The Government’s Case Against Many Jan. 6 Defendants is in Legal Jeopardy
The obstruction charge on which the government is relying so heavily may, in fact, be unconstitutional as applied to most of the Jan. 6 defendants.
The government’s case against many, if not most, of the January 6 defendants is in legal peril.
Over 650 people have been criminally charged in connection with the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6. The main charge against hundreds of these defendants is felony “obstruction” under 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2).
That statute provides:
“Whoever corruptly … obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.”
Most of the other charges against the Jan. 6 defendants involve misdemeanors sounding in trespass, vandalism and disorderly conduct for which the maximum sentence is one year imprisonment, thus making the obstruction charge the most serious by far.
Yet the Biden Department of Justice, in its facts-and-law-be-damned fervor to nail those on the political right to the wall, once again seemed to have overplayed its hand.
The obstruction charge on which the government is relying so heavily may, in fact, be unconstitutional as applied to the Jan. 6 defendants.
To understand why this is so, one need only look to the case of Donovan Crowl. Crowl, who according to papers filed by his attorney is a 50 year-old Marine veteran from Ohio with no prior criminal convictions, attended the Jan. 6 Stop the Steal Rally at The Ellipse in Washington D.C..
Thereafter, Crowl and others made their way to the Capitol. According to the indictment against him, this group aligned in a “stack” formation and marched single file, each “keeping at least one hand on the shoulder of the other in front of them,” up the east side stairs of the Capitol. At approximately 2:40 p.m., says Crowl’s lawyer, Crowl and the others in his “stack” passed through the Capitol doors that were already open and entered the Rotunda.
At 3:05 p.m. – just 20 minutes later – Crowl exited the building. The others in Crowl’s “stack” had either left the Capitol contemporaneously with him or earlier.
Crowl did not destroy property, injure anyone or threaten to do so. He is not accused of possessing any weapons or of stealing documents or other items belonging to members of Congress.
Crowl and 16 others eventually were arrested and charged on a singular indictment.
Counts One and Two of the indictment charged all of the defendants with “corruptly obstruct[ing]” the certification of the Electoral Vote in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2), and conspiring with others to do so (Crowl also was charged with two misdemeanors – trespass and aiding and abetting the destruction of government property.)
Notably, the Joint Session of Congress on Jan. 6 had been suspended at 2:29 p.m. that day – 11 minutes before Crowl and the others entered the Capitol – and it did not resume until 9:02 p.m. that evening.
Nevertheless, the indictment alleges that the defendants’ entrance into the Capitol and presence there for no more than 20 minutes after Congress had recessed obstructed the Congressional proceeding in violation of §1512(c)(2).
Crowl’s lawyer recently filed a motion to dismiss the obstruction charge. In it, she argued that it was factually impossible for Crowl to have obstructed a Congressional proceeding that was already over at the time Crowl engaged in the conduct charged in the indictment.
But she also raised an important legal argument: that the obstruction statute relied on by the government is unconstitutional as applied to most of the Jan. 6 defendants because it did not put them on notice that a brief trespass into the Capitol while participating in a political rally could subject them to a 20-year prison sentence.
The Void-for-Vagueness Doctrine
The Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment provides that “[n]o person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” The Supreme Court has made clear that this guarantee is violated when the government “tak[es] away someone’s life, liberty, or property under a criminal law so vague that it fails to give ordinary people fair notice of the conduct it punishes, or so standardless that it invites arbitrary enforcement.”
Without such guidelines, explained the high court, a criminal statute would permit “a standardless sweep” that would “allow policemen, prosecutors, and juries to pursue their personal predilections.”
How dangerous that would be in the hands of a vengeful DOJ.
But that’s exactly where we find ourselves. The Biden Administration has used an ambiguously worded criminal statute to crush President Trump’s supporters – and along with them their families and their livelihoods.
U.S. v. Poindexter
Just as Shakespeare said “what’s past is prologue,” insight into the legal issue here can be found by looking back four decades to a case that arose out of the Iran/Contra Affair.
