Impeachment May Become The Singular Obsession In Washington, And Dominate News Coverage

30 09 2019

  By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Like it or not, this is what the far-Left Democrats and their kindred spirits in America’s so-called “mainstream media” have wrought.  They are the party that gave us the senseless and tragic Vietnam War during which more than 55,000 Americans died—and many more were maimed, and to this day are “walking wounded”—and the party that gave us Watergate.  And yes, lots of us began as Democrats, but will never vote for one again.  

Today, they have a blood thirst for destroying the presidency of Donald Trump; and the father and progenitor of this is the un-American traitor, racist and anti-Semite, Barack Obama.  Instead of healing racial divisions in this great nation, he exacerbated them and fed them.  Few Americans took time to read his book before his election as our president in 2008, “Dreams from My Father.”[2]  If they had, they would have realized fully his un-American and racist views.  

Having grown up in Hawaii and Indonesia, he never lived on the U.S. mainland until he attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, and later Columbia University in New York City, during which time he admitted to being a “druggie.”  A direct quote:

Junkie. Pothead. That’s where I’d been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man.[3]

He attended the church of the racist Jeremiah Wright for many years[4]; and he openly embraced the notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.[5]  Because Obama smiled, and seemingly supported American values, many in the United States were fooled by who he was and really is.  Deceit may be the hallmark of his life. 

Perhaps the once-respected New York Times has put these issues in their starkest form, in the following article by Alexander Burns and Nick Corasaniti, albeit not intending to do so:

After the 2016 election, Democratic leaders reached an all but unanimous conclusion: To defeat President Trump in 2020, they would have to do more than condemn his offensive behavior and far-right ideology, as Hillary Clinton had done. They would need, above all, to promote a clear and exciting agenda of their own.

They took that lesson to heart in the midterm elections and afterward, capturing the House of Representatives with a focus on health care and then attempting to impress the electorate by passing legislation on matters like campaign finance reform and the minimum wage. As Democratic presidential contenders pushed campaigns built on big ideas, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi resisted a chorus of calls for impeachment, even from some of her party’s leading 2020 candidates.

Yet 13 months before the next election, Democratic leaders are now steering into a protracted, head-on clash with Mr. Trump. By seeking the Ukrainian government’s help in tarring former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Mr. Trump left them no choice, they say, but to pursue an impeachment inquiry that could consume the country’s attention for months.

Ms. Pelosi has indicated she aims to move the process along with haste, in part to avoid an election-year conflagration, but the exact course of the inquiry is impossible to foresee.

All 19 Democratic presidential candidates now support the impeachment inquiry, and many Democrats are optimistic that voters will as well, because Mr. Trump is so unpopular and the allegations against him are grave and easily grasped. For now, Republicans are the party on the defensive, flummoxed by the cascading disclosures about Mr. Trump that have threatened to upend his re-election campaign.

But there is also a general recognition, at every level of the Democratic Party, that impeachment could complicate their candidates’ efforts to explain their policy ideas to the country and persuade voters they have a vision beyond ousting Mr. Trump. The party has been disappointed too many times, its leaders say, by betting that Mr. Trump’s violations of political and cultural norms would bring about his downfall.

On Friday evening, Ms. Pelosi declared at a conference of New Jersey Democrats in Atlantic City that she would not allow the 2020 election to become a campaign about impeachment. Insisting the inquiry “has nothing to do with the election,” she said the campaign would be fought on other terms.

“That’s about facts and the Constitution,” Ms. Pelosi said of the impeachment process. “The election is about all of the issues and policies that we have a difference of opinion with the Republicans on, and they are very drastic — and they have nothing to do with impeachment.”

Ms. Pelosi has already advised the newest members of her caucus — the ones who secured the majority last year — that they will have to execute a careful balancing act in the coming weeks, to show voters in their districts that they can continue to pass important legislation. She is said to be particularly focused on a proposal to lower prescription drug prices that she unveiled last week, before the Ukraine saga began.

