Wolfowitz to Senior World Bank Staffers: If You @#&! with Me, I’ll ?@#&! You!

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wolfowitzsmile.jpg
I’ve met Paul Wolfowitz on many occasions and used to see him quite a lot over at the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He has always been cordial to me and to others when I have seen him in public.
But as with many of us, there tend to be parts of ourselves that we keep a bit covered. With Wolfowitz, it may be his anger and his zest for revenge — something that may have animated much of his leading role in taking America into the Iraq War and taking down Saddam Hussein.
But just ponder these words from the World Bank CEO as reported by The Guardian:

Sounding more like a cast member of the Sopranos than an international leader, in testimony by one key witness Mr Wolfowitz declares: “If they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too.”

This can’t be put back together. Wolfowitz has lost whatever ability to lead the Bank he may have once had.
What is happening now in the ongoing statements of support from Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, Vice President Cheney and the President himself is a “negotiation.”
If Wolfowitz does resign or is fired this week, Bush wants the price for this to be high and wants to extract concessions from the Europeans on other priorities Bush has. This is all deal-making, but still, Wolfowitz’s prospects look bleaker by the hour.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

28 comments on “Wolfowitz to Senior World Bank Staffers: If You @#&! with Me, I’ll ?@#&! You!

  1. Pissed Off American says:

    “I fear the Iraqis are really going to pay for making us look bad.”
    Posted by Matthew
    Actually, I think the current push is in the opposite direction. It seems to me that the so-called “benchmarks” are an effort to place the full blame for this fucking mess squarely in the laps of the Iraqis. We have installed a quasi democratically elected small band of puppets at the top, who have virtually no support from the rest of the fledgling Iraqi political activists. There is NO WAY these people can meet the goals of “benchmarks” and unreasonable expectations of self governance. So failure is pre-ordained. The Bush Administration will sign on to the Democrat’s demand for benchmarks, because it creates a win/win situation for them. If the Democrats succeed in their demands for a troop withdrawal, the ensuing carnage can be placed squarely in the laps of the Democratic leadership. Yet, if the Democratic leadership fails in their demands for a troop withdrawal, but succeeds in their demand for benchmarks, then the inevitable continuing carnage can be directly blamed on the Iraqi “government’s” failure to meet these benchmarks.
    The Democrats are setting themselves up to step squarely in the middle of a Bush/Cheney/Rove bear trap. There is no solution to this mess in Iraq, the sectarian violence will play itself out no matter what course of action the United States pursues. The only apparent inevitability here is that the Bush Administration has many avenues to pursue in its pursuit of displacing blame. And considering the lack of tenacious pursuit of accountability from the Democratic leadership, it appears Bush may well be successful in escaping blame for this mess.
    The dying continues, with no end in sight.
    Now, back to the pressing issue of who Wolfowitz is currently diddling, and how much he is paying for the romp.

    Reply

  2. Matthew says:

    Here’s why the New Iraq, Wolfowitz’s symbolic creation, is not going to have full-time electricity for decades: If we leave and electricity is restored full-time within 6 months, eveyone in the Arab world will know that WE were the problem.
    The Empire is in full self-justification mode, akin to the Belgians leaving the Congo. The Belgians poured concrete down elevator shafts out of spite. And many of our new Halliburton projects are literally leaking sh*t everywhere.
    America cannot allow a successful Iraq if we don’t get credit for it. We’ve lost the deterence factor. We have lost the competence factor.
    I fear the Iraqis are really going to pay for making us look bad.

    Reply

  3. Pacific Coast Ron says:

    This late discussion is pretty forgettable, but let’s get back to the good stuff from Robert M. and IMF, and the great hanging question from the blog, Bush is somehow making the end of Wolfowitz a concession his part that the Europeans then have to make a concession on their part ?? like agreeing to war with Iran ?? Or to American control of Iraqi oil (which is a fantasy that BushCo and al the oil Co’s. and all the American forces that can be scared up can enforce, anyway)?
    How do make your own cleaning up an embarrassment to yourself, like sneezing big globs at a formal meeting, into a concession on the other guy’s part?
    I really liked the first part of Robert M.’s note, but I had to howl when he placed Gordon Smith in Washington and imagined that lefties out here would somehow warm to phony Gordie just for a few votes. Smith and Robert M. both better run way past Pasco if Smith tries to join any party left of the Republicans –there is a far-right Constitution party here — here in OREGON, where we real lefties will make elaborate plans to go after that that lying phony reliable-vote-for-plutocracy Gordon Smith if he dares get anywhere near OUR political turf. It’ll take more than a few scared votes on the headlines — while his great art is his blockages and betrayals carried out carefully in private — to get our forgiveness for that sack of stuff.