In 1986, President Reagan’s then-National Security Advisor, John Poindexter, sent letters to the chairmen of two House committees falsely stating that the National Security Council staff had not violated federal law by providing military support to the rebel “Contras” then attempting to overthrow the “Sandinista” government of Nicaragua.
Poindexter also arranged a meeting between National Security Council staff member Oliver North and Members of the House Intelligence Committee, at which North denied giving military advice and fund-raising aid to the Contras, when in fact he had.
Thereafter, the Independent Counsel who had been appointed to investigate the Iran/Contra Affair secured a five-count indictment against Poindexter. Two of those counts charged Poindexter with violating 18 U.S.C. § 1505 on the ground that he “corruptly obstructed” Congress by making false and misleading statements to Members of the Congress.
At the time, that obstruction statute provided, in relevant part:
“Whoever corruptly … influences, obstructs, or impedes … the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency of the United States, or the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress shall be fined not more than $ 5,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”
Poindexter was convicted of these and other charges at trial. In his subsequent appeal, Poindexter argued that the inclusion of the word “corruptly” in the obstruction statute rendered it unconstitutionally vague.
The D.C. Circuit agreed, holding that the term “corruptly” was an “almost boundless” term that that was “too vague to provide constitutionally adequate notice that it prohibit[ed] lying to the Congress.”
Given the facial vagueness of the word “corruptly,” the court engaged in a thorough review of both the legislative history of the statute and of judicial interpretations of it to see if either provided a narrower definition of “corruptly” that was “clear[ ] enough to have put a reasonable person on notice” of it.
The D.C. Circuit found that “neither the legislative history nor the prior judicial interpretation of [the statute] supplie[d] the constitutionally required notice that the statute on its face lack[ed].”
It therefore determined that the statute was unconstitutionally vague as applied to Poindexter’s conduct.
The statutory provision that the Poindexter Court found too vague to pass constitutional muster is materially identical to the language in § 1512(c)(2) with which many of the Jan. 6 defendants are charged.
As Crowl’s attorney aptly stated in her motion to dismiss, “nothing in § 1512(c)(2) would have given fair notice to … any person of common intelligence, that if he entered the United States Capitol for a short time, without injuring anyone or damaging any property while associated with others seeking to petition the Congress his conduct would run afoul of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2) and subject him to imprisonment for a term of 20 years.”
Nor did the legislative history of the statute or prior court decisions interpreting it put any reasonable person on notice, either.
Congress intended § 1512(c) – which was enacted as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 – to broaden punishment for document destruction. As the Supreme Court explained in Yates v. United States, this was prompted by revelations of Enron’s massive accounting fraud and of the fact that the company’s outside auditor, Arthur Andersen LLP, “had systematically destroyed potentially incriminating documents.”
There is nothing in the legislative history that supports the notion that Congress enacted § 1512(c)(2) to criminalize the disruption of a Congressional proceeding by persons engaged in a political rally.
This conclusion is reinforced when § 1512(c)(2) is read in context with other federal criminal statutes. For instance, 18 U.S.C. § 1505 prohibits using threats or force to “obstruct” a “pending proceeding” before a federal “department or agency” or an “investigation” being conducted by Congress. Had Congress wanted to criminalize protests at the Capitol designed to interfere with all Congressional proceedings, not just investigations, it easily could have expanded § 1505 to say so.
And, 18 U.S.C. § 1507 forbids “picketing or parading” near a federal courthouse with the “intent of “obstructing … the administration of justice.” Had Congress wanted to ban picketing at the Capitol, it could have extended the reach of Section 1507 beyond federal courthouses.
By doing neither of these things, Congress made clear its intention to not criminalize as obstruction brief trespasses into the Capitol as part of a political demonstration.
Prior Court Decisions
Past court rulings also undercut the government’s use of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2) against those who participated in the events at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
While that statute prohibits individuals from “corruptly obstructing” official proceedings, courts have interpreted those terms to include making false statements (see here, here, here and here), encouraging others to do so (here and here), falsifying documents, destroying evidence, thwarting a criminal investigation, or intimidating witnesses in a criminal proceeding.
