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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 4, 2009
5:08 PM

CONTACT: National Whistleblowers Center

Stephen M. Kohn (202) 342-6980
Lindsey M. Williams (202) 342-1903

Sibel Edmonds Requests Attorney General Review the Invocation of State Secrets Privilege

Edmonds to Testify in Ohio Case Unless Attorney General Re-Invokes the Privilege

WASHINGTON - August 4 - Attorneys for FBI whistleblower Sibel D. Edmonds have requested that Attorney General Holder review the state secrets privilege invoked in her case and reverse the decision made under former President Bush.  A copy of the letter can be found here.

Ms. Edmonds was illegally fired from the FBI due to her protected disclosures. An independent investigation by the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General confirmed the serious misconduct committed by the FBI and the illegality of her termination.  On or about October 18, 2002 the previous administration invoked the state secrets privilege in order to have Ms. Edmonds's whistleblower/First Amendment claims dismissed and to protect the government from embarrassment.

Ms. Edmonds has now been requested to provide sworn deposition and affidavit testimony in a case pending before the Ohio Elections Commission in the Schmidt v. Krikorian case. This case raises nationally significant issues of electoral fraud and violation of law. The state secrets privilege has stifled Ms. Edmonds for the past seven years, and this deposition will be the first time that she will put her knowledge on the record.

Given the pendency of this case and the request for her testimony, the National Whistleblowers Legal Defense and Education Fund requested that the Attorney General immediately and independently review the basis upon which that privilege was initially invoked, and formally and in writing withdraw that privilege. At the time of this release, two separate deadlines for the Department of Justice to respond to the attorney's letter had passed, and consequently the deposition has been scheduled for Saturday. Although a request was hand delivered to the Department of Justice, the Attorney General's office informed counsel that they were having difficulty locating it.   According to Stephen M. Kohn, the Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center and one of Ms. Edmonds's attorneys, "The Obama administration must take a fresh look at how the state secrets privilege was improperly used to hide government misconduct from the public view.  The Edmonds case was the first case the 'privilege' was invoked, and it must be the first case the 'privilege' is revoked.  The government's misguided attempt to cover up wrongdoing by abusing the state secrets privilege to bully a whistleblower must end.  Ms. Edmonds has been requested to provide testimony in court.  She will do so unless the government again invokes the privilege to quash her First Amendment rights."

Ms. Edmonds's deposition is scheduled for Saturday, August 8, 2009, at 10:30am. It will be held at the National Whistleblowers Center at 3238 P. St. NW, Washington, DC. The event is open to the press.  

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Since 1988, the NWC and attorneys associated with it have supported whistleblowers in the courts and before Congress and achieved victories for environmental protection, government contract fraud, nuclear safety and government and corporate accountability.


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