WHEN LAWYERS LIE

The Obstructing President’s Men

President Trump is wading into the deep end of the swamp he said he would drain. This weekend (8-5-2018), one of the President’s many personal attorneys went on TV right after Trump tweeted this, “Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!”

Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal attorney, was confronted on ABC TV on Sunday morning and about things he said previously regarding the infamous meeting in Trump Tower on June 9, 2016. Sekulow had said that Trump knew nothing of the meeting and that it was only about adoptions and the sanctions known as the Magnitsky Act. Now, Sekulow has been handed his own lie by his client’s early morning tweet.

On Fox News’ web site, the glaring headline read, “Trump attorney Jay Sekulow blames ‘bad information’ for Trump Tower statement mixup, says no sign Don Jr. under investigation.” It seems that his client lied to Jay. It also seems that his client has continuously lied to the American public, since the day he took office. Donald J. Trump is a LIAR!

One of the disconcerting things about America is our belief that there are different levels of truth and justice. Some say that attorneys are the public face of their clients and should try to sway public opinion. Others believe that you can try a case in the press and use TV reporters as shills in the quest to free a guilty man. As for the President of the United States, he can be removed from office only for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The Senate would be the final arbiter of his fate.

It should be perfectly clear to anyone watching this charade that it began with little lies about no one in the campaign even being approached by Russians, to an array of lies that then lead to the admission that, yes, the Russians interfered in the election, yes, we may have had some meetings but nothing came of them, and, then, the audacity to pronounce that no one broke the law. Astoundingly, lamebrain Rudy Giuliani now says that colluding with the Russians isn’t against the law.

Well, it didn’t take Vox.com very long to cite this statute, 52 USC 30121, 36 USC 510 — the law governing foreign contributions to US campaigns. There are two key passages that apply here. This is the first: A foreign national shall not, directly or indirectly, make a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value, or expressly or impliedly promise to make a contribution or a donation, in connection with any Federal, State, or local election.

Here’s the second important passage of the statute: “No person shall knowingly solicit, accept, or receive from a foreign national any contribution or donation prohibited by [this law].”

According to University of California Irvine election law expert Rick Hasen, the word “solicit,” has a very specific meaning in this context. To quote the relevant statute: “A solicitation is an oral or written communication that, construed as reasonably understood in the context in which it is made, contains a clear message asking, requesting, or recommending that another person make a contribution, donation, transfer of funds, or otherwise provide anything of value.”

We could get one thousand legal experts to weigh in here, but that isn’t the point. What’s relevant is in order to practice law these lawyers must take an oath and pass a test called the bar exam. In that legal tradition, and as officers of the court, they should tell the truth when defending their clients.  Although being bar licensed does trigger ethical obligations, they don’t actually come from the bar exam. It’s from the professional responsibility exam (that every lawyer has to take and pass within one year of taking the bar – either before or after) in each jurisdiction’s rules of professional conduct. There are remedies to address a lawyer who lies in court, but when in front of a camera and using creative messaging to attempt to make their client look innocent, they run the risk of ruining their own reputations.

The Great Orange Leader, who won the electoral college but not the popular vote, has created chaos where none was needed. Trump, the national narcissist, has disgraced his name, family and country by his actions and lies. He hardly understands the cure of Climate Change, the workings of the independent branches of government or people’s real needs. He will be stopped, if not by the Congress, surely by the awaking electorate, who know they have been played.

Sadly, all his lawyers know that the person they are representing cares not about their futures. Trump wishes only to protect himself from imaginary and real enemies. The fake fears of this man are covered up by the real jeopardy he now lives with. He lied. He knows, it just as we all know it.


NOT ALL TWEETS ARE EQUAL

Trump’s Newspeak Man: Jay Sekulow

In the brilliant classic 1984, a book by George Orwell, the term “newspeak” was introduced. This noun is defined as ambiguous euphemistic language used chiefly in political propaganda. The Wikipedia page on it says: Newspeak is a controlled language, of restricted grammar and limited vocabulary, a linguistic design meant to limit the freedom of thought—personal identity, self-expression, free will—that ideologically threatens the régime of Big Brother.

While there are those in the Trump administration who hold a belief in some “deep state” that is controlling everything, there are those Americans who believe that if our President was given more power he would become Big Brother.

It is a fact that Steve Bannon, Trump’s right brain, declared his desire to destroy the “Administrative State”, whatever that is. But now we have a new dance partner in this affair. His name is Jay Sekulow and his job is that of personal lawyer for Donald Trump. Good luck, Jay.

While the multiple personalities in Trump’s head appear then disappear, it will be Sekulow’s responsibility to explain and defend the Donald. His role is already off to a rocky start with the tweet that was heard around the world.

Jay Sekulow went on all the Sunday morning talk shows to say to make it “crystal clear” that the President is not, and has never been, under investigation. And the attorney attempted to dismiss the tweet in which the President actually says he is under investigation. Jay also said that the tweet was only acknowledging the Washington Post article. Huh?

In the tweet, Trump didn’t use a question mark.  He used an exclamation mark, which meant he wasn’t questioning the Washington Post story.  He was saying exactly what he wrote. The lame claim by Sekulow that his client was limited by 140 characters is complete BS. Anyone familiar with how Twitter works, including Trump, can create a short string of words to add more meaning. In fact, the candidate and President has many times done precisely that.

If Trump doesn’t know the facts then why are his lawyers saying he does know. How can he not be under investigation? You can’t declare a known when you’ve never been told what it is either way. I could say Donald Trump is a woman, but I have no proof he’s a man or a woman. I just know that he says he’s a man.

The best question on the issue came from Chris Cuomo on CNN (6-19-2017) when he confronted Sekulow with the simple question: You are his attorney of record, why not just pick up the phone and ask Robert Mueller if your client is under investigation? Chris, who has a law degree from Fordham University, asked the right question, a question that all those talking heads on TV who would preface their comments with, “I’m not an attorney but…” but never knew to ask.

Trump and his legal team have a right to ask that question and no prosecutor has to tell a citizen if they are under investigation, but it would be proper for an attorney to, at least, ask the question.

One of my friends over the weekend claimed I was being “hysterical” about all of this political stuff, which seems to be the new go-to word when trying to explain why people forcefully disagree with something. I told my friend, I just want to make sure when the smoke clears, and we really understand all this, that I can be counted with those who spoke out against a President who is wasting time, acting guilty and becoming so untrusted in the world.  Surely our country will suffer.

Newspeak, with its linguistic design meant to limit the freedom of thought, is what Donald Trump is all about. His lawyers will try to bend the meaning of his words by saying things like, “Oh, he is very good at using social media.” Perhaps, but he’s an abysmal writer. If someone else has to explain what his Tweets mean, then he didn’t write them very well.

When a surrogate then says, “The Tweets stand on their own,” then we must take them at face value. But you cannot Newspeak your way around this. The worst thing Trump does is using Twitter as his psychological vomiting tool. He should invest in a shrink who can come by at 3:30 AM to help him over these emotional mole hills.

If I was his shrink, my first question would be, “Why do you obsess about whether or not you are under investigation?” That comes with the job description. Now you know, Mr. Trump, how Obama felt when every action he made was questioned with a law suit or an investigation of congressional blockade. You wanted the job and you go it. Now, do your job and stop bitching!