National Legal and Policy Center

1309 Vincent Place, Suite 1000

McLean, Virginia 22101

Tel: (703) 847-3088/ Fax: (703) 847-6969

March 31, 1998

Mr. Craig Oswald
Assistant United States Attorney
Dirksen Federal Building, Fifth Floor
219 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, Illinois 60604

Mr. David Buvinger
Assistant United States Attorney
Dirksen Federal Building, Fifth Floor
219 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, Illinois 60604

Mr. J. Kenneth Lowrie
Criminal Division
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530

RE: New information on why LIUNA GEB Attorney Robert D. Luskin should be dismissed from the LIUNA internal reform program.

Dear Sirs:

Thank you for your response letter of March 24, 1998. The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) was pleased to learn that the United States (the Government) is "not completely satisfied with all aspects of LIUNA's reform effort."

NLPC agrees with the Government that Laborer's International Union of North America (LIUNA) General Executive Board Attorney Robert D. Luskin's "comments on public issues that do not directly relate to the LIUNA reform effort constitute no cause for his dismissal." However, Mr. Luskin's active defense of President Clinton, as outlined in NLPC's March 11 letter, DOES DIRECTLY RELATE to the LIUNA reform effort and constitutes a conflict of interest which threatens the integrity of the LIUNA reform effort.

The situation is clear:

(1) The Government's 1994 draft RICO complaint stated, "LIUNA has been infiltrated at all levels by corrupt individuals and organized crime figures who have exploited their control and influence over the union for personal gain and to the detriment of the union. LIUNA union officers and employees at all levels, including the general presidency [i.e. Arthur A. Coia] , have been chosen, subject to the approval of, and have been controlled by, various members and associates of organized crime." [Emphasis added.]

(2) In 1994-1995 the Government was on the verge of taking over LIUNA as it had done with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in 1989. Something happen to alter that course.

(3) As outlined in NLPC's previous letter, LIUNA General President Arthur A. Coia and President Clinton have close political, financial and personal friendship.

(4) As President, President Clinton controls the U.S. Justice Department which was and is the Government's lead agency in the LIUNA matter.

(5) The February 13, 1995 Agreement (the Agreement) between the Government and LIUNA allowed LIUNA to "reform itself" and Mr. Coia to keep his job.

(6) Mr. Luskin was bestowed the awesome and difficult task of overseeing the LIUNA reform effort while being compensated by LIUNA.

(7) In the last three months, as outlined in NLPC's previous letter, Mr. Luskin has attacked Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr and defended President Clinton clearing demonstrating a partisan and biased nature favoring President Clinton.

Aiding President Clinton in this manner calls into question the objectivity and integrity of Mr. Luskin's investigation into President Clinton's close political, financial and personal friend, Mr. Coia, and thus, the entire LIUNA reform effort.

Additionally, NLPC has obtained new information that further demonstrates that Mr. Luskin has an overt bias and conflict of interest making him unfit to serve as LIUNA GEB Attorney.

Mark E. Middleton is a client of Mr. Luskin. Mr. Middleton is a close friend of President Clinton. Mr. Middleton came to Washington from Arkansas, worked in former White House Chief of Staff Mack McLarty's office as an aide to the President, and has been entangled in the Adminstration's fundraising scandals with the likes of John Huang, the Riady family and others.

Highlights on Mr. Middleton:

Met with representatives of North China Power Group and Lippo Group in the White House on April 22, 1994. Allegedly, John Huang had a role in arranging the meeting as part of larger campaign fundraising effort.

After leaving the White House, he traveled with Charlie Trie to Taiwan in an effort to allegedly raise campaign funds, and he reportedly passed out business cards stating he was a special assistant to the President in order to gain influence.

He has been alleged to have raised $4 million in foreign sources for the President's 1992 campaign.

He invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid Congressional investigators last year.

For a more complete report on Mr. Middleton and his longtime political and financial relationship with President Clinton, please see the enclosed article by Eliza Newlin Carney and Peter H. Stone, "Blind Ambition," National Journal , June 7, 1997.

