June 5, 2022

With the likelihood of a Republican tsunami at the midterms, some are already spinning wish lists of structural changes they hope will begin to take shape. Without wishing to rain on their — or your — parade, I’d like to point out how deep by now the structural rot goes. It’s beyond the collapse of academia and K-12 education, the evisceration of our military, government waste, the dysfunction of our health system, and the one-sidedness of media coverage. It goes to the very heart of our legal system.

‘); googletag.cmd.push(function () { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1609268089992-0’); }); }

This week Peter Navarro was charged by a D.C. grand jury for contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the House Select Committee, a purely partisan confection of Nancy Pelosi in violation of all the traditional House rules, and a clear propaganda operation. (Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino, Jr. cooperated to some extent and were spared. The committee also referred them for prosecution, but the department of Justice declined to prosecute them.)

The charge against Navarro is a misdemeanor process crime but with significant possible consequences. 

Instead of following the normal procedure in such cases of notifying the person charged and allowing them to report for processing, the FBI affected to humiliate him, arrested him as he was boarding a plane and publicly handcuffing him and placing him in leg irons.

‘); googletag.cmd.push(function () { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1609270365559-0’); }); }

Powerline reminds us how Attorney General Eric Holder was treated when Congress held him in contempt:

“And, of course, you remember when the FBI arrested Holder and put him in leg irons on the same charge that is being brought against Navarro. No, wait… Navarro told the court today that he would represent himself rather than hiring a lawyer. But the biggest problem he faces is not the absence of counsel, it is the fact that his case will go before a jury of D.C. Democrats.”

It’s not just the Department of Justice that’s corrupted, it’s big law firms as well. Let me explain.

The leaking of the Alito draft memo in which a majority (in draft form) overturned Roe v. Wade was shocking, a breach of the confidentiality rules on court deliberations, a sound policy that has existed as long as memory. Chief Justice John Roberts has initiated an investigation, and initially there was considerable discussion of the consequences to the leaker. The NY Post is one example of the debate on the legality of the leak. No clear criminal law seemed to cover it, and the most likely crimes it was suggested would be false statements to a federal investigator or hacking if that’s how it is determined the leak occurred:

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley called the leak “such a serious and malicious act that it could warrant prosecution” but said he was “leery of stretching the criminal code” to build a case.

“I believe that the strongest case for prosecution would likely be… for false statements to a federal investigator,” he said.