None of these things happened on Jan. 6.
Further, demonstrators often disrupt congressional proceedings. Here are some examples:
Huge protest inside and outside of Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mcconnell's office happening right now. pic.twitter.com/Iu9wet6cXx
— Mariam Khan (@MKhan47) June 22, 2017
Extinction rebellion protesters are blocking the hallway between Rayburn and the Capitol, calling on Congress to declare a climate emergency pic.twitter.com/goZwa6xJRx
— Tiffany Stecker (@TiffanyStecker) July 23, 2019
The use of § 1512(c)(2) to prosecute demonstrators is novel. Other than the Jan. 6 cases, no reported cases prosecuted under § 1512(c)(2) since its passage in 2002 have involved a claim that demonstrations that disrupted an official proceeding committed an obstruction offense under § 1512(c)(2).
Recall that hundreds of protestors “broke through Capitol Police barricades” before “storming” the Capitol Building during the Justice Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. Despite the fact that Congress was disrupted when the protestors invaded the Capitol Building in the middle of the Justice’s confirmation hearings, these arrestees were not charged with 20-year obstruction offenses under § 1512(c)(2), but with misdemeanors under D.C. Code §22-1307.
In the Jan. 6 cases, the Biden Administration and its media allies have persisted in pushing a calumny that the defendants all participated in an organized conspiracy of bloodthirsty insurrectionists whose purpose was to overthrow the government and savage any elected official who approved of electoral votes for Joe Biden.
As I explained here, the DOJ – with the willing cooperation of pusillanimous judges – threw many Jan. 6 defendants into indefinite solitary confinement in federal lockups. This glaringly unconstitutional deprivation of liberty didn’t trouble the left in the least.
Nor did the ACLU crowd utter a peep about how such pressure tactics were designed to force guilty pleas.
Did the left, which stridently believes in emptying prisons of violent felons, speak out when a federal judge threw the book at a demonstrator without a criminal history who had committed no violence or property damage, but had simply taken a selfie and prayed during the 15 minutes he was inside the Capitol? Nope.
As more facts surrounding the events of Jan. 6 have come to light, it has become more apparent that the government’s case is built on shifting sand.
As I detailed here, the government admitted that its claim that rioters breached the barricades and entered the area around the Capitol was false.
Equally untrue was the government’s assertion that U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was murdered by violent seditionists – a canard that I wrote about here.
And, in the most recent blow to the government’s conspiracy claims, it was revealed that an FBI informant embedded within a group of Proud Boys who were present at the Capitol on Jan. 6 provided the agency with real-time knowledge of what was taking place, including that the group had no plans to attack the Capitol.
To be sure, some of those who participated in the demonstration at the Capitol acted violently toward law enforcement, and they should be held criminally responsible for their actions.
But relatively few demonstrators behaved this way. According to the DOJ, of the 654 people who were arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 riot, only 55 people – a paltry 8 percent – were charged with using a weapon or causing injury to an officer.
The vast majority of people who participated in the events of Jan. 6 simply walked into the Capitol and spent about 15 minutes there posing for selfies and posting pictures on social media.
Yet just as the government has flexed the facts to fit its narrative, it’s now also trying mightily to bend the law. The fact of the matter is that there is no reasonable and readily apparent interpretation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2) that would have put any of the Jan. 6 defendants on notice that their attendance at the demonstration at the Capitol that day – a protected activity under the First Amendment – or their mere presence inside the Capitol as part of that protest, constituted a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
It’s not just the Jan. 6 defendants who will suffer from the DOJ’s Machiavellian predation on our justice system – it is all of us, regardless of political affinity.
Nearly 150 years ago, in United States v. Reese, the Supreme Court presciently stated:
“It would certainly be dangerous if the legislature could set a net large enough to catch all possible offenders, and leave it to the courts to step inside and say who could be rightfully detained, and who should be set at large.”
Biden’s DOJ found just such a net in 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2).
