by Irvin Muchnick
Upon return from my Dublin tour to promote the second edition of The George Gibney Chronicles, my focus has turned to leaving as little as possible to the imagination of federal agents who are known to be investigating Gibney’s permanent United States residency status. In the last week I have learned still more details about the existence of this investigation, which is an offshoot of a broader one of illegal activities by USA Swimming and other U.S. Olympic Committee-sanctioned national sport governing bodies.
To review, the main interest at this point is not Gibney’s lie on his 2010 citizenship application in answer to the question of whether he had ever been charged with a crime, whether or not he was convicted. Civil liberties advocates consider this angle bit of a “perjury trap,” in that the question is of questionable propriety and respondents routinely lie about arrests, frivolous or otherwise, that do not result in conviction. Few people idly admit that they cheated on their spouses or toked a joint at a rock concert.
In Gibney’s case, the impropriety of the question is mitigated by the permanence of the guest privileges and immigration benefits he was seeking — and there’s also the matter of the Irish government’s official findings about his serial sexual abuse in the 1998 Murphy Inquiry. Still, it is the belief of investigators that the more fruitful avenue of legitimate grounds for deportation and extradition might be whatever happened during Gibney’s leadership of a Colorado church’s children’s medical mission to Peru in the late 1990s. This was a period when a Peruvian Catholic sect, Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, with the help of successive archbishops of Denver, was expanding operations into the U.S., and at a moment when exposure of the group’s own child molestation, kidnapping, and other crimes was imminent.
How would investigators establish, first, that Gibney traveled from Denver to Lima — probably using an unexpired Irish passport?
The answer could be in unexamined pages of his 2010 citizenship application, known as the N-400 form. In it, Gibney is asked about foreign travel. If he answered truthfully about going to Peru, the first piece of evidence of possible nefarious activity is right there.
By the same token, if Gibney traveled to Peru yet withheld that information on his N-400, then that lapse potentially would have greater weight than his “mere” lie about having being indicted on 27 counts of illicit carnal knowledge of minors in Ireland in 1993.
At http://muchnick.net/gibneyn400pages.pdf, I’ve uploaded the government’s redacted version of the first four pages of Gibney’s citizenship application, as produced in my 2016 Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, Muchnick v. Department of Homeland Security. The case settled the next year at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals following a ruling in my favor by U.S. District Court Senior Judge Charles R. Breyer. Note, on the fourth page, “Part 7. Time outside the United States.”
Next in this series of articles with a “roadmap” for federal investigators, we’ll have more on possible means of nailing down dates, volunteer rosters, and circumstances of Gibney’s “International Peru Eye Clinic Foundation.” These involve speculation of surviving electronic or hard-copy footprints from passport, visa, and flight log documents, and would require — again — inter-government cooperation, this time perhaps involving Peru as well as Ireland and the U.S.
In the meantime, here’s a listing of still more documents, just from my FOIA case, whose unredacted contents certainly would assist federal investigators in the Gibney hunt. In the Vaughn Index of withheld material, justified by exemptions from public disclosure, the government listed, in addition to Gibney’s N-400 citizenship application form, the documents described below. Of special interest would be an independent investigator’s nine-page report on March 3, 2010.
(The original Vaughn Index is viewable at http://muchnick.net/vaughnindex.pdf. A later Supplemental Vaughn Index, ordered by Judge Breyer, produced some actual documents, albeit in heavily redacted form; that is at http://muchnick.net/gibneysuppvaughnindex.pdf.)