Category Archives: US Courts

The End of Roe v. Wade

The recent leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion overruling Roe v. Wade has prompted many commentators to charge that a hyper-politicized, conservative Court is on the verge of losing its legitimacy and plunging America into a constitutional abyss. Should the draft become the Court’s ruling, they argue, it would threaten a wide range of basic rights and perhaps the rule of law itself.

These are dire assessments, reflecting the country’s intense, long-standing divide over the issue of abortion. But they don’t stand up to scrutiny.

Consider first the fact of the leak itself in the Mississippi abortion case now under review, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. It is a huge leak. Never before has a full draft, footnotes and all, of a would-be majority opinion seeped out to the world while a Supreme Court case of major moment was still under consideration. But based on what we now know, the leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft is less troubling than several previous episodes in Court history, in which various justices themselves blabbed either in the moment or soon after a decision. At present, there is no evidence that any justice was directly involved in delivering the draft to Politico.

Nor is there anything unusual in the leaked draft’s treatment of precedent. Supreme Court precedents strictly bind lower courts, but they do not bind the Supreme Court itself. Indeed, an essential function of the Court is to revise incorrect or outdated prior rulings. Over the last century, the Court has overruled itself about twice a year—roughly the same rate at which the Court has overturned acts of Congress.

Sometimes the Court comes to believe that an old case egregiously misinterpreted the Constitution, so the old case must go.

Precedents fall for many reasons. Sometimes the world changes in ways that mock the logic and expectations of the old ruling. Sometimes opposing lines of cases evolve and clash, and something must give. Most fundamentally, sometimes the Court comes to believe that an old case egregiously misinterpreted the Constitution, so the old case must go.

In 1954, in Brown v. Board of Education, the justices rightly buried their predecessors’ 1896 ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson, which had proclaimed the dubious doctrine of “separate but equal.” The best argument for this burial was that the Constitution really does promise racial equality, and racial segregation—American apartheid—was not equal. Likewise, the New Deal Court properly repudiated dozens of earlier Gilded Age cases that read property and contract rights far too broadly and in the process invalidated minimum-wage, maximum-hour, worker-safety and consumer-protection laws of various sorts—laws that are now seen, quite rightly, as perfectly proper.

The liberal Warren Court also overruled a staggering number of precedents, introducing now familiar terms to our constitutional lexicon. Mapp v. Ohio (1961) dramatically expanded the “exclusionary rule,” Reynolds v. Sims (1964) sweepingly mandated “one person, one vote,” and Miranda v. Arizona (1966) required the now iconic “Miranda warning.” These cases and dozens like them jettisoned earlier settled precedents that, in the minds of the justices, mangled the Constitution. As law professor Philip Kurland once wryly observed, “the list of opinions destroyed by the Warren Court reads like a table of contents from an old constitutional casebook.”

Today, the Supreme Court’s 1973 opinion in Roe v. Wade, written by Justice Harry Blackmun, is similarly ripe for reversal. In the eyes of many constitutional experts across the ideological spectrum, it too lacks solid grounding in the Constitution itself, as Justice Alito demonstrates at length in his leaked Dobbs draft. (Full disclosure: The draft cites me and several others as constitutional scholars who oppose Roe but personally support abortion rights.) Even the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was sharply critical of the decision.

In Roe, the Court did not even quote the constitutional language it purported to interpret in handing down its ruling—the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. That clause holds that the government may not deprive any person of “life, liberty or property, without due process of law”—that is, without fair legal procedures, such as impartial judges and juries, defense attorneys and the like. The Texas abortion law at issue in Roe in fact provided for fair courtroom procedures, which made the decision’s “due process” argument textual gibberish.

Constitutional history also cut hard against Roe. When Americans adopted the 14th Amendment in the 1860s, almost no one thought it barred laws against abortion. Virtually every state back then prohibited abortions. Roe likewise ran counter to state laws still on the books almost everywhere in the 1970s. The opinion clumsily cited various earlier precedents involving “privacy” rights related to contraception and erotic expression, but in a devastating concession, the Roe Court admitted that the presence of a living fetus in abortion scenarios made the matter “inherently different” from all previous privacy cases. And Roe said nothing, amazingly, about the relationship of abortion rights to women’s equality.

Does Justice Alito’s draft, as many are now claiming, inflict collateral damage on other areas of constitutional case law, such as the Warren Court’s precedents on contraception and interracial marriage?

Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork at his 1987 Senate confirmation hearing.Photo: Charles Tasnadi/Associated Press.

It does not. In fact, the Dobbs draft reinforces these iconic opinions by explaining why they were right—namely, because the freedoms recognized in these cases were “deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and tradition.” These watershed rulings were once controversial in conservative constitutional circles, thanks to the influential work of Robert Bork, but now they are safe.

