The founder and chairman of Investigative Group International looks back on a professional career filled with glittering names and important cases.
Lenzner deplores the hyperpartisan tenor of today’s Washington, D.C., where “all that matters is the spin.” Fearful, perhaps, that he’s become too closely identified in recent years with this unseemly scrum due to his investigative work on behalf of the Clintons, he repeatedly assures readers that he’s his own man, interested only in ethically gathering and analyzing facts and dedicated solely to uncovering the truth. Thus, he has monitored anti-war demonstrators on behalf of the Department of Justice and defended peace activist Philip Berrigan; represented the CIA’s notorious “Dr. Death,” Sid Gottlieb, who administered LSD to unwitting subjects; refused to work for Daniel Ellsberg or under Ted Kennedy’s grandiose nephew. Lenzner has investigated the United Way’s shady president, William Aramony, the New Republic’s notorious plagiarist and fabulist, Stephen Glass, and the oil companies who overcharged Alaska for building the pipeline. For pressing his case too forcefully, he’s been fired by Donald Rumsfeld from the Office of Economic Opportunity, as well as by Mohamed Al-Fayed, who let him go when he reported no evidence to support the billionaire’s bizarre theory that the royal family had murdered son Dodi and Princess Diana. Lenzner’s investigations have helped to identify the Unabomber, to recover magician David Copperfield’s equipment confiscated in Russia, and to ease racial tensions in Boston’s housing projects. The author’s best stories emerge from his DOJ work during Freedom Summer and his sleuthing for the Senate Watergate Committee. Mentored by the likes of John Doar, Sam Dash, Robert Morgenthau and Edward Bennett Williams, Lenzner explains how his private practice evolved and how he came to assemble and rely on a cadre of ex-reporters and law enforcement officers to conduct wide-ranging interviews, scour public records and prepare lawsuits based on solid information.
A spirited recounting of a highly unusual life in the law.