To better understand why Mr. Luskin is involved with Mr. Middleton's troubles please read the following excerpt from Harvey Berkman's February 17, 1997 article in the National Law Journal :

"The size of the market for lawyers for Washington, D.C., figures ensnared in one scandal or another is indicated by the amount of work landed by D.C.'s tiny, 10-attorney Comey, Boyd & Luskin.

Partner Robert D. Luskin, with associate Dan Braun, is representing former Clinton White House aide and current international business consultant Mark Middleton in Huangate, named for John Huang, the former Commerce Department official and Democratic National Committee fund-raiser with a facility for eliciting large donations from Asians, both wealthy and not.

As former chief counsel of the Justice Department's organized crime section, Mr. Luskin also represents a client in the independent counsel probe of former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy, and he previously represented former Justice Department official Philip B. Heymann when he testified before Congress on Whitewater.

David R. Boyd, one of Mr. Luskin's two partners, represented Joel I. Klein -- now the Justice Department's acting antitrust chief but then a deputy White House counsel -- when he was queried about Whitewater documents. Mr. Boyd currently represents Linda Medlar, the former mistress of former housing secretary Henry Cisneros. Her taped conversation with Mr. Cisneros led to the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate him.

As extensive as it is, however, Comey Boyd's work is just a drop in the proverbial bucket of mud."

There would be no problem with Mr. Luskin representing Mr. Middleton and these other friends of President Clinton who are wrapped up in this Adminstration's scandals, if Mr. Luskin was not already investigating other friends of President Clinton for ties to organized crime, namely Mr. Coia.

It is as if Mr. Luskin was charged with overseeing a corrupt organization's "reform effort" and at the same time serving as defense counsel to political allies of that corrupt organization. It is unseemly and has at least the appearance of conflict of interest.

Mr. Middleton and the other aforementioned clients, make Mr. Luskin is a walking conflict of interest. Between President Clinton, Mr. Coia and Mr. Luskin, the opportunities for improper influence and tampering with the LIUNA reform effort are endless. Here is just one possibility: the Clinton Administration could tell Mr. Luskin go easy on Mr. Coia or else undesirable information on Mr. Luskin's client, Mr. Middleton, will be released.

Without an oversight offical who is, and is perceived to be, totally and unquestionably impartial, the reform effort is a joke, and the rank-and-file LIUNA member suffers. LIUNA members deserve a corruption-free and mob-free union. They should not have to tolerate any more corruption and embarrassment.

Mr. Luskin has an obligation under the Agreement to perform his duties with the utmost integrity and impartiality. But, his financial, legal and political ties to the Clinton Administration render him incapable of performing his duties under the Agreement.

Given this additional information of Mr. Luskin's numerous ties to President Clinton's friends who are involved in the campaign fundraising scandal, Whitewater and other scandals, NLPC respectfully requests that the Government take whatever action is available and appropriate to have Mr. Luskin immediately relieved of his duties at LIUNA. Further, NLPC requests that the Government immediately dismiss Mr. Coia and implement the pending consent decree as provided for in the Agreement because of the damage done to the LIUNA internal reform program by Mr. Luskin's conduct.

Lastly, the Government's March 24 letter stated that the LIUNA reform effort has launched "major initiatives" in Chicago, Buffalo, New Jersey and New York. Why have not "major initiatives" been launched in Providence, RI (home to Mr. Coia) and in Washington, D.C. (home to LIUNA's international headquarters)? If ridding LIUNA of organized crime were the true objective, Providence and Washington would be at the top of the list given the Government's assertions in the 1994 draft RICO complaint. Further, the Government said the LIUNA reform effort has been a "considerable success."

These words should be saved until Mr. Coia and all other LIUNA officers who "have been controlled by various members and associates of organized crime" are convicted or at least ousted from LIUNA.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.


Kenneth Boehm, Esq.


cc: U.S. Attorney Scott R. Lassar

U.S. Representative Henry J. Hyde

U.S. Representative Bill McCollum

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