As a constitutional scholar at Yale and later as an unsuccessful nominee to the Supreme Court, Bork denounced a landmark contraception case, Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), in which the Court declared unconstitutional a Connecticut law criminalizing the use of contraception, even inside the marital bedroom. Bork considered the law “nutty” but argued that there was no broad constitutional “right to privacy,” as the Court had declared in its ruling.

But there were other, more conservative grounds for the Griswold decision. In an earlier case involving the same Connecticut law, Poe v. Ullman (1961), Justice John Marshall Harlan explained why the issue was simple for a traditionalist such as himself: “The utter novelty” of the Connecticut law was “conclusive.” No other state had ever “made the use of contraceptives a crime.”

In the 1972 case of Eisenstadt v. Baird, the Court extended Griswold to invalidate a Massachusetts statute that banned the distribution of contraceptives to unmarried individuals. By then, such laws were fast becoming outliers in America, rarely enforced even if on the books. Today, no state or political party is seriously trying to undo this precedent. In his 2006 Senate confirmation hearings, Justice Alito, a traditionalist self-consciously in the Harlan mold, minced no words on the issue: “I do agree with the result in Eisenstadt.” His leaked draft opinion in Dobbs says much the same thing.

Justice Alito has never said anything remotely similar about Roe. For traditionalists, there is an essential difference between the contraception and abortion cases. Whereas the Court in Griswold sided with 49 states against the outlier Connecticut, the Court in Roe invalidated the laws of at least 49—perhaps all 50—states. The Dobbs draft takes pains to cite this stunning fact.

In keeping with a long line of cases and the spirit of the written Constitution, Justice Alito notes that rights which are neither explicit nor implicit in the Constitution’s text and history generally need strong roots in the mores and practices of the American people. One way to measure these mores and practices is to count state laws: How many states recognize a putative right and how many try to abridge it? How often and how strictly are laws on the books in fact enforced?

Consider another landmark Warren Court case that the Dobbs draft cites with implicit approval, Loving v. Virginia, which struck down laws against interracial marriage. The Court’s opinion expressly noted that by 1967—the year the case came down—more than two thirds of the states allowed interracial marriage. Many of the rest allowed interracial couples to marry elsewhere and then return home as lawful spouses. Today, interracial marriage is even more firmly established as a bedrock feature of American life.

Mildred and Richard Loving were the plaintiffs in Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 case in which the Supreme Court invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage.Photo: Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

The ruling in Roe v. Wade, by contrast, has been under fierce and relentless attack for decades in most states. It has been unremittingly condemned in the quadrennial party platforms of one of America’s two major parties, a party that has won half of the presidential elections since Roe. Roe is also decisively different from various contraception and marriage cases because, as Justice Alito’s draft opinion stresses, abortion uniquely involves destroying unborn human life, typically long after conception and implantation.

Perhaps surprisingly, the draft’s logic also buttresses certain important LGBT rights. As the Court emphasized in its landmark ruling in Lawrence v. Texas (2003), which invalidated anti-sodomy laws, such laws were almost never enforced in America against private consensual conduct, but rather only in cases of rape or public indecency. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion reported that only 13 states at the time still had laws prohibiting consensual adult sodomy and only four states singled out same-sex sodomy. Even in these outlier states, there was “a pattern of nonenforcement with respect to adults acting in private.”

Justice Kennedy’s later landmark opinion for the Court, Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), which required all states to recognize same-sex marriage, raises rather different issues. The Dobbs draft does not directly challenge Obergefell and purports to limit its own thrust to abortion cases. But the draft’s logic could be seen to undermine the Obergefell decision, which was issued over the dissents of Justices Alito and other conservative justices, who argued that same-sex marriage was not deeply rooted in American tradition.

Every year, same-sex marriage, unlike abortion, becomes more widespread and accepted.

The status of same-sex marriage is obviously changing, however, and such unions are fast becoming a pillar of modern American life. Every year, same-sex marriage, unlike abortion, becomes more widespread and accepted—more deeply rooted and less controversial. And crucially, Obergefell is at heart a gender equality case. Traditional marriage laws discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation—allowing straight people but not gay people to pursue marital happiness. These laws also discriminated on the basis of sex: Patrick was allowed to marry Mary, but Patricia was not.

Tradition and state-counting are sound ways of thinking about unenumerated American liberties, but rights explicitly mentioned in the Constitution—such as the rights of racial and gender equality—warrant stricter judicial protection, even when such rights contradict dominant customs. The Dobbs draft says little—too little—about sex and gender equality. Advocates for reproductive rights also slighted issues of equality in their oral argument in Dobbs, recapitulating one of the biggest flaws of the Roe opinion itself. Later drafts of Justice Alito’s opinion will likely need to take equality issues more seriously as the dissents of the Court’s liberals begin to circulate, no doubt highlighting and criticizing this major lapse.

