Democrats demand probe
of Bush-vets connection

By WND Staff

A Democratic congressman is urging the U.S. Justice Department to investigate any possible “illegal coordination” between President Bush and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, now that a top lawyer for Bush who provided advice to the vets has resigned from the president’s re-election campaign.

Benjamin Ginsberg, Bush’s chief outside counsel for five years, stepped down from his position yesterday, saying he felt his legal work for the veterans was now becoming a distraction to the president’s campaign.

“I have decided to resign as national counsel to your campaign to ensure that the giving of legal advice to decorated military veterans, which was entirely within the boundaries of the law, doesn’t distract from the real issues upon which you and the country should be focusing,” Ginsberg wrote Bush.

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., asked Attorney General John Ashcroft to probe “significant ties” between the Bush campaign and the veterans’ group, saying the department should look into subpoena records of e-mails, phone conversations and other correspondence.

Monica Goodling, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, told Bloomberg News she was aware of Dingell’s letter and that it “will be treated consistent with all correspondence from Congress.”

After stepping down, Ginsberg told CNN, “Nobody at the Bush campaign or the White House knew of my dual representation.”

He also said his actions were no different from those by colleagues working with Democrats.

“It’s a double standard that is terribly objectionable,” he told CNN.

The Kerry campaign claimed Ginsberg’s departure was another indication of links between the president’s campaign and the Swift Boat Vets, which continues to air commercials accusing Kerry of exaggerating his military history while serving in the Navy.

“The sudden resignation of Bush’s top lawyer doesn’t end the extensive web of connections between George Bush and the group trying to smear John Kerry’s military record,” Kerry-Edwards campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill said in a statement. “In fact, it only confirms the extent of those connections.”

“It’s time for George Bush to take responsibility himself and condemn these false attacks,” she continued. “People deeply involved in his own campaign are behind them, from paying for them, to appearing in them, to providing legal advice, to coordinating a negative strategy to divert the public away from issues like jobs, health care and the mess in Iraq, the real concerns of the American people.”

Related offer:

“Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry”

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