Archive for the ‘Lawyers’ Category

If Kim Gardner wanted to pick a fight, she’s picked the wrong fight. She isn’t just fighting the McCloskeys, who are both attorneys. She’s also picked a fight with Antonin Scali, who wrote the majority opinion in the landmark case of District of Columbia v. Heller. That’s a fight that she’s already lost. Further, she’s picked a fight against Eric Schmitt, the Missouri Attorney General and Josh Hawley, Schmitt’s predecessor. These are fights she’s destined to lose.

This article highlights the extent that AG Schmitt is prepared. This won’t be a pretty ending for Ms. Gardner. AG Schmitt’s tweet storm is both blistering and extensive. I won’t post all of AG Schmitt’s tweets. I’ll just post 3 tweets to illustrate the foolishness of Ms. Gardner’s case.

If Ms. Gardner wants to fight that fight, that’s her option. It’s a foolish option, though, because her prosecution might prevent the McCloskeys from assisting their clients. If the McCloskeys prove that they’ve been harmed financially because of Ms. Gardner’s prosecution, that might expose her office to a lawsuit.

If that happened, Eric Schmitt would make a powerful opening witness. Video of the broken down gate to the community would strengthen such a lawsuit. Testimony by the McCloskeys themselves would seal the deal. They’ve told law enforcement that the troublemakers pointed to specific rooms, then told the McCloskeys how they planned on using each room after they’d conquered the property.

Discretion is the better part of valor. If Gardner was smart, she’d drop this before this gets to trial. Otherwise, the outcome might be quite painful.

Julie Kelly’s article highlights the Swampy critters dedicated to the destruction of all things Trump. The first exhibit is Bill Barr. AG Barr had the audacity to insist that Roger Stone not serve more time in prison than a rapist. When Protect Democracy heard that, they cried ‘injustice’. Within a day, Protect Democracy had found 1,100 “former federal prosecutors” to sign this letter calling for Bill Barr’s resignation.

These 1,100 former federal prosecutors wrote “Although there are times when political leadership appropriately weighs in on individual prosecutions, it is unheard of for the Department’s top leaders to overrule line prosecutors, who are following established policies, in order to give preferential treatment to a close associate of the President, as Attorney General Barr did in the Stone case.”

The Deep State, aka the Swamp, is actually run by a hyperpartisan organization called Protect Democracy. Saying that Protect Democracy is dedicated to preserving the Constitution isn’t tethered to the truth. The first line in Article II, Section 1 clearly states “The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same term, be elected, as follows:”

Within that presidential chain of command, it’s absurd to think that the Attorney General wouldn’t have the constitutional authority to overrule line prosecutors. The president is elected. The Attorney General is appointed by the president, then confirmed by the Senate. Line prosecutors are neither elected, appointed or confirmed; they’re hired.

The Constitution is worthless without accountability. The president is accountable to those that elected him. The attorney general is accountable to the president who appointed him. Line prosecutors are only accountable to the people that hired them or that are above them in the chain of command.

About Protect Democracy

It’s worth noting that Protect Democracy wasn’t founded until “early 2017.” Protect Democracy wasn’t started until after the Obama administration politicized the DOJ, the FBI, the IRS, the CIA and the State Department. What a coincidence. Further, Protect Democracy didn’t speak out about the Obama administration’s DOJ surveilling newspaper reporters and TV correspondents. Protect Democracy didn’t complain that the IRS was weaponized to prevent TEA Party organizations from fully participating in the 2012 presidential election.

The opening paragraph of Protect Democracy’s letter:

We, the undersigned, are alumni of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) who have collectively served both Republican and Democratic administrations. Each of us strongly condemns President Trump’s and Attorney General Barr’s interference in the fair administration of justice.

What has President Trump or Attorney General Barr done that’s violated the Constitution? Further, it’s impossible for President Trump and Attorney General Barr to “interfere” in DOJ’s operations. They’re the ones in charge, not the line prosecutors. Then there’s this:

The Justice Manual, the DOJ’s rulebook for its lawyers, states that “the rule of law depends on the evenhanded administration of justice”; that the Department’s legal decisions “must be impartial and insulated from political influence”; and that the Department’s prosecutorial powers, in particular, must be “exercised free from partisan consideration.”

