Drunk & Disorderly

On the Docket of a Colorado Criminal Defense Attorney

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Sessions Is in Congress

No, Mr. Attorney General…your RIGHT hand!

 

I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

Following is a nearly complete transcript of the testimony of the nation’s top law enforcement officer before Congress yesterday (with thanks to Rolling Stone):

I do not have recollection of meeting or talking to the Russian ambassador.

…nor do I recall any conversations with any Russian officials at the Mayflower Hotel.

I do not remember it.

I did not remember that (the Russian ambassador, photographed three feet from me, was there).

I’ve racked my brain…I don’t remember that I (met with any Russian officials on behalf of the Trump campaign).

I do not (recollect when Jared Kushner had conversations with the Russian ambassador).

I don’t recall (talking with the ambassador). It’s conceivable, but I don’t remember it.

Not to my recollection (did I meet with any other Russian spies during the campaign)

I still do not recall (a possible meeting).

Not to my recollection (were there any more meetings than the ones I previously did not recollect in my sworn testimony).

Not exactly (could I recall the New York Times article alleging constant communication between the Trump campaign and the Russians during the election).

I don’t recall (whether anyone might have tried to gain influence with the Trump campaign).

I don’t think I had direct involvement (in deleting a Republican platform pledge to provide defensive weapons to the Ukraine).

I don’t recall (a debate about the issue).

I don’t recall (any meetings to remove sanctions against Russia).

I don’t recall (conversations in which Trump showed any concern or curiosity about Russian meddling in the election).

I don’t recall (any concern at all).

I don’t recall any (other meetings between Trump campaign associates and Russian spies).

I don’t recall (if General Michael Flynn met with the Russians).

I don’t recall (if Chief of Staff Reince Preibus met with the Russians).

I don’t recall (if Trump speechwriter Stephen Miller met with the Russians).

I don’t recall (if former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski met with the Russians).

I don’t recall (if Trump advisor Carter Page met with the Russians).

I don’t recall (if I had any further conversations with the Russians I haven’t already, if belatedly, disclosed).

I don’t recall…at this moment (whether any other Trump campaign officials had any communications with Russian officials, nationals, or spies).

I don’t recall (whether I ever discussed Russia’s support for Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, or that leader’s use of chemical weapons against his own people).

I don’t recall (raising any concerns about Russia’s interference in our electoral process, or with the electoral processes of our allies).

I just don’t have a real recall (of any Russia-related security issues).

I don’t recall (practically anything, as it turns out).

After the testimony, dozens of Congress-watchers were asked whether any other Senate hearing witness had suffered such a massive apparent memory loss.

No one could recall.

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Pants. Fire.

 

I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

“No, I can definitively say the president is not a liar,” White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters at the White House during an off-camera briefing Thursday. “It’s frankly insulting that that question would be asked.”

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Qualifications

 

I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

Just like for some high offices in our fair land, it requires character and fitness to be even just a plainspoken lawyer in my home state. I know that, because there’s a rule for it. Rule 208.

Rule 208 says all applicants must meet all of the following essential eligibility requirements to qualify for admission to the practice of law in Colorado:

(a) The ability to be honest and candid with clients, lawyers, courts, regulatory authorities and others (for example, a Colorado lawyer would never boast of his prowess with a jury of twelve when all he’s ever had was a paltry three)

(b) The ability to reason logically, recall complex factual information and accurately analyze legal problems (A Colorado lawyer would never argue that the prosecution’s argument is a goddamn Chinese hoax)

(c) The ability to communicate with clients, lawyers, courts and others with a high degree of organization and clarity (A Colorado lawyer would never tell a client she’ll get back to you in a very short period of time, but you’re going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer)

(d) The ability to use good judgment on behalf of clients and in conducting one’s professional business (A Colorado lawyer would never mix her money with the client’s money as if they’re the same thing)

(e) The ability to conduct oneself with respect for and in accordance with the law (A Colorado lawyer would never address the judge as “Your So-Called Honor”)

