Patterico's Pontifications


Fifth Circuit: DOJ Failed to Investigate Misconduct of Prosecutors Who Prosecuted James O’Keefe

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:45 pm

Well, they didn’t say it in quite those words, of course . . . but that’s the effect of their opinion.

I don’t have the time or energy to blog this that I once had, but regular readers will remember that I have written extensively about the perfidy of the New Orleans federal prosecutors who went after James O’Keefe.

Well, the Fifth Circuit came down with its opinion last week, and it wasn’t pretty. Power Line has more.

For my part, tonight, I’ll simply quote briefly from the Fifth Circuit opinion:

The reasons for granting a new trial are novel and extraordinary. No less [fewer — Ed.] than three high-ranking federal prosecutors are known to have been posting online, anonymous comments to newspaper articles about the case throughout its duration. The government makes no attempt to justify the prosecutors’ ethical lapses, which the court described as having created an “online 21st century carnival atmosphere.” Not only that, but the government inadequately investigated and substantially delayed the ferreting out of information about its in-house contributors to the anonymous postings.

It’s that last bit — the stonewalling by Eric Holder’s Justice Department — that I concentrated on in the past. Well, that, and the overlap (namely Jan Mann) between these prosecutors and the team that persecuted James O’Keefe.

But Holder’s gone. So what difference, at this point, does it make?


39 Responses to “Fifth Circuit: DOJ Failed to Investigate Misconduct of Prosecutors Who Prosecuted James O’Keefe”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (3cc0c1)

  2. That’s just the way Dems roll.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  3. No difference. That’s the power of the Feds. They can slow play private citizens and never be held accountable for improper actions. Of Course they’ll always get away with it.

    Dejectedhead (ba8561)

  4. has been questioning the actions of the New Orleans federal prosecutors since 2008 and Obama’s DOJ, too. It’s nice to see your concerns vindicated.

    DRJ (1dff03)

  5. I followed you up to this:

    and the team that persecuted James O’Keefe


    Logically, I expected another case, perhaps Senator Stevens?

    bobathome (279337)

  6. The government attorneys acted deplorably in this case, and their punishment has been unconscionably mild. But a new trial is not the proper remedy on the record before us. I respectfully dissent.

    Me too. I have no sympathy for those cops. They were death penalty eligible under most states’ laws.

    nk (dbc370)

  7. no those were shunted to office to prosecutions in Alabama, and going after the CIA leaker Jeffrey Sterling, but they of a kind with Fitzgerald, whose prosecutions of Libby, Conrad Black and even Blago have proved flawed.

    narciso (ee1f88)

  8. in-house contributors to the anonymous postings

    An Ashley Madison operation.

    n.n (b378dc)

  9. What are these “criminals names”? We will then finds their addresses like the radicals
    do and see if their families enjoy the publicity!!

    ray (9821de)

  10. bobathome,

    Patterico mentions O’Keefe because this involved wrongdoing by the DOJ and by the US Attorney for the ED Louisiana in New Orleans. Most of Patterico’s posts that I linked in my comment concern the New Orleans federal prosecutor’s office. Some were about O’Keefe but there were also stories that were prior to the O’Keefe incident and one that was during the Bush era.

    Sen Stevens’ case involved wrongdoing by the DOJ and this involves the DOJ, too, but Patterico has been posting his specific concerns about the New Orleans’ federal prosecutor for years.

    DRJ (1dff03)

  11. Patterico: Is “Published” the word you wanted in that title?

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  12. DOJ under Holder was a continuing criminal conspiracy… Gangster Government.

    Colonel Haiku (ef4f0e)

  13. The next president needs to restore the rule of law, and the only way to do that is to throw several thousand Obama administration officials in prison for long sentences.

    Won’t happen with Jeb, really won’t happen with Trump (he’s actually on the other side here). Cruz would insist on it. I would like to hear the GOP candidates asked about this.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  14. Thanks DRJ, I couldn’t connect the dots. It certainly is true that the DOJ has been playing outside the lines for some time. I wonder whether this is directly politically motivated with linkages to more august personages, or whether the culprits harbor personal political ambitions, and they think their actions will make them populist heroes. The first is squalid and the second is pathetic. The number of low level lawyers who conspire in these things suggests that the latter is not the most likely. It takes some organizing by higher authority to get the minions to cooperate in a criminal enterprise. In either case it is outrageous. They are using all our good names as supporters of the U. S. to prey upon innocents. Scooter Libby and Senator Stevens have both been shown to be innocent after the fact. Stevens by virtue of the exculpatory evidence that the “lawyers” for the DOJ withheld, and Libby based on Judith Millers recantation after she realized she’d been played by the DOJ “lawyers”. Ambulance Chaser used to be the preferred pejorative for despicable members of the lawyer class. Government Lawyer and/or FBI Agent will soon replace it.

    bobathome (279337)

  15. We tend to focus on Obama’s most obvious attacks on the Rule of Law — his illegal executive orders, for example.

    But far less visible, and equally pernicious over time, has been the systematic degradation of our institutions that are charged with maintaining and upholding the Rule of Law.

