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Mostly Ken White. I do the RICO. Popehat Report: Podcasts: Make No Law, All The Presidents’ Lawyers
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Oct 4, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
Let us return, reluctantly, to Mitchell Langbert, the imbecile Brooklyn College prof whose First Amendment rights I talked about yesterday.

He wants to talk about satire.


/2 See, he penned a screed about the manliness of Kavanaugh and the sissyness of Democrats. It turned some heads.
Oct 3, 2018 12 tweets 3 min read
An imbecile named Mitchell Langbert, employed (possibly as a prank) by Brooklyn College, wrote a strivingly douchey blog post. Can he be fired, as many urge? A mini-lawsplainer. /1… /2 Langbert, as is currently fashionable in some circles, wrote a belabored "oh come one everyone did that" post about Kavanaugh's alleged youthful behavior. It's what you'd expect from an average-literate Redditor. People are, understandably, repulsed.
Oct 3, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
OK, Graham is a toad, but this is a (smug) reference to Democratic attacks on Clinton accusers in 1998 (Carville used that line to denigrate Paula Jones), and it's more than a little dishonest to clickbait it as if it's not.

/2 I mean, Graham still comes off looking awful, because he IS awful, and his defense of Trump's dickbaggery is feeble. But let's not be dishonest (or historically illiterate, not sure which).
Oct 2, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
A reminder from last month: evasive and non-responsive answers, even if misleading, aren't perjury. It's hard to prove perjury. [That's not to say that such evasion or dishonesty is right, or that it ought not be taken into account in evaluating someone.]
/2 Example: even if you accept the premise that Kavanaugh knew damn well he was the character in Mark Judge's book, this exchange is likely evasive and non-responsive rather than perjury.

(I think he knew, and it's dishonest, but not legally perjury.)

Sep 26, 2018 10 tweets 2 min read
Sometimes people talk as if witness credibility is objective/universal/definite/constant -- as if you can show factor X, then it's clear/certain/confident the witness is lying or telling the truth.

It's not. It's subjective, cultural, indefinite, and changing. /1 The law recognizes this. Much of the law of evidence is designed to limit irrational but sincere responses to witnesses.

Take Federal Rule of Evidence 610, which many states copy.…

Sep 24, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
Today I celebrate a life: that of my grandmother, Annette Doyle, who passed today at just under 101. A life well-lived and an example to me. Here’s her favorite family picture. The photographer made a rude noise that alarmed the dog, and hilarity ensued. My is mom back left. /1 /2 I was blessed to have a chance to say goodbye yesterday and to help take care of her needs today. That is, after all, what this whole ridiculous business is about: that we’re here for each other, care for one another, and live in memory.
Sep 21, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
What "rights" do Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford have in the confirmation hearing?

None -- other than the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

/2 The power of the Senate to confirm (or not) Supreme Court justices comes from Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, which says the President has the power to appoint Supreme Court justices "by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate"
Sep 18, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
If I were a reporter, the urge to throw subtle mushroom references into questions to the President would be absolutely irresistible.

"Mr. President, do you feel the Special Counsel is keeping you in the dark? Did today's summit cap a successful trip?" Not to mention game references.

"Mister President, it's-a me, @MarioFOXLA. Follow-up question on infrastructure..."
Sep 18, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
It's possible to cross-examine someone -- even someone asserting that she's been the victim of a sex crime -- without sounding like a gratuitous ass.

I mean, it's definitely not possible for the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. But it's possible. I mean, there's no way the Senate Republicans can handle examining Ford without sounding absolutely awful. That's not to say there are no reasonable questions to ask. There always are. That's to say they are incapable of asking them without sounding like a Lifetime movie villain.
Sep 16, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
Nothing like a good bench clearing brawl with parents participating to end a soccer game.

Fortunately these are 17 year olds so the parents are mostly kind of slow I mean don’t try to get into a brawl if you have to drag your oxygen tank with you
Sep 14, 2018 10 tweets 3 min read
LAWSPLAINER. Okay. Let me try to do a less half-assed job of thoughts on Manafort's plea agreement. Meanwhile, consider this treatment by friend and classmate @MitchellEpner, as to whom #ff.


/2 BIG POINT NUMBER ONE: In this DC agreement, Manafort pleads to two charges with a maximum 10 year penalty. He agrees to facts that support the government's Sentencing Guideline calculation, which starts at 210 months, much higher.
Sep 14, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
Criminal courthouse. Waiting for department to open. Two court reporters have shown up. They seem determined that only one will enter. One is older but looks scrappy. They have put their bags down and are speaking in clipped tones. It’s over. Reporters have de-escalated, and are now bonding over how their daughter’s men are jobless losers. Hallway crowd losing interest.

This is like 300% more dramatically satisfying than that whole “my mom is named Martha too” thing.
Sep 14, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
I know y'all are used to be saying "no, this is typical, it happens all the time," but I've never seen anything like that Manafort superseding information -- the charging instrument he'll plead to.

[non-sarcastic tag goes here]

/2 Review: in federal court if you're charged with a felony you have a right to be indicted by grand jury. An "information" is a charging instrument used when (a) it's a minor crime for which indictment isn't required or (b) you're going to waive indictment and plead guilty.
Sep 13, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
Here's the skinny on Manafort's plea agreement, in which he agrees to admit he did the RICO, so that he faces more than 200 years in prison. First, some language in the plea agreement proves that Manafort is actually a 1/22 11/22 ...because of the relevant language of the statute, which provides: "Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign...
Sep 10, 2018 14 tweets 3 min read
Can we talk for a moment about the word "complaint," as in "a complaint has been filed against Brett Kavanaugh"?

It's a great example of a word with both legal and colloquial meanings which can therefore be used to mislead and un-inform.

/2 I mean, a "complaint" doesn't have to be legal. It can be purely an informal I-wish-to-speak-to-your-manager type of things.

But there are ways to use it -- often intentionally, I believe -- to give it a false legal cachet -- to give it some sort of unearned credibility.
Sep 9, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
Defense lawyers will tell you that even when the client basically did it, there’s always some element of the government’s case, some detail or inference or showy bit they threw in for the press, that they just 100% pulled out of their asses.

...and this drives clients absolutely batshit. “Yeah I killed the guy, but I didn’t draw dicks on his face afterwards. How can they just make that up? It’s outrageous!”
Sep 9, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
Sep 7, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
Oh hai. For a lawsplainer, let's talk a bit about perjury and obstruction of justice, in the context of sworn testimony that's allegedly untrue.

What? No. No reason. Just because.

/2 My point is not IT'S NEVER PERJURY. No. That's RICO. It IS sometimes perjury or obstruction of justice. But perjury and obstruction of justice are both challenging to prove, and generally not amenable to "he testified X, I found this old email saying Y, GUILTY" analysis.
Sep 5, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
And now, a brief interlude of Treason voters.

Sep 5, 2018 14 tweets 3 min read
It's lawsplainer time! Today's edition: Roy Moore v. Sacha Baron Cohen.

Ugh. Seriously? /1

/2 The complaint is drafted and filed by Larry Klayman, omnipresent tinfoil connoisseur and legal-cryptid-hunter. Strike one. I mean please.
Sep 5, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
If you're enthused about victims of horrific personal tragedies trying to talk to Supreme Court nominees . . . .

. . . will you still be enthused when the issue on that person's mind is not gun control, but "immigrant crime" or "judges coddling criminals"? Will you still be enthused when it's some tormented soul whose loved one was murdered, wanting to lobby the prospective justice to make sure more people on death row get the needle?

Just asking.