This paragraph is BS. The line prosecutors recommended a sentence of 9 years for a non-violent felony committed by a first-time offender. How is that evenhanded when compared with average sentences of 4.2 years for violent rapists?

But Mr. Barr’s actions in doing the President’s personal bidding unfortunately speak louder than his words. Those actions, and the damage they have done to the Department of Justice’s reputation for integrity and the rule of law, require Mr. Barr to resign. But because we have little expectation he will do so, it falls to the Department’s career officials to take appropriate action to uphold their oaths of office and defend nonpartisan, apolitical justice.

It’s frightening to think that Protect Democracy would sanction DOJ line prosecutors to undercut their boss based on subjective standards. That’s what’s happening.

Jonathan Turley’s op-ed should infuriate every civil libertarian across this nation. In the second paragraph of Prof. Turley’s op-ed, he wrote “Juror 1261, we now know, was Tomeka Hart. Her identity would have remained publicly unknown except for a public statement she made after the Department of Justice (DOJ) rescinded its initial sentencing recommendation for Trump confidant Roger Stone. In the midst of the firestorm of allegations of political interference, Hart disclosed that she was the foreperson on the Stone jury and gave a full-throated defense of the trial prosecutors: ‘It pains me to see the DOJ now interfere with the hard work of the prosecutors.'”

Prof. Turley added “That statement led many people to Google her name, and what they found was a litany of postings not only hostile to President Trump and his administration but also specifically commenting on Stone and his arrest — before she ever appeared for jury duty.” What happened after that is frightening. Prof. Turley’s op-ed was essentially an opposition research dump on Hart. Check this out:

Hart is a Democratic activist and critic of the Trump administration. She was the Memphis City Schools board president. Not surprisingly, given her political background (including a run for Congress), Hart has been vocal in public on her views of Trump and his associates.

She referred to the President with a hashtag of “klanpresident” and spoke out against “Trump and the white supremacist racists.” She posted about how she and others protested outside a Trump hotel and shouted, “Shame, shame, shame!” When profanities were projected on the Trump hotel, she exclaimed on Jan. 13, 2018, “Gotta love it.” On March 24, 2019, she shared a Facebook post — no longer public — while calling attention to “the numerous indictments, guilty pleas, and convictions of people in 45’s inner-circle.”

More worrisome are her direct references to Stone, including a retweeted post, in January 2019, from Bakari Sellers, again raising racist associations and stating that “Roger Stone has y’all talking about reviewing use of force guidelines.” She also described Trump supporters such as Stone as racists and Putin cronies.

In addition to her prior statements about Trump, his associates and this case, Hart is a lawyer. That only magnifies concerns that any bias on her part may have had a more pronounced influence on her fellow jurors.

WOW. How could such a person become part of a jury, much less the jury foreperson? Here’s how:

The brief examination in the voir dire hearing shows that Hart did disclose her ties to the Democratic Party. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson asked if Hart’s political history would prevent her from being fair, and Hart assured her it would not.

Part of the problem, in hindsight, is that Stone’s attorney didn’t know any of this information. Prof. Turley explains that this might be because he’s incompetent or “uninformed.”

It certainly seems Hart had no place on the Stone jury. The Supreme Court has repeatedly declared that the “minimal standards of due process” demand “a panel of impartial, indifferent jurors.” Hart’s record suggests little that is impartial or indifferent. She was perfectly within her right to engage in such commentary and protests — but she had no right to sit in judgment of an associate of the president after her public declarations. Her participation raises serious arguments for setting aside the verdict, from the possibility of ineffective counsel to the denial of due process.

This doesn’t prove that Stone is innocent. It’s just proof that the trial is subject to extensive questioning. The process must be fair from start to finish. That’s the only way justice is consistently done. This exposes Tomeka Hart’s duplicity:

I have to believe that lying or, at minimum, not telling the whole truth, to the judge carries with it a penalty. Apparently, Tomeka Hart is as shady as Roger Stone. She deserves some sort of punishment. This type of behavior isn’t acceptable.

