U.S. Rep. Schmidt Denies Receiving Turkish `Blood Money’

U.S. Rep. Schmidt Denies Receiving Turkish `Blood Money’
2009/08/28 | 12:07


The following article appeared in the August 26 edition of the
Cincinnati City Beat. It deals with the on-going hearing surrounding
the 2008 election for Ohioo’s 2nd Congressional District that pitted
Representative Jean Schmidt and and challenger David
Krikorian. Mr. Krikorian alleged that Schmidt had received campaign
contributions from the Turkish government in return for her opposition
to an Armenian Genocide resolution in the U.S. Congress. Schmidt has
since filed an official complaint against Krikorian.

Schmidt Gets Taped in Election Suit

U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Miami Township) just doesn’t fare so well in
unscripted situations. In the latest example of that political truism,
Schmidt testified Monday for nearly five hours in a deposition taken
by attorneys for David Krikorian.

The deposition was taken in preparation for a Sept. 3 hearing before
the Ohio Elections Commission. Schmidt filed a complaint with the
commission alleging that Krikorian knowingly made a false statement
about Schmidt in a piece of campaign literature last year.

Krikorian ran as an independent against Schmidt in 2008 for Ohio’s 2nd
Congressional District. During the campaign, Krikorian distributed a
pamphlet alleging Schmidt had received `blood money’ from the Turkish
government in return for her opposition to a congressional resolution
that declared Turkey committed genocide against Armenia during a 1915

Schmidt’s opposition angered Krikorian, who is of Armenian
descent. His grandparents almost became victims of the violence,
Krikorian said, and Schmidt’s denial that genocide occurred is an
insult to Armenian-American citizens. A Schmidt spokesman has said in
the past that the congresswoman doesn’t believe the conflict meets the
legal requirements to be dubbed genocide.

Krikorian has questioned why Schmidt accepts tens of thousands of
dollars in donations from Turkish interests when there isn’t any
significant number of Turkish-American residents in the 2nd
District. He’s also called Schmidt’s complaint `frivolous.’

Monday’s deposition was videotaped by Krikorian’s attorneys, despite
Schmidt’s protest.

`Ms. Schmidt strongly objected to David Krikorian’s legal right to
video tape her deposition as allowed by law,’ a Krikorian press
release states. `Attorneys for Ms. Schmidt complained to the Ohio
Elections Commission to block distribution of the video portion of her
testimony. Ms. Schmidt does not want the people of the district to
view her testimony in this frivolous legal complaint she filed against
David Krikorian.’

During her halting and vague testimony, Schmidt said she didn’t know
why she was the largest recipient of campaign contributions by Turkish
lobbyists in the 2008 campaign cycle. Also, she testified that she
didn’t know anything about the Armenian Genocide other than it
occurred during World War I.

Further, Schmidt said she didn’t know who Yalcin Ayasli is although he
and his family donated $6,900 to her campaign last year and was an
escort on her all-expenses paid trip to Turkey in May. Ayalsi is a
contributor to the Turkish Coalition of America, which is dubbed a
`genocide denial’ group by Armenians.