Manuel Miranda

Manuel A. Miranda is an American political operative. He was a Republican counsel on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, working for Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who obtained confidential memos of Democratic staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee, from 2001 to 2003.


Miranda accessed the Senate servers through a security lapse with the aid of Jason Lundell, a clerk in the Senate’s nominations unit, during 2001–2003. These memos were later leaked, and published by The Wall Street Journal. The scandal became known as memogate or Mannygate. When asked if he broke the rules of common courtesy by reading other people's mail, Miranda responded, "My parents never taught me not to read other people's mail. They always read my mail."[1]

The issue entered the news again during the hearings for the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, in 2018; Kavanaugh was accused of perjury for claiming he was not aware of these documents, when emails between him and Miranda include the contents of at least some of the stolen memos.[2][3][4]


After leaving Capitol Hill, Miranda organized the "National Coalition to End Judicial Filibusters" which lent support for the "nuclear option" that he had pioneered as a member of Senator Bill Frist's team.[5] (The "nuclear option" was designed to have Vice President Dick Cheney, acting as President of the Senate, declare the Senate's centuries' old filibuster rule unconstitutional and prevent the use of filibusters to stall Bush administration judicial nominees, including to the Supreme Court.) This group became the "Third Branch Conference", a coalition with no staff other than Miranda. Right-wing former Attorney General Ed Meese then secured Miranda a post as a Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, and in 2005 Miranda was given a slot writing op-eds for the Wall Street Journal editorial page.[6]

In 2006, the American Conservative Union gave Miranda its "Ronald Reagan" Award at its Conservative Political Action Committee Conference.[7] In the final years of the Bush Administration, Miranda formed a new organization, Families First on Immigration, to take "religiously grounded positions on immigration" and specifically to urge amending the Constitution to end "birthright citizenship" (the traditional practice of conveying citizenship to individuals born in the U.S. whose parents were not lawful residents at the time).[8]

In 2007, Miranda was chosen by the Bush Administration's State Department to be the "Director of Legislative Statecraft" at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq and obtained the security clearances to do so despite the criminal referral by the U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms.[9]

After completing his tenure as "rule of law" advisor to the government of Iraq, Miranda returned to the U.S. to unsuccessfully fight the nomination by President Barack Obama of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.[10]


  1. "Ex-staffer holds ground as 'Memogate' unfolds". The Washington Times. March 4, 2004. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  2. Rizzo, Salvador (September 20, 2018). "Analysis | Brett Kavanaugh's unlikely story about Democrats' stolen documents". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  3. Earl, Jennifer (September 6, 2018). "Kavanaugh 'knew nothing' about alleged stolen Democratic memos, former GOP Senate aide claims". Fox News. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  4. Graves, Lisa (September 7, 2018). "I Wrote Some of the Memos That Brett Kavanaugh Lied to the Senate About. He Should Be Impeached, Not Elevated". Slate Magazine. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  5. National Coalition to End Judicial Filibusters, National Coalition to End Judicial Filibusters Letter to Senators", April 4, 2005. Miranda was listed as the contact at the foot of the letter.
  7. Robert B. Bluey, "Manuel Miranda: Big Winner at CPAC", Human Events, February 10, 2006.
  8. Bill Berkowitz, "Christian Conservatives call for end of 14th Amendment citizenship birthright", Media Transparency, January 16, 2007.
  9. Mary Ann Akers and Paul Kane, "After a Number of Miranda Wrongs, Former Senate Aide is Headed to Iraq", Washington Post, November 15, 2007
  10. Bill Berkowitz, "Manny Miranda's Mission -- Build a Movement While Taking on Sonia Sotomayor,", June 9, 2009.
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