Thursday, May 19, 2016

Is Donald Trump serious when he claims that Bill Pryor, with nude pictures at gay-porn Web site in his background, is fit for SCOTUS?

Bill Pryor

Those who think Donald Trump is not a serious presidential candidate received new ammunition yesterday with the release of a list of individuals Trump considers possible nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court. Included on the list is an Alabama judge who posed nude during his college days for a series of photographs that wound up at the gay-pornography Web site in the late '90s.

William H. "Bill" Pryor's foray into gay porn probably is more substantive than anything he's done as a judge. President George W. Bush nominated the virulently homophobic Pryor to the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2003, even though the Alabama attorney general had zero experience as a judge--not even in municipal or traffic court.

What were Pryor's credentials? Well, he was a passionate member of the Federalist Society, and he launched a state investigation of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman before the Democrat's fanny had barely hit the seat in his new office. That state probe led to a federal prosecution that landed Siegelman at Oakdale (LA) Federal Correctional Institution, where he still resides today. It is widely believed that Karl Rove, "Bush's Brain," orchestrated the Siegelman prosecution and rewarded Pryor for his key role with a nomination to the 11th Circuit.

That was long before Pryor's ties to gay porn became widely known when we broke the story in fall 2013. What's the story behind the nude photos of a college student who, despite his painfully thin resume, grew up to be a federal judge? Here's how we described it in a post dated Sept. 17, 2013: (Warning: If you click on this link and scroll to the bottom of the post, you will find the original Pryor photo, unedited. If you are squeamish about full-frontal male nudity, we advise caution if you choose to click on the link.)

Nude photographs of federal judge Bill Pryor appeared in the 1990s on a gay pornography Web site, a Legal Schnauzer investigation shows.

The photos appeared in 1997 on, which was in its online infancy, having debuted in mid 1995. Based in Cocoa, Florida, the site has morphed into one of the largest gay porn sites on the Web.

Images obtained by Legal Schnauzer show Pryor posing completely nude, staring into the camera and sporting a noticeable erection. We see no indication that the photos were taken surreptitiously, without Pryor's knowledge. Sources say Pryor was college age when the photos were taken.

Is there doubt about the photographs' authenticity? Well, a major Republican political figure in Alabama was shown the pictures in the late '90s and immediately exclaimed, "Holy Cow, That's Bill Pryor!" A former female political journalist at a Birmingham news outlet was shown the photos and reportedly guffawed and semi-fainted at the same time. Did either of those insiders express any doubt that it was Bill Pryor in the photo? Nope.

Judge Bill Pryor
It should be noted that the young man in the nude photos clearly has a condition called strabismus, which is a crossing of the eyes. The condition is apparent in recent photos of Pryor, although it appears he's had treatment (likely surgery) to improve the condition. Sources who have seen Pryor in person recently say the strabismus remains noticeable. We asked for an interview with Pryor about the strabismus issue and asked if he would turn over his medical records for inspection. He did not respond.

Here's more about the photographs' history:

Alabama law-enforcement officials became aware of the photos at in 1997, not long before Governor Fob James appointed Pryor attorney general. An investigation ensued, and multiple officials familiar with that process have told Legal Schnauzer that the photos are, in fact, of the Bill Pryor who now sits on the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Sources say the photos were taken while Pryor was a student at Northeast Louisiana University (now University of Louisiana Monroe) from 1980 to 1984.

Legal Schnauzer contacted Judge Pryor last Friday via e-mail, seeking an interview about the photographs and their possible implications for his role on the federal bench. Pryor responded as follows:

I have nothing to say to you except that these accusations are totally false. Do not contact me again. Bill Pryor.

