“Imagine Ron DeSantis goes up to a group of white teenagers, offers them some candy and says, ‘Hey, I’m gonna take you to Dinsey [sic] World if you get in my van.’ And then Ron DeSantis drives them to Bush Gardens. That’s kidnapping!” – MSNBC commentator Elie Mystal
I’m not a lawyer nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but I’m smart enough to know that the state of so-called “legal analysis” in the media, in particular on cable “news” networks like CNN and MSNBC and on the pages of the New York Times, is not good. Like – at all.
As evidence, look no further than the “interview” MSNBC’s Tiffany Cross did with contributor Elie Mystal Saturday on the issue of the illegal immigrants Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had flown to Martha’s Vineyard and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott bused to VP Kamala Harris’ D.C. doorstep on Thursday.
Mystal, who purports to be an attorney and who is also the “justice correspondent” for The Nation, was asked to talk more about an article he wrote in which he argued that DeSantis and Abbott should be investigated by the Dept. of Justice on “kidnapping” charges.
Mystal told Cross that the case was simple. He referred to two unsubstantiated claims being made: that the migrants were misled about where they were supposed to go and that DHS “made up” addresses for the migrants so they’d be “too far away from those addresses to go to future hearings.” From two claims he admitted had not been proven, Mystal proclaimed that Abbott and DeSantis were guilty of kidnapping.
The “legal” argument Mystal used to prove his point? A quote from actor Matthew McConaughey’s character Jake Tyler Brigance from the 1996 movie “A Time to Kill,” where McConaughey played an attorney in the deep south. I kid you not:
“Kidnapping by trick is a thing. Telling people that you are going to take them one place and sending them someplace else is a form of kidnapping. And I can prove that to you if I do the Matthew McConaughey thing, ‘Now imagine they were white.’
Imagine Ron DeSantis goes up to a group of white teenagers, offers them some candy, and says, ‘Hey, I’m gonna take you to Dinsey [sic] World if you get in my van.’ And then Ron DeSantis drives them to Busch Gardens. That’s kidnapping. You’re not allowed to do that.”
Click below to watch the clip:
Lest anyone think the “kidnapping” argument is one only being made by Very Online woke liberals like Mystal, California Gov. Gavin Newsom is also demanding the DOJ investigate DeSantis and Abbott on those grounds. And according to an Axios report, cabinet members in the Biden administration are said to be scrambling to figure out what “litigation options” they have against the two governors. Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre referred to them as a “smugglers” on Friday, and Biden himself called what Abbott and DeSantis did “un-American.”
As you might have guessed already, there are some serious problems with the “kidnapping” argument, especially when you consider that contra media claims about the migrants being told they were going to someplace other than Martha’s Vineyard, the Daily Caller obtained documents the migrants were given that indicated exactly where they were going:
The packets included a map with Martha’s Vineyard marked with a red star with the label “YOU ARE HERE,” written in both English and Spanish. The packets also had documents with local resources, including the contact information for community services and churches in the area, potential employment opportunities and public assistance programs.
During a Friday presser, Massachusetts immigration attorney Rachel Self, who made the allegations about falsified addresses and the migrants supposedly not knowing they would be sent to Martha’s Vineyard, nevertheless held up a map to the media that looked like the one the Daily Caller described:
— Eli Rosenberg NBC10 Boston (@EliNBCBoston) September 15, 2022
The other problem is that, well, from a legal standpoint what happened is not “kidnapping” nor “human trafficking,” as George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley explained in a lengthy piece that is sure to cause hurt feelings on the left:
The claim by Newsom and others that this could constitute kidnapping is absurd. Kidnapping requires that the culprit “unlawfully seizes, confines, inveigles, decoys, kidnaps, abducts, or carries away and holds for ransom or reward or otherwise any person.” There is nothing unlawful in conveying individuals who are lawfully in the country pending their immigration hearings; the trips are voluntary, and most migrants appear eager to accept free passage to cities like New York or Chicago.
Human trafficking — a charge suggested by some law professors — is prosecuted by the Justice Department when you exploit “a person for labor, services, or commercial sex.” Gov. DeSantis may have overt political motives for transporting migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, but even cable-news programs have not suggested he is doing so for sexual or labor exploitation.
Further, as Turley noted both in his piece and below, if what DeSantis and Abbott did is a criminal act, then the Biden administration should be on trial, too, because they’ve been doing this very thing for well over a year now:
…In reality, if transporting undocumented migrants after they are released into the country is to be judged criminal, then the Biden administration would be the largest “coyote” in history.
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) September 17, 2022
In a Twitter thread, independent journalist Glenn Greenwald expanded on a point Turley only briefly touched on in his piece regarding how Democrats now chillingly make it standard operating procedure to call for investigations and legal actions at the highest levels of government against their political opposition for the “crime” of saying and doing things Democrats don’t like:
Note how often Democrats demand not only the censorship of their political opponents — that's everyday — but also their arrest by FBI and prosecution by DOJ.
They depicted Trump's 2016 "Lock Her Up" chant as Hitleresque, now want every Republican except Liz Cheney imprisoned. https://t.co/aWHtRTfV6q
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) September 17, 2022
Beyond the legal arguments being made one way or the other here, the real issue at hand for all the Democrats who are hyperventilating is that they’re mad as hell that they were utterly humiliated after both their virtue signaling about sanctuary cities and their lectures to border states to just “deal with” the massive influx of migrants were put to the test—and found to be sorely lacking. Because affluent white Democrats in a posh liberal enclave were thoroughly embarrassed, the Republicans who exposed them must pay the price:
Lefties are holding a “Bad Legal Takes Olympics” to deal with the emotional and psychological trauma of having their racist hypocrisy exposed to the world in hilarious, pie-in-the-face while stepping-on-a-banana-peel fashion.
* this entry is definitely a contender
— Cruadin (@cruadin) September 17, 2022
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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