In the end, Dobbs will probably be decided by a 6-3 vote, with Justice Alito joined by the four other justices who reportedly endorse his draft (Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett). Chief Justice John Roberts, who reportedly is less keen on the draft, will likely uphold the Mississippi law on the narrow grounds that it gives a wavering pregnant woman enough time—15 weeks—to decide. In recent decades, less than 5% of all abortions have occurred after 15 weeks.

So long as abortion remains legal in many blue states—and nothing in the Dobbs draft dictates otherwise—most women who miss deadlines in their red home states should be able to travel to get the treatment they desire. Indigent women will doubtless experience special burdens, which makes it imperative for charities to ramp up assistance for women in distress.

A very different issue, however, would arise were Republicans to sweep national elections in 2024 and then pass a national abortion ban. This is the scenario that should set off the loudest alarm bells for Americans who support abortion rights.

Demonstrators hold up pictures of the justices at a rally for abortion rights outside the Supreme Court, December 2021.Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

As for concerns about judicial partisanship more generally, we must remember that in recent years conservative justices have repeatedly crossed the aisle to give liberals victories in high-profile cases. This is not an everyday event, but nowhere else in America do conservatives cross over nearly so much when it matters. Thus, Chief Justice Roberts joined liberals to uphold Obamacare in three different cases over the course of eight years and also crossed the aisle to invalidate the Trump administration’s improper treatment of noncitizens in the 2020 census. He also joined liberals to affirm sweeping rights of gay employees in the private sector, in an opinion authored by a Trump appointee, Justice Gorsuch. The chief justice and another Trump appointee, Justice Kavanaugh, also sided with the liberals in little noticed but hugely consequential cases involving the presidential election of 2020.

Notwithstanding the alarms triggered by the Dobbs leak and draft, what I told the Senate back in 2018, testifying as a Never Trumper in support of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Court, remains true: “Americans generally and with good reason view today’s Court more favorably than today’s Congress and Presidency. The current justices are outstanding lawyers who do loads of close reading, careful writing, and deep thinking; try hard to see other points of view; spend lots of time pondering constitutional law; and spend little time posturing for cameras, dialing for dollars, tweeting snark, or pandering to uninformed extremists or arrogant donors. Can today’s President and Congress say the same?”

In short, I am a Democrat who supports abortion rights but opposes Roe. The Court’s ruling in the case was simply not grounded either in what the Constitution says or in the long-standing, widely embraced mores and practices of the country. Perhaps I’m wrong in thinking that, and perhaps the Dobbs draft is wrong too. But there is nothing radical, illegitimate or improperly political in what Justice Alito has written.

Mr. Amar is a professor of constitutional law at Yale and the author, most recently, of “The Words That Made Us: America’s Constitutional Conversation, 1760-1840.”

Appeared in the May 14, 2022, print edition as ‘The End of Roe v. Wade A Precedent With Weak Constitutional Reasoning’.


The Roe v. Wade ‘Aberration’ and America’s Civic Crisis

Judge Douglas Ginsburg

Photo: Ken Fallin

Judge Douglas Ginsburg has a passion for civics education. When the Journal was offered an interview with him three months ago, the subject seemed important but dull. By the time we meet in his chambers in Washington on May 13, it has taken on an edge. Days earlier, a few miles away in Virginia, protesters gathered outside the home of Justice Samuel Alito, author of a leaked draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that found a constitutional right to abortion. There have also been pro-Roe pickets at the residences of Chief Justice John Roberts and other conservative colleagues.

Judge Ginsburg, who turns 76 next week, is a senior judge on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. He still hears cases in semiretirement and is circumspect at first about discussing current events. But I manage to coax him into expressing a frank opinion: “Roe is clearly an aberration.” Overturning it “would be technically correcting an aberration,” he adds, “but it implicates more than that, because it also raises the question of stare decisis,” the doctrine of standing by precedent.

He doesn’t say how he’d resolve the stare decisis question, and he says he hasn’t read the leaked Alito opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. But he knows its gist well enough to cite the fierce criticism of it as an example of civic and constitutional ignorance. “So many people think the Supreme Court is something of a legislature,” he says. “They have no real concept of how a case comes to the court, how it’s defined, and what the court’s powers are.”

People think the court is about to outlaw abortion, when in fact overturning Roe “has the effect of leaving that question back to the states, where it was before, in 1973.” Not all states would revert to the restrictions of half a century ago: “New York is not going to be abolishing abortion. Quite the opposite. They’re thinking about providing funds for people coming from a state that is stricter on abortion.”

