Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Butterfly Effect:
  • I can't tell you how ridiculous this is. There's no reason an assistant DA could represent the DA in the contempt proceeding (a visiting judge ruled so just last week), and the amount of $30,000 is robbery.  There's no way the DA is going to jail in this contempt proceeding -- a fine is the worst thing that will happen and even that's unlikely -- but the county is writing a check with taxpayer money like he's a family member accused of capital murder. And get this: The lawyer that the DA has chosen to represent him is the same one in the stalled Ken Paxton prosecution -- the one that is now in a black hole because the county doesn't want to pay him $300 an hour.   He's charging the DA in the contempt case $400 an hour!
  • Trump explained his trip to the hospital. So his wife didn't know about a planned physical and when she thought he was having a heart attack she had no way to get in contact with him? (The biggest lie is that she would ever refer to him as, "Darling.")
  • In District Court in Wise County, some of the inmate court appearances are handled by video conferencing. The gallery can't see the inmate but can hear him. Some of the most awkward moments occur when one of them is brave enough to go off on his court appointed attorney for not coming to see him. In related news:
  • Note to a Wise County trooper who during a traffic stop told a former marine that "You are a disgrace to your country!": That's a bad look. 
  • Impeachment Hearings: I don't understand the Republican strategy. Why not just admit the obvious, that Trump pressured Ukraine to make an announcement on CNN that the country was investigating a political opponent, but say it was no big deal.   That's where this is headed. Why spend all this energy bashing good people who everyone knows are telling the truth?
  • Heck, that proposed strategy is the one used in 99% of the DWI cases that result in an acquittal: Yes, the man was drinking and driving. Yes, that wasn't the best decision to make. But, no, he wasn't intoxicated so it wasn't a crime. And, yes, he's learned his lesson and won't put himself in that position again. So, by analogy: Yes, the man made the call and put a little pressure on the Ukraine. Yes, that wasn't the best decision to make. But, no, that's not a high crime or misdemeanor so it's not impeachable. (Forget the "learned his lesson" part. Trump will never learn.)
  • Big Edit: Based upon Gordon Sondland's testimony at this very moment, they better adopt that strategy now. Any other defense is now over. He's flipping. He says it's a quid pro quo, Trump ordered it, "everyone is in the loop" and, if I heard that right, he has brought documents and emails.  Opening statement here.
  • I ended up in a brief Twitter war yesterday over whether a "good guy with a gun" stopped the Duncan Walmart shooting. Recall, one guy shot two people in the parking lot and then killed himself. But USA Today was the only paper to have a quote from a guy. Aaron Helton, who said another man pulled his gun and pointed it at the shooter's head.   I thought that was suspicious and my patented Skepticism Radar went off. I finally found the on-the-scene interview with Helton. He said that the bystander put the gun to the shooter's head, he stopped shooting, and, at that moment, "there were three bodies on the ground beside the shooter." (At thirty seconds into the video.)  Nope. That didn't happen. The three bodies including the shooter. That's why no one ran with the story, and I'm at loss to understand why USA Today included it.
  • Here's the year-to-date number of cases filed in Justice of the Peace courts in Wise County. (They are punishable by fine only. Speeding tickets comprise 1,855 of those cases.)
  • Welcome to the neighborhood. I've been licensed for over thirty years, and I can't recall a single time I've played the I'm-A-Lawyer-Card outside of work. (And that guy is the worst writer in the history of ever.)
  • This last bullet point is being written as I'm listening to Sondland giving his opening statement. Holy cow. It's over.