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Tuesday :: September 12, 2023

Mark Meadows Loses Motion to Move GA Case to Federal Court

Former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has lost his motion to move the Georgia state criminal case against him to federal court.

"The court finds that the color of the Office of the White House Chief of Staff did not include working with or working for the Trump campaign, except for simply coordinating the president's schedule, traveling with the president to his campaign events, and redirecting communications to the campaign."

Meadows has filed an emergency motion to appeal to the 11th Circuit. It is available here.

The Judges 49 page ruling is here. [More...]

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Tuesday :: September 05, 2023

Labor Day Open Thread

Every Labor Day, since 2007 I post the same photo. It is a sculpture on a Labor Union memorial walking trail in downtown Omaha. I was in Omaha a lot during 2006-7 due to a drug case there that I was defending. Every morning before court or going to the jail to see my detained client, I'd walk the trail, stopping to read all the placards under each signpost and when I got to the sculputre, I would just stand in awe.

The sculpture is huge, 30 feet wide by 40 feet tall. Here is a photo of it from the web page of the artist who created it, Matthew Plazcek. It is called "Labor Monument".

This massive design featuring five larger-than-life bronze sculptures depicts the dignity, inspiration and dedication of the American work force.

Next is Labor Day music. We have a rich history of protest songs but the one that resonates with me the most on Labor Day wasn't even written by an American. [More...]

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Thursday :: August 24, 2023

Atlanta: Donald Trump Hires New Lead Lawyer

Donald Trump has shaken up his legal team, hiring one of the best trial lawyers in Georgia to be his lead lawyer.

Steven Sadow is absolutely top-notch. This case is also right up his alley.

I haven't spoken to Trump's former lawyer, Drew Findling, in a long time, but I hope he feels relieved. Drew gives his all to his clients, the famous the not-so-famous, and and to NACDL. After 30 plus years, he still has fun at work every day and despite his famous clients, he is still down-to-earth...no pretense, just a neighborhood-kind of guy. [More...]

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Live Thread: Book him Dano!

Update 5:57 pm: Donald has left the room. The motorcade is leaving the scene. Watching the over-the-top security of 18 motorcycles and a motorcade of black vans for Donald, his staff, and what CNN calls "prep vans", it all seems so unnecessary. Why doesn't one van with Donald and two secret service agents suffice? Why does his staff get their own motorcade? Have they never heard of Uber? This is almost as ridiculous (but not quite as bad) as Biden's entourage into Aspen a few years ago.

Update: Donald's mugshot was taken. According to CNN, his daughter-in-law Lara Trump said they are prepared to use it for merchandise to raise funds. His weight is listed at 215 pounds (In his dreams).

Original Post: It's finally happening. An event we've all been waiting 8 years for, since the man with no respect or regard for others and no government experience managed to take over the oval office.

He's about to arrive at the Fulton County Jail to be booked in. Mug shot or not, he's being booked with tens if not hundreds of viewers around the world watching his motorcade. [More...]

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Tuesday :: August 22, 2023

$200k Bail for Donald Trump in GA, Will Surrender Thursday

Donald Trump's Atlanta's lawyers were at the courthouse in Atlanta Monday hammering out a bond agreement with prosecutors in his election interference case. This is the case where he and 18 others, including Rudy Giuliani (I smile every time I type the words "defendant Rudy Giuliani") are charged with violations of Georgia's version of the federal organized crime statute known as "RICO".

Here's the final bond order , signed by the Judge.

The $200,000. is no big deal since Trump can elect to pay just 10% of it. And the Secret Service may well prevail over jailers at the Fulton County Jail as to whether Trump has to be mug-shotted and booked just like ordinary defendants. rules for ordinary defendants and refuse to allow him from being booked at the infamous, filthy, violent Fulton County jail, which just last month was notified by the DOJ's that the agency's civil rights division has placed the jail under investigation over its filthy conditions and abhorrent treatment of inmates, including the mentally ill.

The "non-financial conditions" of the bond order are what puts the zing to the court's order. The full 3 page order is here. [More...]

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Monday :: August 14, 2023

Trump, Giuliani and 17 Others Indicted in Georgia

Trump indicted again???
Yes, this time in state court in Georgia. The Indictment is here.

Trump is charged in 13 counts, including a state RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) count and conspiracy to commit first degree forgery.

Giuliani also has 13 counts, but they are not all the same as the charges against Trump.

Also indicted: Lawyers Sidney Powell (7 counts), Jenna Ellis (2 counts) and Trump-ites Mark Meadows (9 counts) and John Eastman (2 counts).