But even before impeachment, House Democrats were gaining little traction with policy bills that withered in the Republican-controlled Senate. Polls have shown their proposals to be popular, but they have been routinely overshadowed in the news by Mr. Trump.

There is little doubt that impeachment will become a singular obsession in the political world and dominate news coverage for as long as the inquiry is underway. A few early polls on impeachment suggest that public support for the inquiry is somewhat stronger than opposition to it, but those numbers could easily change in either direction as the process unfolds.

Diane Feldman, a Democratic pollster, said it would be difficult for the party to communicate with voters on issues besides impeachment for the duration of the process. But candidates up and down the ballot had to try to drive a message about policy all the same, she said.

“I think it’s worth the effort, but it’s a long shot,” Ms. Feldman said. “That we not put all of our eggs in the impeachment basket seems to me extremely wise.”

However, Ms. Feldman said, the impeachment process could also “add some clarity to risks that Trump presents to our national security and foreign policy” and sharpen the overall Democratic case against his re-election.

The task of balancing impeachment against policy priorities will be especially delicate for lawmakers elected last year, including dozens who won narrow victories in historically Republican districts. Democrats are defending a sizable number of seats that Mr. Trump carried in 2016, in parts of the country like upstate New York, Oklahoma City and northern Maine, where the impeachment issue is likely to stir backlash.

Congressional Republicans are likely to struggle in a different way, as they face pressure from their party’s conservative base to defend Mr. Trump even as he behaves in erratic or legally questionable ways.

Democratic presidential candidates are attempting their own juggling act, mixing denunciations of Mr. Trump’s actions on Ukraine with detailed policy promises. Mr. Biden, the candidate most directly connected to the impeachment uproar, has repeatedly denounced Mr. Trump but has declined to reorient his activities around responding to the president. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Mr. Biden’s leading competitor in the primary, has reminded voters this week that she was the first major Democratic candidate to demand Mr. Trump’s impeachment. But she, too, has not dwelled on the subject in her speeches, and she has indicated she would prefer to avoid a sprawling, open-ended process.

And at the same Democratic gathering in New Jersey where Ms. Pelosi spoke on Friday, Senator Cory Booker urged his party to avoid “partisan glee” about the prospect of impeaching Mr. Trump. Talking to reporters outside the event, he said Democrats should keep campaign considerations separate from impeachment: “It’s just something that I need to deal with in a very sober way,” he said, “away from politics.”

But Mr. Biden and Ms. Warren may be among the only Democratic candidates who can count on breaking through the din of impeachment with regularity, along with Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and perhaps Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind. For the rest of the Democratic field, strategists say, the next stage of the primary race may have less to do with delivering high-minded policy arguments on the national level than courting voters in the early primary and caucus states with personal appeals — as an impeachment battle rages in the foreground.

Meredith Kelly, a Democratic strategist, said the experience of the last presidential race had not faded in the party’s thinking. A veteran of the 2018 campaign to seize the House, Ms. Kelly said Democratic candidates would have to both build a “methodical” case against Mr. Trump during the impeachment inquiry and also keep detailing “a proactive vision of what you stand for.”

“It was a lesson from 2016: You couldn’t only call out Donald Trump without your own positive vision for the country,” said Ms. Kelly, who advised Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s presidential campaign. “You cannot stop talking about kitchen-table issues and your vision for the country.”

Democratic voters this week expressed a combination of enthusiasm for impeachment and anxiety about potential political complications — and, at times, a desire to stay focused on policy.

At Mr. Biden’s campaign stop in Las Vegas on Friday, Rick Carter, 74, a voter from Henderson, Nev., said he had been highly skeptical of impeaching Mr. Trump until the recent revelations about Ukraine. The newest allegations, he said, were “pretty clear, to the point.”

Still, Mr. Carter said he hoped candidates would continue training their attention on subjects like the cost of prescription drugs.

“I want to start focusing on what the American people need,” he said.

Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster, said that even in the tumult of impeachment there were opportunities for Democrats to emphasize policy. He pointed to Ms. Warren’s campaign as one that was plainly “breaking through on policy” even amid Mr. Trump’s constant provocations.

