Governor hires DC law firm with impeachment expertise


Gov. Ralph DLG Torres has hired a Washington, D.C.-based law firm known for its expertise in impeachment proceedings to represent him in the ongoing investigation of the House of Representatives Judiciary and Governmental Operations Committee on his expenditures of public funds and travels.

In response to Saipan Tribune’s inquiry during his regular radio press briefing Friday, Torres disclosed that he has hired the law firm of Ross Garber from Washington, D.C. to represent him in the JGO matter.

Torres said he met with Attorney General Edward Manibusan and that the latter advised him to hire own lawyer in case he does get a subpoena from the JGO. It’s the same advice that Manibusan gave to other persons being subpoenaed by JGO.

Ross Garber, of the Garber Group LLC law firm, teaches a class on political investigations and impeachments at Tulane Law School. He regularly provides legal commentary for CNN. According to the Garber Group LLC’s website, among his clients have been four U.S. governors facing impeachment proceedings: Gov. Eric Greitens of Missouri, Gov. Robert Bentley of Alabama, Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, and Gov. John Rowland of Connecticut.

The JGO recently approved subpoenas for Torres, Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, Department of Public Safety Commissioner Robert A. Guerrero, and several others. The subpoenas will require them to appear at the committee hearing.

JGO chair Rep. Celina R. Babauta (D-Saipan) said they have yet to issue the subpoenas for Torres and Palacios as there is no hearing schedule yet for them. Babauta said the date of the witnesses’ testimony would be subject to the availability of the House chamber and the JGO members’ schedules.

The JGO also agreed to subpoena first lady Diann Torres and Commonwealth Utilities Corp. executive director Gary P. Camacho.

The subpoena will also ask Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, Palacios, Diann Torres, and Camacho to produce certain documents.

Last week, Babauta postponed until further notice the resumption of the JGO hearing because she is not feeling well. Babauta, who is on sick leave this week, hopes to recover soon so they could resume the hearing this week.

Three witnesses—Boating Safety officer Kevin Aldan, and police officers Flora Aguon and Jhaneeka Atalig—were supposed to testify last week. Aguon and Atalig are personal security details for Diann Torres.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at
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