Ted Cruz, now John Boehner’s foe, was once his lawyer

Ted Cruz, now John Boehner's foe, was once his lawyer

Ted Cruz was once John Boehner’s lawyer.


About 25 years ago, Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas helped represent former House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio in a civil case against Bonkers that eventually resulted in legal fees of $ 1 million.

That’s not to say that Boehner and Cruz were bosom friends. All you have to do is read Boehner’s book, On the House: A Washington Memoir, to understand how much hostility Boehner has for Cruz.

It was Cruz who led the failed indictment of defeating Obamacare in the fall of 2013. The theory was that Republicans would not support a bill the government funded – and Obamacare. Cruz’s search ended with the government being shut down for 16 days.


Boehner – and many other Conservatives – were reluctant to approve of Cruz’s move. Republicans never settled Obamacare. You missed the opportunity to immerse yourself in the botched launch of the health plan website. And the general public has castigated the GOP for shutdown.

Boehner had a particular disdain for Cruz after this episode. He later told reporters that even the most ardent supporters of Cruz’s maneuver admitted that it “wouldn’t work.”

In the audio version of Boehner’s band, he verbally declares, “PS, Ted Cruz. Go for yourself.” Shortly after Boehner resigned as a speaker in late 2015, he described the junior senator from Texas as “Lucifer in the flesh”.

This is quite a change from what Boehner said about Cruz when he appeared on NBC’s “Tonight Show” in 2014.

“Ted Cruz was my lawyer a long time ago,” Boehner told Jay Leno, the host at the time. “A good guy. I don’t always agree with him. But he’s a good guy.”

Return to December 1996.

Boehner was chairman of the House Republican Conference, the fourth-highest position in the GOP leadership. Boehner was in Florida on the phone with then House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., About political strategy. At the time, Gingrich faced an investigation by the House Ethics Committee into the use of tax-deductible money for political purposes and a college course he was teaching on the side.

In those days, “cell phones” were analog. Most police scanners purchased from Radio Shack allow you to receive cell phone calls. A Florida couple, John and Alice Martin, intercepted Boehner’s call on a scanner. They realized that Boehner and Gingrich were talking about sensitive information.

The couple were able to record the call and took the tape to former Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., Then the top Democrat on the ethics panel. McDermott has leaked the contents of the appeal to the New York Times and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Boehner sued McDermott for data breaches.

Boehner argued that McDermott violated his First Amendment protection by posting the appeal to the press. Boehner filed for punitive damages against McDermott. Boehner’s legal team claimed the conversation “belonged” to Boehner, not the Martins – and certainly not McDermott. It was as if the Martins had “bugged” Boehner.

The Martins pleaded guilty to having stopped calling her police scanner. Both of them paid a $ 500 fine.

Meanwhile, Boehner’s case against McDermott snaked its way through federal courts for more than a decade, eventually reaching the Supreme Court, which refused to hear the case. Boehner prevailed against McDermott in a lower court ruling.

McDermott claimed it was not his fault as he did not intercept or record the call. He also argued that one member of the house couldn’t sue another. The Washington Democrat claimed he was just doing his job as a member of the ethics committee.

More than 20 news organizations filed legal information on McDermott’s behalf. They feared the case could prevent reporters from using information from anonymous sources.

Who worked on the case on behalf of Boehner? Cruz.

“I don’t know the man,” said Cruz after Boehner unloaded a batch of insults on his former lawyer in the spring of 2016.

It is unclear how well Cruz “knew” Boehner in the late 1990s. It is out of the question for a team of lawyers to work for a client – especially a high profile congressman – and not really “know” the person they represent.

In the 2016 Cruz presidential campaign, the Senator was named a “junior associate” in the case and little was done to attend meetings with Boehner’s aides.

But as Boehner’s attorney, Cruz spoke to reporters on the file and defended his client.


“Much like the first amendment doesn’t allow anyone to slander or defame anyone, it also doesn’t allow anyone to ignore federal criminal law,” said Cruz in a 1998 article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Cruz also suggested that no call could be protected if Boehner’s call to Gingrich was not protected. In another article in the same newspaper, Cruz said that otherwise, people “could sit down and intercept any cell phone call they like”.

Cruz told the Seattle Times in 1998 that “McDermott has consistently sought to delay the ligation and increase the cost. It is to be expected that Congressman Boehner will use whatever funds he has at his disposal to raise funds for the prosecution To bring a lawsuit. “


In the 1990s, Cruz completed two two traineeships, including a time as Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Until 1998 he also worked for a law firm. At this point he was working on the Boehner case.

When Boehner resigned from the spokesperson’s office in 2015, Cruz applauded the move. The Texas Senator suggested that conservatives like him “scare Washington” and those like Boehner.

In his new book, Boehner recites a famous quote from Senator Lindsey Graham, RS.C., about Cruz: “If you killed Ted Cruz on the Senate floor and the Senate trial took place, no one would convict you.” “”


It is known that politics makes “strange bedfellows”. Especially when a one-time client characterizes someone on their legal team as “Lucifer in the flesh”. You heard from the devil’s lawyer. Well, Boehner basically considers his one-time attorney to be the devil himself.

This story only shows how interwoven politics can be in Washington, especially over decades. Your friend today can be your enemy tomorrow.