This blog exists to provide both a source of current information and a forum for those who have experienced or witnessed misconduct by federal prosecutors in particular. We are especially interested in seeking reform of the legal system in the way it deals with “Brady violations” or the prosecutors’ suppression of evidence favorable to the defense. We want to hear from you. We also address other means of government malfeasance, and disregard of the Constitution or the Rule of Law.
We will blog twice a week and strive to keep you informed of the most recent developments in efforts across the country to hold prosecutors accountable when they fail to produce all favorable evidence to the defense. If you are an attorney representing a defendant or a defendant whose criminal conviction was reversed because a federal prosecutor suppressed evidence Read More »
Three days after the press release announcing the publication date of Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice, which will lay bare the role of current White House counsel in “plainly suppressing” evidence favorable to the defense while four Merrill Lynch executives and others went to prison for conduct that was not a crime, a New York Times article by Charles Savage expounded on just how much power and influence former Enron Task Force prosecutor Kathryn Ruemmler has exerted in promoting the “excessive secrecy” that has become a hallmark of President Obama’s two terms in office. Ruemmler has been the longest serving of Obama’s White House counsel.
Savage quotes the President as saying:
“Kathy has become one of my most trusted advisers over the past few years,” . . . . “I deeply value her smarts, her judgment, and her wit — but most importantly her uncanny ability to see around the corners that nobody else anticipates.”
“Cutting corners” would be more accurate, as Ruemmler has a history of hiding facts and circumventing the law. We should not be surprised about the increased secrecy of this administration while she has been advising the President. Savage reports:
Ms. Ruemmler took a hard line in internal debates about keeping executive branch documents secret, like memos from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel sought by congressional overseers, or in Freedom of Information Act lawsuits. Her arguments — that disclosing them would chill candid advice to presidents — have contributed to Mr. Obama’s transition from promising greater transparency to being criticized even by his own allies for excessive secrecy.
The New York Times article also credits her with great influence in Obama’s increased use of Executive Privilege to circumvent the Rule of Law.
Ms. Ruemmler has played a role in many highly charged issues, including helping develop options to carry out Mr. Obama’s decision to take unilateral executive actions to bypass congressional inaction.
That probably also includes his tepid and ineffectual response to the sensational disclosures regarding the National Security Agency’s spying practices. Read More »
On the evening of April 8, Sidney Powell discussed various problems in our criminal justice system with the advocates on A Just Cause Coast to Coast Radio. In case you missed it, you may listen here. Sidney’s conversation on the need for fairness in our courts and supervision of prosecutors begins at about 35 minutes into the broadcast.
Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice is the true story of of the strong-arm, unethical, and illegal tactics used by a cabal of elite federal prosecutors in their own narcissistic pursuit of political power and fame. Some went on to become Chief White House Counsel, General Counsel of the FBI, and the Acting Attorney General of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice who directed the corrupt conviction of and unseated United States Senator Ted Stevens–changing the balance of power in the United States Senate and paving the way for the passage of Obamacare.
The beat goes on as former Enron Task Force Director Leslie Caldwell awaits Senate confirmation to be the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. She, with Andrew Weissmann, and assisted by Matthew Friedrich and Samuel Buell, destroyed Arthur Andersen LLP and its 85,000 jobs in an unprecedented corporate prosecution, where they concocted a crime. Too late to save Andersen, a UNANIMOUS Supreme Court eventually reversed their high-profile prosecution and claim to fame because Andersen had not committed a crime and the jury instructions failed to require criminal intent.
Copies of LICENSED TO LIE may be pre-ordered now at www.LicensedtoLie.com. It’s publication date is MAY 1– LAW DAY! and its Foreword is written by Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski in his personal capacity. This true story is jaw-dropping.
The perception of our justice system will forever be changed by this compelling book.
Ms. Powell has a gift for putting all the pieces in a well ordered, logical sequence that makes it difficult to stop reading even in the wee hours of the morning.
