Supreme Court won't release DC Madam records
The Supreme Court announced Monday it would not intervene to allow release of phone records from the late "D.C. madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey, despite one of her former attorneys claiming the records are "very relevant" to the presidential election.
Though he has repeatedly threatened to release the records if courts do not modify a 2007 restraining order, Montgomery Blair Sibley tells U.S. News he's not quite sure what he now will do.
"I'm going to sleep on it and seek the counsel of people I trust," he says. "It's laundry day anyway, so I'm going to be washing all my soccer uniforms from this weekend."
Sibley says he likely will decide this week how to proceed and that he's infuriated the justices refused his request that they stay a 2007 restraining order covering the records.
"I'm just trying to figure out how to let the courts know they have lost personal jurisdiction of me as a result of their actions. I'm not asking them to tell us if Nixon and Elvis are still conspiring against the country. This is a legitimate question," he says.
See photos of Palfrey:
"I'd like to be able to stand up and [release the records] on the Supreme Court steps, but maybe my interests are served by just having it 'appear' and make it more to trace back to me or the others that have it. Maybe it would give me more comfort that I wouldn't face criminal prosecution. We'll see."
In January, the then-chief judge of U.S. District Court in the nation's capital refused to allow a clerk to file Sibley's motion seeking consideration of the matter, writing he appeared to have no legal right to hold the records, as Palfrey fired him before her trial. Sibley disagrees, but his appeal to the D.C. Circuit federal appeals court yielded no action.
What purported bombshell exists in the records is unclear, as is the candidate who may be affected.
Sibley is seeking to release two sets of records: a trove of raw phone logs with an estimated 5,000 unique numbers and a Verizon Wireless subpoena response he says contains names, addresses and Social Security numbers of 815 of those callers.
Sibley previously told U.S. News the bombshell is contained specifically in the Verizon subpoena response, but an attempted fact check yielded uncertainty about whether a presidential candidate is named.
Dan Moldea, an author and private investigator who worked on the Palfrey case, said he was certain four of the five remaining major-party presidential candidates, with the exception of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, were not on the list, though he said he destroyed his copy of the document. A former researcher for Palfrey, Matt Janovic, said he still had a copy of the subpoena response and that he did not see an obvious connection to Cruz.
The colorful litigator also modified a description of how the records are being guarded in the event some life-claiming misfortune befalls him.
Sibley in March claimed he had stored the records on four servers around the world and that a hidden website's link would be automatically sent to reporters if he did not reset a 72-hour countdown clock. He said last week he told an imaginative half-truth when he said "there's a link right now, that if you had, you would have access to the records."
Instead, he said, four people he trusts have the records on CDs and would upload them if they don't hear from him every 72 hours. One of his three ex-wives, two of his many ex-girlfriends and a close friend living abroad have the CDs, he said.
"Everyone assumed I meant computer servers. I meant people who serve me," he said.
It remains possible, however, that Sibley has something damning in the call logs. Records he released in 2007 have time gaps, and those records did publicly expose prominent people, including the then-director of the U.S. Agency for International Development and Sen. David Vitter, R-La.
Palfrey, whose escort service was geared toward wealthy men in the nation's capital, was found dead of apparent suicide in May 2008, two weeks after being convicted of various federal crimes.
At a recent meeting of people who discussed conspiracy theories about the death of President John F. Kennedy and alien races known to the government, Sibleypassed around what may be a sampling of things to come: a single eight-page printout of names – some quite prominent – believed to be associated with already-released Palfrey records. The list named TV personalities, judges and elected officials – most, if not all, previously unnamed in reporting about the escort service.
Sibley currently is not licensed to practice law as the result of a 2008 suspension in Florida for filing "vexatious and meritless" lawsuits against judges and for a child support payment dispute, for which he faced reciprocal discipline in D.C. He says he intentionally has not sought to rejoin the legal profession, claiming it's rotten to its core.