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  4. God..aka Carroll says:

    Posted by pauline at May 15, 2007 01:29 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Well I went and read a transcript of his testimony and you were right, it was worth reading….although I am not at all surprised at their thug tactics…I have been calling them MafiaUSA for eons now….

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  5. God..aka Carroll says:

    Posted by pauline at May 15, 2007 01:29 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Well I went and read a transcript of his testimony and you were right, it was worth reading….although I am not at all surprised at their thug tactics…I have been calling them MafiaUSA for eons now….

    Reply

  6. Pissed Off American says:

    Anyone that can read this transcript, and still believe that these treasonous criminal bastards in the White House and the Justice Department should not be impeached, is a damned fool.
    http://thinkprogress.org/comey-testimony/

    Reply

  7. MP says:

    Carroll writes: “…the only goverment people I have seen go to jail for their crimes,were put there by the FBI not congressional hearings.”
    Do Congressional committees have the power to put someone in jail? (I don’t think so; but I actually don’t know.)
    The hearings are worth it because they unearth information, and the information ends up in headlines and news stories, which changes people’s minds and raises their awareness of what is going on.

    Reply

  8. Gadfly says:

    The howls of “anti-semitism” are starting to be heard by our ill-educated public and vomitted by main-stream media toadies who care nothing about the truth; nor about integrity; nor about the the fact that the law, rules & regulations should be adhered to by (not just the “little people”, but also) ALL.
    Wolfie is, of course, nothing but an ugly thug– he lied us into Iraq; set-up an illegal nazi-style OSP (Office of Special Plans) devised to fabricate mendacious propaganda for dissemination to the American people; trampled upon those (e.g. General Shinseki) who told the truth; etc… As “president” of the World Bank, he has raped & pillaged the poor (e.g. Chad) in order to service his corrupt paymaster at the Carlyle Group; Big Oil; the Military Industrial Complex…
    Is it any wonder that criminal traitors like Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rove & Co. (neo-co(n)-conspirators) in War Crimes; Fraud; Theft; Embezzlement; etc. support this nauseating pig? Of course NOT!
    NATIONS OF THE WORLD UNITE:– Withhold all funding to the World Bank until this vile creep is ousted! Wolfie’s been outed:– he is unfit to serve in any position that demands integrity or requires the public trust.
    Insane howls of “anti-semitism” [devised to intimidate weak-minded fools terrified of being labelled thus] will not wipe-away the stains of blood, tears and misery that Wolfie has left on whatsoever he has touched and thereby soiled.

    Reply

  9. pauline says:

    Carroll,
    I agree about congressional hearings. . .it was more in the detail of Comey’s testimony that gave viewers a real insight into the inner workings of this morally debased bunch.
    “But power and greed and corruptible seed
    Seem to be all that there is. . .”

    Reply

  10. Carroll says:

    Posted by pauline at May 15, 2007 12:45 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    Well one reason the Wolf coverage is good is because we are all hungry for some karma for these rodents.
    And the congressional hearings have long ceased to interest me…because they never RESULT in anything, they are just a soap opera…tune in next week, month, year and see the same thing….more move along, no fault, more redacted names, more classify the truth to protect the guilty and all the politicans, etc,etc…the only goverment people I have seen go to jail for their crimes,were put there by the FBI not congressional hearings. It’s all show for whoever is in power at the time and always stops short of producing any real change for the country.
    If they ever investigate the war criminal cabal let me know…

    Reply

  11. parrot says:

    Or maybe he’ll just pull a Gonzo and sit there til he’s fired.