“The House has passed a lot of bills that have gotten very little news coverage,” he noted. “But when members go home and have interactions with their constituents, they’re going to spend a lot of time talking about their legislation to have Medicare negotiate for lower prices and give all people the benefit of lower drug prices.”

And while the impeachment process unfolds, Mr. Garin added, Democrats could likely count on Mr. Trump not to deliver a broad, policy-based message of his own.

“Trump’s not really making any effort to do anything but rally his base on this,” Mr. Garin said. “And in doing that, I think he’s probably aggravating his situation with voters in the center.”[6]

If anyone is dazzled by or believes the current crop of far-Left Democrats, one need only hark back to the words and tragic deeds of Germany’s Adolf Hitler, the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin and China’s Mao Tse-tung, who killed millions.[7]  Or read (or reread) the words of George Orwell in his prescient “Animal Farm,” where all of the animals were equal until the “Pigs” reigned supreme and were masters over—and subjugated—the other animals.[8]

The Pigs of today have taken over and reside in the Democratic Party; and to mask their evil intentions, they coined the title “progressives,” which is the farthest thing from who and what they really are.  The Times‘ article is correct: “[T]he exact course of the [impeachment] inquiry is impossible to foresee.”  Having lived through the Watergate saga and tragedy, which was unfolding just as I was leaving the U.S. Senate, I know that impeachment assumes a life of its own, and consumes and sucks out the air from everything else.

The Times‘ writers add:

All 19 Democratic presidential candidates now support the impeachment inquiry, and many Democrats are optimistic that voters will as well, because Mr. Trump is so unpopular and the allegations against him are grave and easily grasped.

President Trump is loved by vast numbers of dedicated American supporters; and his poll numbers exceed those of Obama at this point in their respective presidencies.  And the allegations against the President with respect to Ukraine do not remotely compare with the corruption of Joe Biden and his son Hunter vis-à-vis that country.[9]

For Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to assert that “she would not allow the 2020 election to become a campaign about impeachment”—and “[i]nsisting the inquiry ‘has nothing to do with the election,'” and that “the campaign would be fought on other terms”—is laughable, absurd and pathetic.  She was first elected to Congress in 1987, while Watergate was breaking wide-open fifteen years before, in late 1972 and early 1973, just as I was leaving the Senate.  At best, she is naïve or duplicitous, but more likely she is engaged in outright lying.[10]  All other issues are buried and consumed by impeachment, period . . . unless, God forbid, there is a direct attack on the United States or some other national tragedy.

The Times’ writers are correct:

There is little doubt that impeachment will become a singular obsession in the political world and dominate news coverage for as long as the inquiry is underway.

And the Democratic pollster, Diane Feldman, was correct when she said it would be difficult for the party to communicate with voters on issues besides impeachment for the duration of the process. Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster, was mistaken when he said that Democrats could likely count on President Trump not to deliver a broad, policy-based message of his own.  The President will tout his accomplishments far and wide, to the long-neglected—and taken for granted by the Democratic Party—African-Americans, and others who have benefited.

Again, my sense today is that what we will witness in the months to come may be very similar to the Vietnam War and Watergate eras.  The fabric of our great nation will be ripped wide-open, pitting friends and loved ones against each other.  I love this country, and no other.  I want to see it flourish, and all Americans benefit. However, I am very concerned about the months to come, and the effects they will have on America—and how our enemies abroad view us and our vulnerabilities, which they may seek to exploit.

Political pundit Dick Morris believes that many Democrats in Congress are fearful of attacks from their Left, and losing in their primaries; and hence, Nancy Pelosi has embarked on impeachment to give them cover.  He may be correct.  However, the larger issue—which they seem blind to see—is that the country may be ripped apart to a much greater extent than even during the Vietnam War and Watergate. The Democrats and their captive far-Left media and the “Deep State” are determined to end the presidency of Donald Trump.

