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I am happy to announce that the government and I have settled the case pending in Dallas Federal Court regarding the many outstanding FOIA requests. Until the settlement the status was that the SecretService and DHS had been dismissed by the trial Court, and I had filed notice of appeal. Before dismissing the Secret Service and DHS, I had asked the Court to award my attorney fees which were in excess of $111,000.00. The Judge ruled that I had met the first part of the test for award of my attorney fees, indicating that I had “substantially prevailed” in the underlying case. However he ruled that there was no “public interest” served by getting these documents. In order to contest that ruling I filed notice of an appeal in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, but had to file that “pro se” as I was unwilling to incur additional attorney fees for the appeal. The OIG was still a party to the suit in District Court, and they were still producing documents. Their attorney estimated that it would take 13 more months to complete production, even though the court had previously ordered production of all responsive records by the end of April.
We were ordered to attend mediation by the trial Court, and our mediator was a magistrate who works for the District court. We attended mediation the end of August, and it took several weeks after that to reach a settlement agreement that was acceptable to both myself and the government. The settlement agreement has been signed. Although the agreement requires the government to pay my attorney fees, they have 30 days to complete payment. Payment has not yet been made, so I am hesitant to report in full some of the things I learned as part of the information conveyed as part of the settlement negotiations. The settlement agreement has no confidentiality provision, so I am free to report everything once the payment has been made.
Here are the answers to questions you probably have:
- There were no documents indicating a connection between Todd Palin, prostitutes, and David Chaney. However the government confirmed that Merek Shaeffer, the agent I personally contacted before the testimony of Mark Sullivan, and who took statements from Shailey Tripp, did NO independent investigation of the allegations. In other documents produced, it was specifically stated that the Secret Service was trying to position itself to give the Director “Plausible Deniability” regarding the history of bad acts of Secret Service agents. Thus the fact that Mr. Shaeffer did no investigation would be consistent with an attempt to cover up any wrong doing on the part of David Chaney or other agents.
- While the government redacted the names of all agents referenced in any documents produced, it was clear to me that the documents that were produced indicated confirmation the David Chaney has used prostitutes before the Cartagena incident on at least two previous times. There was a specific reference to use of prostitutes in 08, and 09.
- No polygraph statement of David Chaney was ever taken, regarding any use of prostitutes. While he denied having attended a meeting with Todd Palin and Shailey Tripp, or meeting Shailey Tripp for sexual services, that denial was not in the form of a polygraph statement. Chaney originally said he would take a polygraph, and withing the period of one or two hours changed his mind, and refused to give a polygraph. Let me remind you that Shailey Tripp reported that she gave more than one polygraph to the National Enquirer before the ran the story about Todd Palin being her pimp.
I will report further on the information I obtained from the government after payment is made of my attorney fees. I am not finished with this attempt to uncover corruption, cover-up,and coercion. I have been in touch with the Congressional oversight committee and have provided information to them. I remain hopeful that they will schedule a hearing regarding the conduct of the Secret Service not only with regard to Colombia, the many misdeeds, but also their attempts to cover up information with regard to this FOIA matter.
With regard to the issue of whether there is a public interest in this information, please remember this:
Texas has been a Republican State since 1980. With 38 electoral votes, the presumption has long been that Texas would be a reliably Red State. Consistent with the voice of Texans, the Dallas Morning News has endorsed a Republican for President for the last 60 years. However, Donald Trump has inspired the conservative voice of Dallas to speak out against Trump. The editorial board of the DMN wrote:
“Donald Trump is no Republican and certainly no conservative,”
“We have no interest in a Republican nominee for whom all principles are negotiable, nor in a Republican Party that is willing to trade away principle for pursuit of electoral victory. Trump doesn’t reflect Republican ideals of the past; we are certain he shouldn’t reflect the GOP of the future.”
Obviously, for the conservative paper in Dallas to break with tradition of endorsing Republican candidates, there must be something astounding frightening about a Trump Presidency. Be scared. Be very scared!
Dave Leiber, the reporter from the Dallas Morning News, gave an interview this morning on the channel 5 local station regarding the suit and my efforts to get reimbursed for my attorney fees.
The following e-mail has been sent this morning to the House Oversight Committee in hopes that the recently produced documents will help make government accountable.
In December of 2015 you issued the report An Agency in Crisis.