Look Out Rudy, There's A New Crazy Lawyer In Town
For sheer dumbassery, no one will top Paul Manafort's lawyers failing to redact their client's pleading yesterday. Kevin Downing, YOU ARE THE WEAKEST LINK. But Concord Management's attorney Eric "Hulk Smash" Dubelier is leaving it all on the field with his most recent filing in DC District Court. Putin's favorite troll farming oligarch Yevgeniy Prigozhin won't be presenting himself within the jurisdiction, but his lawyer is here, and he's putting on a hell of a show.
On Friday, Dubelier submitted a brief that cast Robert Mueller as Otter from the classic frat flick Animal House.
The Special Counsel's argument is reminiscent of Otter's famous line, "Flounder, you can't spend your whole life worrying about your mistakes! You f**ked up . . . you trusted us. Hey, make the best of it."
While we dearly appreciated the chance to use all those fun Animal House GIFs Monday, on the inside we were extremely Oh, no Baby! What is you doin'? And yesterday ... was WORSE.
As counsel for the only one of 13 Russian defendants willing to defend itself in court, Dubelier seems to think he'll be able to knock loose more information on the Mueller investigation through discovery if he litigates like a rabid howler monkey. Judge Dabney Friedrich was not amused, however, and called his behavior "unprofessional, inappropriate, and ineffective." Naturally Dubelier responded by saying, "That's just your opinion!" and accused the judge of BIASSSS. How even can his client get a fair trial if its attorney acts like a right jackass and the judge calls him out on it?
Rubberneckers did not have long to wait for Dubelier's next opus, which dropped yesterday. His latest filing started out by excoriating Judge Friedrich for being late to the bench on Monday, as one does.
On Friday, January 4, 2019 at 7:21 PM, the Court ordered the parties to appear for a "status hearing" on Monday January 7, 2019 at 11:00 AM. (Jan. 4, 2019 Minute Order.) The Court did not follow its normal practice of consulting in advance with the parties regarding availability. The parties appeared at 11:00 AM. The Court took the bench at approximately 11:35 PM.
OH, IT'S ON!
Then the veins on his neck bulged, sending the buttons on his shirt flying (probably) as he accused Her Honor of sullying the dignity of her robes under the guise of protecting the poor, helpless prosecutors who never complained once about Dubelier's abusive language.
Each one of these individuals is an experienced attorney, perfectly capable of advocacy on behalf of the government. None of them, in pleadings or in court, have expressed any problems with the content or tone of Defendant's filings other than vigorously opposing the relief sought. For a reason unknown to undersigned counsel, the Court took it upon itself to defend the Special Counsel, creating at a minimum an appearance of bias or prejudice in favor of the government.
A shower of spittle coated the law clerks (allegedly) as Dubelier thundered toward his conclusion.
Perhaps more importantly however, the Court did not consider the fact that while the mainstream media has largely ignored Defendant's pending motions, when the word "Judge" appears before a person's name, this political adornment suggests to the public that there now is some higher level of wisdom than among the mere mortal lawyers in the case, and as such, every single mainstream media organization repeated the Court's words as gospel. The direct consequence was swift and clear; that is, undersigned counsel have received overnight and continuing today a flow of hatred in the form of voicemail and electronic mail from self-proclaimed patriots containing threats, intimidation, and the desire that both undersigned counsel promptly die.
And just to be clear, Eric Dubelier has no time for your frivolous amusements, your flimflam teevee revues, your what have yous.
Apparently some of these brave self-proclaimed patriots were whipped into their frenzy by a cable television entertainer unknown to undersigned counsel named Rachel Maddow who devoted a significant portion of her variety program to the words spoken by the Court yesterday. So while counsel's words used in advocacy can hurt, the words of a Judge can have devastating consequences.
That's right, Trump judicial appointee Dabney Friedrich is IN CAHOOTS with this Rachel Maddow character and must recuse henceforth, forthwith, hereafter, and in perpetuity!
And speaking of the self-proclaimed patriots, here comes the cavalry.
Stupidest Man on the Internet Jr. has unearthed a photo of Judge Friedrich's husband at the Justice Department standing next to Special Counsel prosecutor Andrew Weissmann in 2002. INPEACH!!!!!!!1!!!! Friedrich worked on the Enron prosecution with Weissmann, at the same time that Robert Mueller headed up the FBI. Which means FUCK ALL, because that's not remotely how conflicts of interest work. But the MAGA loons will probably take this horseshit and roll naked in it for an entire news cycle.
Here on Planet Earth, though, we note another court decision in the Russia investigation that may spell bad news for Dubelier's client. Remember that mystery grand jury case pinging around the federal court system as the foreign, state-owned corporation tries to evade the Special Counsel's jurisdiction? First the Supreme Court declined to intervene yesterday, vacating the temporary stay and allowing fines of $50,000 per day on the mystery company to accrue. And then the US Court of Appeals for DC held that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act is no bar to criminal prosecution, reminding the defendant corporation:
Here, however, the government relies primarily on ex parte evidence unavailable to the Corporation. We have repeatedly approved the use of such information when "necessary to ensure the secrecy of ongoing grand jury proceedings," and we do so again here. [Citations omitted.]
So if Eric Dubelier and his client think they're going to browbeat the federal courts in DC into barring secret grand jury evidence, they've got another thing coming.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.