All Eyes on the Legal System, Again

 

You are forgiven for being distracted from the slow-motion train wreck unfolding before our eyes as it descends upon the US Capitol. Why watch politicians arguing over a massive inflation-inducing, pork-infested spending package wrapped in a looming debt-limit crisis when you can watch jury trials? At least it may be more fun to watch than more media and government fear-mongering over the Xi – excuse me – Omicron coronavirus variant. We must not offend our would-be overlords.

Two verdicts last week affirmed our jury system. Everyone knows that Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal was followed up by the convictions of three Georgia men in the murder of Ahmad Arbery. The winner was justice; the biggest winners may be the jurors themselves, who at least in the Rittenhouse trial withstood attempts to intimidate them. Kyle is a winner, too, but he will suffer consequences for many years to come.

The losers were legion, led by scores of delusional, narrative-pushing media personalities and their unquestioning, equally-deluded followers, coupled with grifting political operatives who feed media with false information. People are dead, and the trajectory of dozens of lives is forever altered, long after the cameras move on to the next “mostly peaceful protest.”

The frustration, of course, comes from the disconnect between early reports of alleged crimes to the reality that ultimately emerges. It proves the old adage that a lie gets halfway around the world while truth puts its boots on.

Americans have long been transfixed by jury and criminal trials, both real and imagined. There’s a reason “whodunit” murder mysteries, trials involving “Ponzi schemes,” police shows (Hill Street Blues), and crime-fighting television programs (Perry Mason, Matlack, et al.) have long been incredibly popular with media consumers since television became a thing. And even before (Dick Tracy et al.). They usually involve very colorful people in communities everywhere with a winning media formula – a victim, a criminal, someone being right or wrong, a pursuit of justice, gripping visuals, and sensational headlines. “Florida man” is often involved.

So buckle up because the courts – including the US Supreme Court – are center stage again this week.

Two “celebrity” trials began Monday, starting with the lurid underage sex crimes alleged of Ghislaine Maxwell, the late Jeffrey Epstein’s paramour and partner accused of trafficking underage girls for sex with famous and often very wealthy older men from Bill Gates to Prince Andrew. We’ve all heard the stories about the brilliant former math teaching being an FBI informant who “didn’t kill himself” in his badly-supervised New York federal prison. He hosted former President Bill Clinton several times at “Epstein Island.” Maxwell’s pre-trial detention has been somewhat more supervised. Interesting things are said, “under oath.” This is likely a good week for the cottage industry of “crisis public relations” experts. Perhaps we will hear again from famous Clinton-fixer Lanny Davis.

Credit Davis for the best “crisis communications” advice I’ve heard: “Tell it all, tell it early, and tell it yourself.” Sadly, that rarely happens, courtesy of defense lawyers, at least when crimes are alleged. In fairness, you do have a right to remain silent. And another one against self-incrimination. You know the thing.

The real story here may not be what happens to Maxwell, but to the people who were part of Epstein’s circle and the victims who were trafficked to “entertain” them. Conspiracy theories are already legion concerning just how wide – and how high – child sex trafficking networks go. Exposing and eradicating all involved would obviously be an excellent consequence. We’ll see.

Also beginning today is the fraud trial of actor Jussie Smollett. Daily Wire lays the foundation for an event that occurred three years ago.

In January 2019, Smollett claimed he was walking alone at night in Deep Blue Chicago during a polar vortex when two supporters of former President Donald Trump — who apparently happened to be carrying rope and bleach in the event they saw someone to attack that particular night — recognized him and brutally attacked him while yelling racial and homophobic slurs.

Smollett returned to a friend’s home and called the police, still wearing the noose that was apparently placed around his neck from his attackers. His story didn’t seem plausible on its face, as it is unlikely that such big supporters of Trump were fans of “Empire” to the extent that they knew Smollett was gay and where he would be in order to attack him.

It was later reported that Smollett hired two brothers whom he had previously worked with to stage the attack to raise his profile and hopefully get him a raise on “Empire” and further his acting career. The brothers alleged that Smollett paid them to buy plain red hats that he later claimed were “Make American Great Again” (MAGA) hats signaling the attackers’ support of Trump.