However, they do not realize, much less fully, how strongly other Americans feel about him and his presidency.  Abraham Lincoln was hated by a large segment of America, yet he persevered and saved the nation. The United States today may be approaching a similar juncture, pitting brothers against brothers and sisters against sisters.  The Trump faithful have watched Obama and his fellow co-conspirators attempt to destroy the candidacy and then the presidency of Donald Trump—which is an attempted coup, and treasonous and seditious. Yet, no one has been indicted, convicted and gone to prison.

The rule of law in America has been turned on its head; and vast numbers of Americans are very angry.  Some are angry that Trump was ever elected in the first place, while others—in vast numbers—are angry that the Left has tried to destroy the Trump presidency and nullify their votes.  I am deeply concerned that the United States is heading toward its second Civil War.  Also, I do not see anything on the horizon that will bring us together again as one nation.  If we are moving toward a new Civil War, will it become a shooting war?  Quite possibly.  I do not discount that outcome at all.

Lastly, this is not like a football game or other sporting event, where if our favored team loses we are disappointed or even “heartbroken,” but we move on to another day. This is about the future and survival of our great nation, and of the American people. Get it wrong, and our offspring’s future may be dark beyond comprehension. We have enemies who would like to destroy us, in an instant.[11]  Perhaps all of this is what Obama meant when he envisioned a “fundamental transformation” of America[12]—to be completed in 2020—because the Trump presidency is a repudiation of the un-American traitor, racist and anti-Semite, and his presidency.[13]

 

 

© 2019, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and https://naegeleblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/09/timothy-d.-naegele-resume-19-9-27.pdf). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See Obama, “Dreams from My Father” (paperback “Revised Edition,” published by Three Rivers Press, 2004); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?”)

[3]  Id. at 93; see also pp. 120, 270.

[4]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremiah_Wright_controversy (“Jeremiah Wright controversy”)

[5]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/29/it-is-time-for-trump-supporters-to-fight-back/#comment-14760 (“Obama Reminds Voters Why They Backed Trump”)

[6]  See https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/28/us/politics/democrats-impeachment.html (“Democrats’ 2020 Campaign Message: Not Impeachment, They Insist”)

[7]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin%E2%80%99s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao%E2%80%99s-chinese-holocaust/ (“The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust”)

[8]  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Farm (“Animal Farm“)

[9]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/26/washington-is-one-of-the-sickest-cities-on-earth/ (“Washington Is One Of The Sickest Cities On Earth”)

[10]  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Pelosi (“Nancy Pelosi”)

[11]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/24/when-will-the-actual-shooting-begin-in-americas-second-civil-war/#comment-19986; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive”) (see also the extensive comments beneath the article)

[12]  See https://www.claremont.org/crb/basicpage/transformers/ (“Transformers”)

[13]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/24/when-will-the-actual-shooting-begin-in-americas-second-civil-war/ (“When Will The Actual Shooting Begin In America’s Second Civil War?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/24/americas-left-is-vile-and-evil/ (“America’s Left Is Vile And Evil”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/29/barack-obama-is-responsible-for-americas-tragic-racial-divide/ (“Barack Obama Is Responsible For America’s Tragic Racial Divide”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/02/is-putin-right/ (“Is Putin Right?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/06/18/the-u-s-supreme-court-is-a-tragic-pathetic-joke/ (“The U.S. Supreme Court Is A Tragic, Pathetic Joke”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/29/the-democrats-are-evil-but-smart-while-the-republicans-are-neanderthals-and-dumb/ (“The Democrats Are Evil But Smart, While The Republicans Are Neanderthals And Dumb”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/the-mueller-report-a-monumental-travesty/ (“The Mueller Report: A Monumental Travesty”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/the-american-lefts-feeding-frenzy/ (“The American Left’s Feeding Frenzy”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/should-barack-obama-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Should Barack Obama Be Executed For Treason?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/11/robert-mueller-should-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Robert Mueller Should Be Executed For Treason”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/the-real-russian-conspiracy-barack-obama-the-clintons-and-the-sale-of-americas-uranium-to-russias-killer-putin/ (“The Real Russian Conspiracy: Barack Obama, The Clintons, And The Sale Of America’s Uranium To Russia’s Killer Putin”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/americas-newest-civil-war-2017-and-beyond/ (“America’s Newest Civil War: 2017 And Beyond”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-7185 (“Clinton Fatigue”)