And soon, when the court rules on Donovan Crowl’s motion to dismiss, we’ll find out whether the judiciary has accepted the invitation to step inside.
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You said Jan 6th defendants. So far many don’t face charges so correctly they would be political prisoners of the regime.
Nobody is being held without charges. That simply can’t happen in the USA.
Your dream world?
No, the real world. Nobody is being held without charges. If you claim otherwise then YOU are living in a fantasy world.
That’s rather a meaningless statement. Many authoritarian regimes hold countless political prisoners on, excuse the pun, trumped up charges. So one could say: Nobody is being held without charges. That simply can’t happen in Cuba.
So what? What the hell has that got to do with the topic? We are not discussing the nature of the charges, or whether they are justified. We are discussing one thing and one thing only: “2smartforlibs” outrageous claim that people are being held without charges. Unless you can defend that claim, you should shut up.
You are correct. The problem is that we are in Lavrenti Beria mode. They can find a charge for any of us, if they want to.
Marine Lt. Col Scheller is locked up in the brig at Camp LeJeune without being charged with any crimes whatsoever. Apparently saying that making a video saying the senior military leadership should take responsibility for that fustercluck that got 13 service members killed and stranded 100s of Americans (the Biden admin is lying about the numbers hoping their new partners the Taliban and their terrorist friends will solve the admin’s problems by killing the witnesses) and thousands of Afghan allies doesn’t actually violate any articles of the UCMJ.
So the Marines, at the direction of those traitors Austin and Milley (and ultimately Biden), still don’t know what they can get away with charging him. But he’s locked up without charges. And nobody loses their rights simply by joining the armed forces. Or, rather, they didn’t.
A Marine from the 24th MEU is currently under investigation for appearing at a Trump rally, supposedly for “partisan political activities.” He did nothing wrong. Except for of course being at a Trump rally which is, based upon how those Jan. 6th individuals are being treated (so differently than those thousands of protester the Democrats/Planned Parenthood brought in to shut down the Kavanaugh confirmation, or the same crowd led by Schumer who marched on the SCOTUS and shut it down as Schumer threatened Kavanaugh and Gorsuch if they didn’t decide an abortion case they were hearing at the time the way Schumer and his violent mob to their liking).
“Members on active duty may not campaign for a partisan candidate, engage in partisan fundraising activities, serve as an officer of a partisan club, or speak before a partisan gathering.”
The spokesman for the 24th MEU could not answer exactly what partisan activity the LCPL participated in since Trump is not a candidate as of this writing, or what partisan gathering the Marine attended since it wasn’t a GOP rally; it was a Trump rally, period.
Moreover, everything that Marine did was specifically permitted.
“Active duty members may, however, express their personal opinions on political candidates and issues, make monetary contributions to a political campaign or organization, and attend political events, in their personal capacity, as a spectator when not in uniform.”
LCPL Hunter Clark attended the rally on his personal time, while not in uniform, as a spectator. He was invited on stage because he had helped save an infant that was handed over the fence by desperate parents at HKIA in Kabul. He said a few words about his service, and the crowd applauded him for his service. He never endorsed anyone or any political party.
He was treated entirely differently than uniformed active duty personnel while on duty who participate in Democratic photo ops that are used for partisan fundraising purposes.
They were National Guard, yes, but on active duty at the time in D.C. The active duty rules applied to them. And even if they weren’t on active duty, national guard and reserve troops are prohibited from wearing their uniforms to partisan political events (as are active duty) even on their own time.
So, yes Milhouse, it can happen here. They’ll arrest you first, lock you up, get a judge to deny you bail, then try to figure out what laws they can convict you of. If that is you’re not in the tank for Democrats.
Scheller is being charged. The military system of justice is different, and they have more time in which to charge him, but not that much more. Within a short time the charges will be published.
The event the Guam NG participated in was not partisan.
Most certainly was. Leading the group was a Congresswoman who marched to another office to confront a person she had a problem with, I know your a partisan troll but grip yourself before trying to excuse such outrageous behavior.