Americans of all political stripes, Judge Ginsburg says, are woefully uninformed about constitutional matters: “22% of adults can’t name a single branch of government.” The schools no longer impart “an education that encompasses the minimum that a citizen should know about how our government works, why it was structured the way it was, and what their rights and obligations are.”

He launched an online course last year called Civics Fundamentals in partnership with, an education nonprofit. He wants to make the U.S. Citizenship Test, administered to naturalizing immigrants, a high-school graduation requirement. The test comprises 100 questions, and he has made 2½-minute explanatory videos on each of those questions as teaching aids, several of which we watch together on a computer in his office.

Judge Ginsburg concedes that most Americans “probably know that they have a right of free speech, and maybe freedom of religion and the Second Amendment right to carry a gun,” though he says they probably learned all that from television, not in school. And few understand federalism, “the whole distinction between local, state and federal government,” which is the basic structural question at issue in Roe and Dobbs.

The protests at justices’ homes are “a significant indicator of just how mistaken people are of the function of ‘the least dangerous branch,’ ” he says, quoting Alexander Hamilton. Judge Ginsburg offers a quick civics lesson, explaining that judicial rulings aren’t “self-enforcing” but depend on the executive branch. Presidents have almost always respected judicial authority. A rare exception came in 1832, when Andrew Jackson is supposed to have said of the chief justice: “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.” Judge Ginsburg likens Jackson’s remark to a similar quote, attributed to Stalin: “How many divisions does the pope have?”

Ignorance of basic civics, he says, “makes citizens susceptible to being misinformed easily by the popular media and by conniving politicians.” The latter “are well-informed and know that the court is not supposed to be responding to pressure exerted by demonstrators in front of the building or at their home. But they nonetheless encourage this misapprehension among the public that they are supposed to respond.”

He allows that “I don’t know of any politician who’s said you should go to the homes of the justices. . . . But standing on the steps of the Supreme Court and addressing a rally? It’s not inherently uncivil, but it was, in fact, done in a threatening way by some members of Congress.”

Who does he have in mind? “I won’t name them,” he insists. But on March 4, 2020, Sen. Chuck Schumer, now the majority leader, stood on a sidewalk outside the Supreme Court and declaimed: “I want to tell you, Gorsuch; I want to tell you, Kavanaugh: You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.” Mr. Schumer apologized after a public rebuke from Chief Justice Roberts. (Mr. Schumer was referring to a Louisiana abortion case, June Medical Services v. Russo, which the court had just heard. The decision ended up going his way, with the chief justice concurring with the four liberal justices on the outcome but declining to join their opinion.)

Targeting justices at their homes is an escalation, which Judge Ginsburg describes as “unprecedented” and “unthinkable, even in recent years.” This development is “unfortunate in many respects, not only for the privacy and security of the justices, which has to be guarded more intensely now,” but also because it encourages misunderstanding about the role of judges. They can’t resolve cases by “holding a finger up in the air to see which way the wind is blowing, let alone having the wind come to their house and blow.”

In 1974-75 Mr. Ginsburg clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall, who as an NAACP lawyer had successfully argued Brown v. Board of Education (1954), in which the Warren court held unanimously that black children had a right to attend desegregated schools. At least at first, that decision rivaled Roe as the 20th century’s most contentious. “The South was heavily dotted with billboards saying ‘Impeach Earl Warren,’ ” Judge Ginsburg notes. But nobody thought—or dared—to picket the justices’ homes.

Not that the South was an idyll of civility. Most of Marshall’s work as a lawyer involved representing criminal defendants. Every time he did so, Judge Ginsburg says, “he took his life in his hands. He was darn near lynched one time before the police showed up.”

Marshall is “a very interesting character,” Judge Ginsburg adds. “He was basically a conservative. He believed in the law and in American institutions.” He had “disdain for, first, the communists, then the back-to-Africa people, then for marching in the streets . . . the civil-rights demonstrators.” Judge Ginsburg corrects himself and says Marshall disdained the leaders of civil-rights marches: “Marshall said, ‘You go to court. That’s the way to get things done.’ ” A portrait of Marshall hangs in Judge Ginsburg’s office, sketched by “a local African-American artist who’d never met him.”

The judge describes his own legal philosophy as “textualist, originalist, and very conscious of not deciding issues that needn’t be decided.” It’s easy to see why Roe v. Wade irks him. “It’s a vanity for judges to decide something that isn’t necessary to resolve a case and get their views out on the record. So I try to narrow the focus of my decisions and of those of my colleagues, if there’s somebody who I think is venturing into a territory that we needn’t explore.”

