Leaked documents show the CNMI Senate republican leadership conspired with Gov. Ralph Torres to doctor impeachment rules favorable to the governor. And Sen. Paul Manglona wants the conspirators investigated and criminally charged.
“This is to respectfully request an immediate investigation into what appears to be an egregious breach of ethical conduct that may have broken multiple criminal statutes, rules of the Senate and the American Bar Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct,” the senator began his letter to the heads of the CNMI’s bicameral legislature.
Mr. Manglona somehow was able to access an unflattened version of the Senate’s working document that produced the rules eventually adopted by a vote of five senators: Senate president Jude Hofschneider and senators Karl King-Nabors, Francisco Cruz, Victor Hocog, and Vinnie Sablan. Unflattened, or unlocked, word processing documents shared among multiple authors often contain a feature that indicates what changes each author makes.
“I have received a document titled ‘Senate Impeachment Rules V6.1 Joey Edits,’ that shows ex parte communication between Governor Ralph Deleon Guerrero Torres’ personal legal counsel and the Senate’s privately retained Special Legal Counsel, Joe McDoulett,” Mr. Manglona wrote in a letter to Hofschneider and House Speaker Edmund Villagomez. “Visible in the document’s tracked changes are two edits made by the Governor’s personal counsel, Viola Alepuyo, on Page 15 on February 13, 2022 at 11:21 am, and two changes made on February 13, 2022 at 11:22 am.”
The edits made by Mr. McDoulett, he said and the document indicates, were made three days later, on February 16, 2022.
“The edits made by Mr. McDoulett were made three days later on February 16, 2022,” Mr. Manglona wrote. “This is a clear indication that the Governor’s personal counsel either drafted the Senate rules on behalf of Governor Torres or at the very least played a role in drafting, reviewing and editing the rules which were eventually adopted by the Senate Impeachment Committee and the Senate body as a whole on March 3, 2022.”
Among the edits the governor’s team made included the addition of language allowing a committee of the senate to decide a subjective threshold under which that committee may simply toss out the articles of impeachment.
Another change indicates Senators Hocog and Cruz deliberately wanted to prevent debate among senators. The margin of page 12 of the rules, under Rule 17, reads: “This was a change suggested by Senator Hocog and Cruz. As they did not believe we should open the door to a disagreement on when to start.”
On page 21, the governor’s cronies changed language that would have had hearing days agreed upon by both the impeachment prosecutor and defense counsel, and instead have those days directed by just one senator.
“Mr. President and Mr. Speaker, it would be improper for the Senate’s Special Counsel and the Governor’s personal counsel to work together to draft, review and edit the Senate’s impeachment rules. If this is indeed what happened, it would explain why the rules adopted by the Senate are weighed heavily in favor of the Governor.
“It would be negligent and a betrayal of public trust on our part if we do not investigate even the slightest appearance of impropriety given the contentious nature of the impeachment process. This demands your immediate action. At the very least, the people deserve to know who authorized the Senate special counsel to work with the Governor’s personal counsel.
“This letter serves as my formal request to our constitutionally recognized Senate legal counsel to identify which laws and rules were broken and provide the complete list of all instances when the Governor’s personal legal counsel and the Senate’s Special Counsel communicated and collaborated on the impeachment proceedings.
03/18/2022 at 6:20 AM
This is worst than any criminal organization. I have to hand to Ralphy boy for turning lawyers and ordinary people into crooks.
03/18/2022 at 10:37 AM
The discovery of this information has to be preserved and indeed deserves an investigative review for breach of ethical & professional conduct involving policy makers (Senators), Attorney’s (Lawyers) and the special counsel; colluding and cooperation in secret in an unlawful way to deceive and gain advantage over the House Impeachment managers. This course of action by the Senators (GOP), Special Counsel and the Attorneys for the governor, are acting together, and conspiring to deceive, cheat, in a dishonest manner with evil and harmful intent to commit fraud. The GOP senators (Jude Hofschneider, Karl King-Nabors, Francisco Cruz, Victor Hocog) and including Vinnie Sablan are mounting an unprecedented undermining of the rule of law to deprive the Impeachment Managers and the people of the CNMI of a constitutionally mandated and fiduciary duties bound by oath of the office of the people. The Senate (GOP) has now displayed a misconduct in office and conduct unbecoming of a public servant elected by the people. The CMNI GOP has now modeled themselves like the republicans in the U.S. capital during the impeachment of Donald J. Trump. Its pretty clear that laws may have been violated in State and Federal level. The actions by this GOP senators are corrupt and disgraceful, in the face of the public, they tried hard to conceal their unlawful and malicious intent to willfully and intentionally cause harm to the impeachment process, and the integrity of the institution and the Senate. If proven the existence of this document(s), that is, in plain view by our GOP Senators, the Special Counsel, the governor’s Attorney’s blatantly are in the acts of the COMMISSION of a crime to defraud the people of the CNMI of the outcome of the charges outlined in the Articles of Impeachment.
Albert Sablan Palacios
03/18/2022 at 3:14 PM
To the People of Guam and especially the CNMI….our Senators here in Saipan are as corrupt as our Governor!!! Governor Torres has already been impeached by Congress! now its up to our Senators from Rota and Tinian!! If he gets away! its all about $$$$ and pay back!!!!!!!! this I’ll say these Senators are as corrupt as our Governor here in the CNMI!!
03/18/2022 at 5:21 PM
The shadiness of the “special counsel” handpicked by the GOP, Joe McDoulett, should come as no surprise to people familiar with the long history of malcontents that find their way in (and then out) of the Saipan FBI field office.
McDoulett, an attorney who apparently couldn’t cut is as a lawyer and then joined the FBI, also apparently couldn’t cut it as an FBI agent. So now he’s back to law. He’s close friends with another disgraced former FBI agent, Jay Wolfe, who is or was the personal investigator for who other than RALPH TORRES.
Of course McDolittle is working with Torres’ legal counsel to dress up the impeachment rules and skew them heavily in Torres’ favor. I expect nothing less from this corrupt administration.
Corruption at its finest.