Attorney Montgomery Blair Sibley, who defended the so-called “D.C. madam” Deborah Palfrey in 2007, threatened earlier this week to release call logs that he claims could be “very relevant” in the 2016 presidential election. Those call logs, said Sibley, will become public if he fails to reset a 72-hour countdown clock. This could conceivably curtail a previous two-week deadline he set for a federal court to lift a 2007 gag order that prevents publication of the logs that had belonged to Palfrey.
According to Sibley, those records are now digitized and posted online. He says that the countdown clock is to ensure publication of the records should he disappear. Their inevitable release, said Sibley, should serve to prevent acts of violence against him to prevent their publication.
“There’s a link right now, that if you had, you would have access to the records,” Sibley says about the website where the records reside. “If I die, disappear, whatever, they will be out.” The same tactic was used by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2010. At that time, the release of an encrypted “insurance” file could be unlocked with a password if Assange chose to distribute it. “If you’re asking if I’m partnering with WikiLeaks, the answer is I’m not answering that,” Sibley said.
Sibley, who reportedly has been disbarred in multiple states, said that the electronic records are stored on four servers around the world. If the clock is not reset, dozens of journalists will receive a website link to the records if the countdown clock is not reset. Sibley said that the online information was load in January, which was when he decided to publicly claim the records are relevant to the presidential race.
Palfrey, who operated an escort service in Washington DC, committed suicide in 2008 when she was facing decades in prison. Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana was among the customers implicated, as was a high-ranking State Department official of the George W. Bush administration. In 2015, when Vitter ran for the governorship of Louisiana, his Democratic opponent reminded voters of the nearly ten-year-old case. The Democrat won, which has led political operatives to surmise that Palfrey phone records still have political relevance.
Sibley claims that the information contained in the call records may upend the current presidential race. He claims that his website has PDFs of Palfrey’s call logs that contain about 5,000 phone numbers, as well as downloadable spreadsheets that contain the names and addresses of 815 Verizon Wireless customers. He acquired these with a subpoena ahead of Palfrey’s trial.
Sibley released call logs in 2007 containing about 10,000 phone numbers. These logs caused embarrassment to Senator Vitter and others. An additional 5,000 numbers were held back for leverage at Palfrey’s trial. However, she fired him before she was found guilty in 2008 on charges of money laundering and other violations. She was the victim of an apparent suicide just two weeks later.
On March 28, Sibley filed a motion with the U.S. Supreme Court to force the District of Columbia Circuit Court to accept his demand to release the gag order on the records. He said at that time that he would wait two weeks for a decision for the courts to act before going ahead with publication.
Sibley is not licensed to practice law because of a 2008 suspension in Florida for filing “vexatious and meritless” lawsuits against judges and for a child support payment dispute. In 2001, he announced plans to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Washington DC.
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