Judge Ginsburg cites a “wonderful” book by his friend Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard legal scholar. “Abortion and Divorce in Western Law” is a study of 20 Western countries that changed their abortions laws contemporaneously—by legislation everywhere except in the U.S. In the other 19 countries, abortion is “not still a burning issue, because when a legislature acts, there has to be compromise,” Judge Ginsburg says. “It’s set up so that nothing can happen unless people compromise.”

That, he says, is the “genius” of representative democracy: “We’re all disappointed on some aspect and satisfied on some other, and we accept that as authoritative because it was reached through a democratic process.” When that process is “arrogated to a nonlegislative body,” it doesn’t have that legitimacy. “In judicial decisions, you don’t typically get a compromise, you get a dissent. Whereas in a legislature you get compromise and a result—or nothing happens.”

In Roe specifically, he says it would have been better to “follow in the tracks of Ruth [Bader] Ginsburg” (no relation), who was his colleague on the D.C. Circuit until she joined the Supreme Court in 1993. In a 1992 lecture she argued, in his paraphrase, that “a narrower decision involving the Texas law” at issue in Roe, “which was very extreme among the states, would have been perfectly sufficient to galvanize the discussion and the legislative process in the states.” This process “was already under way, actually. There was a good deal of activity under the influence of the women’s movement in the state legislatures. Several states had altered their laws. Others were considering doing so and some had decided not to.” The high court “simply truncated” that process.

“Ruth was exactly right,” Judge Ginsburg says. “Please be sure to mention Ruth in this.” (Once on the court, Justice Ginsburg was a consistent supporter of Roe—and its 1992 successor, Planned Parenthood v. Casey—whatever her qualms about its conception.)

Nearly 35 years ago, Douglas Ginsburg came close to a Supreme Court nomination. After the Senate rejected Robert Bork (another D.C. Circuit colleague) in 1987, President Reagan announced his intention to name Judge Ginsburg, then 41, for the seat. But NPR’s Nina Totenberg reported that he had smoked marijuana as a college student and a young professor at Harvard. Such revelations soon became commonplace as baby boomers rose to positions of power. But nine days after Reagan’s announcement and before being formally nominated, Judge Ginsburg withdrew from consideration.

He declines to discuss the episode, saying with a chuckle: “There wasn’t much there, so there’s very little to talk about. It was nine days.” Nor will he be drawn into a discussion of how his jurisprudence would have differed from that of the eventual appointee, Justice Anthony Kennedy. “There isn’t a single major case that Justice Kennedy either wrote or accounted for, for which I’ve sat down and read the briefs. So I really wouldn’t venture an opinion about whether he was doing things different than I would have done.”

Thirty years ago, the last time the high court considered overturning Roe v. Wade, Justice Kennedy joined the 5-4 majority in Casey to let it stand. History, and contemporary civic life, might look very different had there been a Justice Ginsburg in 1992.

Mr. Varadarajan, a Journal contributor, is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and at New York University Law School’s Classical Liberal Institute.

Appeared in the May 21, 2022, print edition as ‘The Roe ‘Aberration’ and America’s Civic Crisis.’


Poll: Voters Don’t Like Supreme Court Leak—or Restructuring the Judiciary – WSJ

Photo: Mariam Zuhaib/Associated Press

A number of recent polls have suggested that voters aren’t particularly enamored of the Supreme Court, nor with its draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, which was recently leaked to Politico. But that doesn’t necessarily mean Americans want to change the judiciary. The encouraging findings from a new Mason-Dixon poll suggest that U.S. registered voters—including a large majority of independents—want the Court to continue under its current structure, but without any more leaks of draft opinions.

The survey of 1,100 registered voters was commissioned by the First Liberty Institute and conducted from May 13 through May 18. This column will offer the usual disclaimer that public opinion polling is not an exact science, if it’s even a science. But Mason-Dixon tends to be among the most accurate pollsters, receiving an A- grade from the survey website

In recent years it’s become fashionable among elected Democrats to declare our constitutional republic broken whenever it doesn’t yield the political outcomes they desire. When elections don’t go their way, many on the political left claim that it’s time to abolish the Electoral College. When court decisions disappoint them, they perceive a need to add more Supreme Court justices. But the hopeful results from Mason-Dixon suggest that voters do not approve of wrenching structural change. Among the questions in the new poll:

Do you support or oppose amending the U.S. Constitution to change the structure of the U.S. Supreme Court?

Only 26% of respondents expressed support while 64% were opposed and 10% were undecided. Among nonpartisan voters the results were nearly the same. Only 27% of independents supported such change while 63% were opposed. A related question revealed similar sentiments:

For over 150 years, the United States Supreme Court has had nine justices. “Court-packing” is generally defined as increasing the number of Supreme Court seats, primarily to alter the ideological balance of the court. Do you support or oppose “court-packing”?

