington & Burling partner during the period 2001-2009. I wonder if Charles Ruff showed this letter to anyone?
In 1996, during the pendency of Freedman v. D.C. Department of Human Rights before the D.C. Superior Court, Charles Ruff served as D.C. Corporation Counsel. In May 1996 the D.C. Corporation Counsel filed a brief with the D.C. Superior Court that affirmed, using legally-irrelevant evidence, that my coworkers at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld had genuine fears that I might have been armed and extremely dangerous in August 1989 -- a bizarre assertion given the fact that I was not fired until more than two years later, in late October 1991. William J. Earl, Esq. was the Assistant Corporation Counsel who wrote the brief.
The letter printed below, addressed to the White House, did not provoke an inquiry by the U.S. Secret Service. Coincidentally, in June 1997 former Akin Gump partner, Edward S. Knight, Esq. served as General Counsel of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the parent organization of the U.S. Secret Service.
June 6, 1997
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008-4530
Charles F.C. Ruff, Esq.
Counsel to the President
The White House
Washington, DC 20006
RE: FREEDMAN V. D.C. DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS D.C. COURT OF APPEALS NO. 96-CV-961
Dear Mr. Ruff:
This will advise you, as a courtesy, of the status of the above-referenced appeal. The District of Columbia Superior Court proceedings below, Freedman v. D.C. Department of Human Rights, no. MPA 95-14, was defended by the District of Columbia Office of Corporation Counsel during your tenure.
The matter in controversy raises issues that may relate in an ancillary way to possible concerns of the White House Counsel.
Additionally, the appeal may carry media interest and relate to matters of public concern. Some time ago, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union advised me that I might want to go public with this matter.
You may find it useful to review this matter with FBI Supervisory Special Agent David M. Bowie, Washington Field Office, (202) 252-7801.
(1.) Letter to U.S. Secret Service (Philip C. Leadroot, S.A.) dated February 20, 1996 (first page only)
(2.) Letter to U.S. Attorney Eric H. Holder, Jr., dated December 23, 1996
(3.) Motion for an Extension of Time in which to file brief, dated June 5, 1997
cc: Charles L. Reischel, Esq., Deputy Corporation Counsel
The Washington Post
[Prior to assuming his position as Treasury Dept. General Counsel under Secretary Robert E. Rubin, Edward S. Knight was an Akin Gump partner. The following is a hypothetical scenario that is not meant to depict any known actions of Treasury Department officials or employees.]
February 20, 1996
3801 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008-4530
Philip C. Leadroot
U.S. Secret Service
Washington Field Office
Dear Mr. Leadroot:
I want to assure the U.S. Secret Service that I have not discussed matters pertinent to your investigation with any news organizations.
I want to point out, however, than an enterprising journalist could make a story out of facts contained in letters that I have already supplied to you. The facts of my case might conceivably give rise to a story such as the following, though other, perhaps more realistic (though no less embarrassing) stories are also possible.
The New York Times
Tabloids Report Clinton Friends Shield Mental Patient; Rubin Denies Secret Service Protected Strauss Firm
A spokesman for Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin today refused to comment on news stories--reported in the tabloid press--that the Secret Service, at Rubin's direction, limited the scope of an investigation into a possible Presidential security threat in order to shield Rubin's long-time friend, Robert S. Strauss.
The investigation concerned the activities of a man, described as severely disturbed, who wrote a series of ominous letters to the Secret Service and other federal agencies that referred to President Clinton.
The man, known only as Anonymous, had been an employee of the Washington law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, founded by Robert S. Strauss, former Ambassador to Russia. Strauss has been a close personal friend of Rubin's for many years.
Strauss, contacted at Akin Gump's Washington Office, refused to comment.
The tabloid press has raised questions in recent days about whether Strauss may have asked his long-time friend and confidant Rubin to order the Secret Service to limit the scope of the investigation, reportedly because any publicity concerning a full investigation might open a "hornet's
[Letter to U.S. Attorney Eric H. Holder, dated December 23, 1996. It is a striking letter to copy to the White House Counsel (Charles F.C. Ruff) -- at the White House. Does Lanny Breuer (Charles Ruff's law partner at Covington & Burling) really know nothing about me?]