    This particular example shows how deeply into the institutional structure of the Department of Justice the Obama mentality has been absorbed. These people’s basic premise is that “Our goals are righteous, therefore any of our means are justified, even if they’re patently illegal and corrupt. Our targets deserve what we’re dishing out, and that’s the end of the story.”

    The most dangerous criminals imaginable are those who were themselves charged with protecting us from criminals.

    And of course, this is not limited to the Justice Department, but has extended through every federal department and agency. They may not put people behind bars as regularly, but they all regulate our lives — and now they do it “the Obama Way” (which, aptly enough, is pretty close to what used to be called “the Chicago Way,” except that the Obama Way is not only fiscally corrupt and venal but philosophically and ideologically corrupt and venal).

    I’m reminded that one of Ronald Reagan’s first great tests as POTUS — one of his earliest moments to confront a challenge that would test whether his actions in office would match his campaign rhetoric — came with the PATCO strike. Our next President will need even more spine, even more methodical and consistence adherence to the first principles of government and the Rule of Law, to root out Obama’s flesh-and-blood legacies in every executive department and agency.

    This is another reason why I oppose the buffoon who claims he’s a master of “good management,” but whose actual subordinates have, along with him, taken his companies through four waves of bankruptcy.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  16. failmerica is a sleazy corrupt criminal whorestate anymore

    and the whole world knows it

    but the key thing is that Ted Cruz is a jackass

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  17. Re: #12 – Colonel, the entire Obama Admin is gangster government. The sad thing, now that the bureaucracy has mainlined gangster government, it will be even more difficult to root it out.

    The entire Federal Bureaucracy is corrupted by these abuses.

    Steve Malynn (b5f891)

  18. Happy, you channeling Boehner? 😉

    Steve Malynn (b5f891)

  19. What Beldar said. In Spades.

    Steve Malynn (b5f891)

  20. yes yes Boehner understands what the Real Problems are

    he’s a majestic leader

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  21. Patterico:

    No less [fewer — Ed.]

    Not fewer

    At least.

    Unless you mean to say that the judge is wrong, and only one or two high-ranking federal prosecutors are known to have posted online anonymous comments to newspaper articles about the case.

    Sammy Finkelman (5c2615)

  22. Crocodile Boehner tears.

    O’keefe doesn’t impress me.

    carlitos (d2860f)

  23. Scooter Libby hasn’t been shown to be innocent. He almost certainly did lie under oath.

    The whole investigation has been shown to be irrelevant to any concern of the government.

    Scooter Libby did indeed probably tell Judith Miller that Valerie Plame was Joe Wilson’s wife. What’s more, he probablt started asking questions of the CIA because of her. That Valerie Wilson was responsible for the fact that he was chosen to go to on this Niger trip was the CIA’s cover story, which they then spread around the upper echelons of the U.S. government. Judith Miller never published anything about this (she didn’t even have her name right) and she was not the reason the fact that Valerie Wilson worked in the CIA became public. It was also not a crime, or at least a serious one, to reveal that.

    Sammy Finkelman (5c2615)

  24. Since this thread doesn’t seem to be generating many comments, I’m going to hijack it (partially). The problems in the New Orleans federal prosecutor’s office have interested Patterico and me for years, but they don’t seem to interest anyone else. That’s fine. There’s no rule that people have to be interested in the same thing, but there is a pattern of disinterest that intrigues me, and it extends back prior to the O’Keefe posts.

    Please share with me why you don’t care about these posts. Is it too law-related to be of interest? Are you worried about negative comments about prosecutors when the host is a prosecutor? Do you assume Louisiana is corrupt, so this is a dog bites man story? Or is it something else.

    DRJ (1dff03)

  25. quic custodies custodiem, who watches the watchers, the actions in Alaska, Illinois, N Orleans and Milwaukee show a startling abuse of power, you can add Spitzer’s malpractice against AIG, which was a contributory factory to it’s part in the financial crisis,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  26. ‘Member when it was Richard Nixon and Ed Meese who were corrupting the Department of Justice? The Democrats were aghast!

    The historian Dana (f6a568)

  27. I’m very interested in this post. We recently had a reversal of a conviction in Illinois for much milder misconduct — in closing argument, the prosecutor talked to an all white jury about the no-snitch ethic in the black community briefly but in no uncertain terms. The court held it was error per se. The prosecutor received a reprimand, the mildest discipline, and I’m not sure even that was merited. It’s an important issue whether the obviously guilty criminal should go free because the prosecutor (or cop) broke the rules without regard whether the misconduct altered the outcome of the trial.

