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from him (Colman) or from Colegrove. According to my recollection, Colonel Cook was away from Washington during all the time that the late President Garfield was at Elberon, the time fixed by Colman for the alleged interview. I also deny that I ever gave Colonel Cook any money paid me by Colegrove or Colman; or that I ever attempted in any way, directly or indirectly, to prevent an indictment against Cole. grove by conversation with Colonel Cook, or in any other way whatever. According to my understanding of the rules of evidence, Mr. Colman is an incompetent witness to give testimony in any tribunal searching for truth.
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). That is a mere matter of argument, Mr. Cole, and bad better be omitted.
The WITNESS. But I desire to state a fact in that connection.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, the committee will hear you in relation to any statement that Mr. Colman has made here which concerns you, but not as to new matter, because you are given this hearing now merely to enable you to reply to testimony heretofore given reflecting upon you as an attorney.
The WITNESS. This that I am about to state is substantially in reply to Mr. Coleman. Mr. Colman admitted to me in open court, where he was testifying as a witness, and admitted to the court, that he had been convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude.
The CHAIRMAN. I object to that. That is not proper. It is not a part of your statement at all.
The WITNESS. It is a part of my statement.
The CHAIRMAN. It is not a part of your statement in reply to any matter that has been testified to here.
The WITNESS. It is. I wish to show that Mr. Colman, by his own admission, is a convict and has served in the penitentiary.'
The CHAIRMAN. Did you come here to reply to testimony or to make an attack upon a person who has been a witness before the committeet This investigation will never end if we are to proceed in this way.
The WITNESS. I have come here simply to defend myself. When Mr. Colman or any other witness comes before this committee and swears to matters that involve me ip transactions that would be dishonorable if the statements were true, I have a right I think-I certainly would have in a court of justice and I think I have a right here-to show that the person who so testifies is an incompetent witness to testify before any tribunal.
The CHAIRMAN. You were asked on your first examination in relation to all that occurred between you and Colman.
The WITNESS. I beg your pardon, Mr. Chairman ; you simply asked me one question, whether I had ever said to Colman that I gave money to Colonel Cook which I had received from Mr. Colegrove. That was. the only question asked me, and I replied that I had not. Mr. Colman afterwards came upon the stand and testified to matters which are false, and which I now say are false.
Mr. VAN ALSTYNE. If this man Colman was a convict and was offered as a witness and, by reason of his conviction, he was disqualified for giving evidence, that would be good ground upon which to exclude him altogether from testifying; but, he having been received as a witness. here, if you now want to impeach him you ought to do it under the gen. eral rule, and that, you know as a lawyer, would not permit you to detail instances on bis part of misconduct or impropriety, or whatever it might be. You would simply be permitted to state that you knew the character of the man, and perhaps facts communicated to you by himself which authorized you to say that he was not a credible witness, not to be believed under oath. That, I think, is the extent to which you would be permitted to go in a court of justice, and therefore I think the chairman is justified in limiting you to that, instead of allowing you go on and make a statement of details in relation to this man's past life.
The CHAIRMAN. So far as the committee is concerned, the whole evi. dence of Mr. Colman might be struck from the record, and yet the only statement that is material in regard to this transaction as it affects Mr. Cole, was testified to by Mr. Colegrove, and Colegrove's testimony in regard to that was substantially the same as Colman's.
The WITNESS. I beg your pardon, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. In regard to the fact of his payment of money to you for that purpose.
The WITNESS. No, sir; I understand that Mr. Colegrore did not so testify. I have not read his testimony in the record of the committee, but I read it as published in the papers, and I have talked with Mr. Colegrove about it, and he has told me that he testified that the money that he paid me was for services entirely disconnected with star-route matters. I do not know what he did say, but that is the way it was published in the papers, and that is the way he reported it to me; and it looks to me very much as if an effort were being made to involve me in matters with which I have no connection in the world, and to deny me a chance to defend myself.
The CHAIRMAN. You have all the chances that a man could possibly ask. You rely upon your own denial of this alleged fact. It is a ques. tion of veracity between two witnesses, and you have made your statement and he has made bis.
The WITNESS. Well, but I think I have a right to show in that case that Mr. Colman is a man who would not be believed under oath by those who know him.
The CHAIRMAN. You know what the rule of evidence is on that pointyou have to show his reputation for truth and veracity.
The WITNESS. Well then, I will say that I know Mr. Colman's general reputation for truth and veracity among people with whom he has associated, and bave known it for the last ten years.
The CHAIRMAN. Where does he live!