In September 2020, Smollett insisted he was “set up” and continued to claim that he was attacked by two white men wearing MAGA hats. The brothers who said they were paid to stage the attack are black. The Daily Wire reported at the time that Smollett suddenly started claiming he had two witnesses who could prove he did not fake the attack.

After Chicago police investigated Smollett’s original claims for two weeks, they suspected he had staged the attack.

But don’t worry about poor Jussie. He’s still feted at Hollywood-style red carpet events ahead of his trial. January 6th “insurrectionists” are not so fortunate. And just as we saw with the Rittenhouse allegations, many celebrities and politicians were very quick to pass politically correct judgment and defend Jussie, including our now-current Vice President.

It wasn’t the only hoax perpetrated against Donald Trump or his supporters over the past five years. And that doesn’t even include the Trump-Russia collusion hoax about which we continue to learn much. It already qualifies as the most significant political scandal in American history as it continues to unfold. You know why – federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies conspired with Democratic party officials and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign to influence an election and undermine a presidency. The Washington Post and New York Times have yet to return their Pulitzer prizes. or apologize for their phony reporting of the scandal, based on malign anonymous sourcing.

The last trial, of course, is Wednesday’s US Supreme Court abortion case hearing, Dobbs v. Jackson. Here’s a concise description:

In 2018, Jackson Women’s Health Organization challenged the constitutionality of Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act, which prohibits nearly all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with limited exceptions for fetal abnormalities and medical emergencies. Both the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that the law was unconstitutional under the Supreme Court’s precedents in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, both of which recognized the constitutional right to pre-viability abortion.

Expect lots of theater from both pro and anti-life advocates outside the US Supreme Court on Wednesday morning. It won’t be the first time.

Don’t expect a quick decision from SCOTUS, but ignore the parsing of activists and media personalities (redundancy alert) who will look for clues from the questions by Justices of the attorneys involved. The outcomes of such landmark cases are often not announced until near the end of the court’s term in late June, just in time to influence the forthcoming November 2022 elections. And there is no shortage of significant cases this term, many of which will be announced around that same time. But this one is the big tuna since many predict it may overturn Roe v. Wade and its sister ruling, Planned Parenthood v. Casey. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, as all this unfolds this week, be wary of people donning blue or red jerseys who push early judgments and prognostications through political lenses. We’ve seen how that works out. Let the judicial system work. It did last week.

Speaking of distractions, the person most pleased might be this one. And probably his father. Best wishes to New York Post journalist Miranda Devine and her new book that publishes Tuesday, November 30. It will be tough breaking through all the media clutter, especially since major media and big tech giants squashed this story 13 months ago. A story that later proved to be true.

Charles Spurgeon and Winston Churchill were right: A lie gets halfway around the world before truth puts on its boots.

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  1. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    In January 2019, Smollett claimed he was walking alone at night in Deep Blue Chicago during a polar vortex when two supporters of former President Donald Trump — who apparently happened to be carrying rope and bleach in the event they saw someone to attack that particular night — recognized him and brutally attacked him while yelling racial and homophobic slurs.

    If you’re going to perpetrate a hoax it’s not a good idea to involve the police, especially one that takes place during a polar vortex. Claiming you were assaulted by two white men who just happened to be wandering around on a freezing night with bleach and a rope to find a random black man to attack bringing home a Subway sandwich isn’t very credible.

    One of the officers interviewing Mr. Smollett noticed that despite the brutal attack the sandwich survived the attack in perfect shape. It’s the little things that can ruin your story.

    • #1
  2. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    “But don’t worry about poor Jussie. He’s still feted at Hollywood red carpet events ahead of his trial.” 

    No, it’s not true. You can’t blame Hollywood for it. It happened in Harlem, for one thing, and he was at a screening of a film he himself made–in other words, he’s the guy who rented a red carpet. For himself. BTW, the Post article points out that his film is still unsold, so Hollywood is not rushing to take Smollett back. 