During yesterday’s questions portion of the impeachment trial, Dep. WH Counsel Patrick Philbin responded to Democrat Impeachment Manager Hakeem Jefferies statements about “blanket defiance.”

Rep. Jefferies, the chairman of the House Democrat Caucus, was the first to respond to a question about why House Democrats didn’t contest the Trump administration’s refusal to respond to subpoenas. Jefferies said “Simple. We did not challenge any claims related to executive privilege because, as the President’s own counsel admitted during this trial, the president didn’t raise the question of executive privilege. What the president did raise was this notion of blanket defiance, this notion that the executive branch, directed by the president, could completely defy any and all subpoenas issued by the House of Representatives, not turn over documents, not turn over witnesses, not produce a single shred of information…”

It didn’t take Counsel Philbin long to shred Rep. Jefferies intentionally dishonest statement. Philbin started, saying “Let me frame this, partly in response to what Mr. Jefferies just said and I went through this before. The idea that there was blanket defiance and no explanation and no case law from the White House is simply incorrect. I put up slides showing the letters, the letter from Oct. 18th that explained specifically that the subpoenas that had been issued by the House were not authorized by a vote from the House were invalid and there was a letter from the White House Counsel’s office saying that. And there was a letter from OMB saying that. There was a letter from the State Department saying that. There were specific rationales given, citing the specific cases, Watkins, Roonley, explaining that defect. The House managers chose not to take any steps to correct that. We also pointed out other defects. We asserted the doctrine of absolute immunity for the president’s senior advisors to the president, which has been claimed by every president since Nixon.”

Compulsory subpoenas are different than the subpoenas that Congress routinely uses because those subpoenas are used to gather information for legislative purposes. Compulsory subpoenas are different because they include the Article II responsibilities of investigations. On Sept. 24, Speaker Pelosi stepped before some microphones and gathered reporters to announce the start of an impeachment inquiry.

Pelosi’s problem, which turned into the House Democrats’ problem, is that the Constitution gives sole authority for impeachment to the House. It doesn’t give that authority to the Speaker or to a committee. The Founders insisted on this to guarantee accountability of the entire House of Representatives. The men who wrote the Constitution wanted everyone to be accountable and they wanted impeachment to be rare and bipartisan because of the division impeachment causes.

On another subject, Republicans should reject additional witnesses because impeachment is a privileged resolution. That means, literally, that all other work in the Senate stops until impeachment trials are finished. Imagine the chaos that might happen if the House passed articles of impeachment without doing the investigation. The House could conceivably impeach a president multiple times and tie up the Senate indefinitely. That means no budgets, no funding the government, no ratifying trade agreements.

The House would have the ability to grind the Senate to a halt. That isn’t acceptable.

Back during the House’s impeachment inquiry, the conventional wisdom was that President Trump had to beef up his communications team. Rather than hiring a bunch of consultants to help with that, President Trump beefed up his legal team, hiring people like Alan Dershowitz, Robert Ray and Ken Starr. President Trump wasn’t finished, though. Later, he “announced eight House Republicans will join his legal defense team.”

Joining the team were Jim Jordan, John Ratcliffe, Elise Stefanik, Doug Collins, Lee Zeldin, Mike Johnson, Debbie Lesko and Mark Meadows. These aren’t the only reinforcements, though. Since the trial started, senators like Lindsey Graham, Josh Hawley, John Kennedy and Tom Cotton have played a more prominent role in defending President Trump against the House Democrats’ impeachment accusations.

This morning, for instance, Sen. Cotton was interviewed by FNC’s Sandra Smith:

Sen. Cotton is right. If Democrats had compelling evidence, they’d present it and “let it speak for itself.” They don’t have compelling evidence, which is why they’ve repeated the same things over and over again.

Since beefing up their legal team, these attorneys have applied a full-court press. Dershowitz has appeared on ABC’s This Week, CNN’s State of the Union and on FNC’s Hannity and Ingraham Angle shows. Robert Ray has been on multiple shows, as has Elise Stefanik, Doug Collins, John Ratcliffe, Jim Jordan, Josh Hawley and Tom Cotton. They’ve taken turns highlighting Adam Schiff’s dishonest statements. When Trump’s legal team makes their presentation, expect them to include many of Schiff’s dishonesties in that presentation.

