Friday, October 14, 2011

Alabama Is Not the Only State Where Obama Has Helped Persecute Members of His Own Party

George Holding

As a resident of Alabama, I've been operating under the assumption that ours is the only state where the Obama Justice Department has shown utter ineptitude on the appointment of U.S. attorneys. But I was wrong about that.

Leura Canary, the abominable George W. Bush appointee who ramrodded the Don Siegelman prosecution in the Middle District of Alabama, stayed on for more than two years of Obama's term. That allowed her to be at the controls for a federal bingo case that targeted mostly Democrats and produced zero convictions.

I figured the White House let the Canary debacle continue because the president knows he never is going to win a deep red state, and therefore does not care what happens in Alabama. But it turns out that Obama let a similar situation fester in North Carolina, a state that he won in 2008.

And just as in Alabama, it appears that Obama's weakness has allowed a Bushie to launch a politically motivated prosecution--under a Democratic administration. With "friends" like Obama, citizens who take justice seriously do not need enemies.

The target in North Carolina is former presidential candidate John Edwards. And the embedded Bushie was George Holding, who stayed on as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina until July 8 of this year. Holding announced his resignation roughly one week after an indictment was issued against Edwards. How convenient.

At the heart of the case against Edwards are payments made to his mistress, Rielle Hunter, in an effort to keep the affair secret. Edwards' behavior was disgusting, but was it criminal?

Legal experts say the Edwards case is built on a shaky foundation of weak evidence and untested legal theories. The kind of transaction in question rarely, if ever, has been defined as a political contribution--and that is the legal crux upon which the case rests?

The Edwards case appears to be skimpy on its face, and for some reason, that does not sit well with the former senator's defense team. It claims the Obama DOJ lacked the backbone to stop a bogus prosecution--and that's a familiar story for those of us who live in Alabama. Josh Gerstein, of Politico, explains:

President Barack Obama's appointees at the Justice Department lacked the political courage to stop a Bush-appointed federal prosecutor from indicting former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) on campaign finance-related charges even though the prosecution's theory is completely unprecedented, Edwards's lawyers said in a court filing Tuesday.

Edwards's defense team argued in a motion filed last month that the U.S. Attorney who oversaw the investigation, George Holding, was politically hostile to Edwards. A former aide to Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), Holding announced his resignation a week after obtaining Edwards's indictment in June on charges that he effectively accepted nearly $1 million in illegal campaign contributions by allowing two wealthy supporters to pay expenses incurred by Edwards's mistress and a daughter the couple conceived.

Holding also worked for Judge Terrence Boyle, whose appeals court nomination Edwards blocked in 2001.

Powerful evidence suggests that Holding was hostile toward Edwards. We also know that Holding had political ambitions. He now is running, as a Republican, for a Congressional seat from North Carolina's 13th District. Here is how one news outlet reported Holding's entrance into the race:

A former federal prosecutor whose office put a series of high-profile North Carolina Democrats in prison wants to replace one in Congress.

George E.B. Holding said Wednesday he will run for the Republican nomination for the 13th District seat now held by U.S. Rep. Brad Miller. . . .

The 43-year-old Republican stayed in his post three years into the Obama administration to avoid disrupting investigations into former presidential candidate John Edwards and former North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley.

Holding's office brought public corruption cases that resulted in convictions against former state House Speaker Jim Black, former state Agriculture Commissioner Meg Scott Phipps and former Rep. Frank Ballance.

It doesn't appear that Holding went after any corrupt Republicans. Hmmm . . . conducting political prosecutions against Democrats pays off in North Carolina? Same thing seems to happen in my state, where Leura Canary is set to accept a cushy legal position with the Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA).

The criminal case against John Edwards appears to be preposterously weak. So why is it moving forward? Gerstein explains:

The defense motion goes on to argue that Holding stood to benefit politically whether the Obama folks killed the case or let it go forward. If they killed it, he could have claimed they were protecting a fellow Democrat. If it went forward, he would be viewed as wounding a Democrat of national prominence.

"Under the circumstances, it is understandable that the Obama Administration would stay out of this fight," the defense lawyers said.

While we are on the subject of politics, let's consider these questions: How ironic is it that our nation's first black president has shown consistent disdain for the words of the 14th Amendment, the fundamental building block for equal treatment under the law in America? Why would Obama expect Democrats to support him when he has allowed members of his own party to be brutalized in political prosecutions? Assuming that progressives take the 14th Amendment seriously--that they care about issues such as due process and equal protection--why would they show up at the polls for a president who repeatedly has dumped on the U.S. Constitution?

This is one progressive who will not be voting for Obama in 2012. I already had made up my mind on that subject, and the George Holding story only reinforces those feelings.


James Greek said...

Obama is his own worst enemy. Who are you going to vote for in 2012 Roger? I am going to vote for Ron Paul. Do you think I should vote for him?

legalschnauzer said...


If you think Ron Paul is the right guy, then you should vote for him. As for me, I'm probably not going to vote for president in 2012. If someone puts up a serious primary challenge to Obama, I probably will vote for him/her. Would love to see Alan Grayson make a run. I definitely will not vote for a Republican--or Obama. So that pretty much eliminates all the choices. I'm guessing the Schnauzer stays home--and I hope lots of other liberals do the same thing. I've come to detest Obama, and he won't fool me for a second time.

James Greek said...

I wish Alan Grayson would make a run too.

Max Shelby said...

The republicans count on disappointed voters to sit out the next election.
Hold your nose and vote anyway.
Not voting only helps the right wing.

Anonymous said...