Actually, I think LTC Scheller was placed in confinement for disobeying a direct order to not post on social media until his case was adjudicated. While I certainly agree with Scheller’s opinion that senior military leaders who had a hand in that fiasco should be held accountable, criticizing superior officers while in uniform is a giant no-no,
I don’t think any of us feel that these are legitimate and proper charges. At least, certainly not of a magnitude to support being held without bail for prolonged periods. But they are charges. I think it would be more fair to say that these folks are being railroaded.
They should just turn them over to Emmet Sullivan who handled General Flynn’s case and he would keep them in his court from now till doomsday.
It’s LawFare again, intentionally fabricating novel interpretations of Obstruction statutes to criminalize perfectly legal behavior. That time, the critical missing element was materiality. But that usage of Obstruction was similar to this one because it, too, violated Due Process.
If you will remember, Obstruction of Justice statutes were used heavily against the Trump Administration, and esp by the rabidly partisan Mueller prosecutors to prevent investigation into the sources and origins of the RussiaGate scandal by Congress. Of course, that itself was Obstruction of Justice, esp after the Mueller investigation had determined that there was no actual evidence tying Trump and his campaign to the Russian government (after the investigation had morphed into investigating only process crimes). The novel legal theories were apparently developed collaboratively between LawFare head Benjamin Wittes and Mueller lead prosecutor Andrew Weissmann.
Oh, keep this in mind: J6 Committee Hearing Has The Same Lawfare Producers, Directors and Script Writers as Christine Blasey Ford “Beach Friend” Hearing
Very good write up!
I believe the government’s overzealousness in overcharging Jan 6 defendants had another motive. It was meant to strike fear into and silence the one million plus Trump supporters who attended. No one dare admit they were there out of fear of political retribution and imprisonment. The Democrats are in shock to this day that so many would travel vast distances at great expense to support President Trump. They don’t want the country and the world to see this.
“fabricating novel interpretations of Obstruction statutes to criminalize perfectly legal behavior.”
It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?
What a stunning legal analysis of Jan 6 defendants. The author, Ameer Benno, has an exceptional legal mind.
This entire saga demonstrates the callousness, lawlessness, dishonesty and vindictive totalitarianism of the vile, hypocrite, Dhimmi-crat federal prosecutors. Transparently maliciously overcharging Trump supporters with a slew of factually and legally unsupported charges, while the Dhimmi-crats’ own goose-stepping, nihilist thugs in “Anti-fa” and in “Black Lives Matter,” who spent the bulk of year 2020 destroying cities and neighborhoods, looting and destroying businesses, attacking police officers, murdering innocents and desecrating synagogues, were treated with kid gloves at every opportunity, rarely criminally charged, and, if they were charged, they were slapped on the wrist with misdemeanors and handed plea bargains and released with no time served.
The post states, “As more facts surrounding the events of Jan. 6 have come to light, it has become more apparent that the government’s case is built on shifting sand.”
The foundation is less than sand, but more than thin air, or more precisely, air obscured by fog.
It would be nice if all these nice legalities mattered one wit. But with each passing year, month, week and day, wits diminish across the government, replaced solely by an insatiable lust for power to control their fellow citizen.
The court system shall do whatever it pleases, the law be damned.
We are all outlaws de facto, for one obscure reason or another, regardless of how temperate we consider ourselves. Having been designated an outlaw by the enemies of the constitution, I am free to harass and defeat them by being the very best outlaw I can be.
How precious that you think Biden’s junta gives a flying fuck about the laws. They couldn’t care less. Their only goal is protecting their power and they will do that however the fuck they have to.
Law shmaw! Poor Alexandria was afraid from a distance! What else matters?
When the prosecution finally dies I hope those detained sue the pants off of the Capitol Police, the DC police and anyone involved in their being locked up. Back pay, punitive damages, attorney fees, ….
You seem to be assuming the existence of a “rule of law and not men”. That is as dead as real votes determining the results of elections.
“To be sure, some of those who participated in the demonstration at the Capitol acted violently toward law enforcement, and they should be held criminally responsible for their actions”.