The U.S. Supreme Court Is A Tragic, Pathetic Joke

18 06 2019

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

The U.S. Supreme Court just issued its decision in Gamble v. United States, and “left the door open for state prosecutors to prosecute Trump campaign officials regardless of whether federal officials have already done so.”[2]  In his dissenting opinion, Justice Neil Gorsuch—President Trump’s first appointment to the Court—wrote: 

A free society does not allow its government to try the same individual for the same crime until it’s happy with the result. Unfortunately, the Court today endorses a colossal exception to this ancient rule against double jeopardy.  My colleagues say that the federal government and each State are “separate sovereigns” entitled to try the same person for the same crime. So if all the might of one “sovereign” cannot succeed against the presumptively free individual, another may insist on the chance to try again. And if both manage to succeed, so much the better; they can add one punishment on top of the other. But this “separate sovereigns exception” to the bar against double jeopardy finds no meaningful support in the text of the Constitution, its original public meaning, structure, or history. Instead, the Constitution promises all Americans that they will never suffer double jeopardy. I would enforce that guarantee.[3]

Our Supreme Court has been a tragic, pathetic joke for years, certainly since it blessed infanticide in Roe v. Wade—and the killing of more than 55 million American babies.[4]  Also, Chief Justice John Roberts constitutes the second worst decision that former President George W. Bush made during his eight-year presidency—other than the senseless Iraq War in which more than 5,000 Americans died and many more were maimed, and trillions of dollars were wasted, for nothing.[5]

Perhaps an editorial of The New York Sun described the Gamble decision best:

How is it possible that, after all the tumult over the Supreme Court, the only two justices to grasp the plain language of the Constitution in respect of double jeopardy are — wait for it — Neil Gorsuch and Ruth Bader Ginsburg? It’s amazing enough that there are but two sages for the bedrock prohibition on double jeopardy. More amazing still that the question unites the right- and left-most justices.

The case, known as Gamble v. U.S., involves an ex-con named Terance Martez Gamble. He was pulled over in a traffic stop in 2015 at Alabama. A gun was found in his possession in violation of both Alabama and American law. Gamble pled to the state charges and drew a year. Then the federales turned around and charged him again for the same offense, drawing additional time for the same deed.

The justices rejected his appeal in an opinion — by Justice Alito — that reminds us of President Clinton’s hemming about how it depends on what the meaning of “is” is. In this case, it depends on the meaning of the word “offense.” The justices reckon there were two offenses, one carrying the blasted gun in Alabama and the other the same gun at the same time in the United States. Could the United Nations also charge him?

. . .

Justice Thomas, sage of what Myron Magnet, in his new book, calls the “lost Constitution,” manages to concur with the majority’s ruling against Gamble while attacking stare decisis. The ink wasn’t even dry on his concurrence when the press started warning that Justice Thomas was — yet again — prepping the ground for overturning Roe v. Wade. Others were more focused on the implications of Gamble for Paul Manafort.

New York, after all, is preparing to bring charges against President Trump’s former campaign manager even while Manafort sits in the Big House hoping for a pardon on federal charges. It’s not so clear, though, that New York will throw at Manafort the same charges Mr. Mueller levied. To discern differences between the federal and state cases against Gamble, though, one would need an electron microscope.

Our own interest in this case is neither stare decisis nor Paul Manafort nor Ms. Roe nor Mr. Wade. It is the plain language of the Fifth Amendment, where the prohibition against double jeopardy is laid down. Our national parchment was supposed to be a bar against such injustices as the state appealing acquittals or the law chasing someone from one court to another.

This is beautifully marked by both Justices Ginsburg and Gorsuch in two dissents. Justice Ginsburg, citing precedent about the separateness of federal and state laws, warned of “frittering away” Gamble’s liberty “upon a metaphysical subtlety, two sovereignties.” Thundered Justice Gorsuch: “A free society does not allow its government to try the same individual for the same crime until it’s happy with the result.”

