PETITIONER CLAIMS JUDGE EXHIBITED “UNETHICAL CONDUCT”
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 11, 2015) — Attys. Larry Klayman and Jonathan Moseley, who represent a petitioner who has moved to intervene in the case of Melendres, et al v. Arpaio, et al, have filed an emergency petition for a Writ of Mandamus seeking the recusal of U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow based on the claim of “unethical misconduct and a conflict of interest.”
The filing was made with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday.
In testimony on April 23 and 24 by Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio and his chief deputy, Jerry Sheridan with Snow presiding, it was revealed that a tip from a person who overheard Snow’s wife make negative comments about Arpaio politically had been investigated such that Arpaio was convinced that the witnesses were, in fact, telling the truth about what they said they had overheard.
The mainstream media pounced on Arpaio’s alleged “investigation” into Snow’s wife when in fact, the report from the member of the public was the substance of Arpaio’s probe.
On Thursday, the intervenor, Dennis Montgomery, filed through Klayman and his team a Motion to Intervene and petition asking Snow to recuse himself.
Montgomery reportedly was a CIA contractor some years ago who claimed that he had developed software which could “decode secret messages” allegedly sent by Al Qaeda operatives through the Middle Eastern media outlet, Al Jazeera. Montgomery was characterized in 2009 by Playboy as a “con artist” in a piece which was widely quoted by other news sources, including James Risen of The New York Times.
The media did not report that Sheridan testified that a FISA judge affirmed that codes Montgomery supplied to one of Arpaio’s investigative teams were authentic, instead contending that “none” of the information Montgomery provided “was found to be credible.”
In his lawsuit against the NSA, Klayman has asked the judge to debrief Montgomery privately on “the unconstitutional and illegal surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency that is highly relevant and of crucial important … as he worked closely with these agencies following the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001.”
In February, Montgomery filed a lawsuit for defamation against Risen and his publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
On Friday, April 24, Snow demanded that all documentation regarding Arpaio’s investigation into his wife’s overheard comments be provided to him.
A press release issued on Monday evening on Klayman’s “FreedomWatch” website states:
Today, an Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandamus was filed before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Case No. 15-71433) in San Francisco by NSA and CIA whistleblower Dennis Montgomery to compel the disqualification of federal judge G. Murray Snow for alleged egregious and continuing ethical violations and extra-judicial bias and prejudice in the ongoing contempt proceedings in Melendres v. Arpaio, et al. (CV-07-2513), in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. As set forth in the petition, Judge Snow has unethically turned the case into a personal vindictive “witch-hunt” to allegedly cover up his wife’s statements quoting the judge as intending to harm Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s chances for reelection in 2016 as sheriff of Maricopa County through the contempt proceedings which Judge Snow has been holding.
The petition for writ of mandamus explains the basis for the disqualification and is supported by the sworn declaration of renowned ethics professor and expert Ronald Rotunda that was filed before the District Court. Caught in the judge’s “crossfire” of his “contempt” for Sheriff Joe Arpaio is whistleblower Dennis Montgomery, whose due process, attorney/client privileges, work product and intellectual property rights have been violated. The emergency petition proved necessary when Judge Snow ignored a previous motion for disqualification and defiantly issued new orders compounding the irreparable harm to Mr. Montgomery and others.
Added Klayman, “Judge Snow’s actions are outrageous. Never before have I seen such a blatant, unethical attempt by a federal judge to pursue his own interests. The Ninth Circuit must now step in to put an end to this before things get even more out of hand. The longer it takes to remove this “runaway jurist,” the longer Mr. Montgomery will be subject to harm at the hands of an out of control federal judge.”
For more information, or to view the Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandamus, contact Freedom Watch at email@example.com or (424) 274-2579. The emergency petition can be viewed at www.freedomwatchusa.org.
The press release refers to Snow as a “runaway jurist.”
In the filing, Montgomery stated that he worked for the NSA as well as the CIA. The 256-page document claims, in part:
Recusal or disqualification is required when judicial conflicts create the appearance that the court’s impartiality may be called into question, and “could suggest, to an outside observer, such a ‘high degree of favoritism or antagonism’ to defendants’ position that ‘fair judgment is impossible.’…The courts strive to eliminate even the appearance of bias. “Thus even if there is no bias in fact, an appearance of bias or prejudice requires recusal if it is sufficient to raise a question in the mind of ‘the average citizen’ about a judge’s impartiality.”…
Nothing can create more of the appearance of a conflict of interest than when a presiding judge has a personal interest in the litigation or matters related to it. The applicable standard for recsual [sic] is whether a judge’s participation in a lawsuit will create the appearance of bias and prejudice…
Klayman is asking the Ninth Circuit to issue a decision on his request on Tuesday or Wednesday given that Snow scheduled a hearing for May 14, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. “during which time it will likely issue further orders irreparably harming Petitioner. Due to unethical misconduct and a conflict of interest by the lower court judge, Petitioner files this petition for writ of mandamus to have him removed immediately from the subject case and his prior order vacated.”