Able Danger Blog

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Moussaoui defense protests Weldon's decision

From the AP:

Defense lawyers for al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui said Tuesday they want to compel a reluctant Pennsylvania congressman to testify at Moussaoui's death-penalty trial.

Moussaoui's lawyers had subpoenaed Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., to testify for Moussaoui's defense, but Weldon asked the court to quash the subpoena. Declaring he didn't want to be used by a "thug" like Moussaoui, Weldon claimed congressional immunity from the subpoena....

In court Tuesday, defense lawyer Edward MacMahon said he will oppose Weldon's efforts to quash the subpoena.

Actually, Weldon was advised he did not have to testify by the counsel for the House of Representatives, citing the "speech and debate" clause, which I believe prevents Congressmembers from being held legally liable for everything that they say - in order to encourage more open speech and debate in Congress. Clearly, Moussaoui himself did not see the wisdom of calling someone who thinks he is a "thug" to testify on his behalf:

Three times when leaving for recesses, he muttered his usual comment: "God curse Zerkin and MacMahon, and God curse America." The third time, he added: "And France." He has not cooperated with MacMahon and Gerald Zerkin, his court-appointed lawyers.