In his October 8 Washington Post piece, syndicated columnist Robert Novak tells how an ambulance-chasing attorney crafted Congressman Henry Waxman's hearings against Blackwater. Novak cites the December, 2006 letter from a California trial lawyer requesting that incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Waxman (D-CA) probe Blackwater.
Among other things, Novak reveals that the same day Waxman demanded that Blackwater CEO Erik Prince appear before his committee, the trial lawyer, Daniel Callahan, called Blackwater counsel Joseph Schmitz. And here's where the case reeks of what reasonable people might call extortion: The trial lawyer told Schmitz that he could "bury" the bad publicity if Blackwater would fork over $20 million in cash.
Callahan is suing in North Carolina, along with local trial lawyer David Kirby, a former partner of ex-Senator John Edwards (pictured).
"While the trial lawyers wanted money, Democrats wanted more bad publicity for Blackwater -- and the Bush administration," says Novak. "Questioning by Democrats seemingly came straight from Callahan's legal briefs."