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Extraordinary Conflict of Interest: Bush Cousin Is Judge in Explosive 9/11 Case against Bush Officials
April 12, 2011
Confounding lawyers and legal scholars all over the world, Judge John Walker, first cousin of former President George W. Bush, was one of three judges of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to hear argument Tuesday in Gallop v. Cheney, Rumsfeld and Myers, the lawsuit brought by a soldier injured during the attack on the Pentagon that accuses former Vice President Dick Cheney, former secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Richard Myers of conspiring to facilitate the terrorist attacks of 9/11 that killed 3000 Americans and has resulted in the deaths of many more, due to the toxicity of the clean-up conditions at Ground Zero.
William Veale, April Gallop’s lawyer from the Center for 9/11 Justice, learning of the assignment the usual 5 days before the argument, filed a motion to disqualify Judge Walker the day before the argument.
When the case was called in the normal course, there had still been no decision made by the court. When Veale reminded the court of the pending motion, Judge Winter said it is denied. Veale requested a continuance to seek appellate review of the court’s ruling but that motion was denied as well.
Argument followed but Walker, and fellow judges Cabranes and Winter, seemed more interested in making sure that Veale was properly licensed to practice before the court than the stark legal issues presented by the appeal. The appeal is from a ruling by then District Court Judge, now 2nd Circuit Court Judge, Denny Chin, dismissing Ms. Gallop’s lawsuit with prejudice, writing that the allegations contained there are “implausible” and the product of “cynical delusion and fantasy.”
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