- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 14, 2007

Bushes pay $186,378 in federal taxes

President Bush and the first lady paid $186,378 in federal taxes on their income of $765,801 for last year. Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife made twice as much and paid the tax man about $50,000 more than they owed.

Mr. Bush and his wife, Laura, contributed $78,100 to churches and charitable organizations, including the volunteer fire department in Crawford, Texas, where they own a ranch, according to their tax return, released yesterday by the White House.

They paid $27,474 in state property taxes on the ranch.

The return for Mr. Cheney and his wife, Lynne, showed that they owed federal taxes of $413,326 on overall taxable income of $1.6 million. But throughout last year, the Cheneys paid $464,789 in taxes, or $51,463 too much. Instead of taking a refund, the Cheneys elected to apply the overpayment to their 2007 tax bill.

Libby still will appeal conviction

Former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby Jr. said yesterday he no longer plans to ask for a new trial in the CIA leak case but still expects to appeal his conviction.

Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted last month of lying and obstructing an investigation into the 2003 leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity.

Requests for new trials are seldom granted. In documents filed in federal court yesterday , Libby’s lawyers said they will make their arguments before an appeals court rather than asking for a new trial as they had planned.

Libby faces a likely range of one to three years in prison when he is sentenced June 5.

Ohio man rejects terror charges

COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio man pleaded not guilty yesterday to federal charges that he joined al Qaeda and conspired to bomb European tourist resorts and U.S. military bases overseas.

Christopher Paul, 43, a U.S. citizen living in Columbus, did not ask to be released on bond.

Mr. Paul learned hand-to-hand combat and how to use grenades and assault rifles at an al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan in the early 1990s, according to a federal grand jury indictment announced Thursday. He then joined the terrorist group in Pakistan and told al Qaeda members he was dedicated to committing violent jihad, prosecutors said.

Mr. Paul is charged with providing material support to terrorists, conspiracy to provide support to terrorists and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, which carries the most serious penalty of up to life in prison.

‘Guru of ganja’ to be retried

SAN FRANCISCO — Federal prosecutors said yesterday they would retry a marijuana grower known as the “guru of ganja,” even after a federal judge urged them to drop the case.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer demanded to know who in the Justice Department made the decision to continue pursuing Ed Rosenthal, whose conviction was overturned last year.

Mr. Rosenthal, 62, cannot be sentenced to prison even if he is convicted again because an appeals court upheld the one-day prison sentence imposed by Judge Breyer in 2003. The trial is set for May 14.

Mr. Rosenthal was convicted in 2003 of growing hundreds of plants for a city of Oakland medical marijuana program. The conviction was thrown out last year because a juror committed misconduct by consulting a lawyer on how to decide the case.

Charges against Nifong stand

RALEIGH, N.C. — A disciplinary committee rejected a request yesterday to drop ethics charges against the former prosecutor in the dismissed Duke lacrosse rape case, who is accused of withholding critical DNA evidence from the defense.

The decision by the three-member panel came shortly after an hourlong hearing, at which committee Chairman F. Lane Williamson repeatedly challenged the arguments made by attorneys for Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong.

The North Carolina State Bar has accused Mr. Nifong with breaking several rules of professional conduct as he led the investigation into accusations that three lacrosse players raped a stripper at a team party in March last year.

This week, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper dismissed all charges in the case, and said the three indicted players were innocent and that his investigators concluded no attack occurred.

Breaux rules out run for governor

BATON ROUGE, La. — Former Sen. John B. Breaux decided against entering the Louisiana governor’s race yesterday, hours after the state’s attorney general declined to rule on whether he was eligible for the post after having moved to Maryland.

Earlier in the day, Attorney General Charles Foti said a court should rule on the question of whether Mr. Breaux is eligible to run in the Oct. 20 primary.

Mr. Breaux, 63, likely would have been a strong candidate to replace fellow Democrat Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, who announced March 20 that she would not run for re-election.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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