ONE THING IS CLEAR about the so-called DC Madam – aka Deborah Jeane Palfrey – case: there is a stunning contrast between the lid being kept on the names of male clients in this matter and the interest of the media compared to the speed with which Eliot Spitzer name became notorious in a similar DC case. Admittedly the alleged charges for a prostitute in the DC Madam case were far less than in the Emperor’s Club operation, but both were sufficient to attract the police.
At least investigative journalist Wayne Madsen reported a name in the DC Madam case that was even more famous than Spitzers’ but there has been no denial and no libel suit, not to mention a striking lack of curiosity by the
Madsen reported dozens of high profile clients as well as a gag by top executives on the ABC reporters who were allowed to see the telephone list, allegedly after pressure from the White House. The story, in any case, is bizarre to say the least:
ABC NEWS , JANUARY 2008 – Deborah Jeane Palfrey had asked U.S. District Court Judge James Robertson to subpoena ABC News for access to a list of names connected to phone numbers in her business phone records. . . Last year, ABC News was the first to obtain a batch of phone records from the final years of her operation, as part of an investigative project which aired in May. In his ruling, Robertson agreed with lawyers for ABC News that the rules of criminal procedure do not allow subpoenas for obtaining information that is not evidence itself, but might lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, and that such a list would not meet that standard. . .
DEBORAH JEANE PALFREY, JULY 2007 – During the period when the decision to take the records off the market was made, Senior Executive Producer Rhonda Schwartz for Brian Ross, of ABC News, in New York approached [attorney] Mr. Sibley and me about the records. Told ABC News “does not pay for information,” they nonetheless would incur in our circumstance the expense of culling the billing invoices for possible witnesses, leads and general information, which ultimately could be beneficial to my defense.
Having gotten estimates at the time for the cost to research and back-track telephone numbers, along with subsequent owner data (tens of thousands of dollars), we gladly accepted ABC’s offer of assistance. In return, ABC asked that they be given exclusivity regarding the first public interview with me and more importantly, all of the phone records for years 1993 to 2006.
While the laborious task of copying and transferring the enormous amount of data to ABC was ongoing, the government went to Judge Kessler and obtained the current restraining order prohibiting either my civil counsel, Mr. Sibley or me from further distribution of the records. The government’s justification for the temporary injunction was witness harassment and intimidation — having abandoned its prior rationalization, i.e. asset forfeiture. Consequently, ABC received only 80% of years 2002 thru 2006.
Contrary to popular belief, they never had a complete set of all 13 years. In the final analysis, it really didn’t matter whether ABC had 4 years or 13, their constant assurances and reassurances to Mr. Sibley and me that they could be trusted with my story — for the almost two months they researched 2002 to 2006 — fell flat on May 4, when the much hyped, sweep’s week 20/20 broadcast failed to deliver even one revelation; this despite, a major ad campaign blitz on the part of the network to the contrary. Both Mr. Sibley and I can attest to the fact — having been an integral part of the 7 1/2 week vetting process — that there were and are noteworthy names to be named, in the four years. Why ABC chose to jump ship seemingly at the eleventh hour would be pure speculation, here. The bottom line is that they did and by doing so, they did a tremendous disservice to the American people.. .
WAYNE MADSEN REPORT MAY 2007 – The corporate media still does not get it about the so-called “Washington Madam” case. Beyond just another titillating DC sex scandal, this affair involves the U.S. Attorneys firings, massive bribery involving military and homeland security contracts, and potential blackmail of high government officials. WMR can report that Disney and ABC executives spiked the Washington Madam story at the very last . . . The decision by Disney and ABC to kill the 20/20 story resulted in a shocked news staff at ABC News’
bureau across the street from the Mayflower Hotel, one of the rendezvous points for some Pamela Martin clients. Our sources stated that Ross, Schwartz, Rood, and others at ABC tried their best to get the story out but were overruled by senior executives at ABC in
The Washington Madam case also involves criminal conspiracy and malfeasance within the Justice Department, Internal Revenue Service, and Postal Inspection Service. Palfrey’s case file was not opened until June 2004 after she had been in business for over a decade without any pressure from the government. After Baltimore Police Commissioner and later Maryland State Police Superintendent Ed Norris was charged in May 2004 with three criminal counts by US Attorney Thomas DiBiagio, the IRS opened a file on Palfrey the following month. It is clear that with Norris, a 20 year veteran of the New York Police Department, facing up to 30 years in prison, he entered into a plea bargain with DiBiagio. In return for his cooperation, which included Norris naming Pamela Martin as one of the recipients of Baltimore Police supplemental accounts money, he got six months in prison and six months home detention. Norris now hosts a radio show in
DiBiagio’s assistant US Attorney Jonathan Luna, who once worked at the Brooklyn District Attorneys’ office when a probe was being conducted of both Norris and his friend, former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, was on to Norris’ corruption in
DC CITY DESK, MAY 2007 The judge in the Jeanne Palfrey case has issued a temporary restraining order on Palfrey and her civil attorney to keep them from releasing more information about her clients to the news media. This strengthens suspicions that the judge and ABC News – which was given Palfrey’s records – may be trying to suppress some of these names, especially since one the names being circulated around town is an extremely high White House official. Basically, the problem is this: if Jean Palfrey committed a crime so did all her clients and they are not entitled to the protection they are being given. In the best of worlds, prostitution would not be a crime but under the circumstances there is only one honest choice in this matter: either drop the case or open the files. Otherwise it is fair to wonder whether there is a cover-up going on of criminal activity by prominent Washingtonians
NEWS 8, DC, MAY 2007 – A lawyer for alleged
BALTIMORE EXAMINER, MAY 2007 – A woman accused of running a Washington-area prostitution ring says former
ABC NEWS BLOTTER – MAY 2007 Some of the most in-demand women working for the “D.C. Madam” were in their 50s, according to the woman at the center of the scandal. “There was never an age limit. I hired women well into their 50s,” Deborah Jeane Palfrey told ABC News. “They were some of the most popular women on staff.”. . . From career professionals to graduate students, most women who came to Palfrey to work did so because they needed money — to pay off credit card debt, cover school loans or pay tuition fees, according to Palfrey. . . “Many of these girls were a lot of talk and no action — as most people seem to be from time to time,” Palfrey said. Many applicants would initially be very willing, but when they went on their first appointment “they just freeze and they think, ‘I don’t know if I can do this.'”. . . “It was very boring, mostly,” Palfrey told ABC News. “Very ‘Groundhog Day,’ the same thing over and over and over and over, and over. For me, anyway.”. . . For their part, the clients were typically decent to Palfrey’s women, she said. “I had many gals tell me that their boyfriends treated them, oh, just purely awful. And they would go to many of these appointments, and the man would have roses waiting for them. And nobody had ever given them roses before.”. . . “I think I empowered a lot of women. I got a lot of women through graduate school. I think the people that used the service were by and large quite pleased.”