The WITNESS. He has lived in both Michigan and West Virginia. I know his reputation in West Virginia. I do not know it in Michigan.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, if you desire to impeach his testimony, you should proceed in the regular manner, which you understand very well.
Mr. VAN ALSTYNE. The witness has qualified himself upon that point. [To the witness.) You say you do know Colman's general reputation for truth and veracity ?
The WITNESS. I do. Mr. VAN ALSTYNE. Amongst people in the community where he has lived ?
The WITNESS. In the community where he has lived; and I know it to be exceedingly bad; and I know him to be a man who would not be believed under oath.
The CHAIRMAN. You know very well that in a court of justice, unless the party put his character in evidence, you could not go beyond that.
The WITNESS. I disagree entirely with the Chairman in regard to the rule of evidence. I think it is competent where a person has been convicted of a felony, to prove that fact as tending to impeach his credibility.
The CHAIRMAN. But you can only prove such a conviction by the record of the court.
The WITNESS. Well, I was going on to say that the record I refer to is on file in the War Department here. I have not had time to procure a copy of it, but it is within reach of the committee.
The CHAIRMAN. And it also appears of record that President Johnson set aside that conviction ?
The WITNESS. No, I beg your pardon. President Johnson made an order in relation to it which he had no authority in the world to make, and the Secretary of War and the General of the Army both, during the present administration, have declined to promulgate the order.
The CHAIRMAN. But the President did make the order ?
The WITNESS. I wish to state that my employment by Mr. Colegrove had no relation to his alleged complicity in the star-route frauds. I did not even know at the time, nor for some time afterwards, that it was claimed that he was involved in them. The business I did for him then and have done for him since had no relation whatever to these matters, and was fully worth all Colegrove has ever paid me, and more, and I am still attending to unsettled business for him. Colonel Cook received no part of the money which Mr. Colegrove paid me for the business I did for him. Colman was in the habit of hanging around our office, and we had to notify him to remain away; for which he became enraged at Colonel Cook and myself both. A few months ago I got some action of à court in West Virginia
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). I do not think that is proper.
The WITNESS. I want to show Mr. Colman's animus towards me. A few months ago I got some orders made in a case in West Virginia in which Colman claims to be interested, which were very much against his interest, at which he became very much enraged against me, and sent me word through friends that if I did not let up on him he would injure me in some way. I did not let up, and his testimony here is the sequel. Mr. Colman, I believe, is the only man who has testified to any. thing that attempts to reflect upon me, Mr. Colegrove having already testified, as I understand, that his employment of me had no relation whatever to any star-route matters, so far as any conversation or understanding he ever had with me is concerned.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not think he made that statement.
The WITNESS. Well, I understand that he did. At any rate, what I say is (and it is what I understand Mr. Colegrove here said), that in all his conversations with me and all his employment of me he never stated or intimated that he expected me to do anything in his star-route matters, or sought to employ me for that purpose. That is my statement, and Mr. Colegrove's testimony, as I have read it in the papers, corroborates that statement.
WASHINGTON, June 30, 1884. WILLIAM P. Wood sworn and examined.
By the CHAIRMAN: Question. Mr. William A. Cook testified before this committee a few days ago that he was authorized by you to state that a clerk in the Post-Office Department by the name of Green was, or had been, in a position to procure papers from the Department for the purpose of giring them to the defense in the star-route cases. Do you know any. thing about that.-Answer. Yes, sir.
Q. Please state what you know about it.-A. I would like to preface my remarks with such explanatory matters as would neither do injustice to Mr. Green nor Mr. Cook, and, if that is conceded, I will state my case; or I can do that subsequently.
Q. Just state the facts in your own way.-A. I was satisfied that in the proceedings in the star-route cases Mr. Woodward was acting the scoundrel, and I was satisfied that he was putting through fraudulent claims. I wrote to the foreman of the grand jury, to Judge Wylie, and to Mr. Howe a statement of the facts, giving the numbers of the routes and the facts as I understood them, and was desirous of going before the grand jury at the time. My efforts failed. I called the attention of General Brady to the matter, and he referred me to the son-in-law of Postmaster-General Howe. I called upon that gentleman, and stated the facts in the case, as I presumed them to be.
