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Fed seek to gag D.C. Madam
March 7, 2007 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Feds seek to gag D.C. Madam this madam threatens to spill the names about the biggies that used her services and so: [...]government lawyers claim that some discovery documents contain "personal information" about Palfrey's former johns and prostitutes that is "sensitive." The prosecution filing does not detail the nature of this confidential information, though the identity of Palfrey's D.C. customers would surely be cloaked if the protective order was signed by Judge Gladys Kessler[...]
posted by Postroad (46 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
If they wanted to protect the privacy of her clients, they shouldn't have arrested her.
posted by delmoi at 2:51 PM on March 7, 2007


I bet Harry Reems can gag the D.C. Madam.
posted by dios at 3:00 PM on March 7, 2007 [3 favorites]


This is...an unfortunate (but hilarious) headline.

I'm sure if they pay her enough, she'll be willing to deal.
posted by voltairemodern at 3:05 PM on March 7, 2007


Can they really do that? There isn't anything of national security interest here? Not even really privacy (does anyone using their real name with a prostitute have an "expectation of privacy"?). So it's a clear First Amendment issue, right?
posted by DU at 3:08 PM on March 7, 2007


Total Spook:
"Mr. Taylor currently serves as Counselor to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. In this capacity, Mr. Taylor handles a broad array of matters, including oversight of the Department’s national security, terrorism, and criminal litigation and policy, as well as the operations of the Department’s law enforcement components. Mr. Taylor served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of California from 1995–1999, where he prosecuted a variety of criminal matters, including international drug trafficking organizations. From 1999-2002, Mr. Taylor served as Counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on the Judiciary, working on issues including criminal law, terrorism, and national security."
posted by f5seth at 3:09 PM on March 7, 2007


Gee guys, cat's been out of the bag for awhile: they're all (corporate) whores.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:21 PM on March 7, 2007


It doesn't have the proposed protective order attached, but this seems to apply only to discovery material that the government gives to her, not her own knowledge.
posted by caddis at 3:28 PM on March 7, 2007


Prosecutors fear leak of sensitive client, escort information

Which can be roughly translated as: 'They are concerned that when people discover that the names of the investigators and their bosses are on the list, jobs will be lost and charges will be pressed.'
posted by quin at 3:31 PM on March 7, 2007


Don't worry, Cheney and the gang won't be on the list. They only dick the public.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 3:32 PM on March 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Don't worry, Cheney and the gang won't be on the list. They only dick the public.

And Jeff Gannon.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 3:40 PM on March 7, 2007 [3 favorites]


I wonder if her prostitutes ever got free limo rides to the Watergate and while there entertained the likes of jailed former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunnigham and others.
posted by ericb at 3:55 PM on March 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Newsfilter: Politicians have money and penises!
posted by homodigitalis at 4:03 PM on March 7, 2007


Oh -- from the FPP link it appears that toe-sucked Dick Morris was a past client. She seeks to depose him.
posted by ericb at 4:03 PM on March 7, 2007


Newsfilter: Politicians have money and penises -- and in the U.S. such can get a President impeached for lying about such!
posted by ericb at 4:07 PM on March 7, 2007


Maybe her prostitution ring was a CIA front company... like Brewster Jennings.
posted by pruner at 4:32 PM on March 7, 2007


Newsfilter: Politicians have money and penises!

Ooo, you're so edgy and jaded. These are the same people who create and enforce laws that tell us what we can do with our money and penises, you know.
posted by interrobang at 4:34 PM on March 7, 2007 [7 favorites]


i thik the concern is that if they DON'T gag her, there's no way the trial will see the light of day, because certain clients of hers will kill it before she can testify about it and also to act as an incentive for her not to mention anything to the press. the prosecution may see a reason to gag her so that there will be no reason for her higher up clients to act in that capacity.

i'm purely speculating, however.
posted by shmegegge at 4:37 PM on March 7, 2007


This is above-board. You shouldn't be able to use court-backed discovery to embarrass your legal opponents.

I hope the dirt gets out, though.
posted by grobstein at 4:48 PM on March 7, 2007


*should have read, "legal opponents / enemies"
posted by grobstein at 4:49 PM on March 7, 2007


This is above-board. You shouldn't be able to use court-backed discovery to embarrass your legal opponents.

