Schmidt Provides Sworn Testimony in OEC Case

CINCINNATI, Ohio—On Aug. 24, attorneys for David Krikorian deposed Representative Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio), who provided her sworn testimony with her Turkish Legal Defense Fund team by her side.

Schmidt strongly objected to David Krikorian’s legal right to video tape her deposition as allowed by law. Attorneys for Schmidt complained to the Ohio Elections Commission to block distribution of the video portion of her testimony.

During her testimony, Schmidt said she did not know why she was the largest recipient of Turkish lobby campaign contributions during the 2008 campaign cycle. She said that in her conversations with the Turkish lobby, including with her two major fundraisers, the subject of the Armenian Genocide Resolution pending in Congress—and her vote—were never discussed.

Schmidt said she has read one book on the Armenian Genocide, by Gunter Lewy, who in a 2008 intelligence report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, was desribed as an influence peddler financed by the Turkish government to promote the denial of the Armenian Genocide.

When asked to describe any aspect of the Armenian Genocide, she simply said that it had occurred during World War I. She claimed to have no further understanding of what had happened.

Regarding the definition of genocide, Schmidt said she did not know if it involved murder or just the forced relocation of a population. She knew that government action had to be involved in order to call it genocide.

Schmidt said she did not know Dr. Yalcin Ayasli, who, along with his family, donated $6,900 to her campaign, and who was a principle escort on her all-expenses-paid trip to Turkey this past May. Ayalsin is also the main funding source for the Turkish Coalition of America.

Schmidt also said she did not know if she had received any gifts from the Turkish government.

She maintained that despite her donors, the resolutions in Congress, and her lack of knowledge of the Armenian Genocide, that the two Turkish PACs from which she received contributions received no support from the Turkish government.

The Ohio Elections Commission hearing will take place on Sept. 3 at 10 a.m. in Columbus. “I look forward to having Ms. Schmidt’s frivolous complaint dismissed so that we can focus all of our energy on issues that directly affect the people of the second district,” said David Krikorian, who added that “The Krikorian for Congress” campaign takes no industry Political Action Committee money.

“The citizens of Ohio’s second Congressional district can be certain that I will always put their interests ahead of any PAC or party,” he said.

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