Sunday, July 09, 2006

Man indicted in phone jamming case will argue Administration approved election scheme

The fourth man indicted in a New Hampshire phone-jamming scheme -- in which Republican operatives jammed the phone lines of Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts in a 2002 Senate race -- will argue at trial that the Bush Administration and the national Republican Party gave their approval to the plan, according to a motion filed by his attorney Thursday.

Shaun Hansen, the former owner of the company that placed hang-up calls to jam Democratic phone lines, was indicted in March for conspiring to commit and aiding and abetting the commission of interstate telephone harassment relating to a scheme to thwart get out the vote efforts on Election Day, 2002.

His lawyer's motion signals that Hansen intends to argue that he was entrapped because the Administration allegedly told his superiors the calls were legal. The filing indicates, however, that Hansen does not have firsthand knowledge of Administration intervention.

Hansen’s lawyer offered an inside look of his defense strategy in yesterday's filing: his client will assert that he believed he was acting on behalf of the government and the Republican Party through his work with GOP Marketplace, the company which subcontracted the phone jamming efforts.

"Mr. Hansen may assert that the government, or an agent therof, actually induced the offenses with which Mr. Hansen is charged, and was not otherwise prediposed to commit," Hansen's lawyer Jeffrey Levin writes.

"Mr. Hansen may asserts [sic] the defense of "derivative entrapment" in which the government uses a private party as its agent," Levin adds.

A liberal political action group, Senate Majority Project, also uncovered that GOP Marketplace, which subcontracted out the hang-up calls to Hansen’s Mylo Enterprises, was
partly owned by Mississippi Governor and former RNC Chair Haley Barbour (current Governor of MS).

Hansen’s motion can be read here.

Previous posts on the phone jamming scandal


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