Altering the number of Supreme Court seats received the support of only 24% of respondents, with 65% opposed. Among independents the numbers again were similar—28% in support and 65% opposed.

Although it might be hard to believe when perusing much of U.S. media, there remains a large number of Americans who value the Court and its traditions. Another survey question asked:

Within the last two weeks, a draft opinion being circulated regarding a major case before the U.S. Supreme Court was leaked to the media, something that has never happened before in the history of the country. Do you approve or disapprove of the leaking of this Supreme Court document?

Only 19% approved while an overwhelming 73% expressed their disapproval, once again with independents firmly in the majority. A full 71% of independents disapproved of the leak.

“This is a resounding message—the American people do not want Court packing. They do not want leaks. They strongly reject these attacks on our Court and the rule of law,” says First Liberty President Kelly Shackelford.

Let’s hope that’s right. The poll also found that recent events had given voters a less favorable opinion of the Court, though it’s unclear whether that has more to do with its legal reasoning or its leaking.


More Indictments Are Coming

If you don’t love Kash Patel, you don’t love the USA. Here’s an immigrant, or first-generation American(?) who “gets it” when so many [privileged] Americans don’t. Another fascinating discussion. (and if you don’t want to read it, you can listen – the link at the bottom of this post.) mrossol

9/27/2021 The Epoch Times

Special counsel John Durham is sending a signal that more indictments are coming, says Kash Patel.

“When you issue an indictment for lying to the FBI, like they did [Michael] Sussmann, it’s two to five pages max. It’s unheard of to be 27 pages. So why put all that information out there?” It’s “the biggest signal that more is coming,” says Kash Patel.

Kash Patel deposed former Perkins Coie lawyer Michael Sussmann as part of his investigations into allegations of Trump–Russia collusion with Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), and that deposition became a key part of Durham’s indictment of Sussmann, who was a lawyer for the Clinton campaign.

In this episode, he breaks down what’s in the indictment and where Durham’s investigation is likely headed.

Kash Patel: Hello everybody, and welcome back to Kash’s Corner.

Jan Jekielek: Kash, we’re going to talk about something that you played a pretty important role in today. We’re going to look at Perkins Coie’s lawyer, Michael Sussmann, and  the indictment against him by special counsel Durham. This is something a lot of people are talking about.

It’s a 27-page indictment for something that might typically take two to five pages. This is what I’m hearing from a lot of people. Briefly tell me, what is this?

Mr. Patel: We’ll get into the details, but with a 1001 count, [18 U.S.C. Sec. 1001] being a former federal public defender and federal prosecutor I dealt with these cases a lot, he is basically saying, “You came in and lied to law enforcement, to cops, and to the FBI.” And that’s what they’re saying Michael Sussmann did, they’re alleging that he went to the FBI and lied to them.

Those indictments tend to be two to five pages maximum. I’ve done them myself, and I’ve defended them myself. A lot of folks are curious as to why you would lay out what we call a 27-page speaking indictment. There are a number of reasons for doing it that way. I can only speculate, since I’m not John Durham.

Mr. Jekielek: So why don’t you break down what is in this indictment?

Mr. Patel: Michael Sussmann was one of the top two lawyers for the Hillary Clinton campaign when she was running for President in 2016 and the DNC. His law firm, Perkins Coie, had Sussmann and his partner, Marc Elias, be the top 2 lawyers in the entire country for the whole of the Hillary Clinton campaign for President and the Democratic National Committee.

So it was a large role played by these lawyers, because they were paid tens of millions of dollars to obtain this role and execute everything from election law, to campaign finance, to any criminal allegations that might come up, to state law as to how voting is supposed to be done in Alabama versus New York versus California, and to campaign ads. The gamut runs far and wide, which is why their retainer is so high, but they were the two premier lawyers for the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Mr. Jekielek: This is a bigger role than the first indictment that John Durham made, which was the indictment of Kevin Clinesmith.

Mr. Patel: So people forget, this isn’t John Durham’s first indictment, it is his second. John Durham charged Clinesmith with doctoring a document, an email to the federal judge in federal court that was reviewing the FISA application search warrant. So it was a pretty big deal that someone who worked at the FBI was charged with lying to a federal court, because he changed what was in an actual email, submitted that email to the court, and did it knowingly.

That first individual, Clinesmith, pleaded guilty, so he’s a convicted federal criminal. That was the first indictment from some months ago. This is the second one. Now we’re moving on to the private sector, to the lawyer for the Hillary Clinton campaign. It’s very interesting timing, and a very interesting read.

Mr. Jekielek: So you have the top Hillary Clinton lawyer, or one of the two top Hillary Clinton lawyers allegedly going out and lying to the FBI. What are they lying about?

