“Three Felonies a Day”

 

I couldn’t find a decent review of this book, and unfortunately, even though I read it in 2010, I was either too busy or too lazy to blog about it. I did find this rather funny article on 7 felonies you have probably committed.

For a flavor of the article, definitely way less serious than Three Felonies:

The Crime: Federal Wire Fraud (18 U.S. Code §1343)
If you’ve ever returned to your open Facebook page to discover you’re “a huge fan of Justin Bieber’s penis,” then congratulations: You’re a victim of wire fraud. On the upside, your prankster friend’s a class C felon. You can either wait for your friend to make the same mistake (by which time you’ll forget to return the prank), or take it like a man and report him to the feds. He’ll inevitably be convicted of transmitting “fraudulent information” over “wires,” and sentenced to 10 years in prison. If you return the prank, then it’s your ass in prison. Our advice? Return the prank, because prison’s sort of like Facebook: You meet new “friends,” learn what everyone did, and hope to God they like you.

As the Democrats/media (but I repeat myself) keep screaming, “Trump is a convicted felon!” they brought Silvergate’s 2009 book to mind.

One of the early discussions is on the “Alford Plea,” a major tool used by prosecutors to get convictions. Since we have all likely committed an unwitting felony, the government can charge us and threaten us with trumped-up penalties, unless we are willing to make a deal by pleading guilty to some lesser charge in exchange for our testimony against their real target. (Just as a random example, say, Trump.)

As Stalin’s KGB chief Lavrenti Beria famously said: “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.”

Why is our “justice” system so bad? It’s related to the following problem, as covered in the forward by Alan Dershowitz: that, unlike other democracies, the United States Attorney General acts as both the executive’s legal adviser and the nation’s chief prosecutor. Elsewhere, these roles are played by separate parties. One is a political officer, generally called ‘The Minister of Justice,’ who advises the executive and is a loyal party member. The other is a non-political official often called the AG.

I’d argue that since our system is now so far gone with its unionized civil service administrative state, it is essentially a subsidiary of the Democrat party. The idea of an “unbiased civil servant” is a fantasy here. It’s all Democrats or RINOs.

The book includes this quote from Slate Magazine:

At the federal prosecutor’s office in the Southern District of New York [where Trump was “convicted], the staff, over beer and pretzels, used to play a darkly humorous game. Junior and senior prosecutors would sit around, and someone would name a random celebrity—say, Mother Theresa or John Lennon.

It would then be up to the junior prosecutors to figure out a plausible crime for which to indict him or her. The crimes were not usually rape, murder, or other crimes you’d see on Law & Order but rather the incredibly broad yet obscure crimes that populate the U.S. Code like a kind of jurisprudential minefield: Crimes like “false statements” (a felony, up to five years), “obstructing the mails” (five years), or “false pretenses on the high seas” (also five years). The trick and the skill lay in finding the more obscure offenses that fit the character of the celebrity and carried the toughest sentences. The result, however, was inevitable: “prison time.”

Have more confidence in our justice system now? Understand the oft-repeated joke that, “A decent prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich,” now?

Some of you may remember Enron.

“In 2002 the DOJ indicted the Arthur Andersen accounting firm (one of the nation’s “Big Five” accounting firms at that time) for obstruction of justice because they followed its normal document retention policy BEFORE receiving a document-production subpoena in connection with its investigation of Enron.”

It destroyed Arthur Anderson, but what is a little collateral damage in pursuit of “justice.”

Why is this currently interesting?

The most serious charge in Donald Trump’s indictment for efforts to overturn the last presidential election has roots in the decades-old collapse of energy-trading giant Enron Corp. — and was revived recently as a key part of the Justice Department’s Jan. 6 prosecution playbook.

The 2002 statute — corruptly obstructing an official proceeding — was drafted by Congress to address the conduct of Enron’s outside auditor, Arthur Andersen, which destroyed documents as the government investigated. Prosecutors have wielded the felony against Trump supporters they allege committed some of the most serious criminal acts during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.

Most of the J6 peaceful demonstrators are also charged under this statute. Were this to be applied in other cases where demonstrators, or just people, take actions to obstruct government proceedings, a LOT of people would be in jail. For example, Rep Congressman Jamaal Bowman pulled a fire alarm to delay a vote in the House.

This book is a fine addition to Is Administrative Law Unlawful?

Published in Law
This post was promoted to the Main Feed at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 12 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Annefy Coolidge
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    I’d also recommend Licensed to Lie, by Sydney Powell, which covers Arthur Andersen and Enron. And also Senator Ted Stevens. If I remember correctly, we have Obamacare thanks to his wrongful prosecution. 

    • #1
  2. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    The reality is that all these administrative crimes should be removed. Congress could do so if they had any will. 