Q. Do you refer to Mr. Totten –A. Yes, sir; I refer to Mr. Totten. He was desirous of having some information that was reliable. I told him that in all probability I could get it, but that I could not commit any breach of confidence with the party I had in view, for I would have to get my information from the Post-Office Department. After some preliminary arrangements Mr. Totten agreed that the clerk should not be disturbed, and it was arranged that the original jacket in which the papers belonged should be brought to Mr. Totten's office and exhibited, for the purpose of stopping these frauds in the Department, or these rascally transactions that I charged Mr. Woodward with having insti. gated, and which were going on. I specitied two matters. One was the money that was paid to John A. Walsh, of which I gave you, Mr. Chairman, a private memorandum at an early stage of these proceedings. The other was in a case that I wrote to Mr. Cook about. I advised Mr. Cook not to have anything to do with the Government, but Mr. Gibson persuaded him into it, and when he did start in I went to him to post him as to the rascally proceedings going on in the Department. I called his attention to my communication, and it resulted in a hearing being had by Mr. Bliss, and I produced evidence of forgery and perjury for the purpose of putting these things through that Mr. Woodward had recommended, and which I stopped simply by the production of the evidence of forgery and perjury, copies of which evidence I have in my pocket, if you desire to see them.
Q. Do you refer to the papers that Green was to furnish -A. Mr. Green did furnish them; he brought them to Mr. Totten's office and showed the facts and then took the papers back.
Q. What position did Green hold in the Department !-A. He was chief clerk in—I don't know exactly in what division, but it was one that had custody of these papers.
Q. State what Green did.-A. After some preliminary arrangements, he brought the papers to Mr. Totten's office and exhibited to him the evidences of the fraud.
Q. That was done in the interest of the Government, was it 1-A. Certainly, sir; in the interest of the Government.
Q. It was not for the purpose of giving information to the defendants as to what evidence was on file in the Department I-A. I do not know that that was the prime motive. I was in the interest of the defense and against the Government.
Q. For whom was Mr. Totten appearing ? Whom did he represent ?A. I think he represented the defense.
Q. Do you know which of the defendants ?-A. I cannot say that I do, but I understood that it was all the defendants—that he had a gen. eral interest in them.
Q. Were these papers that Green furnished to Mr. Totten matters which would apprise the defendants of any movements that were going on in the Department to procure their conviction ?-A. I am under the im. pression that I produced the evidence for the purpose of satisfying the Government officials that the parties who were proceeding against the defendants were not doing it in good faith, and that they were resorting to means that were neither proper nor honorable.
Q. But the question the committee are interested in is, whether any of the records of the Government that were supposed to be secret and for the benefit only of the prosecution got into the hand of the defend. ants I-A. I believe Mr. J. W. Green to be an honorable gentleman. He would not be guilty of any act which would deceive his employers, or of any treachery to those who employed him. It was simply to post the Government as to the bad manner of proceeding in the Department, and he did th't under the pledge of secrecy from Mr. Totten and my. self, and he was subsequently removed because he did that service.
Q. Was he acting in the interest of the Government, or in the interest of the defendants in furnishing papers 1-A. I think he was acting friendly toward me; it was on the score of friendship toward me.
Q. Whom did you represent?-A. I do not think that Mr. Green was aware that I was in the employ of the defendants. I think he was under the impression that I was endeavoring to expose the scoundrelism in the Department.
Q. Whom did you represent?-A. I represented no one but W. P. Wood
Q. Then I misunderstood you a while ago, when I thought you said you represented some of the defendants ?-A. Mr. Green did not know I was in the interest of the defendants and opposed to Bliss.
Q. What defendants?-A. The star-route defendants.
Q. The defendants in the Brady-Dorsey case and others !-A. No; I cannot say that. There were very few of them I conversed with interested; my interest was in behalf of General Brady.
Q. State what kind of papers they were that Green furnished to Mr. Totten 1-A. The star-route contracts. I can give you the numbers by referring to my papers. I am confining myself now to this one case. Ilere (producing it) is a copy of a letter that I wrote to Mr. Howe, dated Washington, May 18, 1882.
Q. Is that one of the papers that Mr. Green furnished Mr. Totten? A. No, sir; this is my letter to Postmaster General Howe.
Q. What papers did Green furnish to Totten?-A. He furnished the papers in that case and gave such explanation as they desired to have.
They were not familiar with the facts, and he gave them all the infor. mation that was requisite-information, as I imagine, perfectly proper, perfectly correct, such as any citizen should have a right to get, only that I knew the way to get it, and desired that Mr. Totten should be satisfied that I was making a correct statement. It was a plain steal of the Government funds.
Q. Then, as I understand you, Mr. Green simply brought the original jacket to Mr. Totten containing the official documents upon which you based the charge that the remission in that case ought not to have been made? He brought all those papers to Mr. Totten !-A. No, sir; I do