Wednesday, March 23, 2016

(Now) "I Say That You Have No Case" (Dec. 1946)

This brief (Now)chapter is one of a series dramatizing a House committee's investigation into the Scottoriggio murder. It is drawn from the FBI's files on Marcantonio. These are available thanks to the Freedom of Information Act.

Barker moves on. Another article about a young kid and a run-in with the law.

"This poor boy," Vito calls him before stopping in mid-sentence, repulsed by this persecution of luckless bottom feeders. He has had enough.

“May I say this: People come to me for help. People who are not in trouble do not come to you for help. The people who come to you for help are the people in trouble, and if anybody is in need of help, and if he can, in a legitimate manner, be helped, such as offering free legal counsel or anything like that, I have done it and I am going to continue doing it. I am going to help everybody and anybody who comes to me to help him in a legitimate manner."

The investigators hear something you can't fault in the man. Barker is embarrassed with the plumbing job he has been dispatched by Southern Gentlemen to do. 

"That is the point that is before this committee,” The Congressman went on. "Whether this election of Vito Marcantonio, accepting their charges against me - the hoodlum, the gangster, the gorilla, the Communist and this and that and whatever they say of me - whether or not I was elected by a free election.

"Here you have an election where more people voted on the basis of registration in my district than in any other congressional district. You have a registration where there is a smaller falling off from the 1944 presidential year, in my district, than in any other district. You have a situation where, despite all of these wild charges that have been made against me, granting them all, there is still not a charge that any single voter, in his right to vote freely and secretly, has been intimidated. You also have the physical facts that people came out to vote. The people did vote and their secrecy was guaranteed. How can you get around that? Nobody questions the count."

Barker: “There has been no charge on that?”

The Marc: "No, I won by 6,500 hundred votes. I say that you have no case."

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