several months, Senate action on President Bushs judicial
nominees has ground to a halt as the Judiciary Committee and its
members have been consumed with what has become popularly known
as "Memogate." The term refers to reportedly more than
4,000 memoranda to and from Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary
Committee that outline troubling collusion between liberal special
interest groups and Committee Democrats to obstruct the confirmation
of many of the Presidents judicial nominees.
have been launched that, thus far, have focused solely on how the
memos were obtained by Republican staffers on the Committee and
how they were leaked. The Center and others have pushed for a complete
and thorough investigation into the memos content.
follows is a detailed and up-to-date timeline of the events surrounding
Memogate. Check back often as we will continually update the timeline
as new developments occur.
14, 2003 The Wall Street Journal publishes excerpts
memos written to Senate Democrats in 2001-2003 outlining strategies
to defeat President Bushs judicial nominees.
15, 2003 The Washington Times publish excerpts
from the memos.
17, 2003 Democratic Senators Dick Durbin (Ill.), Edward
Kennedy (Mass.) and Patrick Leahy (Vt.) call upon Senate Sergeant-at-Arms
William Pickle to conduct an official investigation into how the
memos were leaked; Capitol Hill police begin confiscating Senate
Judiciary Committee computer hard drives in the search for evidence
of who leaked the documents.
25, 2003 Referring to how some memos were obtained and
"leaked" to the press, at a Capitol Hill press conference,
Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) states
he is "mortified that this improper, unethical and simply unacceptable
breach of confidential files may have occurred on my watch."
He announces that an official Sergeant-at-Arms investigation is
underway and that he has placed an unnamed aide on administrative
leave in connection with the leaks.
3, 2003 The Center for Individual Freedom, joined by
Coalition for a Fair Judiciary, the Congress of Racial Equality
and Project 21, files
a complaint with the Virginia State Bar calling for a full investigation
of Elaine R. Jones, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP
Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc., based on the content of
a memo stating that she contacted Senator Kennedys office
and requested that he delay Senate Judiciary Committee hearings
on any nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
until after the court decided the pending University of Michigan
case on the constitutionality of affirmative action, in which Elaine
Jones was a counsel for the Defendant-Intervenors.
6, 2004 Manuel Miranda resigns
from his position as legal counsel to Majority Leader Bill Frist
and files a
complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee stating that
other unpublished memos in Sergeant-at-Arms Pickles possession
contain evidence of "public corruption" by Senators, including
"direct influencing of the Senates advice and consent
role by the promise of campaign funding and election support."
10, 2004 The Center for Individual Freedom joins more
than two dozen organizations in asking
the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate whether Democratic
members of the Senate Judiciary Committee or their staffs exchanged
efforts to obstruct the confirmation of President Bushs judicial
nominees for campaign contributions and support.
10, 2004 Sergeant-at-Arms Pickle privately briefs members
of the Senate Judiciary Committee about the progress of the investigation.
12, 2004 Fox
News reports that Senator John Edwards (D-N.C.) allegedly
urged Leahy to delay a vote on one Bush judicial nominee because
trial lawyers groups and the NAACP threatened to cut back
on campaign spending for Democratic candidates in North Carolina
if the vote occurred as scheduled.
12, 2004 Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
(CREW) files an ethics
complaint against Manuel Miranda with the New York Bar alleging
that Miranda violated the Rules of Professional Conduct by reading
the Democrats memos.
20, 2004 Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) calls for an investigation
into the content of memos to determine whether Democrats committed
any wrongdoing in their efforts to block judicial nominations
23, 2004 In an
interview with CNS News, Miranda provides additional details
about the content of the memos, the investigation and the way in
which the memos were obtained.
24, 2004 The Legal Times reports that Elaine R.
Jones has retained former Clinton defense attorney David Kendall
and former Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder to represent her
in her ethics complaint with the Virginia State Bar.
1, 2004 The Center for Individual Freedom calls
on the Senate to release the full Sergeant-at-Arms report as
well as the memos themselves. Senate Democrats ask
the White House and Justice Department whether they had seen
any of the memos.
2, 2004 An additional former Judiciary Committee staffer
with extensive knowledge of computer network security comes
forward to confirm Mirandas description of the way he
accessed the memos. The Sergeant-at-Arms delays delivery of his
report to Senate Judiciary Committee.
3, 2004 Sergeant-at-Arms Pickle delivers his report to
Chairman Hatch and Ranking Member Leahy.
4, 2004 The full Senate
Judiciary Committee meets to review the Sergeant-at-Arms report
and decides to release a redacted version to the press and the public
1 and Part
2). The report implicates Miranda and another Senate staffer.
Judiciary staff inadvertently release unredacted version to the
9, 2004 Judiciary Republicans, led by Senator Jeff Sessions
Democrat staff of releasing the unredacted report intentionally.
Sergeant-at-Arms Pickle announces
he will start a new investigation into this matter. Democrats
worry that the disclosure may make a criminal investigation more
March 11, 2004]