Jun 28, 1924 From:        To:     
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Darrow, Sissman, Holly & Carlin     
1310, 140 N. Dearborn St.

Clarence S. Darrow
Peter Sissman
William H. Holly
William L. Carlin
Victor S. Yarros

Central 925

June 28th 1924.

Dear Paul:-

   I wrote that I was not able to go to the convention on account of the Leopold case. I was sorry not to get away, but could not help it.

   As I have a few moments, I thought I would write you a little about politics. Ido not know what I will do until the candidates are nominated. I would, of course, be inclined to vote for the Democratic candidate, if I can. If I cannot, I no doubt will be with La Follette.

   I note what you say about Dawes and to a considerable extent, I share your views. However, Dawes is not a candidate for President, but for Vice President, with little chance to be President and no chance to do anything unless he should become President. To my mind, the question is much broader than the candidates. The Republican party as a party, are of course controlled by the big interests. They set out deliberately to belittle and whitewash the work of the two investigating committees and by the aid of the capitalistic newspapers, which include most of them, they have placed the committees on trial instead of the culprits. That Fall deliberately sold government property for a personal consideration, is not disputed. He received at least $100,000 from Doheny for turning over government property to him while he was Secretary of the Interior. He first got McLean to say that he loaned him the money, which was not true and then sent his son-in-law to Cleveland to try to get some one else to swear to it, who refused, and testified before the committee. He was called as a witness and refused to testify on the ground that it might incriminate him. There can be no kind of doubt about the facts and that it does not arouse the country, shows that the country has lost all sense of decency in regard to its officials.

   As to Daugherty, the case is just as bad. The evidence is over-whelming and his associate, Jesse Smith, took large amounts of money on account of cases pending in Department and those cases were not prosecuted. That he was a boon companion of Daugherty and spent his time in Daugherty's office and at the house where they assembled. There is considerable evidence also that his more direct as to Daugherty. Mr. Daugherty has had two attorneys present during the examination. He came out with the fool statement that the matter was influence from Moscow because he was a patriot. When they went to examine the books of his brother's bank, they were not permitted to
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do it and they appealed to a local Judge in Ohio who held for Daugherty. When Daugherty was finally called as a witness and refused to testify, he told his attorneys to quit the case. Under the criminal law, they may prove Daugherty guilty by proving that Jesse Smith was guilty and then it is up to the jury to say from the association of the men whether Daugherty conspired with him to do the act. The same is true of practically every witness who testified, except possibly Al Jennings whom, I think, should never have been called. Immediately in the beginning of the proceedings, the secret service men started out to get something on the members of the committee. They indicted Wheeler contrary to all the evidence and in the Senate's report of its finding, only two men voted against Wheeler. Two people, one of them an old time reporter of the McLean papers and the other his wife, a stenographer in the Department of Justice. Both of these people testified possibly that the documents and papers were stolen from Means and that they saw the documents and papers after they were in the hands of the detectives. There has been an endless amount of other evidence showing conclusively what the facts are and they are absolutely beyond dispute. Denby's connection with the oil leases is about as bad, although he is popularly excused on the ground that he did not know any better . He tells of a letter that was written by him in reference to it and sent to the President and the Department. No such letter has been found anywhere. The copy he produced was very evidently written after the whole transaction was over. These three are members of the Harding cabinet and the Coolidge cabinet. No such scandal ever occurred before in America and yet people seem not to care. Mr. Coolidge sent his private secretary down to Florida to see Mr. Fall and keep him posted on affairs and he stayed there a week. Many of the telegrams giving Fall notice of what was going on, were sent from the White House. Mr. Coolidge has never once raised his voice in connection with it, except to apologize and to lie about it. He said Republicans and Democrats were alike guilty, but does not tell what Republicans and what Democrats. The only Democrat who is even remotely connected is McAdoo. I could not vote for McAdoo under the circumstances. That is, I feel now that I could not. However, McAdoo was not a cabinet member or a public official when he took the money. Of course he should not have taken it and his position is indefensible. The fact that the Republican party, under these circumstances, have nominated a man for Vice Preside after they had failed get anybody else to run, seems to me cuts little figure. As to Dawes, I have always liked him and admire some
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of his work. I think he did good work during the war, good work in the budget and good work in his report on Germany, but Mr. Dawes is a super-patriot. He organized the minute men for the sole purpose of sustaining property interest. He has always taken that side on every question. The courts have rendered a judgment against him for over one million growing out of the Lorimer bank. In this case, he let the government count a million on Lorimer, giving his unsecured note and it was counted in Dawes bank and immediately after it was counted, he returned the note and kept the money. He knew that Mr. Lorimar did not have the money and that it was his money that was counted to open Lorimar's bank. This has no doubt been done before and some times under excusable circumstances, but it was done in this case to help men open a bank who had not a cent of money in the world and no securities and the result was a very substantial loss to hundreds of thousands of stockholders. I do not think he should have done it. For my part, I do not propose to take sides until I know who the Democrats nominate, until I hear what all of them have to say and their acceptance letters, as well as read the platform and I very likely will be for LaFollette. I am inclined to think that neither McAdoo nor Smith can win, although I hope Smith can. If Davis is nominated, I might be for him, but I want to hear more of his views. From your stand, however, he would be way ahead of the Coolidge bunch. The same would be true of Carter Glass who is a wonderful legal man, but I know little about his political views. There are others who might be nominated that from any standpoint, except radicalism would be thoroughly competent and much preferable to the Republican ticket. However, I am just giving you my present reflections, thinking you might care to have them.