Ramsey Clark, a former U.S. attorney general, continues to confer with the accused Fort Hood shooter on whether he will represent him in his fast-approaching trial.
The two shared a long phone conversation Wednesday, according to a University of Illinois law professor who is also closely connected to Maj. Nidal Hasan’s case.
Ramsey was unreachable Wednesday, but his colleague, Francis Boyle, confirmed Ramsey and Hasan spoke and will continue to speak today and in the days leading up to the start of jury selection Tuesday.
Hasan asked for a three-day continuance Tuesday to explore the possibility of hiring Clark to be his attorney in the case.
The presiding judge denied his request, calling it “untimely and obstructionist.”
Military judge Col. Tara Osborn ruled that jury selection will not be delayed, no matter who represents Hasan. It leaves Clark five days to travel to Texas and prepare for a death penalty case.
“It is an extremely complicated case in light of the rulings of the judge,” Boyle said.
Clark, 85, is a Dallas native who served as attorney general from 1967 until the end of Lyndon Baines Johnson’s presidency in 1969. While working at the White House, he helped supervise the drafting of the Civil Rights Act of 1968.
After serving as attorney general, Clark became an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War. His anti-war stance also led him to speak out against the invasion of Iraq in 1991 and 2003.
Clark has drawn some criticism for his willingness to serve as a defense attorney for high-profile clients accused of war crimes. One author dubbed him the “war criminal’s best friend,” in a 1999 article from Salon Magazine.
He represented deposed dictator Saddam Hussein along with a panel of attorneys in a trial that ultimately led to Hussein’s execution, as well as Slobodan Milosevic, who was charged with genocide.
How Clark could assist Hasan remains unclear. The judge will not allow Hasan to put on any facets of his defense of others, which has been his desired trial strategy since about two years ago when Hasan was arraigned, his former defense attorney John Galligan said.
Hasan could face execution if convicted of 13 charges of premeditated murder that arise from the Nov. 5, 2009, mass shooting on post.
Jury selection begins Tuesday, with testimony set for Aug. 6.