It is not our intention to suggest that there can never be, say, a federal prosecution after a state acquittal. During the Jim Crow era, southern juries often ignored the facts. In those cases, though, the argument would be, and was, that the accused racists were never in genuine jeopardy in the first place. That is not what happened in the case of Terance Gamble.

All the more inspiring that the two dissenting judges from opposite ideological ends of the bench came together on this bedrock. It doesn’t suggest the confirmation battles are about nothing. It does remind all of us not to panic. The thinness of the vapors at the altitude where these justices breathe makes it hard to predict how they will behave. History teaches that great dissents have a way of getting vindicated over time.[6]

We can only hope that Justice Gorsuch’s dissenting opinion becomes the law of the land, which is not very promising given the 7-2 ruling—or for Paul Manafort and others who tried to help President Trump and may be caught in the insidious web of double jeopardy.  We have to thank our Supreme Court again for the perpetuation (or creation) of tragic injustices.[7] 

 

 

© 2019, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and Timothy D. Naegele Resume-19-4-29). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See https://www.thedailybeast.com/scotus-reaffirms-double-jeopardy-exception-allowing-trump-campaign-officials-to-be-tried-by-state-feds (“Supreme Court Reaffirms ‘Double Jeopardy’ Exception With Mueller Probe Implications”—”The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday reaffirmed a 170-year-old exception to the Constitution’s double-jeopardy clause, and left the door open for state prosecutors to prosecute Trump campaign officials regardless of whether federal officials have already done so. The case, Gamble v. United States, has drawn attention for its potential effect on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s federal prosecutions on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Had the ‘dual sovereignty doctrine’ been repealed, states would not be able to pursue investigations parallel to the federal government. . . . State prosecutors in New York have brought charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort Jr., who was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison, in the event that President Trump pardons him”).

[3]  See Gamble v. United States, p. 64 (emphasis added), by clicking on the following link: https://naegeleblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/gamble-ussc-decision.pdf (or by downloading the decision).

[4] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/abortions-and-autos-kill-more-in-america-than-guns/#comment-17243 (“Finally, More Abortion Bans Are Coming”—”Roe v. Wade unleashed a holocaust of epic proportions, which ranks with the greatest holocausts in human history—including the Nazi Holocaust, Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust and Mao’s Chinese Holocaust. Indeed, more human beings have been killed as a result of abortions—since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in 1973—than in each of the other three holocausts”).

[5] See, e.g., http://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-and-the-mexican-judge-1465167405 (“[President] Obama . . . contributed to the Democratic intimidation campaign against Chief Justice John Roberts ahead of the 2012 ObamaCare ruling. ‘I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,’ the President said at an April 2012 press conference. The Chief Justice ruled as the President recommended”); https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-01/hold-the-revolution-roberts-keeps-joining-high-court-liberals (“Roberts Keeps Joining High Court Liberals”)

[6] See https://www.nysun.com/editorials/ginsburg-gorsuch-and-gamble/90732/ (“Ginsburg, Gorsuch — and Gamble“) (emphasis added).

[7] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/ (“Justice And The Law Do Not Mix”—”The United States is a nation where rogue prosecutors reign, whose goals in life include the prosecution of even the innocent. Federal, State and local prosecutors ruthlessly and gleefully pursue countless numbers of innocent Americans for a multitude of crimes that were never committed; and the judiciary has allowed this to happen. Corruption is rampant among federal prosecutors and those who work with them, such as FBI agents. No amount of rational thinking or discourse can be applied to a system that is inherently and systemically corrupt”); see also https://www.foxnews.com/politics/supreme-court-ruling-deals-potential-blow-to-paul-manafort-as-he-battles-state-charges (“Supreme Court ruling deals potential blow to Paul Manafort as he battles state charges”) and https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/17/nyregion/manafort-rikers.html (“Paul Manafort Seemed Headed to Rikers. Then the Justice Department Intervened”).