I replied by reminding Pryor that these were not "accusations"; they were photographs where multiple sources had identified him as the subject.  Pryor still was not willing to grant an interview on the subject:

This is the last time I will respond to you. Those photos are not of me. Do not contact me again. Bill Pryor

If the photos were not of Pryor, wouldn't it be easy for the judge to invite an inquisitive reporter to his office at the Hugo Black Courthouse in downtown Birmingham, lay out several family photos of himself from the undergrad days, show that he didn't look then like the young man in the photo (with a noticeable erection), and put the story to bed? That would seem like an easy way to handle it. But Pryor never has done that.

Instead, the story was picked up by Above the Law, the nation's No. 1 legal blog, plus dozens of other blogs and news sites. When other journalists sent queries to Pryor, he responded by having a former law clerk send out a canned statement.

Perhaps most troubling of all is reports that the secrets in Pryor's past actually helped his judicial career--that he was nominated to the bench so he would be vulnerable to blackmail, ensuring that he would steer cases to outcomes favorable to conservative interests. Here's how we described it in a December 2014 post:

In fact, our sources say conservative forces pushed George W. Bush to make the appointment not because of any legal expertise on Pryor's part, but because his secrets make him controllable. [Journalist Wayne] Madsen calls Pryor a "gatekeeper" for Republican interests. Others have called him a "fixer," that he protects Karl Rove's agenda on the bench. Rove once served as Pryor's campaign manager in a race for Alabama attorney general.

Either way, Pryor appears to be a judge of dubious integrity.

Is this a sensitive topic in Alabama conservative circles? Well, roughly one week after I broke the Pryor/gay porn story, Shelby County deputies started showing up on our property (two and three at a time, in multiple vehicles), banging on doors and looking in our windows, even shining lights in our windows at dark. Less than one month after that, deputies broke into our basement garage as I was pulling our car in, assaulted me, doused me with pepper spray (while never showing a warrant, stating they had a warrant, or stating their reasons for being there) and hauled me to jail for a five-month stay. I probably would still be in jail (or dead) if my wife, Carol, had not managed to avoid being abducted (they were trying to arrest her, too) and was able to get word out about my arrest to the press.

WizardBoy photo gallery,
including Bill Pryor
My incarceration received national and international news coverage. Substantial evidence suggests a group of right-wing bloggers, led by Ali Akbar and largely funded by GOP mega-donor Foster Friess, played a role in my arrest, which really was a state-sanctioned kidnapping.

As for Trump, this is not the first time he has floated Pryor's name as a possible SCOTUS nominee. He did it back in February, after Super Tuesday primaries. U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who is Pryor's mentor and No. 1 political backer, became a Trump supporter early on and is considered a possible VP pick. Sessions likely has been whispering sweet nothings about Pryor in Trump's ear.

Is Trump completely ignorant of Pryor's past? It looks that way. Don Siegelman is one of the most knowledgeable people on the planet about Pryor, and his reaction to Trump's words in February were, well . . . rather harsh. Siegelman called Pryor "evil and pernicious," and that was just for starters. Here's more:

Pryor's background: Slipped in as a recess appointment of Bush. A protege and political client of Karl Rove, a state attorney general linked to Karl Rove's tobacco clients and large corporate interests refused to join in the national suit against Big Tobacco. His reasoning: "Poor people who smoke die faster, so they cost Alabama's Medicaid less money." Republican Arizona Attorney General, Grant Woods, later Co-Chair McCain for President, responded publicly saying: "Alabama would be better off with comedian Richard Pryor rather than Bill Pryor as its attorney general."

I've sought to interview Pryor at least three times about the gay-porn photos--and other issues. Each time, he has refused to take questions or even issue a substantive comment. In fact, he simply has not responded. I gave him another opportunity yesterday, via the following e-mail:

Roger Shuler


date: Wed, May 18, 2016 at 4:15 PM

subject: Inquiry about Donald Trump, U.S. Supreme Court, and your appearance at


Judge Pryor:

As I'm sure you know, Donald Trump yesterday mentioned you as a possible nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. I would like to request an interview or a comment on this topic, especially in light of my fall 2013 reports about nude photos of you that appeared at the gay pornography Web site.

