The ballroom of the National Press Club on Fourteenth Street was filled to its capacity of five hundred. C-Span broadcast the press conference live, and all of the network and cable news channels’ cameras were there to provide live feeds if they deemed something newsworthy.
Litzer entered the ballroom, followed by six state attorneys general. Litzer was not a physically imposing man. He was seventy-two, rather short and thin, with a receding hair line. White hair curled over his ears and shirt collar, the look of a man who had more important things to do than get a haircut. As leader of the Founding Fathers Foundation, he was not a particular favorite of the Washington media. But even his most ardent critics acknowledged Litzer’s intellect and the quality of the Foundation’s work. His reputation had as much to do with the press turnout as the prep work of his communications staff.
There was a buzz in the room. Litzer stepped to the podium, and the room settled down. Because the lawsuit would be filed later in the day, Litzer’s brief remarks had been reviewed by his legal staff and made intentionally ambiguous. He would not be taking questions.
“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming today,” Litzer began. “This afternoon, the Founding Fathers Foundation and the states of Georgia, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee will file a lawsuit in the US district court for the District of Columbia.”
He paused to gain eye contact with the audience, and then continued. “The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief to immediately halt the current reapportionment activities under way in the states. The plaintiffs charge that certain data derived from the census were fraudulently distorted and manipulated with the purpose of disenfranchising the citizens of the six states identified earlier.”
The normally disrespectful press corps was completely silent. The TV networks interrupted their regular programming to broadcast live feeds.
Litzer was amazed at the silence as he went on. “The Founding Fathers Foundation and the states represented today strongly urge the attorney general of the United States to immediately launch and aggressively pursue a criminal investigation. Those people responsible for any misconduct must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, no matter who they may be.”
The six state attorneys general standing behind him nodded gravely.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it is impossible to overstate the gravity of this matter and the threat to the Republic. The citizens of the United States must have faith in the integrity of their leaders. Faith is the foundation on which all else is built. If the foundation cracks, all resting on it crumbles. This matter must be exposed to the light of public scrutiny, because that exposure is the only ultimate solution. With such scrutiny, the foundation of trust will remain solid and the Republic will endure. Thank you.”
The room erupted. Dozens of questions were shouted as Litzer and the states’ attorneys general left the stage. Cell phones and PDAs sprang to life with incoming and outgoing communications.
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