Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Could Sonny Reagan And His Associates Face Obstruction Of Justice And Other Criminal Charges?

In announcing that his colleague Sonny Reagan had been placed on administrative leave, Alabama Acting Attorney General Van Davis used some curious language, the kind that points to criminal activity.

Davis said Reagan had "undisclosed communications with individuals affiliated with people indicted or under investigation by a Lee County Special Grand Jury."

As if that language weren't strong enough, Davis then dropped this bomb: "Reagan also took other action to impede or obstruct the investigation.”

That is the kind of language often seen in criminal statutes. And it raises this question: Will Reagan, and perhaps the individuals with whom he communicated, eventually face obstruction of justice and related charges?

Like more than half of the states, Alabama has a broad criminal statute that covers obstruction of justice. The crime in Alabama is called "Obstructing Governmental Operations," and it can be found at Code of Alabama 13A-10-2. Here is how it reads:

Section 13A-10-2
Obstructing governmental operations.

(a) A person commits the crime of obstructing governmental operations if, by means of intimidation, physical force or interference or by any other independently unlawful act, he:

(1) Intentionally obstructs, impairs or hinders the administration of law or other governmental function; or

(2) Intentionally prevents a public servant from performing a governmental function.

(b) This section does not apply to the obstruction, impairment or hindrance of the making of an arrest.

(c) Obstructing governmental operations is a Class A misdemeanor.

Obstruction of justice, in the sense normally considered by the public, is a federal offense covered under 18 U.S. Code 1501-1508. The most broad form of the offense is found in the omnibus clause at 18 U.S. Code 1503.

Our research indicates obstruction charges often are brought along with related charges, such as perjury, subornation of perjury, conspiracy, and racketeering.

Those last two charges might be the most worrisome ones for Reagan and the individuals with whom he communicated. By definition, conspiracy and racketeering can involve multiple defendants and possible federal jurisdiction.

Racketeering generally is covered under the federal RICO statutes, and violation of a state statute can be a predicate offense for launching a RICO case. For now, it is too early to say that the Reagan case might get that serious. It probably will depend on what Davis meant when he said, "Reagan also took other action to impede or obstruct the investigation.”

At a minimum, the Reagan case is an embarrassment for the AG's office and it calls into question Reagan's fitness for practicing law. At a maximum, it could lead to a wide-ranging criminal investigation, threatening powerful conservative figures with federal charges and possible prison time.


Anonymous said...

Maybe a movie will come from all this, The runaway grand jury? What one said was the longest running in state history or could this be a case that when someone starting digging more and more criminal acts began to appear? I agree no one should be judged before first having their day in court. Having said that I believe most would agree that attorneys should be the first to understand and abide by our laws. Then add to this the fact that the attorney works at the state highest law enforcement office as a Deputy Attorney General. How many times in any states history has a deputy attorney general lawyer up, took the 5th and refused to answers question of a grand jury. Then also in court tried to rise the legal question over if this grand jury had been appointed legally by his very own boss. I'm not a lawyer nor a scholar, just a regular guy with enough common sense to see that we do in fact have a very serious problem here. The out come of all of this will govern this state for years to come. What is on line here is very simple, the rule of law and how it is applied. Do we have one set of rules for us working people, then another for the rich powerful? It has nothing to do with either party, nothing to do with left vs right thinking. It is just about right and wrongs. I pray that the good state of Alabama will come out of this with her head held high and be a show case for the nation.

Anonymous said...

I don't see this becoming a RICO case. I think you are overreaching with that one, Schnauzer. Could it be criminal? Yes, definitely.

Anonymous said...

It certainly is interesting that Van Davis used the term "obstruct." As a lawyer, I'm guessing he used that term on purpose. I think it could be a warning shot to Mr. Reagan and his comrades.

Anonymous said...

I think you can bet if Luther Strange goes after Sonny Reagan, everyone in that office will go down, including Luther Strange. Do you think Sonny was in that office by chance? Luther has made an enemy of Bob Riley now. I don't think Luther can get elected without the Riley money and spin machine. We will see but I still think if Luther doesn't call his pit bulls off of Sonny, Luther and all his little Napoleons will go down with him. Luther has shot his own self in the foot here. There is no way he can win trying to prosecute anyone in his office. Just like his case against the Democrat politician that he just had to drop or testify in the case, Luther nor his ilk have clean hands. If they try to make Sonny their fall guy to take the heat off themselves, watch what happens.

Anonymous said...

Very educational, LS. Good information.

Anonymous said...

No truth. Go to Enterprise. Find answers.

Anonymous said...

The education in the United States is equal to the power that runs the United States.

Those that agree to hold this great power take an oath to the U.S. Constitution to uphold the oath to the law of the U.S. Constitution or the act against the oath to the rule of law, is called treason.

The problem was and is those that were the supposed "Framers" of the U.S. Constitution didn't exactly not commit traitors' acts from the beginning to their end. They were all slave traders. The money in the USA stamps pictures of slave traders on the money. Reminding, there are the writers of the laws and then there are those that are hired to do what the writers of the laws say, regardless of an oath to treason.

Money and slave trading is one of the primary laws of USA. All Americans are now owned by an invisible hand of debt that doesn't let freedom ring.

e.a.f. said...

The important word in this is "intentionally". The prosecutor would have to prove, intent. Those charged might claim they were too stupid to know what they were doing. Like these guys were elected and not all elected officials are known for their intellect.

Anonymous said...

I personally know this lying thief and he is quilty of all these accusations and more. He deserves to rot in prison. He is an awful person. I think that he once was a stand up guy. Did he become corrupt after political office or get into politics as was his corrupt nature. That I can not say. However, he has no moral compass and that is for certain.