Charles H. Carpenter (lawyer)

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Charles Carpenter is an American lawyer with the Washington DC office of the Pepper Hamilton law firm.[1][2][3][4] He has a BS from Montana State University and a JD from the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America.

Carpenter practices general civil litigation, and government contracts litigation. In addition, along with now-retired colleague Stephen M. Truitt, he has volunteered to serve pro bono to help Guantanamo captives,[3][4] and represents two men currently held there: Hani Saleh Rashid Abdullah (a.k.a Sa id Salih Sa id Nashir) and Maher El Falesteny (a.k.a Mahrar Rafat Al Quwari). Former client Rami Bin Said Al Taibi[5] was transferred to Saudi Arabia in 2007.

On behalf of Hani Abdullah, Carpenter and Truitt sought a report concerning possible destruction of evidence by DOD and the CIA, in connection with the 2005 CIA interrogation tapes destruction, notwithstanding a court order not to destroy evidence.[6][7][8][9]

Truitt and Carpenter also represented the Native Forest Council in its challenge of the Northwest Forest Plan for protection of the Northern Spotted Owl.[10] They represented a class of people and institutions that had claims against Iran arising from the Iranian Revolution, which, while pending at the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, were espoused by the United States and settled.[11]

Carpenter is a member of the bars of Montana,[12] Maryland, and the District of Columbia. He was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1958,[13] and is a member of the Rehoboth Carpenter Family.

Wilner v. NSA

Carpenter is one of the sixteen attorneys who believed they had been subjected to a warrantless wiretap.[14][15] The sixteen suspected they had been the target of surveillance because they volunteered to assist Guantanamo captives. They filed a Freedom of Information Act request, Wilner v. NSA, for the National Security Agency's records of their wiretaps. As part of the FOIA request Carpenter wrote:

"The Government's refusal to confirm or deny whether it has engaged in surveillance of my communications infringes on my ability to represent my clients and comply with my ethical obligations to them."


  1. "Pro Bono News". Pepper Hamilton LLP. June 2005. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  2. "Charles H. Carpenter bio". Pepper Hamilton LLP. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "October 14, 2007, TD Blog Interview with Stephen Truitt and Charles Carpenter". The Talking Dog. October 14, 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Pedro Ruz Gutierrez, Joe Palazzolo (January 3, 2008). "Mukasey Launches Criminal Investigation in CIA Tape Case". Legal Times. Retrieved 2008-03-30. "Carpenter says the criminal investigation is not enough for his client. 'It's not an adequate substitute,' he says. 'We want to know the truth, and we want to know whether evidence was destroyed in violation of the court order. My client's primary interest isn't in enforcement of criminal laws of the United States. His interest is in getting a fair trial.'" 
  5. Lawyers for one of those prisoners, Rami bin Saad al-Oteibi of Saudi Arabia, filed their motion under seal on Friday. A court security officer cleared it for public release yesterday. The motion seeks to intervene in the Hamdan case and asks for a new hearing before a panel without Judge Roberts.
  6. Mark Mazzetti, Scott Shane (March 28, 2008). "Tapes’ Destruction Hovers Over Detainee Cases". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-29. "One of the court orders, issued in July 2005 by Judge Richard W. Roberts of the Federal District Court in Washington, required the preservation of all evidence related to Hani Abdullah, the Yemeni prisoner at Guantánamo, who is accused of attending a Qaeda training camp in 2001 and other offenses. Judge Roberts said in a January order that Mr. Abdullah’s lawyers had made a plausible case that Abu Zubaydah would have been asked about their client in interrogations." 
  7. "Destroyed tapes come back to vex CIA". United Press International. March 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-29. "In a suit brought by Hani Abdullah, a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a federal judge has raised the possibility that the U.S. spy agency violated a court order to preserve all evidence relevant to the prisoner by destroying the tapes, The New York Times reported Friday." 
  8. Matt Apuzzo (25 January 2008). "Judge seeking details on CIA tapes". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved 2008-03-29. "Roberts issued a three-page ruling late Thursday siding with Carpenter, who represents Guantanamo Bay detainee Hani Abdullah. The judge said the lawyers had made a preliminary "showing that information obtained from Abu Zubaydah" was relevant to the detainee's lawsuit and should not have been destroyed." 
  9. "U.S. judge orders White House to explain destruction of CIA tapes". CBC News. 25 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-29. "There's enough there that it's worth asking" whether other videos or documents were also destroyed, said attorney Charles Carpenter, who represents Guantanamo Bay detainee Hani Abdullah. "I don't know the answer to that question, but the government does know the answer and now they have to tell Judge Roberts." 
  10. Seattle Audubon Society v. Lyons, 871 F. Supp. 1291 (W.D. Wash. 1994), aff'd, 80 F.3d 1401 (9th Cir. 1996).
  11. Abrahim-Youri v. United States, 36 Fed. Cl. 482 (1996), aff'd, 139 F.3d 1462 (Fed. Cir. 1997), cert. denied sub nom. Gurney v. United States, 524 U.S.951 (1998).
  12. One outspoken supporter was Charley Carpenter, a member of the Montana State Bar Association who practices law in Washington, D.C., and has represented prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp since January 2005. Quoting John Winthrop, Carpenter asked lawyers to help restore the notion of the United States as “a city upon a hill. . . If not us, then who?” Carpenter asked.
  13. Charles H. Carpenter Lawyer Profile on
  14. "Wilner v. National Security Agency". Center for Constitutional Rights. Retrieved 2009-03-15. 
  15. David Bario (2008-07-28). "Seeing Shadows". Legal Village. Retrieved 2009-03-15.