    Crimes should all be understandable to ordinary people. 

    • #2
  3. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    The reality is that all these administrative crimes should be removed. Congress could do so if they had any will.

    Crimes should all be understandable to ordinary people.

    True. Complexity is a deliberate device for manipulation. The more complex the law or contract or deal, the more opportunity to slip something in the back door. And the Left backdoors everything.

    • #3
  4. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    The government’s case against Arthur Anderson (they should have known that the government would someday demand documents that they routinely destroyed) was bogus.  A UNANIMOUS Supreme Court ruled that way—Arthur Andersen LLP v. United States, 544 U.S. 696 (2005).

    Given his skill at manufacturing federal crimes, the chief fed prosecutor who went after Arthur Anderson became the lead on the Mueller team to get Trump.  Andrew Weissman it is said “specializes in flipping witnesses and oversaw or took part in almost every early aspect of the special counsel’s investigation”.  In other words, threatening and pressuring witnesses is his forte.

    There are no structural fixes for our legal system if there is no personal and professional honor.  That has to be a bipartisan requirement on all participants or the whole thing goes into the crapper.

    • #4
  5. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Bill Berg: Crimes like “false statements” (a felony, up to five years)

    This one really makes my blood boil.

    Cops or the Feds can flat out lie to you. And they do.

    If you misremember or make a small correction to a previous statement bam, FELONY.

    • #5
  6. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Bill Berg: Crimes like “false statements” (a felony, up to five years)

    This one really makes my blood boil.

    Cops or the Feds can flat out lie to you. And they do.

    If you misremember or make a small correction to a previous statement bam, FELONY.

    It can be worse than that.  If you tell the truth, but someone else previously or later tells a lie, they can decide to believe the lie, which then means they think YOU lied, and you get prosecuted for THAT.  It can just depend on who they want to “get.”

    • #6
  7. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Bill Berg: Crimes like “false statements” (a felony, up to five years)

    This one really makes my blood boil.

    Cops or the Feds can flat out lie to you. And they do.

    If you misremember or make a small correction to a previous statement bam, FELONY.

    It can be worse than that. If you tell the truth, but someone else previously or later tells a lie, they can decide to believe the lie, which then means they think YOU lied, and you get prosecuted for THAT. It can just depend on who they want to “get.”

    And. WTF that the FBI takes hand written notes in an interview, not video or audio taped.  So the FEDS can basically write whatever they want,  and later change or loose the “record” when it suits them.

    • #7
  8. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    and prosecuting every U.S. Citizen of a felony, eventually, is to take Our firearms.

    • #8
  9. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Kozak (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Bill Berg: Crimes like “false statements” (a felony, up to five years)

    This one really makes my blood boil.

    Cops or the Feds can flat out lie to you. And they do.

    If you misremember or make a small correction to a previous statement bam, FELONY.

    It can be worse than that. If you tell the truth, but someone else previously or later tells a lie, they can decide to believe the lie, which then means they think YOU lied, and you get prosecuted for THAT. It can just depend on who they want to “get.”

    And. WTF that the FBI takes hand written notes in an interview, not video or audio taped. So the FEDS can basically write whatever they want, and later change or loose the “record” when it suits them.

     

    • #9
  10. Annefy Coolidge
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Kozak (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Bill Berg: Crimes like “false statements” (a felony, up to five years)

    This one really makes my blood boil.

    Cops or the Feds can flat out lie to you. And they do.

    If you misremember or make a small correction to a previous statement bam, FELONY.

    It can be worse than that. If you tell the truth, but someone else previously or later tells a lie, they can decide to believe the lie, which then means they think YOU lied, and you get prosecuted for THAT. It can just depend on who they want to “get.”

    And. WTF that the FBI takes hand written notes in an interview, not video or audio taped. So the FEDS can basically write whatever they want, and later change or loose the “record” when it suits them.

    I’m not sure there are always notes taken during the interview. If memory serves, notes on Flynn’s interview were made in the car after the interview. 

    I think there was a law change that required that the “subject’s” interview must be recorded. So the FBI stopped labeling a person a “subject” to get around it. 

    • #10
  11. Bill Berg Coolidge
    Bill Berg
    @Bill Berg

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Bill Berg: Crimes like “false statements” (a felony, up to five years)

    This one really makes my blood boil.

    Cops or the Feds can flat out lie to you. And they do.

    If you misremember or make a small correction to a previous statement bam, FELONY.

    The Scooter Libby trap. Nefariously used in MANY cases!

    • #11
  12. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    There are no structural fixes for our legal system if there is no personal and professional honor.  That has to be a bipartisan requirement on all participants or the whole thing goes into the crapper.

    So no fixes then 

    • #12
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.