If witnesses are called, expect Hunter Biden to be called. If he’s called, here’s why:

Talk about opening a door of opportunity for Republicans. BTW, this is what a confident, polished attorney looks like:

President Trump’s legal team and communications team are fitting together perfectly. They’re confident and well-prepared for each contingency. That’s what a team of professionals looks like.

For the past week+, the MSM has talked about how Sen. Schumer plans on making Cory Gardner, Martha McSally and Susan Collins make difficult votes about calling witnesses. This isn’t worthy of serious consideration. This is a tempest in a teapot. It’s difficult to picture that the issue is that important to most voters. If voters don’t care about the issue, it’s difficult to picture them voting for or against someone that votes for or against witnesses.

What’s important is that these senators can highlight the fact that they’ve voted for President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act tax cuts (that have put hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars into the average voter’s wallet.) Let’s do a brief thought experiment on this. Picture a voter making a decision on who to vote for. Will most people say ‘I just can’t vote for Sen. Gardner. He voted against calling witnesses’? Or will most people say ‘I’m voting for Sen. Collins because she voted to cut my taxes”?

If Republicans polled that pair of questions, there’s little doubt that the tax cut vote isn’t the most important of the 2 votes. Further, that’s before asking if, for instance, voters wouldn’t vote for Sen. Collins for fighting to lower prescription drug prices or Sen. McSally voting for additional funding for President Trump’s wall with Mexico.

Six months from now, if not sooner, impeachment will be a net negative for battleground state Democrats. Six months from now, lowering prescription drug prices, cutting taxes and building the wall will still be popular.

Voting for or against witnesses isn’t that difficult of a decision. That’s because it isn’t that important with most voters.

After House Democrats make their evidence-free, allegation-filled presentation, impeachment conviction will be on life support. After President Trump’s legal team finishes highlighting the holes in the House Democrats’ case, the American people will know that the Democrats’ impeachment investigation was a waste of time. The Trump legal team’s opening filing indicates the fact that they’re utilizing a take-no-prisoners approach to defending President Trump.

The first day or 2 will go relatively well for the Democrats. That’s because they’ll have the floor uncontested. After that, President Trump’s team will present their defense. It won’t take long for President Trump’s team to highlight the no-evidence nature of the Democrats’ case. Once that starts, Democrats will wish that they’d never impeached President Trump.

Kevin McCarthy’s closing statement highlights just how powerful the arguments from President Trump’s legal team will be:

By that time, anyone with common sense will know that President Trump did nothing worthy of impeachment.

Mark Zaid, the CIA snitch’s attorney, got caught with his hands in the proverbial cookie jar. Now he’s trying to weasel his way out of hot water. After saying that “a ‘coup has started’ and that ‘impeachment will follow ultimately’, Zaid issued a flimsy statement that said “the tweets ‘were reflective and repeated the sentiments of millions of people. I was referring to a completely lawful process of what President Trump would likely face as a result of stepping over the line, and that particularly whatever would happen would come about as a result of lawyers.'”

Later, Zaid added “The coup comment referred to those working inside the Administration who were already, just a week into office, standing up to him to enforce recognized rules of law.”

Impeachment is a completely lawful process in that it’s provided for by the Constitution. The way that Zaid and Ciaramella and others in the Resistance went about it isn’t legitimate because they couldn’t have found an impeachable offense to convict President Trump of within President Trump’s first 10 days in office. This is BS from Zaid because he’s hated President Trump since before he was President Trump.

In that respect, he’s no different than Democrats like Schiff, Maxine Waters, Al Green and other Fever Swampers. Zaid, like Schiff and Waters, started with a verdict, then worked to find evidence of the thing they were certain he’d done wrong. In the first 10 days of his administration, President Trump signed a bunch of executive orders. He also got started killing (through the Congressional Review Act) a ton of anti-fossil fuel regulations implemented by the previous administration.