CHANNEL 9 – MAY 2007 – A legal secretary at one of Washington’s most prominent and well-connected law firms, Akin Gump Strauss Houer & Feld LLP, has been suspended after telling her bosses she secretly worked at night for the escort service run by the so-called D.C. Madam, Jeane Palfrey. The woman both serviced clients and, at times, helped to run the business, Palfrey told ABC News in an interview to be broadcast on “20/20” Friday. The firm said it would not make her name public.
According to e-mails the woman sent to Palfrey on her Akin Gump account, she “enjoyed and even missed” the work she did at night for Palfrey, who has been charged by federal prosecutors with running a large scale prostitution ring. “Perhaps not the weekly grind, but was thinking that a day a week would be fun and spa money,” the legal secretary wrote to Palfrey last year, after Palfrey had closed her business and was considering whether to re-open it.
The Akin Gump secretary was described by Palfrey as an “absolutely lovely gal,” who was working as an escort “to go back to school and get her education, to finish her college degree.”
Considered one of the most powerful firms in Washington, Akin Gump partners make up a who’s who of
CAROL D. LEONNIG, WASHINGTON POST MAY 2007 – A former client of the woman accused of being the D.C. madam is trying to block his name from being aired on an ABC News program about her escort business and the men who patronized it, saying publicity would amount to witness intimidation, ABC said yesterday. In a letter to ABC, Steven Salky, the man’s attorney, wrote that he has “reason to believe” that his client could be named tomorrow in a “20/20” report about an alleged prostitution ring run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, ABC said. Salky would not identify the man. The client expects to be a prosecution witness in Palfrey’s federal trial on racketeering charges, Salky told ABC. Identifying him would violate a court order barring harassment of potential witnesses, he said. . .
CHANNEL FOUR, DC APRIL 2007 – A woman charged with running a D.C.-area prostitution ring on made good on her threat to identify high-profile clients, naming a military strategist who developed the combat theories known as “shock and awe” as a regular customer in court papers. Harlan K. Ullman, a senior associate with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, was named in court papers filed by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who is acting as her own lawyer. Ullman, in a brief telephone interview, declined comment on the claim. “The allegations are beneath the dignity of a comment,” he said. . . Palfrey said in her motion that Ullman “is only one of dozens of such officials” who will be exposed as she prepares her defense.
HENRY K LEE, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, APRIL 2007 – Palfrey’s business records include 46 pounds of phone bills of some 15,000 clients of her business, Pamela Martin and Associates, Sibley said. Palfrey originally threatened to sell those records to pay for her defense, but a judge barred her from doing so. Authorities said Palfrey’s alleged prostitution ring involved 132 college-educated women and generated more than $2 million.
SMOKING GUN, MARCH 2007 – Federal prosecutors want to gag an indicted former
Palfrey, 50, was indicted last week on racketeering and money laundering charges stemming from her operation of the Pamela Martin & Associates escort service, which closed last summer after 13 years in business. In their motion, government lawyers claim that some discovery documents contain “personal information” about Palfrey’s former johns and prostitutes that is “sensitive.” . . .
According to the prosecution motion, while Palfrey and her lawyers would be able to use the discovery material to help prepare a defense, they would not be allowed to disclose the documents to anyone else (nor use the material for any other purposes). Palfrey, whose assets were frozen late last year, has recently floated the idea of selling her escort business’s phone records. She has also “made statements that could be considered veiled threats to cause embarrassment to former customers and employees,” according to the motion. . . .
Before closing her business, Palfrey operated a web site touting Pamela Martin & Associates as “the best adult agency around,” claiming that it had an “ongoing repeat clientele rate of 65-75%.” Palfrey’s site also advertised for escorts. Prospective hookers, she noted, had to be at least 23 years old with two or more years of college. And her $275-an-appointment employees had to be “weight proportionate to height.”