Mr. Patel: In the indictment John Durham is alleging that Michael Sussmann on behalf of the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign went into the FBI and met with the general counsel. Let’s just hit pause for a second. The FBI maybe has 40-some-thousand employees. The general counsel is the number one lawyer at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Every other lawyer works for him. Sussmann was able to, based on his relationships with this lawyer and his service at DOJ before he went to Perkins Coie, get a meeting and walk into the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s headquarters and sit down with the general counsel of the FBI, which is a big deal in and of itself.

According to the indictment, Sussmann went into this office to see Baker and provide this information that they’re talking about in the indictment, this stuff that we’ll get into about Alfa Bank. Sussmann had his team write a white paper that was allegedly paid for by the Clinton campaign.

He presented it to James Baker of the FBI and said, “I’m just being a good Samaritan, I need you guys to review this, and thanks for meeting with me.” What the indictment alleges as criminal conduct is not the handoff of that information. It’s that Sussmann, according to the indictment, lied about who his client was, who he was doing on behalf of, and who paid him to collect that information and submit it to the FBI.

Which is a lie. You’re lying to the FBI about it. He never revealed to Baker, according to the indictment, that his client was the Hillary Clinton campaign. In fact, according to the indictment, Sussmann actually goes out of his way to say that he is not there on behalf of anyone. He has just stumbled upon this information and is presenting it to James Baker at the FBI.

Mr. Jekielek: Of course, the information, what Sussmann was alleging, could have been incredibly significant if it were true.

Mr. Patel: Yes, if it were true. What Sussmann is alleging is—to get into the weeds of the whole Russiagate scandal from 2016 onwards while remembering the timing of this before the presidential election in 2016, September-ish, October-ish of 2016—he goes to the FBI and says, “I have information that Trump,” the other candidate, not his candidate, but the opposing candidate for President, “Trump’s building and his enterprise have been permeated by a Russian bank and a Russian internet server that’s allowing them to conspire with the Russian government and people in Russia to steal the election.” That was the allegation.

It would be pretty significant and pretty damning if it were true. The only problem is, per the indictment and per my own investigation when I ran Russiagate for Chairman Nunes on House Intelligence, we knew at the time none of that information was true. In fact, the FBI and this indictment flat out says that the people who did the research for Michael Sussmann said themselves that they didn’t believe that the connection between the Alfa Bank server and the Trump campaign even existed, and it would be a stretch to even put it down on paper. That’s all in the indictment.

So if it were true it would be pretty damning. I have a personal role in this because of my 2016 job back on the House Intel Committee.

Mr. Jekielek: Right, you actually wrote the deposition that forms a significant part of this indictment.

Mr. Patel: When we were charged in 2016 by the Speaker at the time to investigate what they call the Russian active measures against the U.S. election, part of our job under Chairman Nunes was to call in 60-some witnesses and swear them in under oath and depose them, and question them.

We deposed principals, attorney generals, FBI directors, deputies, private individuals, and Clinton campaign officers. One of the people we interviewed and deposed was Michael Sussmann, and I actually took that deposition. That deposition of Michael Sussmann’s sworn testimony from 2016 is cited in John Durham’s indictment from just the other week.

It takes part of the questioning and asks, “Were you, Michael Sussmann, working on behalf of anybody in regards to this Alfa Bank information?” In the deposition that I took he said, “Yes, it was on behalf of a client.” He repeated it and confirmed it. The deposition is in the indictment. It speaks for itself. But back then in 2016 he wouldn’t tell me who the client was, even though we knew.

They claimed attorney-client privilege and they wouldn’t let us get into who the figure was. But we had proven it back then, which is why we took that deposition with such rigor in that line of questioning.

Mr. Jekielek: It’s very interesting. Let’s actually sketch this out.

Mr. Patel: So Perkins Coie, this huge, very well-respected international behemoth law firm is hired by the Clinton campaign and the DNC to be their lawyers for the presidential election cycle of 2016. Big job, right? Obviously you’re representing the Democratic nominee for President and the entire Democratic National Committee.

So Elias and Sussmann are the two guys overseeing this entire architecture of legal representation. And those guys, Perkins Coie, get paid tens of millions of dollars from the Clinton campaign and the DNC.

What do Sussmann and Elias do? They take that money and go out and hire Fusion GPS, an internet research firm, which I’m sure many of our viewers are familiar with. I believe they’re the ones cited in the indictment, Fusion GPS and their CEO, Glenn Simpson. They paid Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS millions of dollars to conduct research against President Trump’s campaign, including all the Russia stuff.

Then Fusion GPS hires Christopher Steele, who I’m also sure viewers are now familiar with because of the Steele dossier. So, just to simplify, the money goes from the Hillary Clinton campaign, to Hillary Clinton campaign’s lawyers, to the people doing the internet research, Fusion GPS, and then to Steele. So the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign are paying for this research.