She's not using discovery though, she's talking about releasing information she has in her possession. Discovery is when you get information from another source.
posted by delmoi at 5:02 PM on March 7, 2007


So it's blackmail? Sweet.
posted by IronLizard at 5:47 PM on March 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


This Justice Dept is simply another arm of the GOP. The fact that they're trying this tho, shows just how many GOP names/kinks/large amounts spent/etc are on her books.
posted by amberglow at 5:52 PM on March 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Did she have boys on staff? I wonder if Duke Cunningham and that "limo service" used her.
posted by amberglow at 5:54 PM on March 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Is there any basis, beyond The Smoking Gun's crack legal opinion, that "the identity of Palfrey's D.C. customers would surely be cloaked if the protective order was signed by Judge Gladys Kessler"? The motion for a protective order refers specifically to materials provided by the government. Smells like B.S.
posted by exogenous at 6:02 PM on March 7, 2007


are we talking about this type of gag?
posted by pruner at 6:14 PM on March 7, 2007


Sign over her door:

George Washington Slept Here.
posted by IronLizard at 6:19 PM on March 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


Palfrey sent an e-mail to prosecutors this year that warned of the disclosure. "I simply cannot emphasize to you the terrible and quite unnecessary ramifications this case (civil and/or criminal) will set off if permitted to advance," she wrote. "The press will have a field day. . . . I can state with unequivocal certainty this situation will be a very long and unpleasant one."

Seriously, is there any precedent for this?
posted by poxuppit at 6:31 PM on March 7, 2007


It's hard out here for a congr'sman
posted by hal9k at 6:37 PM on March 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


@delmoi: I haven't read all the documents, but the TSG link sez:
In a motion filed Monday in U.S. District Court, investigators are seeking a protective order covering discovery material to be provided to Deborah Palfrey and her lawyers.
So it sounds like the information was or will be obtained by discovery.
posted by grobstein at 6:39 PM on March 7, 2007


Wait, I think exegenous is right. This just protects discovery material and TSG got it wrong about barring her from revealing her own info. Right?
posted by poxuppit at 6:40 PM on March 7, 2007


She's not using discovery though, she's talking about releasing information she has in her possession. Discovery is when you get information from another source.
posted by delmoi at 8:02 PM EST on March 7 [+][!]


Right. The confusion comes from the article implying that the gag order would extend to her own knowledge of who her former clients were, when it would really just be to information about those clients turned over to her by the prosecutors. They do their own investigation, collect information etc. As a defendant she gets to know everything they know about all the relevant facts and issues. This post is misleading because it implies that what she already knew, her client list, would be subject to the gag order. Not happening.
posted by caddis at 7:25 PM on March 7, 2007


[insert Wayland Flowers joke here]
posted by rob511 at 7:32 PM on March 7, 2007


Two words: Duncan hunter
posted by specialk420 at 7:48 PM on March 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Woops, always bad news when a madam wants to open her books rather than her legs. I suppose she's got her purse open too so it'll just be a matter of stuffing the purse enough so she closes the book.

And the American people are the ones that get screwed in the end (you know which end) again.

The names need to be leaked, quick.
posted by fenriq at 7:50 PM on March 7, 2007


Two words: Duncan Hunter

for real? He is a Cunningham unindicted co-conspirator.
posted by amberglow at 8:30 PM on March 7, 2007


It's possible that she didn't know who a couple of her clients were and they were named in an investigative report her counsel requested during discovery. It's also possible they're trying to use that as an excuse to keep her quiet regarding information they turned over even if she was already in possession of it and has no proof that she was, even claiming the 'johns' were disguised, not generally well known or some such. Sounds pretty thin, but then IANAL.
posted by IronLizard at 11:39 PM on March 7, 2007


Let them have their whores. Don't let them have their wars.
posted by srboisvert at 1:27 AM on March 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Surely they've heard of hooker-client privilege.
posted by rhymer at 1:34 AM on March 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Let them have their whores. Don't let them have their wars.

Only if they're not trying to criminalize our own sexuality in turn.
posted by amberglow at 2:40 AM on March 8, 2007


It's possible that she didn't know who a couple of her clients were and they were named in an investigative report her counsel requested during discovery.

good point
posted by caddis at 4:35 AM on March 8, 2007


The madam made sure to mention where donations could be made for her legal defense and that said donations were currently insufficient so, yes, this is a shakedown. Donate or you get your name made public. At least she's doing it openly and honestly.