    O’Keefe’s feud with Letten? Meh. Get a job, kid. And a girlfriend.

    nk (dbc370)

  28. I will be brutally frank, DRJ. Distributive labor: There are others who are more adept to deal with this issue, both in words and understanding, as well as action and persuasion. I would only be a liability – even in the comment section. Of course, I speak only for myself.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  29. But why I don’t care about these posts? I do care about them in as much as I do care to read the thoughts on the subject by the poster. Sometimes (o.k., many times) I have nothing of substance to add.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  30. Please share with me why you don’t care about these posts. Is it too law-related to be of interest? Are you worried about negative comments about prosecutors when the host is a prosecutor? Do you assume Louisiana is corrupt, so this is a dog bites man story? Or is it something else.

    DRJ (1dff03) — 8/28/2015 @ 10:30 a

    No. No to all of the above. What I worry about are comments on a public forum when I have to visit the California DMV again sometime in the near future.
    olice-pay ate-stay – if you can read pig latin.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  31. DRJ, one problem with DOJ malfeasance is that the wrong doers are so anonymous and faceless. There’s never been a perp walk, nor any exposure of them and their families to the kind of abuse that is routinely handed out to innocent civilians. The outrage would be there if the stories were handled in the normal way. But even Judith Miller’s story was handled in a kind of regretful, low key way. No full bodied screams of betrayal and abuse.

    I suppose it is the absence of a true conservative media. There are real risks about calling out the DOJ, and without a philosophical commitment to the process it won’t happen.

    But it could happen. I’ve been following Mark Steyn’s battle with Michael Mann in the DC court, and Steyn hasn’t backed down, he hasn’t been cowed. If the Republican Leadership demonstrated some backbone and strength, it might encourage others to join the battle. But if Boehner and McConnell have both surrendered, it raises the barrier to the protestation of all the other insults we have experienced.

    bobathome (279337)

  32. Doesn’t escape my attention that the people who happen to get Nifonged all look like me. European American male.

    There is a targeting system, just as sure as their was a SJW inspired pass extended to a queer black man with a history of rage and false discrimination suits.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  33. #21… Regardless of your feelings about O’Keefe, the DOJ persecuting an individual and using sleazy, under-handed, anonymous, unlawful tactics to do so SHOULD trouble you. That it does not is your failing, Carlitos… Yours and yours alone.

    Colonel Haiku (ef4f0e)

  34. DOJ refuses to play by the rules, jumps the line and targets people for their lawfull political beliefs.

    Colonel Haiku (ef4f0e)

  35. I care about them, DRJ, I just can’t see anything I can do to change matters. I’m not even sure it’s a President thing; this $hit has been piling up for decades. The mountain is finally high enought that more and more are noticing the stench. There are three problems:

    disposing of the pile

    disposing of those who have created the pile

    preventing the building of future piles.

    Oh, and a fourth: compensation to those piled upon.


    htom (4ca1fa)

  36. Thank you, everyone, for responding to my comment. One thing I’m hearing is that this doesn’t seem like something any of us can fix. I agree with that. However, I also think that our best chance of fixing problems like this comes from publicly exposure. Transparency may not be the answer but it might be the start of an answer.

    DRJ (1dff03)

  37. DRJ #34 – au contrary, this is something comparatively easy to fix – by removing Democrats/Progressives from office wherever and whenever possible … having the will to carry out the fix can be another story …

    As you have read from me before, the worst of Congressional RINOs voted against final passage of Obamacare … we have to hope that that fact is sinking in, more and more, as Pres’ent Obama’s Democrat/Progressive agenda is revealed more and more starkly …

    I would be curious to know if any of our commenters here has any awareness of any GOP equivalents to Nifong and the New Orleans prosecutors ? My suspicion is that such may not actually exist …

    Alastor (2e7f9f)

  38. Orange County California, Alastor. A judge disqualified 250 deputy district attorneys for unethical practices. Letten was a Bush appointee, too, reappointed by Obama.

    nk (dbc370)

  39. The decision was fascinating reading. Better than most of Grisham’s pot boilers. It was interesting that the judge was concerned that the prosecution threatened the wife of one of the defendants with perjury if she testified, and when she didn’t testify in court they didn’t follow thru on that threatened prosecution. I suppose that is life in the gutter that these DOJ lawyers live in. Get someone to say something without a lawyer’s council, and then use that to silence them if they can help the defense. In this case, she wanted to testify about what her husband told her immediately after the event, but she must have said something that shaded the truth to the prosecutors and so the prosecutors said she’d lose custody of her three children while she did her jail time. Such lovely people we have in government.

    This whole thing reinforces my conviction that Conrad Black was railroaded.

    bobathome (6f310e)

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