Letter Sent to Attorney General Mukasey Requesting 'Protection for Mr. Connell and His Family From This Reported Attempt to Intimidate a Witness' After Tip from 'Credible Source'
UPDATE: OH AG Reportedly Asked to Provide Immunity Protection...
By Brad Friedman on 7/24/2008, 3:59pm PT  

Karl Rove has threatened a GOP high-tech guru and his wife, if he does not "'take the fall' for election fraud in Ohio," according to a letter sent this morning to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, by Ohio election attorney Cliff Arnebeck.

The email, posted in full below, details threats against Mike Connell of the Republican firm New Media Communications, which describes itself on its website as "a powerhouse in the field of Republican website development and Internet services" and having "played a strategic role in helping the GOP expand its technological supremacy."

Connell was described in a recent interview with the plaintiff's attorneys in Ohio as a "high IQ Forrest Gump" for his appearance "at the scene of every [GOP] crime" from Florida 2000 to Ohio 2004 to the RNC email system to the installation of the currently-used Congressional computer network firewall.

Connell and his firm are currently employed by the John McCain campaign, as well as the RNC and other Republican and so-called "faith-based" organizations.

In a phone call this afternoon, Arnebeck could not publicly reveal specific details of the information that triggered his concern about the threats to Connell. The message to the IT man from Rove is said to have been sent via a go-between in Ohio. That information led Arnebeck to contact Mukasey after he found the reports to be credible and troubling.

"If there's a credible threat, which I regard this to be," he told The BRAD BLOG, "I have a professional duty to report it."

Attempts to reach Connell for comment late this afternoon were not successful.

The disclosure from Arnebeck comes on the heels of a dramatic announcement last week, made at a Columbus press conference, announcing Arnebeck's motion to lift a stay on the long-standing King Lincoln Bronzwell v. Blackwell federal lawsuit, challenging voting rights violations in the 2004 Presidential Election in Ohio.

The motion was made following the discovery of new information, including details from a Republican data security expert, leading Arnebeck towards seeking depositions of Rove, Connell, and other GOP operatives believed to have participated in the gaming of election results in 2004. A letter [PDF] was sent to Mukasey at the same time last week, asking him to retain email and other documents from Rove...

"Mr. Rove's e-mails from the White House to the Justice Department, the FBI, the Pentagon, Congress and various federal regulatory agencies are obviously relevant to the factual issues that we intend to address in this case," Arnebeck wrote last week to the Attorney General. "We are concerned about reports that Mr. Rove not only destroyed e-mails, but also took steps to destroy the hard drives from which they had been sent."

In his email to Mukasey today, Arnebeck writes: "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."

"This appears to be in response to our designation of Rove as the principal perpetrator in the Ohio Corrupt Practices Act/RICO claim with respect to which we issued document hold notices last Thursday to you and to the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform," the Ohio attorney writes, before going on to link to The BRAD BLOG's coverage of his press conference last week and requesting "protection for Mr. Connell and his family from this reported attempt to intimidate a witness."

The complete, short email, sent today from Arnebeck to AG Mukasey, follows in full below...

Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 10:51 AM
To: AskDOJ@usdoj.gov
Subject: Report of Rove threats against witness Michael Connell

Dear Attorney General Mukasey:

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.This appears to be in response to our designation of Rove as the principal perpetrator in the Ohio Corrupt Practices Act/RICO claim with respect to which we issued document hold notices last Thursday to you and to the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform. See: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=6189 and http://www.archive.org/d...tionFraudInOhioCourtCase.

I have informed court chambers and am in the process of informing the Ohio Attorney General's and US Attorney's offices in Columbus for the purpose, among other things, of seeking protection for Mr. Connell and his family from this reported attempt to intimidate a witness.

Concurrently herewith, I am informing Mr. Conyers and Mr. Kucinich in connection with their Congressional oversight responsibilities related to these matters.

Because of the serious engagement in this matter that began in 2000 of the Ohio Statehouse Press Corps, 60 Minutes, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, C-Span and Jim VandeHei, and the public's right to know of gross attempts to subvert the rule of law, I am forwarding this information to them, as well.

Cliff Arnebeck, Attorney
###-###-####
Cell ###-###-####

cc: Robert Fitrakis, Esq.
Henry Eckhart, Esq

UPDATE: John Michael Spinelli of OhioNewsBureau, has more details at ePluribusMedia. Threat against Connell's wife likened to attack against Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame; says Ohio's interim Attorney General has now been asked to provide immunity protection services to Connell.

UPDATE 7/25/08: Arnebeck joined Peter B. Collins and me, on-air, live tonight to discuss this story and the related matters. Audio interview now posted here...