As the resident of a solid-red state, my Democratic vote for president doesn't matter...but I won't be voting for Obama again. I won't stay home on Election Day because there are plenty of local right-wing kooks that I want to vote against, but there's nobody that I want to vote FOR in 2012.

Lincoln Steffens said...

Hold your nose and vote for a man who puts aside any notion of the rule of law. A man who's prosecution of whistle blowers is unprecedented, a man who supports and carries out extra judicial assassinations of citizens and non-citizens alike, a man who up holds the PATRIOT act that violate so many rights you can not count and worse, a man who crushes any opposition from his own party rank and file, who has neutered the opposition to the above and to that of WAR because of propaganda that exploits tribal mentality. No thank you, I will exercise my right to vote my conscience and not for the evil of the two lessers. To vote for Obama is to vote for further evisceration of the social compact of We the People! At least with a republican in the WH even the democratic party sycophants fight back.
All that aside, thank you Legal Schnauzer for what you do to expose these democratic and republican transgressions!
PS: Ron Paul is the right guy if you want to move to neo-fuedalism.

Mack Lyons said...

In my opinion, staying home come Election Day equals a vote for the Republicans, no matter how you slice it.

The GOP's counting on general disillusionment among liberals to squeeze their top pick in by thin margins. I'm not about to let that happen.

jeffrey spruill said...

May as well appointed Karl Rove as US Attorney for the Eastern District of Va.:

Mr. MacBride also served as a law clerk for the Honorable Henry C. Morgan, Jr., United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia in Norfolk.

sharonsj said...

Much as I am sorely disappointed with Obama and the Democrats, staying home and not voting is insane. If you think the country sucks now, wait until the right-wing religious crazies control the government at both state and federal levels.

With Republicans in charge, the rich will get richer while the poor will be expected to foot the bills. All services will be cut back or privatized. You will not afford health care or dental care, even with insurance. Abortions and women's health care will be eliminated. You'll see witch hunts against gays, blacks, non-Christians (or at least not the "correct" Christians), and a push to make America a theocracy.

Finally, a Republican president can put more right-wing nuts on the Supreme Court and thus the laws of the land will be even more restrictive for everyone who is not rich.

George Fleming said...

The only way to get decent candidates is to let the cavemen/women win big in 2012. Then the crisis will be on us big time. That is what it will take to finally motivate enough of the rest of us to take action.

If we don't act then, with prosecutions and recalls and massive protests, then there aren't enough of us to make any difference. We are going down, and it won't matter any more how fast.

I agree with legalschnauzer. Stay home on election day.

Anonymous said...

I am a Democrat and I will say if you vote for in Independant you will probably help put the Republican candidate in office. or vice versa. I liked Obama at first and thought it would be a great change for our country. I know he has no power. Everything he tries or tried to do is shot down by those assholes we keep putting in office. WE NEED TERM LIMITS ON CONGRESS.. But never will happen. They sure are not going to pass a law to lose their jobs. TOO many perks and too much money to make. If the President had any power President Clinton would have had us all health care.You know how that turned out. You should really concentrate on getting rid of the douche bags in congress that have been there for 10 thousand years, They are the ones that rule the country. And we keep putting the same old same old in. EVEN if Ron Paul was president he would not have any power to do anything unless that bunch that has to say yah or nay votes yes on things he proposes. Basically to me.. The President has about an ounce of power. I'd just go play golf or do something and let the BS go on in congress. No matter what he wants to do they knock him down and please admit. HE WAS LEFT IN A HORRIBLE MESS BY SHRUB. NEVER say staying at home and not voting is insane. Remember all the Democrats that turned out to vote for Siegelman and he was announced the winner until after the computer guy who admitted to it...changed the votes during the night. I have ALWAYS believed they have a way to get whomever in they want. If they dont like this one.. Fix the computers and this one wins. You will never convince me any different.

Allienne Goddard said...

I agree with those who will not be voting for Obama on election day, despite their disgust at the Republicans. The Democrats have been playing us for fools for at least 20 years. They are controlled by the rich just as much as the Republicans. The differences in the culture war are significant, but in my view not sufficient to allow me to vote for a man who has dealt a fatal blow to constitutional protections for Americans and is at best a moderate Republican (from the old days) when it comes to economic questions. At the very least, if Obama loses many Democrats will remember their "principles" and there will be some opposition to our new civic reality: the national security state.

Redeye said...

"Why would Obama expect Democrats to support him when he has allowed members of his own party to be brutalized in political prosecutions? Assuming that progressives take the 14th Amendment seriously--that they care about issues such as due process and equal protection--why would they show up at the polls for a president who repeatedly has dumped on the U.S. Constitution?"

Why indeed. Democrats are caught between Barack and a hard place. Why?

Anonymous said...

I like the sound of President Warren!!!

legalschnauzer said...

President Warren? I love it. Great idea, and she definitely would get me to the polls. The woman has both principles and a spine, items sorely lacking in too many Democrats.

Robby Scott Hill said...

Socialist Party USA nominates a Working Class American for President every cycle. No Kenyans with documents or Mexicans like Mitt Romney.

David said...

The latest rumor says that Romney was really born in Kenya and that Anderson Cooper at CNN has copy of the birth certificate to prove. He is waiting for the last debate to reveal it.

Redeye said...

Although I am not happy with a lot of President Obama's actions and non actions, I am going to vote on election day and I am going to vote for the democratic nominee because that is the only thing standing between a red, TeaPublican, Supreme Court, District Court and Appeals and we the people.
If you think things are bad now, just think about a TeaPublican InJustice system.

James Greek said...

What's Warren's first name?

legalschnauzer said...