Patterico's Pontifications


Tucker Carlson: Judge Amy Berman Jackson Lied, And Should Be Impeached

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:53 pm

[guest post by Dana]

[Note from JVW: At Dana’s request I made a post-publication edit to the post to add the judge’s full name in the headline and first paragraph.]

Lest you think nobody pays attention to the Fox News host, consider that he recently had a single monthly total audience of 3.4 million viewers on the consistently highest-rated basic cable channel.

Anyway, Carlson had harsh words for Judge Berman Jackson, and called for her to be impeached:

“Stone’s sentence was delivered by an Obama-appointed judge called Amy Berman Jackson. Now you often hear people complain that our justice system has been infected by politics. Amy Berman Jackson is living proof that it has been,” declared Carlson during his monologue, calling Jackson an “open partisan who has so flagrantly violated the bounds of constitutional law and fairness that it’s shocking she’s still on the bench.”

“If there’s anyone in Washington that deserves to be impeached, it’s Amy Berman Jackson,” he continued, before criticizing the judge’s decision to place Rick Gates and Paul Manafort under house arrest during their trials despite the fact that they “are middle-aged men with no criminal history.”

“Jackson wanted to punish Gates and Manafort before they were even convicted of anything, and she did. Ultimately she revoked Manafort’s bail and placed him in jail in solitary confinement. But Jackson reserved her real fury for Roger Stone,” claimed Carlson. “At sentencing today, she declared that Stone was ‘prosecuted for covering up for the president.’ Now, CNN let the claim pass without comment, but anybody who had been watching was baffled because that’s totally untrue.”

Carlson explained, “Nobody connected to the president has ever been charged with a crime related to spying for Russia or colluding with Russia, much less convicted of one. Stone wasn’t charged with covering up anything. That was not the charge. That is not what he was sentenced for.”

“Amy Jackson knows that. She lied about it,” he concluded. “In other words, here you have a federal judge lying about the case before her. Scary? Yes, it is scary.”


Free Speech And Ridicule Law Under Microscope At U Of Connecticut

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:37 am

[guest post by Dana]

The AP reports:

Free speech concerns that were raised following the arrests of two University of Connecticut students accused of saying a racial slur have led state legislators to consider repealing a century-old law that bans ridicule based on race, religion or nationality.

The episode on campus involving two white students in October was recorded on video and sparked protests against racism. Many people applauded their arrests, but civil liberties groups condemned them as an affront to First Amendment rights.

Police said the students, Jarred Karal and Ryan Mucaj, uttered the racial slur several times while walking through the parking lot of a campus apartment complex and were recorded by a black student. They said that they were playing a game that involved saying offensive words and that it was not directed at anyone in particular.

They were charged under a 1917 law that makes it a misdemeanor for anyone who “ridicules or holds up to contempt any person or class of persons, on account of the creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race of such person or class of persons.”

Legislation to repeal the law is in the works, and a public hearing on the matter is scheduled for today.

Penalties for the ridicule charge can include up to 30 days in jail.

Opposing views include:

“It is so clearly unconstitutional under the First Amendment that it’s hard to believe that it’s still on the books,” said William Dunlap, a professor at the Quinnipiac University School of Law in North Haven, Connecticut. “It punishes speech based on the content of the speech, and that it is one of the key concepts of the First Amendment — that the government cannot punish speech based on its content.”

…and from the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, who have asked the repeal law be rejected:

At a time when hate and bias incidents are on the rise, it is critical that the state not remove these types of prohibitions that aim to deter or punish this unacceptable behavior.

Meanwhile, a federal lawsuit has been filed by the two students against the university. They claim that their free speech rights have been violated.

More speech, not less.


Amy Berman Jackson’s Comments: A Rare (These Days) Vindication of the Rule of Law (For Now)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:49 am

Judge Amy Berman Jackson, during Roger Stone’s sentencing hearing, made some eye-opening comments that I want to highlight. Some of it had to do with the Justice Department’s extraordinary reversal, and her desire to put the lawyers on the hot seat as a result. From the account in the New York Times:

“As I understand it, you are representing the United States of America,” she told John Crabb Jr., an assistant United States attorney, with a trace of sarcasm. “I fear you know less about the case, saw less of the testimony and exhibits than just about every other person in this courtroom.”

“Is there anything you would like to say about why you are the one standing here?” she asked.

Cold as ice. The story says “Mr. Crabb defended the prosecution as a ‘righteous’ effort to hold Mr. Stone to account for ‘serious’ crimes.” Extra Toady Points to Mr. Crabb for using the same word to describe the prosecution (“righteous”) that Bill Barr had used in his interview with ABC News.

Judge Jackson also said that Stone was prosecuted for “covering for” Trump:

In biting tones, Judge Jackson dismissed any notion that the case lacked merit.

She said that Mr. Stone hindered a congressional inquiry of national importance because the truth would have embarrassed the president and his 2016 campaign. The documentary evidence alone, she said, proved that Mr. Stone deceived the House Intelligence Committee about his efforts to obtain information from WikiLeaks about Democratic emails that had been stolen by Russian operatives who sought to influence the 2016 presidential election.

“He was not prosecuted, as some have complained, for standing up for the president. He was prosecuted for covering up for the president,” the judge said. In government inquiries, she added, “the truth still exists. The truth still matters.” Otherwise, she said, “everyone loses.”

This does not mean that she is saying Trump conspired with the Russian government in a manner that is prosecutable, but it does mean that the Trump campaign (specifically Steve Bannon and Rick Gates) had contacts with Wikileaks, through Stone and his confederates. And Stone wanted to cover that up, at least on behalf of Donald Trump’s political well being, if not because he thought a crime had been committed.

Judge Jackson also made it clear that the original recommendation was entirely consistent with DoJ policy. And the prosecutor agreed:

I don’t have time this morning to do a detailed post about how the Justice Department backed off of its revised memo on the Roger Stone sentencing in favor of positions taken in the initial memo that so upset Bill Barr and Donald Trump. Maybe this weekend if I feel motivated and there’s interest. Suffice it to quote from the linked Hill article:

On Thursday … Justice Department prosecutor John Crabb, a recent addition to Stone’s case, defended the original memorandum and a key argument for imposing a stiffer sentence.

“It was done in good faith,” Crabb told U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee, before she handed down Stone’s sentence.

. . . .

Crabb also supported a key portion of the original sentencing recommendation that was based in part on Stone’s conduct toward Randy Credico, a comedian and radio host who testified at the trial.

. . . .

[O]n Thursday, Crabb told Jackson that the Justice Department stood behind its initial judgment that the threat against Credico should increase the severity of Stone’s sentence.

“Our position is this enhancement applies,” Crabb said. “And we ask the court to apply it.”

That enhancement was the key enhancement that increased the original recommendation by several years. Following two livetweet feeds of the proceedings, I was stunned to see this concession. It seems that the Justice Department is trying to regain the credibility it has blown through this fiasco. Not so fast, fellas. That’s going to take a lot of time, a new Attorney General, a new President, and even more time still.

Anyone who says the lower sentence “vindicates” Trump or Barr either didn’t read the original memo, has their thinking clouded by partisan views, or both. I predicted 30 months purely based on the original memo, and that was low. The original memo made it clear that there were countervailing factors. It was not difficult to read between the lines and Judge Jackson made it clear that she had not discounted the original memo — which, she noted, had never actually been withdrawn by the government.

All in all, a tawdry episode that will continue to repeat itself as long as Donald Trump is the president. He can’t leave fast enough.

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