May 25, 2006

Letter From Attorneys for Hastert to ABC: "Libel"


This is the text of a letter To ABC News President David Westin from attorneys representing House Speaker Dennis Hastert. Thanks to Raw Story

David Westin
George Stephanopoulos
Brian Ross
ABC News
7 West 66th St.
New York, NY 10023

RE: False Story Regarding Justice Department Investigation

Dear Mr. Westin, Stephanopoulos, and Mr. Ross:

At 7:25 p.m., the Statement of the Department of Justice confirmed:

“Speaker Hastert is not under investigation by the Justice Department.”

At 10:21 p.m., you wrote:

“Whether they like it or not, members of Congress, including Hastert, are under investigation,” one federal official said tonight.”

This statement is false, and your republication of it after actual knowledge of its falsity constitutes libel and defamation. ABC News’ continued publication of this false information, after having actual knowledge of its falsity, evidences a specific and malicious intent to injure and damage Speaker Hastert’s reputation by continued repetition of a known falsehood.

We will take any and all actions necessary to rectify the harm ABC has caused and to hold those at ABC responsible for their conduct.

Please advise regarding who will accept service of process to remedy this intentional falsehood.

Very truly yours,
J. Randolph Evans
Stefan C. Passantino
Counsel to Speaker J. Dennis Hastert


Anonymous said...

The gloves are off! Kick ABC's ass, Hastert!

liberal_dem said...

Now you wouldn't suppose that Karl Rove had something to do with this, do you? You know, like firing a cannonball over the bow to remind him NOT to criticize the Executive Branch?

Far-fetched? Naw.

Dariush said...

More on the Hastert affair here.

Kate said...

Hey this isn't Dan Rathers' network. What gives?

historymike said...

I have heard a few similar theories, liberal dem, and they sound plausible.

Hooda Thunkit said...


ABC should (if they are/were smart) tread very carefully. If this turns against them, the costs could be enormous.

But, I suspect that they already know that...

Brian said...

Methinks ABC is on its way to becoming CBS.

I love it when the liberal media trip over their own penises to screw Republicans and end up screwing themselves.

Dariush said...


unlike many of your fellow "c-word"-ers you read. And not just blogs, but books. And real honest-to-goodness actual books at that, not just a patriotically correct collection of the greatest works of Ann Coulter, Michael "Savage" Weiner and Sean Hannity.

How, in God's name, can you honestly believe that ABC News is leading a "liberal media" witchhunt against Hastert? Isn't it much more likely that ABC is pursuing this story for the "scandal" factor and the "titilation" factor (no pun intended on Hastert or his bra size), both of which always boost ratings?

I mean, aside from the two months following Katrina, has the MSM done anything in the past five-and-a-half-years other than dutifully transcribe and re-word White House press releases for circulation as "news"?

And, of all the outlets to be tarred with the "liberal media" brush... ABC News?

Brian said...


I don't believe it is a witchhunt.

I don't believe they "went after" Denny Hastert.

I believe that the traditional, liberal media set a lower standard of proof for negative stories about Iraq, Bush, and Republicans in Congress who are not John McCain.

The producers so badly want to believe its true that they put it out there without correct attribution or sourcing.

I get the feeling that perhaps ABC is trying to defend the undefendable position and it will cost them if I'm correct.

You'll have to tell me which "c-word"er I am. I know a few.

Kate said...

two things. Either the Whitehouse is out to teach ABC a lesson or ABC is out to teach the Whitehouse a lesson.

Stay tuned - the math if fairly simple on this one...somebody plainly is lying.

Time will tell....

Dariush said...

I was ribbin' you because you think I have something against you due to your conservatism -- a perception which I admit to having stoked with previous deliberately incendiary comments.


When I "put on airs" with my writing I sound like that wormy mayor from "Deadwood."

Brian said...

Well, then. "Conservative" was the least objectionable of the "C-words" I was thinking of.

Brian said...

It just occurred to me that "Undefensible" is not a word.

I hate screwing up like that.

I hope none of you will hold it against me and misunderestimate my writing ability.