It’s impossible to find anything that’s impeachable. That’s the hallmark of the Resistance. The Democrats’ Resistance doesn’t care about the Framers’ Constitution. These Democrats prefer the flexible, nimble Constitution that they constantly talk about. Zaid essentially admitted that he isn’t unbiased in this video:

That’s where Zaid tweets “We will get rid of him, and this country is strong enough to survive even him and his supporters.” Notice the disdain Zaid has for President Trump’s supporters. That’s what elitists think. There’s your proof that Zaid is a card-carrying member of the Swamp. Zaid got into a fight with Bryan Dean Wright over the CIA snitch:

The more Zaid opens his mouth, the more he indicts himself, which hurts the CIA snitch’s credibility. Why should I trust a person who hides himself and who doesn’t have any first- or second-hand information and associates himself with a lawyer that’s steeply biased against the nation’s sitting president?

FYI- Bryan Dean Wright is a loyal Democrat. He isn’t a partisan hack like the whistleblower is.

If you visit CNN’s Politics webpage, you’ll find headlines like “House to explore Pence’s role in Ukraine controversy with new testimony”, “John Bolton trying to ‘walk that tightrope’ over role in Trump’s impeachment inquiry” or “Voters’ views of impeachment still forming in a key 2020 battleground.” Another column of headlines reads “Republicans again shift their defense of Trump over impeachment inquiry barrage”, “Senate Republicans have mixed views of Election Day losses”, “New poll finds tight four-way race in Iowa” or “Jeff Sessions to announce run for Senate.”

Nowhere on its politics webpage does CNN talk about Mark Zaid’s Trump-hating tweets. Here’s Zaid’s first Trump-hating tweet:

That isn’t the last Trump-hating tweet. Here’s another of Zaid’s Trump-hating tweets:

That wasn’t the last Trump-hating tweet either. Here’s another Trump-hating tweet from Mr. Zaid:

Why doesn’t CNN think that any of Mr. Zaid’s Trump-hating tweets are newsworthy? Apparently, NBC and CBS don’t think Mr. Zaid’s Trump-hating tweets are newsworthy either. What are the odds that the editors at CNN, CBS and NBC didn’t know about Mr. Zaid’s Trump-hating tweets? Isn’t it likely that they knew about these damaging tweets, then omitted them?

Make no mistake about whether Mr. Zaid’s Trump-hating tweets hurt Democrats. Mr. Zaid’s Trump-hating tweets hurt Democrats because they call into question what anti-Trump biases the CIA snitch shares with Mr. Zaid and the Democrats’ Impeachment Committee chairman. They open debate on whether the CIA snitch is just the tip of the iceberg. Is the CIA snitch collaborating with Schiff and Mr. Zaid in an effort to eliminate President Trump? Given Schiff’s and Zaid’s public animosity towards President Trump, it isn’t a stretch to think that’s possible. In fact, that seems like the most likely explanation for this impeachment inquiry.

Mark Zaid, the faux whistleblower’s attorney, apparently has a bone to pick with President Trump. He’s apparently a prolific Twitter user, too. Zaid’s tweets might hurt his client.

According to Zaid’s tweets, he wants Trump out of office ASAP:

What’s laughable is what’s written on Mr. Zaid’s profile page:

Attorney handling cases involving national security, security clearances, govt investigations, media, Freedom of Information Act, & whistleblowing. Non-partisan

That should read “Hyper-partisan” instead of “Non-partisan.”

Then, in July 2017, Zaid remarked, “I predict @CNN will play a key role in @realDonaldTrump not finishing out his full term as president.” Also that month, Zaid tweeted, “We will get rid of him, and this country is strong enough to survive even him and his supporters.”

Only in Washington, DC, would a man who tweeted out such tweets be considered non-partisan.

Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign’s communications director, told Fox News that “The whistleblower’s lawyer gave away the game. It was always the Democrats’ plan to stage a coup and impeach President Trump and all they ever needed was the right scheme. They whiffed on Mueller so now they’ve settled on the perfectly fine Ukraine phone call. This proves this was orchestrated from the beginning.”

