Wednesday, March 29, 2006


From Roll Call:

"The nation?s second highest court has turned down Rep. Jim McDermott?s (D-Wash.) latest bid to end a lawsuit by House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) over an illegally taped 1996 phone call, moving Boehner one step closer to a historic victory.

In a divided opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of Boehner on Tuesday, letting stand a lower court ruling that required McDermott to pay Boehner $60,000 in damages plus the cost of ?reasonable? attorney?s fees, which currently run more than $500,000.
McDermott?s only legal option now is to appeal the case to the Supreme Court. His office was analyzing the court decision as of this posting and had no comment on McDermott?s next move.

The case revolves around McDermott?s role in distributing an illegally recorded December 1996 phone call between House GOP leaders. Boehner was then House Republican Conference chairman, and senior Republicans were recorded discussing strategy to deal with an ethics charge against then-Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). Boehner was on a mobile phone in Florida during the call, and a Sunshine State couple, John and Alice Martin, later pleaded guilty to illegally intercepting the call on a police scanner.

McDermott eventually received a copy of the tape and, as he has publicly acknowledged, leaked it to several newspapers, including Roll Call. "


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