Not indicted: Donald Trump, Jr.

My first reaction: Never have I ever had a client charged in four separate indictments in four jurisdictions simultaneously. For any criminal defense lawyers reading this, raise your hand if any of your clients ever faced four indictments in separate jurisdictions at the same time ("Raise your hand" means tell us in the comments section).

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Wednesday :: August 09, 2023

Wednesday Open Thread

R.I.P. Robbie Robertson, who passed away today at the age of 80 after a long illness. What a great musician and songwriter he was.

If you haven't seen The Last Waltz, please do. Here is I Shall Be Released. Robbie looks so happy as he's playing, and don't miss his comments during an interview at the end of the song. Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Ringo, Joni Mitchell, Ronnie Wood and more all sharing the stage to sing. It gives me the chills just watching all that talent at the same time.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Saturday :: July 29, 2023

Charges Added to Trump's Florida Indictment

Another day and Donald Trump descends further into the legal abyss. The Grand Jury in the Southern District of Florida has returned a Superseding Indictment adding 3 charges and an additional defendant, Carlos de Oliveira, a property manager at Mar-a-Lago.

The original indictment ...accused Mr. Trump of violating the Espionage Act by illegally holding on to 31 classified documents containing national defense information after he left office. It also charged Mr. Trump and Walt Nauta, one of his personal aides, with a conspiracy to obstruct the government’s repeated attempts to reclaim the classified material.

The revised indictment add[s] three serious charges against Mr. Trump: attempting to “alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal evidence”; inducing someone else to do so; and a new count under the Espionage Act related to a classified national security document that he showed to visitors at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

[More...]

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Tuesday :: July 18, 2023

Tuesday Open Thread

Our last open thread is full. Here is a new one, all topics welcome.

I've really been busy with life in real-time, and haven't had enough free virtual time to write up my thoughts on the news.

Thank you to all of you who are commenting. I really do miss being able to contribute here on a daily basis, and I am looking forward to resuming my posts soon.

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Sunday :: July 02, 2023

Holiday Weekend Open thread

It's time for a new open thread, all topics welcome.

There's a lot to unpack (free link) in this week's Supreme Court decisions, and I'm hoping that Peter G. will lead the way.

There's a ton of drama in the media coverage of Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner Group, and his attempted "coup" or minor "protest" against Moscow or its military, depending on whose version you choose to believe, along with belated appearances by Putin and the comments of the ever-chatty President of Belarus.

I tend to pay more attention to news in Mexico, Colombia and even Venezuela. I keep seeing reports that the next prisoner swap may include Alex Saab. I hope so. Kidnapping him in Cape Verde and extraditing him to the U.S. was wrong, and in my view, illegal.

I'll close with this bit of news from Cuba: Elián González, now 29, has become a member of Congress in Cuba:

n April, González was sworn in as a member of Cuba’s National Assembly of People’s Power, effectively Cuba’s congress. He represents Cárdenas, a town in Matanzas province about 80 miles (about 130 kilometers) east of Havana where he lived until his mother took him to sea. He still lives in the province.

Again, all topics welcome, including what you are cooking for this 4th of July.

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Sunday :: June 18, 2023

Happy Father's Day and Open Thread

Why are most of the songs about fathers so sad? I was looking for an upbeat song and came up empty. On my third try, I found one that resonated with me, probably because my dad took me to a lot of NY Yankee games when I was a kid. There was Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Yogi Berra, and my personal favorite, Hector Lopez (because we had seats at third base and he was right in front of me.) I'd stand up and hoot and holler "Hector! Hector!" till I was hoarse. My dad never told me to pipe down and sit, because even though I was probably embarrassing the hell out of him, he could see how much fun I was having.

As for the song: A great version by Carly Simon, that turns very upbeat after a minute or so.

I hope everyone remembered to call their dads today (if not, it's not too late), and for those like me, whose dad is no longer here, I hope you took a moment to look up at the sky and whisper "thanks!"

Let us know how you spent Fathers Day. This is an open thread, all topics welcome!

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Friday :: June 09, 2023

Trump FL Indictment: Walt Nauta Also Charged

Here is the Florida Indictment charging Donald Trump and his aide Walt Nauta in the Classified Documents case.

Trump is charged in a whopping 37 counts. Nauta, a is charged in 6 counts. Who is Walt Nauta?

[A] military aide working as a White House valet while Mr. Trump was president.

Nauta retired and went to work for Trump as a personal aide after Trump left Washington. [More...]

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