CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The U.S. House counsel's office intervened in Hamilton County Municipal Court to block Republican Rep. Steve Chabot from appearing next week at the criminal trespassing trial of five anti-war protestors. The motion to quash a subpoena contends he is too busy to be a witness. Chabot is a pro-war lawmaker. The five staged a sit-in at his Cincinnati office last September.
Greg Flannery, an alt/weekly newspaper editor who helped organize the sit-in, said there will be a hearing on the House motion before Judge David Stockdale tomorrow. Stockdale last week blocked Flannery from calling former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as a material witness, but ruled that Chabot must testify.
During that court hearing, the protestors' defense lawyer, Bill Gallagher, offered to go to Washington and take Chabot's testimony in a sworn deposition. Today, House lawyers cited the press of official business as the reason Chabot should be excused from the subpoena he received on Oct. 22 while campaigning outside a Bengals football game at Paul Brown Stadium.
"Now, at the 11th hour, he claims he is too busy to testify,'' Flannery said.
The trial is set for Jan. 22. The defendants are Ellen Dienger, Sister Mary Evelyn Jegen, the Rev. John Rich, Barbara Wolf and Flannery.