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The US Supreme Court heard two cases of political corruption arising from Andrew Cuomo’s
criminal enterprise tenure as governor of New York. I know, shocked face, right? Nevertheless, the cases point to a fundamental corruption in our justice system that the justices seemed very reluctant to go along with today, but which really doesn’t matter because the Supreme Court justices don’t control the careers of rogue prosecutors.
First up was Percoco vs. United States. This case involved a major mover-and-shaker in Albany, Cuomo’s Executive Deputy Secretary. Percoco had resigned from the Cuomo administration to head Andrew Cuomo’s reelection campaign. While serving in that private role, a developer approached him for help in avoiding entering into a “labor peace agreement.” This is an agreement whereby labor unions pledge not to strike or picket, and the employer gives the union free rein to woo its employees. It seems like this developer was told such an agreement was required to be able to do business. So he asked Percoco if he could make some calls and smooth things out. Oh, and $35,000 changed hands. Percoco made the calls, and New York bureaucrats changed their minds.
He was convicted under the theory that even though Percoco was not a state employee and his actions didn’t technically fit the legal definition of bribery. The prosecutors reasoned that everyone knew he was close to Cuomo, and everyone expected him to return to government in the next Cuomo administration, therefore, he had the “trappings” of being a government employee, and that was good enough to send him to prison. Read more about the case at SCOTUSBlog.
The second case is called Ciminelli vs. the United States. Unlike the fairly straightforward Percoco case, this one could serve as a metaphor for government in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan…you get the picture. This is how SCOTUSBlog describes the offense.
In 2012, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched a $1 billion campaign to develop the greater Buffalo area in project “Buffalo Billion.” Ciminelli secretly worked with state insiders to ensure that his firm would be formally selected first to negotiate for Buffalo Billion projects. The negotiations led to the award of a successful $750 million development project. Federal prosecutors charged Ciminelli with wire fraud. Unlike traditional wire fraud charges, in which prosecutors prove how fraudsters deprive victims of their money or property, here prosecutors discussed a “right to control” theory of loss: The state had the right to control its funds and thus to administer a fair and honest bidding process. The prosecutors claimed that Ciminelli deprived the state of potentially valuable information in making the decision to award the $750 million contract. The potentially valuable information was his secret involvement with state insiders.
Ciminelli worked with the people writing the contract to eliminate possible competitors. There was no evidence that the state was defrauded of money. When Ciminelli’s attorney attempted to show the jury that the work performed by Ciminelli was high quality, the prosecutors convinced the judge to shut down that testimony.
If the government wins, both cases have incredible implications for society. In the case of Percoco, if you ever served as a state or federal official or were expected to serve as one in the future, it would now be a felony to lobby. In Ciminelli’s case, the government was stumped when Justice Alito posed a hypothetical. Suppose, he asked, you contracted with an agency to hire a nanny. The nanny does a good job, and you are satisfied. But, later, you find out that the agency never conducted its promised background check. Is that wire fraud?
It should be no surprise that both cases originated in Preet Bharara’s office of the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. And both cases seemed to be on a toboggan slide for unanimous reversals.
The corruption I was referring to is the “win at all costs” ethos that has infected so much federal law enforcement. It is so reminiscent of the “Jack McCoy” character in the Law and Order television series charging someone with murder because they stole a roll of duct tape that could have saved someone’s life and when confronted with the lunacy of his thought process says, “let a jury sort it out.” As if that isn’t bad enough, these people are lionized in the press and their profession despite their legal thuggery costing people their lives.
When President Trump’s first special counsel, the doddering dotard Robert Mueller, was appointed, his deputy was Andrew Weissmann. Weissmann was most famous as a prosecutor who would do anything to obtain a conviction. Guilt was not an obstacle. He epitomized the infamous boast of Joe Stalin’s NKVD chieftain Lavretiy Beria, “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.”
Weissmann’s claim to fame was convicting some 30 Enron executives of fraud and driving the accounting firm Arthur Andersen LLP out of business — and over 7,000 people out of a job — and then have nine Supreme Court Justices say, “WTF,” when they heard the appeal. Weissmann set out with an agenda to go after Trump and Paul Manafort and narrowly missed succeeding. Weissman has since returned to Big Law after a spell of laundering the corpse stench from his reputation in academia, where I imagine he pulls in something in the 7-figures range.
President Trump’s second special counsel, Jack Sh…I mean, Smith is cut from the same cloth (Special Counsel Investigating Trump Has an Eyebrow-Raising History). Smith’s signature case was the political hit job he carried out on former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell while serving in Barack Obama and Eric Holder’s Justice Department. McDonnell was considered to be a potential presidential contender. Then Smith’s “Public Integrity Section” indicted him for such infamous acts as arranging phone calls and taking meetings on the theory that these were “official acts.” Because they were “official acts” and solicited by persons and entities that might have current or future business with the State of Virginia, they amounted to a bribe.
Like the Arthur Andersen case, the Supreme Court reacted with eyebrows raised higher than Nancy Pelosi’s, though without the benefit or assistance of surgery. Then it unanimously reversed the conviction.
Just like Weissmann, Smith has failed upward and now has been chosen to investigate President Trump. Appointing Smith, with his career case resulting in a unanimous repudiation by the Supreme Court because of his focus on political vengeance rather than reading comprehension, was a signal to the GOP establishment and NeverTrumpers of all parties that President Trump will be indicted and face trial before a DC jury. Jack Smith will not let himself go down in history as the man who failed to indict or allowed the acquittal of OrangeMan. And, by the way, his wife runs with the Obama crowd.
BREAKING: Wife of Trump special counsel produced Michelle Obama documentary, donated thousands to Bidenhttps://t.co/FZ0TKSKy6I
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) November 21, 2022
How does this tie in with the two cases heard by a very skeptical, if not downright hostile, Supreme Court? Both Percoco and Ciminelli were convicted in 2018. The theory in both cases was so loony that state prosecutors laughed at the charges. Yet both Percoco and Ciminelli served prison time before their conviction was overturned. The prosecutors were well aware of the Arthur Andersen and McDonnell cases. They just didn’t care. There was no professional or personal penalty for pursuing a conviction that was guaranteed to go down in flames; in fact, there was a lot of potential future upside to such a move. They didn’t care if men’s lives were ruined. They didn’t care about the rule of law. They cared about notches on their figurative six-guns.
As I’ve written before twice, I expect that President Trump will be indicted, tried, and convicted. I expect him to go to prison. If that prison is in New York or a federal prison under a Democrat president, I would expect President Trump to die in prison. (Read The Left Is Anticipating President Trump’s Indictment in New York but They Haven’t Thought About What That Means to Everyone and The Political Persecution of President Trump Is Not Going to Make Trump or His Supporters Go Away or Accept the Outcome.) This will happen because President Trump had the gall to reveal our elites for the worthless pile of dog poo that they are.