    • #2
  3. Kelly D Johnston Coolidge
    Kelly D Johnston
    @SoupGuy

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    “But don’t worry about poor Jussie. He’s still feted at Hollywood red carpet events ahead of his trial.”

    No, it’s not true. You can’t blame Hollywood for it. It happened in Harlem, for one thing, and he was at a screening of a film he himself made–in other words, he’s the guy who rented a red carpet. For himself. BTW, the Post article points out that his film is still unsold, so Hollywood is not rushing to take Smollett back.

    Thank you for your defense of Jussie. I’m sure he appreciates it. 

    • #3
  4. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    “But don’t worry about poor Jussie. He’s still feted at Hollywood red carpet events ahead of his trial.”

    No, it’s not true. You can’t blame Hollywood for it. It happened in Harlem, for one thing, and he was at a screening of a film he himself made–in other words, he’s the guy who rented a red carpet. For himself. BTW, the Post article points out that his film is still unsold, so Hollywood is not rushing to take Smollett back.

    Good to hear. 

    • #4
  5. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Kelly D Johnston (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    “But don’t worry about poor Jussie. He’s still feted at Hollywood red carpet events ahead of his trial.”

    No, it’s not true. You can’t blame Hollywood for it. It happened in Harlem, for one thing, and he was at a screening of a film he himself made–in other words, he’s the guy who rented a red carpet. For himself. BTW, the Post article points out that his film is still unsold, so Hollywood is not rushing to take Smollett back.

    Thank you for your defense of Jussie. I’m sure he appreciates it.

    Defend Smollett? Gee, if I’d written that, I would have been ashamed. No, I was trying to help a fellow Rico take some factually wrong BS out of his post. Not everyone appreciates the help, of course, or deserves it. But go right ahead contradicting the link that you posted. 

    • #5
  6. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Kelly D Johnston (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    “But don’t worry about poor Jussie. He’s still feted at Hollywood red carpet events ahead of his trial.”

    No, it’s not true. You can’t blame Hollywood for it. It happened in Harlem, for one thing, and he was at a screening of a film he himself made–in other words, he’s the guy who rented a red carpet. For himself. BTW, the Post article points out that his film is still unsold, so Hollywood is not rushing to take Smollett back.

    Thank you for your defense of Jussie. I’m sure he appreciates it.

    Defend Smollett? Gee, if I’d written that, I would have been ashamed. No, I was trying to help a fellow Rico take some factually wrong BS out of his post. Not everyone appreciates the help, of course, or deserves it. But go right ahead contradicting the link that you posted.

    Does being “feted” require that some big company buy his movie?  Maybe it’s not very good.  But he’s still “feted” at the various Hollywood-related (which means even if they’re not actually IN Hollywood) parties, on the lefty talking-head shows, etc.  People wear “Free Jussie” type shirts same as they wear “Che” shirts etc.

    • #6
  7. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    My impression is that the Rittenhouse verdict was reasonable, while the Arbery verdict looks dubious to me.  I’m not particularly interested in either one, though.

    • #7
  8. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    There was a third story, completely buried by the establishment and little remarked by alternative media. A black man was found not guilty by reason of self-defense in the killing of one sheriff’s deputy and the wounding of another. The man’s girlfriend was riddled with law enforcement bullets to what should have been criminal negligence in muzzle discipline. Andrew Coffee IV was found not guilty on the same day as Kyle Rittenhouse.

    VERO BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — Jurors found Andrew Coffee IV not guilty on charges of felony murder and attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, on Friday, determining he acted in self-defense when firing at deputies during a SWAT raid in 2017.

    When the gunfire ended, Coffee’s girlfriend, 21-year-old Alteria Woods, was found dead. She had been caught in the crossfire, shot 10 times by deputies.

    We also did not hear earlier this summer about another black man found to have acted in self defense when he shot at multiple cops during the “George Floyd” riots.

    Jaleel Stallings argued self-defense during his July trial, testifying that he fired at the unmarked white van after he was struck in the chest with what turned out to be a nonlethal rubber bullet fired by police.