(f) The ability to avoid acts which exhibit disregard for the rights or welfare of others (A Colorado lawyer would never even attempt to gain the attention of a juror by grabbing his or her private bits)

(g) The ability to comply with the requirements of the Rules of Professional Conduct, applicable state, local, and federal laws, regulations, statutes and any applicable order of a court or tribunal (A Colorado lawyer would never say, oh, none of those apply to me)

(h) The ability to act diligently and reliably in fulfilling one’s obligations to clients, lawyers, courts and others (A Colorado lawyer would never postpone fulfilling her duties — any duty — for yet another eighteen holes on the green)

(i) The ability to use honesty and good judgment in financial dealings on behalf of oneself, clients and others (A Colorado lawyer would never…wait…honesty?)

(j) The ability to comply with deadlines and time constraints (A Colorado lawyer would never…like I said, I’ll get back to you)

 

[Any resemblance to actual Presidents of the United States, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.]

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Misrepresentation

 

 

Thumbing his nose at the planet?

 

I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

After setting the stage for any number of crimes against humanity by withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, our beloved President Donald Trump declared, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”

Never mind that Pittsburgh’s citizens overwhelmingly voted to have somebody else represent them, or that Paris was the venue and not the subject of the one hundred ninety-five nation pledge.

But at least that clears up all that talk about the poor guy being elected to serve the citizens of Moscow.

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Antique Furniture

The trouble with antique furniture is, it’s so uncomfortable.

 

I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

The electric chair by nature is an inhospitable piece of furniture.

It’s definitely the last piece of furniture you’d ever try out.

It sure looks uncomfortable as hell. The one they used to use in Illinois, which is the one I got a good look at the other day, looked like a seat only Frankenstein could love. It had a built-in black mask to fit over the prisoner’s face, with a triangular cut-out for the nose to stick through. The mask is pressured back against the face, forcing the head into a vise to stop the prisoner from flying forward when the electricity hits. Two leg clamps at the bottom of the chair prevent the lower body from doing the same thing. There’s a strap for the chest, another for the abdomen. One electrode for the top of the head, another for the right calf.

The electric chair was invented by a dentist, of course.

They always keep a fire extinguisher handy in the event the prisoner bursts into flame, so as to minimize the damage to the chair. It happens more than you’d like to think, and the chairs are expensive.

The chair I saw was in a film called, “The Chair.” It depicts the legal effort to spare a convicted murderer execution. There is no effort to claim innocence, but rather rehabilitation of an admitted former monster, weighed against the state’s argument that the monster’s execution, nine years after the conviction, will deter others.

“Nobody really believes that capital punishment deters, no matter what they say,” the lawyer, who appears to be rehearsing his argument — while drinking from a bottle — says. “Because if we as a society really believed in the deterrent effect of capital punishment, we’d hold that execution at high noon in the middle of Soldier Field. And we would see to it especially that the children of this community watched it, because they’re the ones who ought to be deterred. If we really believed that you can frighten people into abstaining from the commission of serious felonies, like murder, we’d hold the execution in the middle of Soldier Field, and we’d have every kid under the age of sixteen in the entire community in there, we’d require their attendance. We’d rank ‘em up around that electric chair just as close as we can get ‘em, so they could smell the burning flesh. That would deter them. We don’t believe that. We hide it in a basement and do it at midnight. This is not an attempt at deterrence: this is vengeance; this is retaliation; this is an attempted usurpation of the prerogative of God — because vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.” The lawyer, who doesn’t believe in God, takes another long pull from the bottle.

This is fifty-five years ago. That lawyer did manage to save his client from sitting in the chair, from becoming the last man in Illinois to die in it. The film that documented Donald Moore’s struggle, with the help of famed New Yorker lawyer Louis Nizer, used the Cook County, Chicago, electric chair to create one last shock — at the 1962 Cannes Film Festival. No one else died in the electric chair in Illinois after 1962.

But old habits do die hard. You can still settle into one today in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Virginia.

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