D.C. Madam’s Attorney Says Call Log Bombshell Could Upend 2016 Race
Judges ‘are letting people vote blindly,’ gagged lawyer says.
March 28, 2016, at 2:55 p.m
An attorney for the late Deborah Palfrey, who operated an escort service
popular among Washington’s upper class, says the presidential race
could change if he discloses client information.
Cruz was first elected to the Senate in 2012 but represented Texas
several times during Supreme Court arguments while Palfrey’s escort
Most of the other presidential candidates also lived in or visited the
nation’s capital while Palfrey’s business operated, including former
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and
Ohio Gov. John Kasich – a former congressman.
front-runner Donald Trump likely visited the region during the
decade-long time period.
Complicating Sibley’s bid to release one or more name from the records
is that he’s been having trouble getting a court to give him a hearing.
In February, he filed a complaint of judicial misconduct against Richard
Roberts, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of
Columbia, for instructing a clerk not to file his request for a hearing on modifying the restraining order.
earlier this month on the day a woman filed a lawsuit claiming he
sexually assaulted her while she was a 16-year-old witness in a case he
prosecuted three decades ago. Roberts said the sex was consensual.)
About two weeks ago, Sibley asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C.
Circuit to order the clerk to accept his filing and, feeling a sense of
urgency and lacking a response, hand-delivered an appeal to the U.S.
Supreme Court on Monday.
A lawyer who represented the so-called “D.C. madam” says he has phone
records that could influence the outcome of the presidential election,
and he’s threatening to release one or more names on the steps of the
U.S. Supreme Court if he’s denied a hearing on his right to distribute
Montgomery Blair Sibley, the late madam Deborah Palfrey’s colorful attorney,
has been subject to a restraining order since 2007 barring him from
releasing the information, which he says includes 815 names, addresses
and Social Security numbers of Verizon Wireless customers.
“Time is of the essence because people are casting votes in primaries
and caucuses,” he says. “I believe this information is relevant to that
Sibley first said
the records could be relevant to the presidential race in January, when
there were 15 high-profile candidates. Now, just three Republicans and
two Democrats remain – though Sibley won’t say if any are implicated,
citing fear of being jailed for contempt.
He would not say if he was surprised by a National Enquirer report last
week that alleged Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had engaged in five
extramarital affairs. Cruz, currently in second place in the GOP
contest, vigorously denied the report on Friday, and in doing so uncapped mainstream media coverage.
“The footnote to the pleading I filed today says this: If I do not get
the right to file my request to modify the restraining order and if I do
not get an expedited hearing, I’m going to publicly release those
records and see what happens,” he says. “If they want to hold me in
contempt of court for violating an order they will not give me a hearing
on, I think they lose the right to enforce that order.”
By not promptly scheduling a hearing, he says, courts “are letting people vote blindly.”
Palfrey became nationally famous following her 2006 arrest and was found
dead with a nylon rope around her neck in her mother’s shed in 2008.
Before her apparent ‘suicide’, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and the then-leader of the U.S. Agency for International Development were outed as her clients.
Their names came from a set of call records that revealed Vitter – who
remains a sitting senator – spoke on the phone with Palfrey during congressional votes. The large batch contained about 10,000 numbers released by Sibley and Palfrey in 2007.
The records had carelessly been left in Palfrey’s basement, Sibley recalls. “When the Keystone Kop police came in to seize everything [from
Palfrey’s house], they walked by these boxes saying Pamela Martin
Associates telephone records, 1996-2006, and they just left them there,”
Sibley says. “So I got my hands on them and released a portion of
But about a third of the records were not released, he says. “We held back these 5,000,” Sibley says. “I wanted to have something to negotiate with or surprise people at trial.”
Before trial, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler authorized subpoenas
for cell phone companies requesting personal information. Verizon
Wireless returned a list containing the names, addresses and Social
Security numbers of about 815 people, Sibley says – a sizable subset of
the 5,000 numbers not initially released.
Other companies did not respond before a different federal judge, James Robertson, quashed
the phone company subpoenas two months later. Palfrey was convicted of
money laundering and other charges two weeks before her death.
Sibley is known for being a high-energy attorney with an eccentric client list, including Larry Sinclair who, despite his lengthy rap sheet for forgery and other crimes, gained significant attention claiming he
had sexual relations with ‘president’ Barack Obama.
Sibley’s ability to
practice law was suspended for three years in Florida in 2008 for filing
“vexatious and meritless” lawsuits against judges and for a child
support payment dispute. He faced reciprocal discipline in D.C.
Sibley is not yet giving judges a deadline to allow for the release of
information before he does so unilaterally. “Their delay, in hindsight,
will seem like they’re favoring one person over another,” he says.