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GOP Officials Can Be Deposed on Phone Jams

July 14, 2006|From the Associated Press

MANCHESTER, N.H. — A judge gave state Democrats the go-ahead Thursday to question high-ranking Republicans in a civil suit over the jamming of Democrats' phones on election day 2002.

Three former GOP officials have already been sentenced in the phone jamming scheme. In the civil suit, state Democrats want to know who knew about the plan.

They point to a record of phone calls showing that former Republican National Committee official James Tobin, one of those convicted, made two dozen calls to the White House within a three-day period as the phone jamming operation was finalized, carried out and then abruptly shut down.

The national GOP said that the contacts involved routine election business and that any suggestion they involved phone jamming was "preposterous."

Robert K. Kelner, a lawyer representing the Republican National Committee, said some of the officials the Democrats wanted to question might fight being deposed.

Democrats want to question the former associate director of the White House political affairs office, Alicia Davis, and to see her phone records and those of her then-boss, Ken Mehlman, now Republican National Committee chairman. Also on their list: Ed Gillespie, who was the committee's chairman when the decision was made to pay Tobin's legal expenses; Terry Nelson, former executive director of political operations for the RNC and now a political strategist for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.); and Chris LaCivita, former national political director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

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