Why Are Senior Republican Aides Meeting With Notorious Birther Orly Taitz?
Orly Taitz, the nation's most prominent birther/lawyer/dentist traveled to Washington last week to meet with Republican congressional aides about her thoroughly silly conspiracy theory that President Obama's birth certificate is a forgery and that he is ineligible to hold office.
Taitz claims to have had productive meetings with staff for Reps. Allen West (R-FL) and Steve King (R-IA), both of whom have previously flirted with birtherism, though a spokesperson for West insists her office was merely being polite to Taitz: "This is a woman who came by to drop off some material and the chief of staff was polite enough to answer her questions."
According to Taitz, "two legal counsels for Sen. Marco Rubio [R-FL] ... were very supportive and very helpful." Taitz says one Rubio aide, J.R. Sanchez, "urged" the counsel to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to allow her to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. After a Rubio aide told Politico's Ben Smith that Taitz's account was untrue and that the senator's staff "disagree with" her, Taitz threatened to file "criminal complaints" against Rubio's staff:
please, provide the name of the aid that stated that Senator Rubio disagrees with me. I met with two of his counsel: Leonard Collins and AJ Sanchez and they thought it was an outrage, that nothing is done about Obama's fraudulently obtained Connecticut social security number and his computer generated forgery instead of a genuine birth certificate. As a matter of fact, if these attorneys and senators and representatives, who are licensed attorneys, continue to do nothing and participate in this criminal cover up, formal complaints will be filed with respective bar associations and criminal complaints of aiding and abetting felony of Social Security fraud and elections fraud will be filed not only against Obama, but also against attorneys and officials, who participated in this fraud, obstruction of justice and misprision of felony.
Taitz has also claims to have enjoyed a warm reception in the office of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK):
The senators' offices and staff that I visited were Sen. Coburn, Sen. Inhofe, Sen. Rubio, and Sen. Lee. In Coburn's office, I think the meeting was the most promising. I had an in-depth meeting and discussion with his chief of staff, Michael Schwartz. He was very informed; he has all of my pleadings; he has all of my exhibits; he knows about the social security fraud and forgery of the birth certificate, and he was informed about the Columbia records and the fact that the student clerk house shows Obama attending Columbia only for nine months, even though he claimed to be there for two years. [...]
I asked Mr. Schwartz to discuss this matter with Sen. Coburn in order to put my name and those of other individuals who are invited to address the subcommittee on privacy within the Senate Judiciary Committee.
I'm supposed to get an answer within one week from Sen. Coburn. I'm asking all of my supporters to write to Sen. Coburn and also to their own senator and congressman to allow me to testify before the subcommittee on privacy within the Senate Judiciary Committee, to testify before the committee on Social Security, and also to testify before the committee on the Judiciary.
That was a very productive meeting. Sen. Coburn's chief of staff was very helpful, very knowledgeable; he was all the gentleman, and I'm very hopeful that I will be able to testify.
Taitz also claims Coburn's chief of staff urged Hatch's office to allow her to testify before the Judiciary Committee.
It is, of course, impossible to take Taitz' claims at face value: Her defining characteristic is her untrustworthiness. But even if everything she says about the substance of these meetings is false, the fact that she got them in the first place is remarkable. Taitz is a nationally known crackpot, famous for peddling the nuttiest smears imaginable. Even WorldNetDaily — itself a cesspool of bigots and birther cranks — has acknowledged that Taitz peddled a fake Kenyan birth certificate. And yet she was apparently able to get meetings with senior Republican congressional staff, including Sen. Rubio's counsel and Sen. Coburn's chief of staff. Makes you wonder who they're turning away, doesn't it?