The crowd was clearly provoked by the Capital police and the ones acting out were FBI infiltrators
As the evidence comes out that the FBI was heavily involved in J6 and likely helped provoke it we need keep in mind the refusal of DC government officials to heed Trump’s warnings and his request for 10,000 national guard personnel to deter and help keep order.
It is looking more and more like J6 was a deliberate setup by the FBI in collusion with, at a minimum, Pelosi and DC mayor Bowser.
Of course it is. It is a Reichstag Fire event, But it’s falling apart just like the Russia lies and desperate attempts at impeachment.
Maybe this defeat will take even more of the starch out of the Biden regime.
Why exactly did Trump want 10k national guardsmen?
For some context
Marines got such a pounding that Iwo Jima is eternally remembered as the ultimate hell battle when the enemy was 20k Japanese troops.
10,000 is a major military operation not a casual police action. If Trump thought a major military force would be needed to keep the peace he either should have moved his rally or not been holding a “How angry can I got you” rally. Biden had long since won the election by then, the only grounds for overturning an election was never even alleged in court by Trump….he acted horribly and very disloyal to the people who believed.
Provocation is not an excuse, and there is no evidence that the violent few were FBI. In any case, being FBI is not an excuse either.
Milhouse: Yes. I agree that these cases will need to be adjudicated and whatever charges and defenses are raised should follow the law and provide for due process. It should not be up to the Kangaroo court of public opinion and social media to judge these things, but rather, in a court of law. Nothing galls me more than an angry mob at the court house calling for a particular verdict in a trial or a particular ruling by an appellate court or by the supreme court. That’s not justice. That is mob rule.
My complaint is not so much about the specific content or legal merits of each specific case, but the glaring pattern of selective prosecution that seems to me to be going on here, Does it strike you that way? I don’t think I’m being paranoid.
We went into full on Lavrenti Beria mode with the election of Donald Trump. The whole Flynn affair, Roger Stone, et. al.
What makes anyone think anything has changed?
What has changed is the traitors are now operating in the open for all to see. However, some refuse to see. The traitors will not back down regardless of what any court says. They have the Stasi (federal police that includes the CDC). They only have two options (not mutually exclusive) at this point: Surrender by the serfs or applied force. Australia is there vision for our future except Australians surrendered there freedom guarantee – firearms)
Yeah, the thing to remember about Trump is that they did all of this crap to the lawfully elected President of the United States.
Just imagine what they can do to the Average Joe or Jane.
The problem, of course, is that corrupt activist Democrat judges rule however they wish. They only need whatever rationalization legal sophistry can provide as cover.
Also, we know from the un-Constitutional election conducted in many states that even a right-leaning SCOTUS no longer reliably upholds the Constitution if the issue is too politically controversial. When the heat gets too great they get out of the kitchen.
We no longer have reliable checks and balances. We no longer have a functioning Constitution. Or a functioning non-political legal and judicial system. They’ve been thoroughly corrupted by the Left.
Our judicial system entrapped and tried to imprison Flynn, let Hillary and her assistants go scot-free after seriously comprising national security and destroying evidence, let the DOJ/CIA/FBI spy on a presidential campaign and a president based on fictional Dem oppo ‘research’ without serious consequence, and found Chauvin guilty of murder.
We no longer have reliable checks and balances. We no longer have a functioning Constitution. Or a functioning non-political legal and judicial system.
What we have is a no longer functioning electorate. Until we fix that, nothing else will work. The progressivism will have to be expunged from the electorate before we can get the electors to to it right.
While I do not challenge your main point, having a reliable election process would help. One (legal) voter, one vote.
Dem interpretation of your rules:
You didn’t explicitly say how many votes illegal voters should get so they count and you lose!
Prize: 20 more years of uniparty rule.
What really upset them is that Trump busted up the Uniparty consisting of Democrats and Progressive Republicans who have ruled since Reagan.
Why do you have to ruin what could have been a reasonable statement with some lies?
i.e. using the fact that the judges ruled on the merits of Trump’s overtly absurd dribble instead of being partisan hacks as proof judges are bad?