I have requested interviews on this subject multiple times in the past, and you never have granted one. I repeat that request today and ask that the interview be done in the next 24-48 hours because this is a national, breaking story.

A few questions that quickly come to mind:

* Have you disclosed to the Trump campaign your appearance at

* Did you disclose this information to the U.S. Senate during your confirmation hearings after being nominated to the federal bench?

* Would it be appropriate for you to consider a SCOTUS nomination, given the gay-porn photos in your background--and your public statements indicating you oppose gay rights. Multiple sources say you were confronted about the photographs in roughly 1997, long before your nomination to the federal bench.

* What does the presence of such photographs say about your judgment and your suitability for a position on the federal bench, much less SCOTUS?

* Were you asked about these photographs--or other potentially embarrassing and/or corrupting background information--during the confirmation process for your position on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals? If so, did you answer truthfully? If you failed to disclose this information, what does that say about your suitability for a role on the federal bench? Did you effectively lie to Congress?

Trump's comments represent a breaking story, so I ask that you respond to this e-mail by 5 p.m. on 5/20/16 (Friday).

Any chance Pryor will respond by 5 p.m. tomorrow? We will keep you posted.


Anonymous said...

I was hoping you would weigh in with some interesting stuff on this subject, and you didn't disappoint. Bravo, Schnauzer!

Anonymous said...

Oh, to be a fly on the wall when Bill Pryor reads this post . . . hee, hee.

Anonymous said...

I like titillation as much as the next guy. But there are two very important points in here:

(1) The business about Pryor serving as a gatekeeper for GOP interests:

(2) The disturbing proximity between your reporting on Pryor and your trip to jail.

That suggests Pryor is a con man, a tyrant, and a dishonest a-hole. That bothers me much more than the face he once posed nude

Anonymous said...

I can only hope all the stories on him (e.g. Bad Puppy at least) reach the Donald's desk and campaign advisors before this piece of work even gets a chance to be appointed.


Anonymous said...

I doubt he'd make through the vetting process after this came out on Pryor, but yeah major f*** up for Trump.

Anonymous said...

Governor Bentley and his favorite boobs thank you for making this post!

No one would look at my hands and wonder what they have been handling. Certainly not cement blocks for a privacy wall. But I do know what built like a brick sh*thouse feels like!~

Anonymous said...

Didn't Jessica Garrison, in her Marie Claire hit piece, call Legal Schnauzer a "stupid little blog," or words to that effect?

Wouldn't it be funny if the "stupid little blog" kept her boy, Bill Pryor, off the U.S. Supreme Court?

legalschnauzer said...

Her exact words, @1:06, were "this ridiculous little blog."

And yes, it would be funny--not to mention a major boost for our country--if this ridiculous little blog kept Bill Pryor off the SCOTUS bench.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should get in contact with Dennis Hastert for comment?

Anonymous said...

Well, you've kicked some of the dirt off the plate apparently preparing your stance position in the box; so get comfortable, because forever thrown is due by you hit a "homerun"; for you see, by the gonads.

Fact based official documents evidences from attorney general's office involving Sessions and Pryor when presented publicly will cause, demand of Presidential Candidate Donald Trump to explain why his close ties with both; especially, after one of his first nationally recognized supporters' offices being contacted and spoken to at lengths at both their offices, hometown and Washington; yet ignoring info made available about Sessions not commonly known of, as well Pryor, then announces yesterday Pryor as choice for Supreme Court........

Pryor has now become the bedrock for your presidential coverage; especially when linked in anyway to Alabama.

But......In all fairness to the political novice Mr. Trump; EMail him inquiring about his knowledge of Sessions and Pryor from times serving as attorney generals, see if get a response; maybe invited up to his Trump Towers,

If Mr. Trump is persistence in promoting these two as team members with futures in his administration, in affect Mr. Trump has thrown the gauntlet down before all Alabamians, as to say, so what, in your face!!!!!!!! BUT THE UNKNOWN DUE TO SURFACE ARE NOT RESIGNED TO THE POLITICAL ARENAS, BUT BETTER DESCRIBED AS CONFINED ENVIROMENTS WITH UNIFORM DRESS CODES, AND PHYICAL EXERCISES INCLUDING BALLS WITH CHAINS; a matter of wrongs yet to be righted.............

