Indicted Kerik Launches Legal Defense Trust

Like Scooter Libby and Tom DeLay before him, former NYC Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik is using his indictment as a tool to fundraise from the right-wing base.

A grand jury issued a 14-count indictment against Kerik yesterday. But Kerik knew it was coming. “Several weeks ago,” the Kerik Legal Defense Trust had already sprung into action and launched a website to raise funds for the embattled Kerik.


The defense trust’s website contains a page entitled “About Bernard B. Kerik” that notes he was nominated to serve as secretary of Homeland Security, “but neglects to mention he was forced to withdraw in disgrace in December 2004 over tax issues related to a nanny he employed.”

The site lauds Kerik’s “heroism” and “distinguished service” with laudatory quotes from Rudy Giuliani (“An excellent Police Commissioner and Courageous Leader on 9/11”) and Tony Blair (“You are an inspiration to all of us”).

The defense trust informs potential donors that, “Any contribution you make to the Trust will be treated as a gift to Mr. Kerik to be used at his discretion.” Potential donors should note, however, that Kerik is under indictment because he has been accused of misappropriating his finances. Ellis Henican writes in Newsday:

But I’m still a little confused about why Bernard Kerik needs money from me. The man lives in a mansion in New Jersey. He got that $4.4 million stock bonanza for sitting on the Taser board.

How’s Bernie so broke? He’s barely paid for his first cup of coffee, and since he left city government in 2003, he’s been positively raking it in.

He’s been a partner in at least two highly lucrative security firms, one with Rudy Giuliani and one that he ran. Like giant vacuum cleaners, he and Rudy have been sucking huge fees from corporations and foreign governments eager to hear tough-guy 9/11 anecdotes.

And the man needs a hundred bucks from me?

The website does not report its board members or its contributors. Some questions for Kerik’s good friend Rudy Giuliani: Are you formally participating in the defense trust, and do you endorse it?

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