    Stallings, 29, testified that he thought he was being attacked by civilians, had been struck by a bullet and was potentially bleeding out, his attorney, Eric Rice, told The Associated Press on Friday. Court documents show that after Stallings was hit, he fired three shots toward the van as a warning, then took cover. He surrendered when he realized he had fired at police. No officers were hit.

     

    • #8
  9. DJ EJ Member
    DJ EJ
    @DJEJ

    You know why – federal law enforcement, major media outlets, and intelligence agencies conspired with Democratic party officials and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign to influence an election and undermine a presidency. The Washington Post and New York Times have yet to return their Pulitzer prizes. or apologize for their phony reporting of the scandal, based on malign anonymous sourcing.

    Fixed it for you. They weren’t just doing phony reporting, they were in on the conspiracy. I’d like to hear Maggie Haberman, etc. testify under oath. It won’t happen, but a man can dream.

    Also, no discussion of Jussie Smollett is complete without Dave Chappelle making fun of him:

    https://youtu.be/wZXoErL2124

    • #9
  10. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Kelly D Johnston (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    “But don’t worry about poor Jussie. He’s still feted at Hollywood red carpet events ahead of his trial.”

    No, it’s not true. You can’t blame Hollywood for it. It happened in Harlem, for one thing, and he was at a screening of a film he himself made–in other words, he’s the guy who rented a red carpet. For himself. BTW, the Post article points out that his film is still unsold, so Hollywood is not rushing to take Smollett back.

    Thank you for your defense of Jussie. I’m sure he appreciates it.

    Defend Smollett? Gee, if I’d written that, I would have been ashamed. No, I was trying to help a fellow Rico take some factually wrong BS out of his post. Not everyone appreciates the help, of course, or deserves it. But go right ahead contradicting the link that you posted.

    I think Gary was right. The link in the original post is to a gossip-trade website on the Smollett “red carpet moment”. Not everyone in Hollywood is on the Left, those that aren’t tend to be reticent in their public pronouncements. Trade papers and websites are fed some BS from time to time from agents promoting the talent they represent.

    There are very few honest writers left on police work, far fewer are trusted by police officers. Some of it is laziness, some of it is ignorance, and some of it is malice. Not all of the laziness, ignorance, and malice comes from the Left. I can think of two writers, one on the Right, and one Libertarian that have been rather sloppy in their descriptions of police work.

    • #10
  11. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    I have long held a grudging admiration for Lanny Davis.  He brazens it out when his client is in obvious deep doodoo.

    He pulled off a maneuver during the various Clinton scandals in which there would be (1) an official position/response/excuse presented then (2) during any ongoing congressional hearing or other formal action he would stand outside the room and say “Nothing new today so move on.  Any further mention of [insert scandal here] is rehashing old news and therefore just Clinton-bashing. In other words, the media had an obligation to desist unless there was dramatic new information–and they largely bought into that idea.  You only get to point out that once again Bill and Hillary are sleazing it out. After that, you have to help amnesia take over.

    Not only are GOP scandals ongoing, when there is no news, there are also stories about how the scandal affects other Republicans, “analysis” pieces above the fold about whatever the writer can concoct as a possible result, effect or outcome.  The Lanny Davis rule never applies.

    • #11
  12. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    I have long held a grudging admiration for Lanny Davis. He brazens it out when his client is in obvious deep doodoo.

    He pulled off a maneuver during the various Clinton scandals in which there would be (1) an official position/response/excuse presented then (2) during any ongoing congressional hearing or other formal action he would stand outside the room and say “Nothing new today so move on. Any further mention of [insert scandal here] is rehashing old news and therefore just Clinton-bashing. In other words, the media had an obligation to desist unless there was dramatic new information–and they largely bought into that idea. You only get to point out that once again Bill and Hillary are sleazing it out once. After that, you have to help amnesia take over.

    Not only are GOP scandals ongoing, when there is no news, but there are also stories about how the scandal affects other Republicans, “analysis” pieces above the fold about whatever the writer can concoct as a possible result, effect or outcome. The Lanny Davis rule never applies.

    I’m glad you reminded me that Clinton-bashing was A Bad Thing.

     

    • #12