Her book is no the one I want to see opened. What I think the public should see are the White House visitor logs for Gannon/Guckert's late night trysts. Who did he see and why and when? Surely the SS didn't really truly and totally destroy them. That would be unprecedented and the only realistic reason would be to cover up the manwhore's tracks.

IOW, where's the blue dress?!?!
posted by nofundy at 6:15 AM on March 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's unfortunate, someone should apologize, she never went to Selma, she is an American Taliban, she is releasing a new fragrance, she is writing a tell-all, she will appear on Jay Leno, it is rumored that Stephen Hawking had relations with her, she cracked Vista, Rosie, Donald, and Oprah had secret talks with her, she wishes that others (you know who) were dead, it's a travesty, it's shocking, it's disappointing, it's a sign of the times, she doesn't want her son buried in the Bahamas, there are more shocking revelations to come, she was a he, she offered up exclusive sessions with children in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, she flew on a government-owned 747, there is a YouTube video, she is suspected of insider-trading, she sold subprime mortgages, she had a liason with Chavez at an undisclosed location, she was caught on security cameras and you'll see that at 11 tonite, she was wilding with teenagers in Central Park, she is considering her options, she is especially adept in maximizing her 15 minutes of fame, she had aspirations to play Edie Sedgewick, she "entertained" the troops in unspeakable ways including detainees, they have found severed limbs in her apartment, she was known to frequent cheap motels on major holidays, in the trunk of her car there was found rope, twine, yarn, fetish objects, gasoline, oil, spark plugs, diapers, spent ammunition, roadmaps to Florida, rags (both clean and dirty), she had aspirations as a youngster for the stage, she attended Exeter (for one year on a full scholarship before being dismissed by the Head Master), she was in therapy, she kept a diary, pages of the diary were found mixed in with odd bits of detritus in black plastic Handy gargbage bags which had been inadvertantly left behind when she hurriedly left her apartment yesterday morning, she was found to be carrying cash in one Hundred dollar bill denominations, she failed a lie detector test, she failed a blood test, she was found to have foreign objects in her person, she was running a high fever and her speech was slurred, her booking was uploaded moments later to The Smoking Gun, she confessed and then lied to authorities about her confession, she is known to have psychotic episodes, she once had a romantic love affair with Geta Van Sustern, and has been associated with trysts involving Brad Pitt, Damien Hirst, Christian Slater, aides rushed to explain her apparent absence, she would not answer reporters questions and sped away from the sceen in a black sedan with government license plates, the following scenes may not be suitable for viewing and if you have children in the room you may wish to remove them, she has evidently composed a suicide note that is oddly addressed to an alien civilization that she believes presages the end of the world, she claims to be a time-traveller, the mounting pressures on the White House to contain leaks regarding her lurid stories are reaching crisis proportions, a unscheduled meeting has been convened to discuss the potential reponses to revelations that others were in fact presnt at the time, there are calls for containment from sources who wish to remain anonymous, she recently filed for a patent she claims Adobe Systems had stolen from her for video compression, she had recently funnelled money through a Starbucks that had been noted in controversial circles for its audavious move into the Chinese market, among her computers and cell phones that were seized, 2 ounces of a brown liquid substance were also removed, the CIA glumly confessed that they had been tracking her in the company of a known Russian mafia figure who allegedly has ties to the Kremlin, she was found with two plane tickets, she was known to have recently participated in Burning Man Festival, and was found to have made threats against various well-known figures, there are questions as to why our culture has spawned such figures, although in acadmic circles it has been widely acknowledged that this phenomenon has been present for some time although downplayed in the mainstream media.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 6:33 AM on March 8, 2007 [4 favorites]


Wallstreet, are you the guy who keeps emailing me this kind of stuff with viagra ads attached to the bottom?
posted by IronLizard at 6:42 AM on March 8, 2007


Here's a cynical take: maybe the prosecutor plans to innundate her with discovery materials hoping to duplicate whatever she may already have on her clients, so that if she makes a disclosure they can accuse her of violating the protective order.
posted by exogenous at 7:01 AM on March 8, 2007


Right, that's what I meant. Or at least using the threat of doing so to keep her quiet. Any decent defense attorney should be able to tear this type of tactic to shreds, however. Depends on which way the judge leans, however.
posted by IronLizard at 8:08 AM on March 8, 2007


NBC News: Alleged D.C. madam might expose 10,000 [article and video].
posted by ericb at 1:45 PM on March 9, 2007


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