As dense as Mr. Zaid is, apparently, Justin Amash is just as clueless:

“Actually, the Constitution specifically provides for the right of the accused to meet his accuser,” Hemingway tweeted. “Whistleblower protection has never — could never — mean that accusations are accepted without question. He of course must testify. To say otherwise is silly.”

Amash made this feeble argument against Hemingway:

“Yeah, at *trial* in a *criminal* prosecution,” Amash responded. “To say otherwise is silly. The best argument one could make is that it also should apply at trial in the Senate, despite not being a criminal prosecution, following impeachment in the House.”

Seriously? So a person can get impeached without the accuser having to testify? When did the USA’s judicial system become predicated on the notion that a person could get indicted by anonymous accusations?

It’s one thing to say that a person can get indicted without having their accuser cross-examined. While a criminal indictment isn’t fun, it’s a breeze compared with getting impeached. Getting impeached means that the president isn’t permitted to run the nation for the betterment of a nation. Does Mr. Amash think that the impeachment process not affect the entire nation?

If Mr. Amash thinks that, then he and Mr. Zaid deserve each other. They’re both losers if that’s the case.

If there’s anything that’s predictable, it’s that the Swamp protects its own. Nowhere is that more visible today than with the faux whistleblower, whose name (allegedly Eric Ciaramella) was disclosed by Donald Trump Jr. today. According to this article, “current and former intelligence officials tell NBC News” that “pressure is building on the spy agency’s director, Gina Haspel, to take a stand on the matter.”

Fine. Here’s a stand that these Swamp critters won’t like. Haspel should side with the Constitution. Specifically, Haspel should side with the Sixth Amendment, which says “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.”

TRANSLATION: Anyone accused of a crime has the right to cross-examine his accusers, just like he has a right to accuse those accusers. The standard is that defendants shall have the right to confront their accusers. It doesn’t say that defendants might have that right if the wind is out of the west and if we’ve just had a full moon. It says that, in all situations, the defendant shall have that right. Predictably, the faux whistleblower’s attorney isn’t fond of the idea of his client’s name getting outed:

Andrew Bakaj, the whistleblower’s lead lawyer, has said that disclosure of his client’s name would deter future whistleblowers and he has threatened legal action against anyone who reveals the name. In a statement Wednesday, the whistleblower’s lawyers said “identifying any suspected name … will place that individual and their family at risk of serious harm.”

First, it isn’t known if this person qualifies as a whistleblower. Just because his/her attorney says the person is a whistleblower doesn’t make it Gospel fact. Next, if the alleged whistleblower has a partisan political agenda that includes removing the president from office, then exposing the alleged whistleblower’s identity is a patriotic thing. I want people who gossip about things that they heard to not be protected. If this person didn’t abide by the laws of integrity, they don’t deserve protection.

The inspector general for the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, found the whistleblower’s complaint about Trump’s alleged pressure campaign on Ukraine to be credible. The description of events in the complaint, which has been public for weeks, has largely been confirmed by the transcript of Trump’s July phone call with the Ukrainian president and by the publicly available testimony of other witnesses in recent weeks.

Michael Atkinson should testify when the House Impeachment Committee, chaired by hyperpartisan Democrat Adam Schiff, conducts public hearings. What made the whistleblower’s testimony credible? Was it the fact that none of it was first-hand information? Was it the fact that no court in the nation would’ve admitted this information into a court because it’s hearsay, which is inadmissible except in a few exceptions?

“Since the affiliation of the whistleblower is unacknowledged, it is up to the Acting DNI Joe McGuire to take a firm public and private stance against any effort to expose the whistleblower,” Brennan told NBC News. “Other leaders of the Intelligence Community should privately oppose any attempt to name the whistleblower. Senator Paul’s appalling call for the naming of the whistleblower by the media should be denounced in the strongest terms possible; a statement signed by the heads of all the intelligence agencies would be most appropriate.”

Based on what, Mr. Brennan? Why should partisan snitches peddling gossip get protection? This isn’t the case of a patriot saving the nation from a madman. This is the case of a renegade madman trying to save a nation from a patriot.

It isn’t often that Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul agree so I’d better record this for history’s sake: