WASHINGTON (Sep. 24)
The first criminal action growing out of the Dies Committee’s investigation of un-American activities was opened Friday when the District of Columbia Grand Jury began consideration of perjury charges against Fraser S. Gardner, anti-Semitic “legislative research expert,” of Washington. Gardner is charged with attempting to obtain a post as investigator for the House Committee and declaring under oath that he had no connection with any of the groups which might be investigated while he was actually associated with William Dudley Pelley, organizer of the Silver Shirts, whose affairs were probed by the committee.
Chairman Martin Dies was the first witness called before the Grand Jury by District Attorney David Pine. Also called to testify were Rhea Whitley, counsel to the Dies Committee, and George E. Sullivan, a Washington lawyer who told the Dies Committee that Gardner offered to sell him inside information on the doings of the House committee. Called before the committee on Aug. 23, Gardner claimed that he did not represent Pelley when he sought the job as investigator. Later he was confronted with telegrams showing he was in constant contact with Pelley, and finally he admitted receiving $50 weekly from the Skyland Press, one of Pelley’s organizations.