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Aside From the Truth

Aside From the Truth

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Published by cshaffr
A morally, and financially, bankrupt congressman must hire an the least expensive attorney he can find (an ethically astute attorney whose practice is on the rocks) to defend himself from being expelled from Congress.
A morally, and financially, bankrupt congressman must hire an the least expensive attorney he can find (an ethically astute attorney whose practice is on the rocks) to defend himself from being expelled from Congress.

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Published by: cshaffr on Jul 10, 2011
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05/12/2014

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SAUL
I mean -- not now. Not during this trial.
If you can avoid expulsion, then if you
were going to be caught for it, then it
would be something that I, if you were to
retain my counsel, could assist you with.
Right now, I could provide very little
assistance.

LISMAN

(beat)
So -- not now.

SAUL

Exactly.

INT. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HEARING ROOM - DAY

The hearing is in full swing.

FANICELLI, NANCY, and a few other familiar faces from that
deposition before join us with WHITINGS. SAUL and LISMAN are
where they were last time.

NANCY
Do you Congressman Lisman?

LISMAN

Do I what?

NANCY
Do you believe, as your council would
imply, that there is no longer grounds
for implication, and subsequently, no
basis for this committee to pursue
actions regarding charges --

LISMAN
This is the insider trading thing?

NANCY

Yes.

LISMAN

No.

NANCY
No, you don’t--

LISMAN

I don’t.

65.

NANCY
For the sake of the record, would you
mind if I continued the question?

LISMAN
For the sake of the committee and the
rest of the people in this room, I don’t
think there’s enough coffee in the
District of Columbia to sustain the
attention through the rest of the
question you were about to ask.

Which gets a collection of reactions from everyone here.

NANCY
That is unfortunate.

LISMAN

It is.

WHITING
Congressman Lisman, I’m going to have to
ask you to confine your comments to the
scope of the inquiry.

LISMAN
You mean they’re not?

SAUL
We understand Congresswoman.

LISMAN
I couldn’t possibly have committed
insider trading. At least, I couldn’t
have intended to do it. For that to have
happened, for if I intended for it to
happen, I would have executed the trade
well before the act would have left the
committee.

SAUL
May it be noted that the act Congressman
Lisman is referring to is House
Resolution Twenty-Eight Forty Seven, the
Clean Energy Research and Investment Act.

WHITINGS
However Congressman, the trade still took
place?

LISMAN

It did.

66.

WHITINGS
I’m having trouble understanding, rather
I think the committee is having trouble
understanding, how your inability to
cancel the trade you made ahead of time
so as to avoid the appearance of insider
trading renders it impossible to charge
you for insider trading. You still
possessed privileged information, the
trade still took place and at a value
remarkably less than the value of the
stock after the fact.

LISMAN
Because I was arrested.

WHITING
For solicitation?

LISMAN
Exactly. Otherwise I would have bought
the stock in the company fair and square
just like everyone else.

WHITINGS
Which I am sure myself and the committee
would have no difficulty in doubting.

Which gets some laughs from everyone except SAUL and LISMAN.

WHITINGS (CONT’D)
I know I would also speak for the
committee that a Congressman with a
voting record such as yourself with
issues such as the environment,
governmental subsidy --

SAUL
Congresswoman, if I may, what relevance
does Congressman Lisman’s past voting
record or policy initiatives have in
relation to this portion of the
proceeding?

WHITINGS
The relevance they have, Mr. Wahr, is in
relation to this particular bill.
Congressman Lisman were you in support of
H.R. 2847 in it’s initial iteration? May
I remind you that you are under oath.

LISMAN
Why do I need to be reminded?

67.

SAUL
Again, Congresswoman, on behalf of the
Congressman I would like to know what
relevance this has to --

WHITINGS
It’s a simple question, Counsellor.

LISMAN

No.

WHITINGS
Thank you. Not very many Republicans
were. Exactly none were.

SAUL
Congresswoman--

WHITINGS
Mr. Wahr, my demonstration of relevance
is predicated on the fact that
Congressman Lisman did vote on this bill,
it’s later iteration. Just not the one to
which you earlier referred. I would ask
Congressman Lisman to attest to this
fact, but that wouldn’t be necessary as
that exists as a fact of public record
and for the sake of your client, reducing
the chances for him to perjure himself
would be far more advantageous than not.