Or using the Chauvin case (which Branca said could go either way at the end of the trial) as equivalent to the Flynn railroading?
I don’t think Andrew Branca endorsed the verdict in the Chauvin case. He was making an observation about odds of various outcomes given the circumstances, not commenting on what he felt were the merits of the case. Judging from his remarks, I think Andrew feels, as I do, that there were major defects in how the trial was conducted that prevented Chauvin from getting a fair trial.
Indeed. We shall see what path the judges choose.
“…Enron’s massive accounting fraud and of the fact that the company’s outside auditor, Arthur Andersen LLP, “had systematically destroyed potentially incriminating documents.”
Whoa there. As far as I was aware, AA was *accused* of destroying potentially incriminating documents when what they actually were doing was disposing of duplicates and non-applicable documents. Weissman was heading up the charge against AA, and managed to get the company totally destroyed despite them not actually having committed any crimes. I wouldn’t trust anything he said up to and including “Good morning.”
Enron was a prime candidate for the “Everything done wrong” prosecution, since the actual criminals testified against the honest employees and sent them into years of legal hell.
Interesting. Ya know. One could get the hint of an impression that maybe for those who are politically aware that the belief in the legitimacy of the political/judicial system, and the belief that the Constitution has power in the real world is fading.
There is the rub. Either the CTs will throw out this heavy handed and novel charge or they will choose to further undermine their legitimacy and the general public’s faith in a mostly fair and mostly impartial system. Ultimately if the majority of people decide that the systems can’t be salvaged because they are too corrupted by partisan actors then a change will be made in some form. History is replete with examples of this and however unique the USA experience is we aren’t immune to the currents of social, cultural and political forces that have swept away corrupt governments the world over.
“If once [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.”
–Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1787.
“I do verily believe that… a single, consolidated government would become the most corrupt government on the earth.”
–Thomas Jefferson to Gideon Granger, 1800.
Thomas Jefferson was a complex and sometimes flawed individual, but man, he wrote some profound and prescient things that never fail to blow my mind.
How many of them have lost jobs, homes or businesses? How many have ended marriages? How many have had their health deteriorate during their confinement? How much of a chilling effect has this had on other people wishing to protest this regime?
And Joke Biden’s junta doesn’t seem inclined to let any of them go any time soon.
Exactly. The process is the punishment.
Quite often, political prisoners are held without bail for extended periods only to have the charges dropped after they have been punished by the process.
Of course, that only happens in banana republics.
You mean, we’re a banana republic now?
Now that you mention it ………… 🙁
They lost the case when they called it an insurrection.
They who? The defendants, or the tyrants?
Hate your political opponents, they hate you. Pay attention, the democrats will corrupt any office or agency in an attempt to marginalize you. I just wish the Republicans would get better at being as scumbaggy as the democrats; I’d have absolutely no problem with it.
The Republicans would rather die than oppose the Democrats. To understand the situation we are in, you have to acknowledge that we functionally have no political means of opposing the Left electorally.
We do have the means to oppose the Left electorally – for example, I believe we will make substantial gains in the House in 2022 and probably the Senate. However, no matter how many we elect, collectively the Republicans have no spine.
I thought it odd that the elites are talking about a sweeping tax reform (on us) package to bring forth in the spring. Previously, it would be suicide politically to make such unpopular actions so close to a midterm election. So why are they talking like that?
I think it is because they know that even if we got veto-proof majorities, the collective GOP won’t do anything to repeal and rescind all this nonsense. So they are going for full-throated Marxism and daring the Republicans to do something about it in 2023. They won’t.
No spine yep, I remember the no spine they had when they refused everything Obama brought before them from war in Syria to Trans Pacific, to judges yep no spine.
For no spine see Donald Trump who gave them judges by delivering the senate to them on a silver platter, tell yourself “Admitting the Republican Party opposes democrats is hard because it means I have to live in a reality where Donald Trump lost 2020 so I will just surrender because surrender is easy” and slap yourself in the face for trying to surrender.