The American Legal System Is Broken: Can It Be Fixed?

3 01 2011

By Timothy D. Naegele[1][2]

I have been an American lawyer for 44 years.  I am a member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court, the District of Columbia Bar, the State Bar of California, and the bars of other federal courts.  I have been a U.S. Senate lawyer and a lawyer at the Pentagon, and have represented more than 200 banks and other financial institutions.  I have purchased banks for our clients, and advised two States; and I testified as an expert on behalf of the FDIC in a failing bank case.  I have done essentially everything that I ever wanted to do in the law, except work at the White House; and I have attended meetings there.  In these and countless other ways, I have seen the American legal system “up close and personal.”[3]

I have two law degrees, from Berkeley and Georgetown, at opposite ends of this great country.[4] I can say without any hesitation, reservation or equivocation that the finest education I received was at Berkeley’s law school par excellence, Boalt Hall.  I was taught—to think analytically, and to write—by outstanding professors[5] who instilled in my fellow students and me a belief that the law is sacred, sacrosanct and pristine, “a shining city upon a hill.”  Since then whenever I have encountered what I perceived as legal injustices and incompetence, I have taken umbrage and railed against them, albeit generally in my own quiet ways.

John Lennon probably said it best: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”  I never truly wanted to become a lawyer; that was not my life’s ambition.  I wanted to be a businessman instead, and buy and sell companies, but the Vietnam War intervened and changed my life forever.[6] I never dreamed of being a lawyer, like so many of my law school classmates at Berkeley did, which may explain why I view the profession—which so many Americans have come to despise—with a certain degree of detachment and healthy skepticism.  For example, I would not recommend the practice of law to anyone.  Among other things, the time demands and stress on young lawyers are a “family-killer,” which is why there is a high rate of divorces among members of the profession.

When my son wanted to attend law school, I encouraged him to get both a JD and an MBA, to “hedge his bets” and give him options.  When he was nearing graduation with both degrees in hand, I did my best to talk him out of practicing law.[7] Friends of mine, who have practiced law for many years and have been very successful at doing it, feel much the same way and have told their kids and others not to pursue a legal career.  Indeed, some of these friends and I have joked that we should give lectures to graduating college seniors and entering law school students, telling them what the practice of law is really all about.  If we told them the unvarnished truth, many might decide not to enter the profession.

Despite a healthy contempt for many lawyers, and judges—who are often egotistical, callous, mean-spirited, power-hungry, arrogant, self-righteous, condescending and incompetent—I have had wonderful friends over the years who are lawyers and even judges.  I have worked with them, and some have represented me, and I will always respect and be deeply indebted to them.  They are special people, who stand head-and-shoulders above others in the profession; and they are nice people as well—which may be what distinguishes them from the others.

Perhaps the most disturbing qualities about lawyers and judges are their arrogance and abuse of power, and their lack of empathy and innate legal and life skills to deal with vital human issues that come before them.  For example, lawyers who are prosecutors are often less interested in fairness and justice than they are in winning at all costs, and exercising their raw power and hurting others in the process—such as those who are innocent but are convicted anyway.[8]

Similarly, lawyers are trained in law schools to be advocates.  When they represent clients in divorce proceedings, the last things that estranged couples need are their respective lawyers “stirring the pot” to earn greater fees, and increasing the acrimony that already exists.  Also, male lawyers prey sexually on their distraught and vulnerable female clients, which should give rise to immediate disbarments but it does not.  The American legal system is broken today, inter alia, because it has often attracted the wrong type of people.[9]

Can our legal system be fixed, and will the American people come to trust and respect lawyers and judges again, and believe that justice not only exists but prevails in this great nation?  Maybe . . . if the profession is restructured, and if it attracts those people who believe that the law is sacred, sacrosanct and pristine—truly a shining city upon a hill—and they put such principles into practice.  The profession does not require saints, but it does need something different than “Law West of the Pecos by Judge Roy Bean.”  And it needs people who are different than it has been attracting: who are often driven, ruthless, unprincipled, money-hungry, and power-hungry.

© 2011, Timothy D. Naegele

[See also (1) https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/ (“Justice And The Law Do Not Mix”), (2) https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/the-united-states-department-of-injustice/ (“The United States Department of Injustice”), (3) https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/the-state-bar-of-california-is-lawless-and-a-travesty-and-should-be-abolished/ (“The State Bar Of California Is Lawless And A Travesty, And Should Be Abolished”)]


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, which specializes in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g.www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2] The issues addressed in this article are discussed further in a partially-completed book of mine entitled, “Never Become A Lawyer.”  Its chapters include but are not limited to the following subjects: law schools, law firms, divorces, bar associations, Congress, lobbying, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, law enforcement, state governments, the federal government, judges, federal courts, the U.S. Supreme Court, politics, abuse of power, justice, lawyer scams, and other careers.

The book’s last chapter starts with the words:

I began writing this book with the idea of thoroughly trashing the legal profession of which I have been a member for more than 40 years, as well as the American “system of justice”—and God knows there is plenty of support for that approach.  However, the United States has many fine lawyers, including former classmates of mine at Berkeley and friends who have tried to do their very best to help others, such as those lawyers who have helped me.  Thus, in the final analysis, I endeavored to present a somewhat objective view of the profession. . . .

I assume my assessment will remain the same, or close to it, when the book is finished and published.

[3] See, e.g., http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html

[4] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life/

[5] They included but were not limited to Edward C. Halbach Jr. (see, e.g.,  http://www.law.berkeley.edu/php-programs/faculty/facultyProfile.php?facID=44), who became dean of the law school and gave me an “A” in Conflicts of Law during my last year at Boalt, which I will remember always; Sanford H. (“Sandy”) Kadish (see, e.g., http://www.law.berkeley.edu/php-programs/faculty/facultyProfile.php?facID=61), who taught Criminal Law and became dean of the law school too; Barbara N. Armstrong, who was the first woman law professor at a major American law school (see, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UC_Berkeley_School_of_Law); Richard W. Jennings (see, e.g., http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/senate/inmemoriam/richardwjennings.htm), who taught Securities Law and came to Washington when I was a young attorney with the Senate Banking Committee, and we shared stories; and Michael (“Mike”) Heyman (see, e.g., http://www.law.berkeley.edu/php-programs/faculty/facultyProfile.php?facID=52), from whom I never took a class, but I will always remember his smiling face, and that he was a “force” for excellence at the law school and beyond (e.g., he ran the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. for many years).  A giant in the law of Torts, William L. Prosser (see, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Prosser), was at Boalt too; however, he left shortly before I arrived—although his spirit was still there.

[6] As a result of enrolling in Army ROTC as an undergraduate, I had a commission as an officer when I graduated from UCLA in January of 1963.  I wanted to attend a business school; however, I needed to work from January to September at two jobs, to earn enough money so I could afford any graduate school.  Even though UCLA’s business school had classes that I could begin right away, in January—whereas, law school classes only began in September—my choice became a law school.  The Vietnam War was raging; and the Army would defer me for law school, but would not let me work for the same amount of time before entering a business school, which is the graduate education that I really wanted to pursue.

Having become a lawyer, however, I have always tried to do my very best, and believe that I have done so.  Also, reading endless legal decisions at Boalt Hall and later at Georgetown, I learned the English language in ways that were unfathomable at the time, but have proved to be quintessentially-invaluable with respect to any skills that I have today as a writer.

The great American poet, Robert Frost, wrote a wonderful poem about life choices entitled, “The Road Not Taken,” which perhaps says it all:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

See, e.g.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_Not_Taken_(poem)

[7] I was adamant that neither of my kids would work on Capitol Hill, because of what I had witnessed there.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/

[8] A federal official with reason to know told me that between 15-20 percent of the indictees in federal courts are probably innocent.  Some are seniors who have been charged with cheating the Social Security program, and they are scared to death, so they agree to plea bargains rather than fight for their innocence.

[9] This is true of many judges, who serve for life and cannot be removed if they are federal judges.








%d bloggers like this: