GOP IT Guru Mike Connell To Give OH '04 Deposition
BREAKING: Federal Judge Compels GOP IT Guru Mike Connell To Give Deposition in Ohio '04 Election Case
Contentious Hearing Today Results in Order For Republican 'High-Tech Forrest Gump' to Testify Under Oath on Monday
Appearance to Answer Questions on 2004 Election Scheduled Just 24 Hours Prior to Election 2008...
Guest Blogged by Steve Heller of VelvetRevolution.us
The Republican IT guru, recently described as a "high tech Forrest Gump" for his proclivity to be "at the scene" of so many troubling elections since 2000, and even at the heart of the "lost" White House email scandal, has been ordered by a federal judge to appear for an under-oath deposition next Monday in Ohio.
The BRAD BLOG has learned that Mike Connell, the Republican IT guru whose company, GovTech Solutions, created Ohio's 2004 election results computer network, appeared in federal court today, as compelled, and has been ordered to appear for his deposition on Monday, November 3, just 24 hours before Election Day 2008.
Today's court order came after a contentious hearing, at which Connell was present. The hearing was part of a long-standing voting rights violations lawsuit, King Lincoln v. Blackwell, as previously covered by The BRAD BLOG and by Velvet Revolution's Election Protection Strike Force here and here.
Though Connell's attorneys have fought to quash the subpoena, recently issued after the judge lifted a stay on the case several weeks ago, it looks like his options to avoid testimony, or at least jail for avoiding it, may have come to an end. The attorneys in the case have said that Connell's testimony may well lead to the subpoenaing and under-oath questioning of Karl Rove, who, they say, would be unable to use Executive Privilege as an excuse to avoid such a subpoena in a civil RICO case...
For more details on Connell, and his role in the '04 election and within the GOP, see the video clip at right from John Ennis' recently-released documentary Free For All.
The issues in the King Lincoln v. Blackwell suit are complex, but in a nutshell, some Ohio voters filed a lawsuit alleging voting rights violations and election irregularities in the 2004 Presidential election in the Buckeye State. Taking the sworn deposition of Connell, the man who set up the computers for reporting election results, and re-routing them through his company's own Tennessee servers late on the night of the '04 election, has been a high priority for Election Integrity advocates and attorneys in Ohio.
While this story is still breaking and developing, from what we've been able to learn so far, sources tell us that Monday's depo will have a time limit of two hours. Any information gathered regarding trade secrets related to Connell's company, GovTech Solutions, will be under seal, as per the judge's order today.
Also under seal will be any and all information gathered about allegations that Connell has been the victim of witness intimidation by Karl Rove and/or Rove's associates. As reported on by The BRAD BLOG reported last Summer, plaintiff's lead attorney in the case, Clifford A. Arnebeck, had sent an email to Attorney General Michael Mukasey on July 24, 2008, stating in part:
"We have been confidentially informed by a source we believe to be credible that Karl Rove has threatened Michael Connell, a principal witness we have identified in our King Lincoln case in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, that if he does not agree to 'take the fall' for election fraud in Ohio, his wife Heather will be prosecuted for supposed lobby law violations."
In related news, our friends at RAW STORY have an article today headlined "Documents reveal how Ohio routed 2004 voting data through company that hosted external Bush Administration email accounts." That company was SmarTech, Inc., and the architecture for the 2004 election results reporting system in Ohio has been at the heart of this case.
As reported by RAW's Larisa Alexandrovna today:
Newly obtained computer schematics provide further detail of how electronic voting data was routed during the 2004 election from Ohio’s Secretary of State’s office through a partisan Tennessee web hosting company. … The flow chart shows how voting information was transferred from Ohio to SmarTech Inc., a Chattanooga Tennessee IT company known for its close association with the Republican Party, before the 2004 election results were displayed online.
See her story for more, including the schematics for both the '04 and '06 web servers in Ohio. Of course, we'll continue to update this story as the case proceeds...
Additional reporting by Brad Friedman
FULL STORY: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=6600