SAUL
With all due respect Congresswoman, there
is no chance that Congressman Lisman
would have thus far perjured himself and
we hope that the Committee will ignore
any implication, assumption or prejudice
otherwise.

WHITINGS
I’m sure it will.

LISMAN

(to SAUL)
I wouldn’t be so sure.

WHITINGS
If I may continue, Councellor--

SAUL

You may.

68.

WHITINGS
I wasn’t requesting permission.
Congressman, what caused you to reverse
your standing with H.R. 2847?

LISMAN
I don’t -- I decline to answer on advice
of council.

WHITINGS

You do?

LISMAN

Yes.

SAUL
(to LISMAN)

You do?

LISMAN

Yeah.

SAUL

Why?

WHITINGS

Congressman?

SAUL
May I request a ten minute recess from
the court?

WHITINGS
You may not councillor. Congressman, do
you know which amendments were made to
the bill?

SAUL
Congresswoman--

WHITINGS
I am addressing the Congressman.

SAUL
Whom I represent. Few legislators as
seasoned as the Congressman would be able
to remember details as unimportant as the
amme--

69.

WHITINGS
Council, I know you and I would agree
that amendments such as those he
negotiated to create a bipartisan effort
toward passing this bill, an effort
leading to an amendment to include
subsidizing a set of companies which
would not have otherwise been subsidized.
An amendment to include companies
demonstrating intentions and budgets
toward pursuing Green Initiatives and
Investments, among such companies
includes the stock in the company in
question, which hopefully councillor,
answers your question regarding
relevance.

SAUL
As much as it demonstrates a relationship
to the matter being discussed before, my
client has responded, and given his
account of the wrongdoing in question.

WHITINGS
There is more wrongdoing which deserve
address, contingent to this matter.

SAUL

Which is?

WHITINGS
Which is that this company not only
contributed to the Congressman’s most
recent reelection campaign, but did so
while subverting campaign donation
regulations.

SAUL
(to LISMAN)
Is this true?

WHITINGS
Congressman, what say you to this charge?

SAUL
May we request a recess Congresswoman!?

WHITINGS
You have exceeded the allotment of
recesses available Counsellor. Your
request is again, denied.

70.

SAUL
(to LISMAN)
What is she talking about?

LISMAN
I’ll have to plead--

SAUL

Congressman.

LISMAN
I plead the fifth amendment.

Reactions resound throughout as SAUL looks infuriatingly at
LISMAN, who sits, resigned.

INT. CAPITOL BUILDING - ANTEROOM - DAY

SAUL’s with LISMAN.

SAUL
Anything else?

LISMAN

(a beat)
I can’t remember.

SAUL
How about the fact, that it would be in
your best interest, from here, through
the rest of this trial if you actually
told the truth?

LISMAN

I am.

SAUL

You are not.

LISMAN

I did.

SAUL
No, you didn’t.

LISMAN

When?

SAUL
When you told me -- I asked you -- when
you told me that there wasn’t anything
else.

71.

LISMAN

There wasn’t--

SAUL

And your--

LISMAN

Just the --

SAUL
Donor records?

LISMAN

Yeah.

SAUL
That was what I--

LISMAN
It wasn’t necessary then.

SAUL

It wasn’t?

LISMAN
I just told you --

SAUL
Because it’s incredibly necessary now as
was the fifth amendment, which any lawyer
worth their salt would not exactly let
their client plead.

LISMAN
And you’re such a great lawyer.

SAUL

Excuse me.

LISMAN
You’re excused.

SAUL

From what?

LISMAN
No, wait, I can’t possibly excuse
something as embarrassing and humiliating
as this pathetic exercise you refer to as
being my lawyer. This -- this obsession
with truth, and justice, and the right
thing --

72.

SAUL

The--

LISMAN

That’s right.

SAUL
You’re referring to this as right?

LISMAN
Yes. I am referring to what I just said
as being right. I am right. You are
wrong. You believe this case can be built
on honesty, and compassion, and whatever
it is that damn crap was that you opened
with.

SAUL
Did you mean ethics? I’m not sure if they
told you this on Fox News, but you are
being tried before an Ethics Committee! I
just wanted to make sure that we were on
the same page.

LISMAN
We are on the same page. On the page of
getting me the hell out of trouble and
back to my damn career!

SAUL
I don’t think that page exists at this
point Congressman. And neither does my
counsel.
(beat)
Good Luck Congressman. I cannot imagine
there’s anything else of which you would
have a more dire need.

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