- Don M. Richard, Esq. Former AUSA and private practitioner for over 45 years.
To order your copy, see www.LicensedToLie.com . Autographed copies of Licensed to Lie may be pre-ordered only from the publisher through PayPal at www.LicensedtoLie.com. The book is also available for pre-order through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BooksAMillion, and Indiebound, and the author will appear in at least 10 cities for book signing events. Watch for an event near you on the Event list on the Licensed To Lie website.
Sidney Powell’s Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice is a disturbing, enlightening, and superbly presented exploration of one of the most dramatic and chilling accounts of injustice in American judicial history. Written with the skill of a novelist, the keen eye of a memoirist, and the passion of an early American pamphleteer, Powell takes us on a journey through an institutional landscape created to protect the innocent and punish the guilty transformed into a house of “legal” horrors, the framing of an innocent man, the concealing and altering of evidence, the ignoring of the law, the flouting of political power, the constant display of an ego-driven desire to win at all costs, even if the result is the devastation of a good a family who must have felt stunned by the despotic evilness of a government suddenly and completely in charge of their lives.
As dark and disheartening as it is, there is a lesson here that should be taught in every civics class—the greatest human ideal of Justice is only as good as the character of those who administer it, existing only if its guardians are devotees to integrity and fairness.
And yet in all this frustration and anger, there manages to remain a ray of hope. For ultimately this book becomes the unintentional profile of a courageous and strong woman determined to fight through the corruption, cronyism, vindictiveness, amoral egos, and repeated miscarriages of justice in order to free the light of truth from the dark place in which it had been deliberately hidden Read More »
“Last year four government officials–under oath–gave demonstrably false testimony to Congress, and nothing has been done to them–two IRS officials, the Attorney General, and James Clapper -which caused Ed Snowden to release the fact that the US is spying on its citizens and in violation of the 4th amendment.
That our government is corrupt is the only conclusion. This book helps the people understand the nature of this corruption—and how it is possible for federal prosecutors to indict and convict the innocent.
Every business person– and anyone who values freedom–should read and heed the warnings of this compelling work.” – Victor Sperandeo, CEO of the EAM Companies & author of Trader Vic: Methods of a Wall Street Master and other books
Licensed to Lie may be pre-ordered at www.LicensedToLie.com where there are also links to purchase it through Amazon, BooksAMillion, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound. It will be available in bookstores in May. Part of the proceeds will benefit the Constitution Project, The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Pisgah Legal Services, and The Texas Equal Access to Justice Campaign.
Licensed to Lie is a compelling read and frankly, quite alarming.
It exposes why many Americans fear their own government.
It is a breathtaking read that examines the impact on the lives of innocent individuals when the United States Department of Justice pursues wrongful prosecutions.
Sidney Powell goes behind the scenes and reveals a story that will hopefully will inspire readers to insist upon on a judicial system that is fair and protective of all citizens.
-Mike Moses, Dallas, Texas
Autographed copies of Licensed to Lie may be pre-ordered only from the publisher through PayPal at www.LicensedtoLie.com. The book is also available for pre-order through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BooksAMillion, and Indiebound, and the author will appear in at least 10 cities for book signing events. Watch for an event near you on the Event list on the Licensed To Lie website.
In a much-needed move, a bipartisan group of Senators including Charles Grassley and Lisa Murkowski have proposed legislation to create a watchdog to review allegations of prosecutorial misconduct by the Department of Justice. Based on the recent alarming report by the Project on Government Oversight, there have been hundreds of prosecutors who have intentionally violated legal and ethical rules, with no accountability or sanctions, and still work at the Department. We can vouch for a number of them. Virtually all have been swept under the rug.
Carrie Johnson with NPR has published an article from which we drew the following quote:
A new report from the Project on Government Oversight documents 650 ethics infractions including recklessness and misconduct by Justice Department lawyers over the past decade or so.
Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee and Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester cited those findings to introduce legislation Thursday that would require an independent watchdog to investigate those breaches. Under current practice, ethics investigations at the Justice Department are conducted by the Office of Professional Responsibility, an internal unit that reports up through the Attorney General and has been derided for its secrecy.
“Current law invites undue influence from the Attorney General’s office into the process Read More »
The Project On Government Oversight published an extensive report yesterday revealing that Department of Justice has been concealing hundreds of ethical violations by its prosecutors. Adding to this injustice, the Department refuses to identify the offending prosecutors or to inform defendants who have been affected by their misconduct.
In the majority of the matters—more than 400—OPR categorized the violations as being at the more severe end of the scale: recklessness or intentional misconduct, as distinct from error or poor judgment.
The information the Justice Department has disclosed is only part of the story. No less significant is what as a matter of policy it keeps from the public.
As a general practice, the Justice Department does not make public the names of attorneys who acted improperly or the defendants whose cases were affected. The result: the Department, its lawyers, and the internal watchdog office itself are insulated from meaningful public scrutiny and accountability.
We can say from our own experiences with the Department’s “Office of Professional Responsibility” that it is ineffective if not complicit. Legitimate grievances go ignored. Their primary expertise lies in circling the wagons and protecting the offenders. This report makes it all the more clear. There is no transparency, and consequently, the Department of Justice can be given no credibility. It is way overdue for a major clean-up, and as Judge Kozinski, and the Washington Post and others have said recently, it is time for a national discussion of these issues crucial to the administration of justice–if there is to be any justice at all.
“Sidney Powell brings a subject to light which is often overlooked or even purposely hidden. That subject is the unfair tactic that some prosecutors have used to secure a conviction.
As a prosecutor for over 29 years in the state courts of Texas, I am aware of both the possibilities for unfairness to the accused, and of the pressures on some prosecutors to win cases.
Sidney is able to articulate these issues in telling the stories within Licensed to Lie, and she holds up a clear moral and legal compass to point us all toward prosecution according to law and the facts.”
Jane Davis, former lead prosecutor, District Courts, Bexar County, Texas; First Assistant to the Guadalupe County Attorney
Licensed to Lie is available for pre-order at www.LicensedToLie.com. It will ship and be in bookstores in early May. Part of the proceeds will benefit The Constitution Project, Pisgah Legal Services, NACDL, and The Texas Equal Access to Justice Campaign.
As comprehensively reported by Radley Balko, and picked up by the Washington Post here, the Fifth Circuit recently declined to permit Mississippi inmate, Tavares Flaggs, from filing a successive 28 U.S.C. § 2254, or habeas, application. The panel, which included Jerry Smith, Grady Jolly, and Edith Clement, ruled that “the factual predicate” underlying Flaggs’ claims was “not new,” and therefore did not warrant permission to file another application for habeas relief. In and of itself this result is hardly newsworthy, but underlying and supporting Flaggs’ petition, filed by the Mississippi Innocence Project, was an extraordinary catalogue of potential misconduct emanating from the actions of Steven Hayne, “a medical examiner who for about two decades was able to monopolize the autopsy business in Mississippi.”
While it is unclear whether and to what extent the information in the Project’s filing was “new” as required under Section 2254 (Flaggs’ apparently filed his first habeas application in 2011, and some of the issues from Haynes’s shoddy work were already known), at the very least there should be cause for concern that individuals formerly and currently imprisoned in Mississippi may be actually innocent and/or at least the unwitting victims of a state-sanctioned and enabled medical examiner whose work was sub-standard and not credible. According to Balko, Hayne’s work has already “led to at least two wrongful convictions, and acquittals after new trials were granted in other cases.” Unfortunately, because most of the cases with the potential to shine a light on Hayne’s activities are post-conviction and subject to “finality” concerns underlying the “new” Section 2254, without some political movement or federal intervention, it is unlikely that a hearing on the potential depth of this scandal will ever occur.