The attorney general of the leftist banana republic currently running some things in Washington D.C. is promising that there’s at least one element of the Sixth Amendment that he won’t violate in a quest to secure a second presidential term for his boss.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said in an interview with CNN that he believes there should be a “speedy trial” in the election subversion case against Donald Trump, while also pushing back on allegations that his department is targeting the former president for political reasons.
The Sixth Amendment, if you recall (and Garland probably does not), assures “a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury” and “to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”
We’ve already seen what an “impartial jury” looks like in D.C., lawyers face legal threats for even representing Trump and as for the rest, well it will presumably be speedy and public in the sense that the timing will be for maximum political advantage.
But back to Merrick.
“The cases were brought last year. The prosecutor has urged speedy trials, with which I agree. And it’s is now in the hands of the judicial system, not in our hands,” Garland said. “Special prosecutors followed the facts and the law. They brought cases when they thought they were ready.”
When asked about the perception that the Justice Department is prosecuting Trump for political reasons, Garland said: “Of course it concerns me.”
“What we have to do is show by the acts that we take that we’re following the law, that we’re following the facts,” he said.
That argument might hold some water if Jack Smith and the rest of the gang were actually following the law and applying equal treatment to, say Biden’s document dump in his garage, or Hillary’s election denial conspiracy, or if they were at least pursuing a conventional understanding of the law, instead of engage in what the media charitably describes as “innovative legal strategies” like repurposing a law meant to ban the KKK from wearing masks on highways to criminalize election challenges by opponents.
Following the facts and the law?
The Jan 6 indictment leans heavily on editorializing about the threat to democracy, accusing the former president of “destabilizing lies about election fraud” which “targeted a bedrock function of the federal government” while failing to actually establish why challenging federal functions ought to be a crime. If lobbying state legislators and searching for alternate electors is a crime then virtually every single president before 1900 would have been locked up. Not to mention aspiring political figures like Alexander Hamilton. And every time Democrats lose an election, they start plotting to eliminate the electoral college and have been seeking to do it through the back door using comprehensive measures like the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
Should the NPVIC and the states participating in it be treated as a criminal conspiracy against a “bedrock function of the federal government”? Jack Smith’s indictment has created a precedent
Or there are the exciting adventures of Sarbanes-Oxley which was passed to protect investors in response to Enron.
Smith’s indictment contains four counts in total. Two of those are for obstruction of an official proceeding and for conspiracy to do so. Those crimes are part of a relatively recent criminal statute governing financial disclosures known as the Sarbanes-Oxley (or “SOX”) Act, which was enacted following the Enron corporate accounting scandal, and which makes it a crime to obstruct an official proceeding of the U.S. government. The Justice Department has so far used it to charge over 300 people involved in the Jan. 6 insurrection; more than 150 have been convicted of the offense following jury trials or pleaded guilty to it.
Many of these defendants, including Fischer, have argued that the “obstruction of an official proceeding” part of the SOX Act was only meant to apply narrowly to financial crimes similar to the ones that produced the law in the first place — and not as broadly as the Justice Department has used it in the Jan. 6 cases.
Sarbanes-Oxley was an explicit response to financial misconduct by banks, financial institutions and corporations. Politico, experts and the media can lie up and down, but it’s right there in the language.
The purpose of S. 2010, the “Corporate and Criminal Fraud Accountability Act of 2002,” is to provide for criminal
prosecution and enhanced penalties of persons who defraud investors in publicly traded securities or alter or destroy
evidence in certain Federal investigations, to disallow debts incurred in violation of securities fraud laws from being
discharged in bankruptcy, to protect whistleblowers who report fraud against retaliation by their employers
If you’re following the law then you don’t have to repurpose a law intended to protect investors to go after one of your political opponents.
The Fed Gov being what it is, it didn’t take long for grotesque abuses of SOX to emerge…
commercial fisherman John Yates because he allegedly disposed of three fish after being stopped by an official from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission during a commercial fishing trip… Yates was ultimately convicted under SOX in 2012, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed his conviction in August, 2013. In affirming Yates’s conviction, the court explained that the fish in the investigation were, indeed, a “tangible object” under SOX. Mr. Yates sought review by the U.S. Supreme Court, and fortunately the Court granted it last April.
Yates v. United States (not the Communist one) ended up with SCOTUS deciding that Yates was okay because fish were not considered forms of record keeping. The Trump prosecution under SOX is even crazier than that fish story.
None of this is following the law. It’s a ‘Beriaist’ “show me the man and I’ll show you the crime” approach to finding any legal tool around and repurposing it to go after political opponents.
But hopefully, Attorney General Merrick Garland will also enjoy a speedy trial.