Saturday, February 3, 2018

REACTION TO THE FISA MEMO

[Photo from wikipedia]

Have you read the FISA memo, which reportedly exposes alarming bias and abuses of authority
by a few top leaders in both the FBI and DOJ? What is your reaction?

As reported, the memo reveals that former FBI Director James Comey and others in his agency
and top leaders at DOJ utilized and politicized our nation's spying tools to spy on an opposition political party and an incoming president in an election year.  How frightening that is!

As a former federal prosecutor, I reviewed countless search warrant and Title III applications. I would never have participated in deceptions as described in this memo. Also, I never saw any of the fine FBI agents I worked with pull a stunt like this! And I am shocked and appalled to learn that, in this case, a few misguided lawyers and agents, in an election year, would apply for a FISA warrant utilizing the dirty dossier, when they reportedly knew it was bogus, and also without disclosing to the FISA court that the dossier was actually opposition research bought and paid for by Clinton and the Democrat Party. If proven, this will go down as one of the biggest political scandals in American history.

Many questions still remain:
  • Will a new special counsel be appointed to clean up this mess?
  • Will there be other revelations of corruption by this small group?
  • Will the FISA court take action against any culprits who allegedly abused the FISA process?
  • Will the main stream media ever even acknowledge any of this corruption?  
Before closing, I want to emphasize that I proudly worked, side by side, with countless outstanding FBI special agents for over twenty years. They are not to blame. The reported corruption in this situation clearly exists only at headquarters and not in the field.

What is your opinion of this colossal mess?


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

UPDATE REGARDING FISA MEMO

[Photo from wikipedia]

Here's a tart response today to the FBI and DOJ complaints about the FISA memo's release from the House Intelligence Commitee Chairman Devin Nunes at the House's website:

“Having stonewalled Congress’ demands for information for nearly a year, it’s no surprise to see the FBI and DOJ issue spurious objections to allowing the American people to see information related to surveillance abuses at these agencies. The FBI is intimately familiar with ‘material omissions’ with respect to their presentations to both Congress and the courts, and they are welcome to make public, to the greatest extent possible, all the information they have on these abuses. Regardless, it’s clear that top officials used unverified information in a court document to fuel a counter-intelligence investigation during an American political campaign. Once the truth gets out, we can begin taking steps to ensure our intelligence agencies and courts are never misused like this again.” 

OUCH!!  It's getting hotter in D.C. and the memo hasn't even been released yet! What do you think?!

SHOULD THE FISA MEMO BE RELEASED?

[Photo from wikipedia]

Should the controversial FISA memo be released to the public? According to news reports, the four page memo outlines FBI and DOJ abuses of their surveillance powers, in order to spy on the President's campaign and transition teams.  In a nutshell, the allegations are that agents sympathetic to the Clinton campaign utilized the largely unsubstantiated Russian "dirty" dossier, paid for by Clinton and the DNC, to apply for FISA warrants to spy on an opposition candidate (and new president) during an election year. If that happened, then this would clearly be one of the largest political scandals in American history.

The House Intelligence Committee has already voted for its release.  But the FBI and DOJ have reportedly objected to its release.  FBI Director Christopher Wray has even complained that the memo is inaccurate. However, House Speaker Paul Ryan has gone on record stating that the memo should be released in order to help "cleanse" the FBI and DOJ.

It is now up to the President.  He is reportedly having the memo reviewed, but last evening, after his State of the Union speech, he promised its prompt release.

What is your opinion? Should it be released? As a former federal prosecutor, I say let the cleansing begin!

Friday, January 26, 2018

SHOULD PRESIDENT TRUMP MEET WITH MUELLER?

Should President Trump meet with Mr. Mueller's agents?  He's certainly said he's not only willing to do so, but that he would gladly do it "under oath!" What do you think? If you were his criminal defense attorney, would you allow your client to meet with and be interrogated by law enforcement agents?

From my perspective, as a former federal prosecutor and, currently, as a criminal defense lawyer, there is no way I would want my client to meet with government agents in his circumstances!

For example, I would be worried that the feds would try to trip him up, in order to bring a false statements charge against him, just like they did with Michael Flynn.

Plus, serious questions have been raised recently about bias in Special Counsel Mueller's team against the President.

In addition, here, presumably, the defense team doesn't know all the potential evidence that Mueller's team may have against their client.

So, in my opinion, I would hope the President would take my advice, as his lawyer, and not submit to an interrogation. Mr. Cobb and other folks on the President's team should, instead, be insisting that Mueller should simply submit any questions to them and then they may provide written responses.

What do you think?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Russian Probe, Paul Manafort, and Moving Up the Ladder


Much has already been written about the F.B.I.'s predawn raid, earlier this week, of the home of former Trump campaign manager, Paul Manafort.  And much has been speculated about the reasons why the feds utilized a search warrant, instead of utilizing a grand jury subpoena or seeking voluntary compliance. But no one, outside the investigation, at this point, really knows!

As a former federal prosecutor, I can tell you that, many times, the feds will use a search warrant because they fear that records might be destroyed, or not provided, if one of the other methods is utilized.  In addition, as some have speculated, maybe the feds are just trying to get Manafort's attention and, from their perspective, try to scare him, in order to help them move up the ladder to reach juicier targets. But again, who knows?!  Their goals haven't leaked, yet!  

Sunday, February 19, 2017

AMERICAN JURY TRIALS



Today, I simply wanted to write about the role of the jury in the American criminal
justice system.  After more than 38 years as a criminal lawyer, including 26 years as a
former prosecutor, and since then, over 12 years as a criminal defense attorney, I can
honestly say that, even though mistakes occur, our jury system usually gets it right!


I would much prefer my own fate to be decided by a jury of my peers, drawn from
my community, than by a judge or group of political appointees, which is often
the case in other countries around the world!


What is you opinion?