    Reply

  12. Carroll says:

    I love Wolfie’s statement about “or I’ll fuck with you”..shows what a dirty little thug he and his fellow travelers really are. He could hide his true self in the freak show that is Washington because of our neo enabling press and media but on the world stage he doesn’t get that cover.

    Reply

  13. pauline says:

    Steve:
    In all honesty, I think you’ve overdone the Wolfowitz posts. There’s so much “other news” out there that this big liar’s fate, imo, is getting way too much of your attention. I’m somewhat lost in finding a solid reason for all your multiple posts on this lewd warmonger.
    How about one word on James Comey and his Senate Judiciary Committee this morning? Is this hearing not worthy enough for you to get one post from you?
    If others are bored with wolfie crap like I am, check this out —
    “Comey Details White House Attempt to Force Approval of Secret Program”
    By Paul Kiel – May 15, 2007, 11:31 AM
    In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning, former Deputy Attorney General James Comey detailed the desperate late night efforts by then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and White House chief of staff Andrew Card to get the Justice Department to approve a secret program — presumably the warrantless wiretapping program.
    more at —
    http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/

    Reply

  14. Carroll says:

    Bush is into “negotiations” for something with the Europeans?…and using Wolfowitz?
    What is he negotiating for?..trade?..war?..Iraq?..Iran..what?
    The Europeans should tell this adm to go Cheney themselves, take their money and start their own ball park. All the talk about the US being indispensible to the world is being disproven every day. Someday soon the Europeans will find us not worth the trouble and go all Putin and Chavas on the US.

    Reply

  15. Roland says:

    The report of the ad hoc investigative group for the Executive Directors is available here (series of .pdf files):
    http://go.worldbank.org/X0TDIQ0RU0

    Reply

  16. Homer says:

    Paul Wolfowitz’s Fatal Weakness
    By Juan Cole
    The cronyism that may cost him his World Bank job is also what caused the Iraq debacle
    [snip]
    Soon after becoming head of the World Bank, Wolfowitz lapsed into his typical favoritism, even while he was, ironically, decrying the technique as practiced by governments of the global South. Instead of having an open search for some key positions and allowing for promotions from within, Wolfowitz simply installed Republicans from the Bush administration in high positions with enormous salaries.
    He brought Kevin Kellems from Dick Cheney’s office (where he had been communications director) and gave him a tax-free salary said to have been as high as $250,000 a year.
    As Wolfowitz’s new senior advisor, Kellems was leap-frogged over hundreds of officials with serious credentials in development work, something about which he knew little.
    When representing Cheney, Kellems went to great lengths to defend the vice president’s implausible conspiracy theory linking Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,482945,00.html

