Tuesday, September 01, 2020

I’m no fan of Steve Bannon.

 But the way DOJ is treating him and his co-defendants in the press isn’t right.  I call it chutzpah in this piece in the Hill:

Chutzpah is defined as “shameless audacity.” In his book of the same name, Alan Dershowitz said the concept is more easily demonstrated than defined. He gave the classic illustration of the kid who murders his parents and then pleads for mercy on the ground that he is an orphan. The Department of Justice’s recent actions with respect to Brian Kolfage (Steve Bannon’s co-defendant) — issuing press releases with inflammatory quotes about the allegations and the arrest while at the same time filing a motion with the court saying that the defense should not be able to respond in the press — is another good example of chutzpah. So too is DOJ's handling of the press in the Ghislaine Maxwell case — holding a lengthy press conference with pictures and charts and opposing the defense’s motion to curtail the prosecution’s media blitz.
On Aug. 20, the DOJ arrested Kolfage, Bannon and other alleged co-conspirators for fraud in connection with an online fundraising campaign for “We Build the Wall.” Regardless of what you think of Steve Bannon, President Trump, or “the wall” — and as a liberal Democrat, I have pretty strong views — all defendants are presumed innocent and should be treated fairly.

Please read the whole thing and let me know your thoughts.  Try to imagine a defendant that you don’t hate in Bannon’s or Maxwell’s place.


Anonymous said...

The Sovereign District of New York plays by a different set of rules.

Anonymous said...


We live in a self promotion society. This blog is an example. Right or wrong. Sometimes it is okay, some times it impacts other people's rights.

The other day, you posted an article where a former ausa was quoted....go to his profile page and you can learn of all of his trial victories and disturbingly, the total number of cases he indicted! That's right, charging people with crimes qualifies him as an experienced attorney.

Now, had he written about all of the cases he declined, you could say that shows something. But of course, nobody wants a lawyer who doesn't bring cases (or so inexperienced attorneys may believe).

So, as long as people believe firms or clients will value the number of indictments a lawyer brought, or how many times they stood in front of a camera with their finger pointed, you are going to have press conferences, misplaced bragging, and bloggers who post about their op eds in The Hill.

Some of it is great, some of it is forgiveable and some of it sucks.

BTW, I think you, this blog and the article are great. But it is really just a bird of a slightly different feather.

Anonymous said...

I read this blog frequently and have come to recognize your posts. You usually have a racial justice theme with most of your posts, and half the time you link to like a million articles to prove something, but the arricle is invariably Slate or some similar opinion site. But here your post is so out of left field... you are thinking of things no one would come up with from reading this. It boggles my mind. Are you just sitting there at Starbucks all day reading and thinking? My best guess is you aspire to go to law school but havent taken the LSAT yet. Am I close? Are you as opinionated in person or does the medium of blog posts bring out an edge? Do you go watch trials at Wilkie? I think the exact opposite of you and if it werent for covid and the chance you might be a loon, id invite you to grab a drink.

Anonymous said...


How am I doing?

Rumpole said...

Chutzpah is.....
(great topic for blog posts where readers give examples of what judges, lawyers, prosecutors, have done).

Anonymous said...

I think 9:33 is a sovereign citizen.

Anonymous said...