Swing batter, swing batter, batter batter------"Ferris Bueler's Day Off".

legalschnauzer said...

I hear there are a number of things "not commonly known" about Mr. Sessions. I imagine Mr. Trump is as clueless about those as he is the ones regarding Pryor. Look for Mr. Sessions to be dealing with "dirty laundry" soon, to borrow a phrase from the great Don Henley.

Anonymous said...

Chuck Grassley gives thumbs up to Trump's list:

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) praised Donald Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees on Thursday, saying the list would help assuage the fears of Republicans who are wary of the candidate's conservative credentials.

The 11 names on the list, which features some of the most prominent conservative justices in the country, were “pretty encouraging,” Grassley told Bloomberg Politics.

“If anybody had any doubts—and I think a lot of people do have doubts—this will help settle that,” he continued.

Anonymous said...

Crazier things have happened... we currently have a big sex/porn addict sitting on the SCOTUS bench, so maybe they can compare notes.

Anonymous said... I recall in 2013 the ABI did an investigation of these pictures. Do you know what came of that?

Anonymous said...

And how in God's name did he land a clerkship with Judge Wisdom?

Anonymous said...

Is that the only picture or are there more pictures? Do you know the circumstances that the pictures were taken under? Do you know who took the pictures or when they were taken? Have you contacted badpuppy to interview them about the picture or get what information about the picture that they have?

I assume that badpuppy has to have a release and proof of age of the model in order to publish the picture.

Anonymous said...

Trump has used some of Wayne Madsen reporting to attack the opposing candidates. This maybe a joke or someone may not know what the hell they are doing.

Anonymous said...

Bad puppy dot com...vetting scotus candidates since 2016.

Unknown said...

nominate him for SCROTUM, not SCOTUS

legalschnauzer said...

Perhaps you are new to the blog, @6:43, but I answered all of those questions in various posts some time ago. I would suggest you go to the search box at the top of the blog and key in "Pryor and nude" or "Pryor and gay," and it will call up posts that answer your questions.

Anonymous said...

I have heard Roy Moore and Bill Pryor are lovers.

legalschnauzer said...

Hah, that's a good one @2:48. Don't know about Roy Moore, but I heard Judge Pryor has a very special "friend" at Bradley Arant law firm, someone Pryor once hired (or appointed) for a prime legal position in Alabama.

e.a.f. said...

God help America if Trump becomes President. Given some of Trumps statements and actions since he started his run for the presidency, I really wouldn't be surprised if he did appoint some one like Pryor. Nothing Trump says or does surprises me. Of course with Pryor's anti gay statements, there are any number of people who might qualify for refugee status in Canada if Pryor was appointed to the SCOTUS.

I am very happy Canada accepted 25K Syrian refugees late last yr and early this year. We're going to accept another 25k shortly. In the late 1970s, in the middle of a major recession Canada accepted 70K Vietnamese refugees. We're good at processing and accepting refugees. If Trump is elected President I look forward to seeing a few million American refugees arriving. We will ask Americans to check their guns at the border, but we do give you a free medical card in exchange.

Canada's Supreme Court is open to GLBT judges, we just aren't keen on homophobic judges.

Pryor as a judge on the American Supreme Court, my god, what has it come to. I can't stop laughing every time I think of that picture and then of him on the Supreme Court.

Thank you for the post. I just checked in, there isn't anything on t.v. to night and this is so far superior.

You do amazing work.

Anonymous said...

Just gonna leave this here.

legalschnauzer said...

@5:03 -- Thanks for sharing the Snopes URL. Interesting.