District of Columbia Attorney General Irvin Nathan issued a lengthy letter today explaining the decision not to prosecute David Gregory “despite the clarity of the violation of this important law,” despite rejecting NBC’s claims of a subjective misunderstanding of the law, and despite vowing vigorous enforcement of gun laws.
Emily Miller of The Washington Times, who has written extensively about the overly aggressive enforcement of D.C. gun laws, including as to high capacity magazines, reacted as follows:
It is shameful that the politicians running the nation’s capital have sent the clear message that there are two systems of justice in the city: one for the rich and powerful and one for everyone else.
It further undermines public confidence in such decisions to find out that Nathan knew Gregory and his wife, high-powered attorney Beth Wilkinson.
Anne dug up the connection in which in 2011 Nathan and Wilkinson participated together in a charity mock trial for the Washington, D.C. Shakespeare Theatre Company (emphasis in original):
In this town full of lawyers it should be no surprise that this event sold out in 44 seconds….. The attorneys were Beth Wilkinson a partner at Paul Weiss (and wife of David Gregory, aka the Silver Fox, who was snapping pictures like a proud hubby!) and Irv Nathan, Acting Attorney General for DC. Both were hilarious and Beth looked so great in her black dress and patent leather heels, I was totally motivated to stick to my overly arduous diet.
Here’s an image from the annual report (at p. 58):
Whether this connection meant Nathan had to recuse himself is not a conclusion that people need to jump to.
What’s important is that the connection reinforces public perception, as Emily Miller put it, of one law for “the rich and powerful and one for everyone else.”
James Brinkley didn’t participate in mock trials with Irvin Nathan at the Washington, D.C. Shakespeare Theater. He participated in a real trial in court against Nathan’s office, as told by Miller several days ago, If you’re not David Gregory …:
Despite the evidence Mr. Brinkley had been legally transporting the gun, his attorney Richard Gardiner said the D.C. Office of the Attorney General “wouldn’t drop it.” …. Mr. Brinkley refused to take a plea bargain and admit guilt, so the matter went to trial Dec. 4. The judge sided with Mr. Brinkley, saying he had met the burden of proof that he was legally transporting.