Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

Rasmea Odeh Prosecutors: Departure of U.S. Atty will have no effect on case

Rasmea Odeh Prosecutors: Departure of U.S. Atty will have no effect on case

” The career prosecutors assigned to the case remain on the case, and will see it through.”

Rasmea Odeh is scheduled for re-trial on immigration fraud charges in Mary 2017.

For background on the case, see this recent summary.

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, Barbara McQuade, is one of the U.S. Attorneys whose resignation was requested by Attorney General Jeff Session. She resigned as requested:

“I have loved serving in this job as much as anyone has ever loved any job,” McQuade said in a release sent to Local 4.  “It has been an incredible privilege to work alongside public servants who devote their tremendous talents to improving the quality of life in our community.  I am proud to have served as U.S. Attorney in the Obama Administration.”

McQuade has overseen the prosecution of Rasmea which is being handled by the career prosecutors in her office. For that effort, she has been targeted by Rasmea’s supporters.

Rasmea supporters have  tried to flood the U.S. Attorney’s Office with phone calls demanding that the charges be dropped, and have organized protests outside the courthouse.

Rasmea’s supporters conduct is so outrageous, that in the first trial the judge granted an order of protection for the jury to avoid the jury members from being intimidated by protesters. The court then followed up with a second order when it became apparent Rasmea supporters might use bullhorns and other devices to try to sway the jurors. The prosecution is seeking similar orders of protection for the upcoming retrial.

Rasmea supporters also tried to get a local Arab-American civil rights group to drop an award to McQuade, as we reported in Rasmea Odeh Prosecutor to get Justice Award:

It is not surprising, therefore, that the mythology of Rasmea the Victim is being used by activist groups to challenge a Justice Award to U.S. Attorney McQuade by the Michigan-based Arab-American Civil Rights League (ACRL) among other groups.

The protest against the award has attracted all the usual suspects. Like Joe Catron, the International Solidarity Movement activist who organized human shield operations in Gaza in 2014… And Josh Ruebner from the Campaign to End the Occupation, who likes to throw around the “Israel Firster” slur…

The organizer of protests that led the Judge in the federal case to issue orders protecting jurors, has made a veiled threat of action against ACRL if it doesn’t revoke the award to McQuade:

“We at the Rasmea Defense Committee were stunned by this announcement when we saw it two days ago. We don’t understand how an Arab civil rights organization could possibly award the initiator of such a clear campaign of repression and harassment as Rasmea’s prosecution. We want to give ACRL every opportunity to rescind the offer, and if it doesn’t, we are thinking about next steps,” Executive Director of the Arab American Action Network, Hatem Abudayyeh, told Palestine in America.

Will the Award be revoked?

McQuade ended up getting the award despite the intimidation attempt, Rasmea Odeh Prosecutor gets Arab-American Justice Award:

Because McQuade has been so steadfast, despite protests that continue to this day, I wondered if her departure would impact the prosecution. I also noticed that the day of the announcement there was another delay in the deadline to file responses to pre-triam motins.

So I contacted the U.S. Attorney’s Office Public Information Officer. Here was the response:

We expect there to be no change in the position of the office in the case as a result of the departure of U.S. Attorney McQuade. The career prosecutors assigned to the case remain on the case, and will see it through. The dates in the case have nothing to do with the departure of U.S. Attorney McQuade.

(Photos courtesy Lion Multimedia Production U.S.A., used with permission)


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.