December 23, 1996
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW #136
Washington, DC 20008-4530
Eric H. Holder, Jr.
U.S. Attorney for D.C.
Washington, DC 20001
RE: Weapons Possession - Intent to Inflict Grievous Bodily Harm/Possible Intent to Commit Murder - D.C. Corporation Counsel Affirmation - Possible Concealment of State and/or Federal Weapons Law Violations - Unlawful False Statements
Dear Mr. Holder:
This letter will constitute the formal reaffirmation of the following statement previously forwarded to the Office of U.S. Attorney: "Statement of Gary Freedman to the Office of U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Regarding Intent to Commit Crime of Violence as Determined by the Law Firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld," dated April 24, 1995.
This reaffirmation is offered in the wake of the express affirmation by the D.C. Office of Corporation Counsel that an Akin Gump coworker's statement, made in about August 1989, that I might be armed and homicidal 1/ was not evidence of a hostile, offensive, or intimidating work environment, and that these specific fears (namely, that I might acquire firearms and possess the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm or commit murder) were relevant to the employer's decision to terminate my employment. See Brief of Respondent in Opposition to Petition for Review of no Probable Cause Determination by Department of Human Rights at 6, Freedman v. D.C. Department of Human Rights, D.C. Superior Court no. MPA 95-14 (final order issued June 10, 1996). The express affirmation by the D.C. Office of Corporation Counsel that an Akin Gump coworker had genuine fears that I might be armed and homicidal conflicts with the statement dated April 24, 1995 that I made to the D.C. Office of U.S. Attorney under penalty of criminal sanctions that I have never possessed, or had the intent to acquire, firearms and have never engaged in violent threats.
I understand that my violation of D.C. Code 22-2514 (providing for criminal sanctions for making false statements) may subject me to possible criminal investigation and prosecution. I welcome such an investigation.
Akin Gump is managed at its highest level by a three-member Executive Committee that includes as members Robert S. Strauss (a close friend and personal confidant of U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin) and Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. (a close friend and personal confidant of President Clinton). Any criminal investigation by the Office of U.S. Attorney that were to reveal that I had in fact made violent threats during my employment (consistent with the express affirmation by the D.C. Office of Corporation Counsel that a coworker's concern about my potential for homicide was genuine) would necessarily raise questions as to why Akin Gump managers failed to learn of such threats and/or disclose the threats to law enforcement officials.
I know that a decision by the Office of U.S. Attorney not to institute a criminal investigation is never influenced by political considerations.
cc: Howard M. Shapiro, FBI General Counsel, ext. 4-6829
1/ The referenced statement, made by Stacey Schaar, is memorialized at page 38 (record on appeal at 276) of Complainant's Reply to Respondent's Response to Interrogatories and Document Request, a notarized pleading that I filed on January 5, 1993 in D.C. Department of Human Rights investigation no. 92-087-P(CN), Freedman v. Akin, Gump, Hauer & Feld. According to the pleading Stacey Schaar stated: "We're all afraid of you. We're all afraid you're going to buy a gun, bring it in, and shoot everybody."
IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS
D.C. DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS,
MOTION FOR AN EXTENSION OF TIME IN WHICH TO FILE BRIEF
The District of Columbia, on behalf of its Department of Human Rights, respectfully requests leave to file its brief in this case on or before July 25, 1997. Appellant consents to this extension. Due to staff commitments, the Appellate Division has been unable to free the resources necessary to work on this case.
Furthermore, because we have a heavy argument schedule in June, we will be unable to complete and file our brief in this fact-intensive case until July.
JO ANNE ROBINSON
Interim Corporation Counsel, D.C.
CHARLES L. REISCHEL, #116681
Deputy Corporation Counsel
Office of the Corporation Counsel
441 Fourth Street, N..
One Judiciary Square
Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel: 727-6252, Ext. 3301