Politics

Connecticut Bar Association Warns Lawyers Not To Criticize Lawfare Against Trump

The Connecticut Bar Association is warning lawyers against criticizing the politicized prosecutions of President Donald Trump because that could become “dangerous rhetoric.”

The association recently dispatched to members a message signed by Maggie Castinado, its president, James T. Shearin, president-elect, and Emily Gianquinto, vice president.

They warn against “reckless words” that attack the integrity of the nation’s judicial system.

They charged, “In the wake of the recent trial and conviction of former President Donald Trump, public officials have issued statements claiming that the trial was a ‘sham,’ a ‘hoax,’ and ‘rigged’; our justice system is ‘corrupt and rigged’; the judge was ‘corrupt” and highly unethical’; and, that the jury was ‘partisan’ and ‘precooked.’”

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There also have been comparisons to communist “show” trials, in which the defendant is guilty and the court hearings are simply to create the appearance of a judicial proceeding.

The bar missive claims, without documenting whether those charges are, in fact, true, those statements are “unsubstantiated and reckless.”

And they can “provoke acts of violence against” members of the judiciary. Further, they ‘sow distrust in the public for the courts … .”

Those comments, the association claims, “cross the line from criticism to dangerous rhetoric.”

The attempt to suppress speech with doesn’t align with the politics of the association comes as a number of Democrat prosecutors continue their courtroom assaults on Trump.

Already, Arthur Engoron, a judge in New York, has demanded a punishment of nearly half a billion dollars for the way Trump negotiated loans for his corporation, practices that industry insiders described as routine. In fact, no one lost money or complained and the bankers involved wanted to do more business with Trump. And Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg took claims of business reporting misdemeanors that already had passed the statute of limitations and claimed they were felonies because they led to a further, unspecified, crime. A jury in the leftist enclave of New York convicted Trump in a decision that now is on appeal.

Several other cases, such as a prosecutor allegedly being appointed improperly and another with ethical clouds because the DA had hired her paramour, with tax money, to work her allegations against Trump, have significant obstacles looming.

Now Jonathan Turley, the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at Geroge Washington University, an expert witness on the law before Congress and popular commentator, said the message from the association is “chilling” for those lawyers who see the lawfare against Trump as “raw political prosecution.”

He noted that the officials are demanding “members to speak publicly in support of the integrity of these legal proceedings.”

He noted the reality is something else.

“For example, criticizing Judge Juan Merchan (who heard the business records case) for refusing to recuse from the case is considered beyond the pale.”

But, he noted, “Many lawyers believe that his political (financial) contributions to Biden and his daughter’s major role as a Democratic fundraiser and activist should have prompted Merchan to remove himself (and any appearance of a conflict).”

His own opinion is that Merchan’s rulings were biased.

He said it’s likely that verdict will be overturned, and he blames not the jury “but rather the judge and the prosecutors for an unfounded and unfair trial.”

He identified the problem with the bar demands is the “suggestion that lawyers are acting somehow unprofessionally in denouncing what many view as a two-tier system of justice and the politicalization of our legal system.”

Evidence?

“Notably, the bar officials did not write to denounce attacks on figures like Bill Barr or claims that the Justice Department was rigging justice during the Trump years.” Further, those officials never published warnings about attacks on conservative justices and labeling them “insurrectionist sympathizers.”

It didn’t worry the bar when Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., threatened judges with “seismic changes” or Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., called the Supreme Court “corrupt.”

“Likewise, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also declared in front of the Supreme Court ‘I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price,’” he continued.

He noted the letter actually “only reinforced the view of a legal system that is maintaining a political orthodoxy and agenda.”

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