    Reply

  17. IMF says:

    The Wolfowitz Report: How He and Riza Gamed the Bank by David Corn The Nation
    Here are some interesting portions of the WB report:
    According to Mr. [Xavier] Coll [vice president of human resources], he met with Mr. Wolfowitz and Ms. [Robin] Cleveland, Counselor to the President, on August 10, 2005, in preparation for a meeting on August 11 with Ms. Riza. During that meeting, Mr. Coll was told to stop consulting with the Bank’s General Counsel on this matter.
    In retrospect, it’s clear there was the need for more legal advice, not less, about what to do about Riza, who could not continue to work at the Bank in a position under the supervision of Wolfowitz. Yet Wolfowitz kept the circle small. He has claimed it would have been a conflict of interest to involve the Bank’s general counsel–a contention rejected by the special panel. But even if Wolfowitz had been right about that, he could have sought another way for the human relations department to obtain appropriate legal guidance. He did not.
    According to Mr. Wolfowitz, he knew of Mr. Coll’s “discomfort” with the proposed agreement with Ms. Riza. He stated that Mr. Coll did not tell him the proposals were outside the Bank’s rules, and that, in any case, “there were no established Bank practices for a situation like this.” According to Mr. Coll, he told Mr. Wolfowitz and Ms. Cleveland that the terms proposed by Ms. Riza, regarding her promotion increases and guaranteed promotions…were “outside the Staff Rules” and that moving forward with them was a reputational risk to the Bank. In Mr. Coll’s view, there is “no doubt that the President knew or had been made aware of by me that this was outside the rules.”
    If this is so–if the Bank’s board believes Mr. Coll–it’s end of story. Had Wolfowitz indeed proceeded with a deal after he was warned it was “outside the rules”–a deal that was rather lucrative for his girlfriend–that ought to be a firing offense.
    According to Mr. Coll, after he received the written August 11 [2005] instructions from Mr. Wolfowitz [dictating the terms of the Riza deal], he asked again whether he could consult with the Bank’s General Counsel, or anyone in the Bank’s Legal Department, and was told he could not.
    Two strikes for Wolfowitz.
    According to Ms. Riza, she arrived at the figure of $180,000 [for her new salary] by taking into account her view that “two consecutive MENA [Middle East and North Africa] Vice Presidents” had not promoted her due to “discrimination,” because she is “a Muslim, Arabic woman who dares to question the status quo.”
    This explains it. Riza was angry. She was mad (as the report notes) that she had to leave the Bank because her romantic partner was taking over. But she also harbored a grudge, believing, rightly or wrongly, that she had been the victim of discrimination at the Bank. (In a previous article, I explained how she was turned down for a promotion to a job for which she did not meet the minimum qualifications.) According to the panel’s report, it was Riza who came up with the specific terms of her reassignment. It seems she was trying to turn lemons into champagne–that is, using the opportunity to settle old scores and award herself the money she believed she deserved. And Wolfowitz went along with his gal-pal.
    The report is clear: “The salary increase granted to Ms. Riza far exceeded an increase that would have been granted in accordance with the applicable Staff Rule.” The report notes that even had she received a promotion at that time, she could have expected a boost in her annual salary of between $5000 and $20,000–not the $47,000 Wolfowitz awarded her. The report also says that the agreement Wolfowitz arranged called for an annual salary increase more than twice the customary rate and that the automatic promotions awarded Riza in the deal violated the Bank’s rules.
    The special panel is unequivocal. Wolfowitz engaged in a conflict of interest by setting the terms for Riza’s package. “It is the view of the Ad Hoc Group,” the report notes, “that these actions show that the relationship between Mr. Wolfowitz and Ms. Riza went beyond the appearance of conflict of interest…and constituted an actual conflict of interest situation.” It adds, “these actions manifest a lack of understanding and a disregard for the interests of the institution as a public international organization.” The report also finds that Kevin Kellems, a senior aide to Wolfowitz (who recently resigned) made misleading public statements about the Riza deal and that Wolfowitz’s “actions are inconsistent with his obligation to “maintain the highest standards of integrity in [his] personal and professional conduct.”
    This is a damning document. One doesn’t have to read far between the lines to see that panel members believe that Riza tried to pull a fast one and that Wolfowitz enabled her, even cutting out other Bank officials who might have questioned the deal. “Her desire for compensation for a past grievance, not related to Mr. Wolfowitz [sic] arrival,” the panel says, “appears to have driven the most controversial elements of the agreement she reached with the Bank (with Mr. Wolfowitz directing the Bank’s side of the negotiations).” The report slams Wolfowitz for not accepting “responsibility or blame for the events that transpired….The Ad Hoc Group sees this as a manifestation of an attitude in which Mr. Wolfowitz saw himself as the outsider [at the Bank] to whom the established rules and standards did not apply. It evidences questionable judgment and a preoccupation with self interest over institutional best interest.”
    The board of directors was scheduled to discuss the report with Wolfowitz on Tuesday evening. The issue is, what will the board do in response to the report? It can vote to reprimand or remove Wolfowitz. A reprimand might not be enough for many board members. But the board may not want to pull the trigger. It can issue a vote of no confidence, hoping Wolfowitz will resign. But does Wolfowitz want to put up a fight? Is the White House willing to stick with him, as it has done (so far) with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales? George W. Bush can be a stubborn fellow.
    The report is a strong indictment of Wolfowitz. It shows he and his girlfriend tried to game the system in a way that could bring her (over the course of his tenure and beyond, thanks to a generous pension) millions of extra dollars. If Wolfowitz manages to stay on after the release of the report, it will be quite an accomplishment for the accountability’s-not-us Bush administration.
    ******
    DON”T FORGET ABOUT HUBRIS: THE INSIDE STORY OF SPIN, SCANDAL, AND THE SELLING OF THE IRAQ WAR, the best-selling book by David Corn and Michael Isikoff. Click here for information on the book. The New York Times calls Hubris “the most comprehensive account of the White House’s political machinations” and “fascinating reading.” The Washington Post says, “There have been many books about the Iraq war….This one, however, pulls together with unusually shocking clarity the multiple failures of process and statecraft.” Tom Brokaw notes Hubris “is a bold and provocative book that will quickly become an explosive part of the national debate on how we got involved in Iraq.” Hendrik Hertzberg, senior editor of The New Yorker notes, “The selling of Bush’s Iraq debacle is one of the most important–and appalling–stories of the last half-century, and Michael Isikoff and David Corn have reported the hell out of it.”

    Reply

  18. Robert M. says:

    Dear Steve & POA,
    Ya gotta start somewhere. And if its taking down a cad full of rancid arrogance, well, let us start there. And now that he’s shown himself a true cad, re Shaha, it’ll be all the more delicious. And, yeah, sex and padding the payroll is all stuff every one in the country — everyone — can get, especially all the women. If Wolfie makes this even more messy and it garners even more headlines through the MSM, well that’s all to the good. Katrina and the Surge demonstrated incompetence. Wolfie demonstrates favoritism in spades & NOW! a he-done-her-wrong woman. So, what ever I can get today, I’m taking.
    (Yeah know, I’m starting to see Wolfie as the Ron Jeremy of this administration.)
    As to B/R/C, see the Al Hunt quick sumamry of phone covnersations at Bloomberg. We won’t have to wait until September: Kurd leaders says there’s no political solution, Petraeus says there’s no military solution, Gates is not stifling the generals & the troops will get around the internet bans, & the Nervous Nellies in the GOP will get an earful in July — heck they are getting it now or the obvious ones wouldn’t have gone to talk to Dubya. Who then got a likely its alright pep talk from Rove.
    What I’m now waiting for is the Bolton-Gates-Paulson COUP D’TAT which will occur after
    (1) Fred F finally has to give up the rest of the emails as the DOJ inquest goes on — Monica plus McWalsh (sp?) spill all the beans & Sampson will have to restate some positions or such a bood BYU graduate is looking at federal time,
    which unseats Karl as his direct role will be proved, so we’ll be looking at OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, which will be prosecuted because
    (2)to get the NEW AsstAG confirmed, the Congress will require a SPECIAL PROSECUTOR. There’s no chance of an interim appointment for the duration. A-Gon & the WH have to send a name up. And if its a stonewall name, fireworks will ensue. Could be tipping point for impeaching A-Gon.
    But there will be a SPECIAL PROSECUTOR.
    Just sit back now and watch it all unravel. This is beyond schadenfreude – we are deep into karma here.
    American COUP D’TATS just take an extra bit of time. And Mrs. Wilson’s example is well to the point. If she and the senior WH staff then (a small handful) could bring it off, there’s nothing that Bolton-Gates-Paulson can’t do with a less comatose person once Karl is neutralized by (1) lawyers and (2) the GOP Rebel Alliance, i.e. the Rats.
    (Ya know, Gordon Smith in Washington State might even switch parties if he keeps voitng like this.)
    So:
    The first troop reduction will have major units home by Christmas with a fig-leaf retrenchment to keep the Kurds & the Turks off of each other.

    Reply

  19. Punchy says:

    POA–
    Wolf is NOT out. He’s NOT resigned, NOT been fired, NOT been forcibly removed.
    So, yeah, I care about this “bullshit”, and so do many of us concerned about the toxic effect this cretin has on the WB.

    Reply

  20. Pissed Off American says:

    “Apparently PW and Riza are no longer an item and separated quite some time ago. He is now involved with a blonde lady in her 40s in Germany and that he stayed with her during his last trip to Berlin”
    Posted by IMF
    Who gives a fuck about this bullshit? Are we now reduced to lamenting the sex life of Paul Wolfowitz, while the Secretary of State ignores Congressional subpoenas, the Attorney General stacks the Justice Department with political lackeys and lies his ass off in public testimony before Congress, and one to ten American servicemen are dying daily in Iraq? (To say nothing of the hundreds of Iraqis dying daily).
    Enough already. Wolfowitz is out. Its obvious.
    Now, how do we get Waxman to grow some balls and start holding some of these lying sacks of shit accountable by issuing Contempt of Congress citations?
    If we don’t have an unbiased Justice system, than we don’t have ANYTHING.

    Reply

  21. Corinne says:

    That last comment about PW and Riza as no longer an item makes sense in light of this sentence from a story about PW in the business section of today’s WaPo:
    “Wolfowitz effectively blamed Riza for his predicament as well, saying that her “intractable position” in demanding a salary increase as compensation for her career disruption forced him to grant one to pre-empt a lawsuit.”
    If there were ever a good time for Riza to spill everything she knows, it sounds like this is it.

    Reply

  22. semper fubar says:

    “Bush wants the price for this to be high and wants to extract concessions from the Europeans on other priorities Bush has.”
    I’m curious (not knowing much about how the WB operates) — What leverage does Bush have to “extract a price” from the Europeans over this?

    Reply

  23. IMF says:

    To add fuel to the fire, here are some more anger-management items about Wolfie from inside the Bank.
    “1. Shortly after Wolfowitz joined the World Bank, British Airways wrote to the Bank to complain about PW?s behaviour when flying first class from London Heathrow to Washington DC. Apparently, PW had spread his personal papers out on the aisle floor and on the adjacent seats. When the flight attendant approached and requested that he keep his papers within his seated area because the other first class passengers were complaining and that he was in breach of BA?s in-flight rules, PW lost his temper; launched into a tirade and verbally abused the attendant. In complaining to the Bank, BA asserted that PW?s behaviour had bordered on ?air rage? and that he would be expelled from its frequent flyer’s club.
    2. On this or another occasion , Robin Cleveland was travelling with PW from London to DC. While checking-in at the airline counter, Cleveland demanded an upgrade to accompany PW in first class. The check-in clerk politely replied that an upgrade to first class was not possible. Apparently Cleveland would not take ?no? for an answer and argued the toss, claiming her status as a senior Bank official. It’s alleged that Robin flew into a rage and caused an embarrassing scene with her shouts, screams and use of four letter words. This was all in ear shot of PW who did not intervene to calm the situation. Needless to say, she was not upgraded.
    3. One of the alleged factors prompting Kellems’ resignation was that he was aware that senior Bank officials had caught wind of allegations that he had embarrassed himself and brought the Bank?s reputation into disrepute while travelling on overseas missions with PW. The allegations involve Kellems’ drunkenness at night while staying at hotels, running down corridors knocking on doors and being found lying naked in a drunken state in a stairwell. It is also claimed that he exhibited a fondness for exotic ladies of the night.
    4. It is rumoured that Paul’s hench-person, Rich Folsom, has attempted to close down the Bank’s internal online staff discussion board. Apparently various staff members have been commenting on the merits or demerits of claims in external blogs that she has been conducting an affair with PW.
    The bank staff postings also say
    “Apparently PW and Riza are no longer an item and separated quite some time ago. He is now involved with a blonde lady in her 40s in Germany and that he stayed with her during his last trip to Berlin”

    Reply

  24. Schlomoe says:

    The Europeans of the World Bank are obviously very anti-Semitic.

    Reply

  25. fatima schwatz says:

    They should not fire him, instead they should reassign him to the imf’s bagdad bureau.

    Reply

  26. km4 says:

    Wolfowitz is a despicable ‘little man’ and pathetic character just like the person that occupies the WH

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  27. Homer says:

    Just as one may wait in hope that spinning fecal laden toilet water does go down instead of settling in the bowl, so does the world wait in hope for Cheney, Bush, Wolfowitz, et al go down the tubes straight to hell.

    Reply

  28. Internationalist says:

    Paul’s character comes into sharp relief when you consider that his wife, Clare Selgin Wolfowitz, has been forced to sign a non-disclosure document (By Paul’s lawyers) to protect her chance to receive alimony and child support.
    Clare separated from Paul when he had a series of affairs with staff and students at Johns Hopkins where he was dean of SAIS.

    Reply

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