The Federalists wanted a victory in the presidential election. They boldly attempted to tamper with electoral votes. Their proposed bill used a “Grand Committee” selected from the House, Senate, and Supreme Court. They controlled all three. The “Grand Committee” would meet in secret choosing the electoral votes to count and those to change, determining the election’s outcome in their favor. Three Democratic-Republican senators slipped Duane a copy of the bill. Duane published it, condemning the bill as “an offspring of this spirit of faction secretly working.”
Mortified, the Federalist senators redoubled their efforts to silence Duane. In a novel effort to evade a trial by jury, they conspired forming a “committee on privileges” to nail Duane for his comments as being in contempt of the Senate. Evading all due process, they ordered him to appear at a Senate hearing to respond to a pre-determined verdict, denying his lawyers the opportunity to represent him effectively.
From then on, Duane deftly outmaneuvered the Federalist senators. He refused to re-appear before their committee and went underground. While in hiding, he continued his rant about persecution in the Aurora. By one means or another, he avoided prosecution.
“If to be ready, at any time that my slender efforts could in the least tend to the emancipation of Ireland from the horrid yoke of Britain, to embark in her cause, and to sacrifice my life for that country as readily as I should for this which gave me birth—then am I as very an United Irishman as any tyrant could abhor.” William Duane
During the summer of 1799, Secretary of State Pickering began to round up other Irish suspects thought to be involved with the United Irishmen in organizing a rebellion in the United States. One by one, the government tried Mathew Carey’s Irish associates before Federalist judges who used the Alien and Sedition Acts to suppress Democratic-Republican opposition.
By October 1798, the rebellion in Ireland had failed, but controversy about the motives of the United Irishmen continued in the United States. Somehow, Mathew and James Carey had avoided prosecution.
How Mathew and James Carey Came under Attack
Look for it December 9.
 Duane’s comments from the Aurora, January 27, 1800, quoted in James Morton Smith, Freedom’s Fetters, The Alien and Sedition Laws and American Civil Liberties (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998) 289; Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick, The Age of Federalism: The Early American Republic, 1788-1800 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993) 704.
James Morton Smith, Freedom’s Fetters, 289-299; Elkins and McKitrick, The Age of Federalism, 704-5.
 David A. Wilson, United Irishman, United States: Immigrant Radicals in the Early Republic (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998) 41.
Edward C. Carter II, “The Political Activities of Mathew Carey, Nationalist 1760-1814” Ph.D Dissertation, Bryn Mawr College, 1962, 258; Walter Berns, “Freedom of the Press and the Alien and Sedition Laws: A Reappraisal,” The Supreme Court Review (1970) 111.