Mr. Jekielek: You mean opposition research?

Mr. Patel: Yes, opposition research. So they, the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign, through Perkins Coie, Fusion GPS and Steele are paying millions of dollars to get opposition research against candidate Trump and his entire campaign. Bottom line, they’re spending millions of dollars on that.

Now in and of itself, I’ll tell you that there’s nothing wrong with getting opposition research against your opponent. That’s what political cycles do all the time, but this is problematic for reasons we are going to get into.

Mr. Jekielek: At the same time they’re running the whole legal operation and everything you just mentioned. Sussmann goes to someone he knows well at the top of the FBI legal team, Baker. He shows him this alleged connection between Alfa Bank and the Trump campaign.

At the same time, from what we know from this UK legal case where Christopher Steele was actually on the stand, we also know that it was Sussmann who introduced this Alfa Bank-Trump connection into the Steele dossier in the first place.

Mr. Patel: Right.

Mr. Jekielek: Which is, again, fascinating.

Mr. Patel: You’re talking about another track of this entire operation that’s outlined in Durham’s indictment. Not only did Sussmann, on behalf of the Clinton campaign per the indictment, take this information to the FBI, he’s also taking the information and seeding it into areas of the media.

So that’s the other problematic portion of the allegations in the indictment, because this information was false per the indictment. From my belief, and from my investigation of Russiagate, we knew it back then and now it’s coming out that it is so.

He’s not only seeding it to a law enforcement agency, which we’ll get to the details of that in a second as to what they did with it, but also the media, because they want the media to start running these stories before the election. And that’s exactly what happened.

So he gives it to Christopher Steele, and Steele starts giving it through Fusion GPS and others to people in the media. And Sussmann himself allegedly meets with people in the media to start planting these stories. And what happens? Right before the election there’s a story that breaks nationally that says, “It looks like President Trump is somehow connected with the Russian government through these Alfa Bank servers.”

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate, even tweets it and pretends like she didn’t know anything about it. “Look at President Trump, he’s connected with Russians, don’t vote for him.” That’s pretty damning information to put out a week or two right before an election.

Mr. Jekielek: What you’re saying is that information from the same source, which is a highly politically motivated source, is going to both the press and the FBI.

Mr. Patel: Yes. You’re probably asking what’s the problem with that? We just highlighted why it was a problem for the media, because the information wasn’t true. You have a presidential candidate pushing it out and national media pushing it out on a U.S. presidential election.

Here’s the other problem, shifting back to the FBI component of this. Back in 2016 and ’17 and ’18 when we were conduction the Russiagate investigation on House Intel, we knew this information was false. But at the time what Sussmann was doing was propping it up as true and accurate, or at least credible.

He asked his FBI friends to take it and then use it in their investigations into the Trump campaign. So now not only do you have a political media sort of scandal investigation on one side, but as we now know also the FBI was on the verge of obtaining a FISA warrant against Carter Page, then a Trump campaign associate.

A FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] warrant is extremely intrusive. It goes up on your phones, on your computers and everyone you’re talking to. You can see text messages, you can hear stuff, and you can read emails. It’s very, very invasive.

But as we now know, the FBI used that information, partly given from Sussmann, to help a federal judge obtain probable cause to go up and surveil this guy. So it’s a pretty big deal. Now for the first time that I know of in U.S. history, a presidential candidate is under surveillance right before the election, because of this information.

Mr. Jekielek: One of the things that’s been alleged is that they were expecting to actually find something by having these incredible surveillance tools at their disposal.

Mr. Patel: That’s one of biggest problems I have with that, as a former national security prosecutor who used the FISA process and applied for FISA warrants against terrorist targets, and went to the FISC [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court] and made those applications and the extensive work behind them. You’re not supposed to go to a federal judge and say, “We think this guy is bad and we hope to find out why he is bad. Please give us a warrant.”

That’s simplifying it enormously, but that’s the essence of it. You’re supposed to go to a federal judge and say, “These are the reasons the target is bad. These are the reasons we think he’s breaking the law.” And sometimes you’re proven wrong, but if you do it on a good faith basis, that’s okay. The law allows for that.

What the Hillary Clinton campaign did through Perkins Coie, Fusion GPS, Steele, and ultimately the FBI, is take information—that the FBI themselves couldn’t verify, and also culpatory information they also knew had sourcing problems—and put it in an application anyway.

And like you said, Jan, they took it to the FISC with fingers crossed. “Hopefully we get a warrant, then we’ll find out what we’re actually looking for,” which violates the purpose of a FISA warrant.

Mr. Jekielek: Okay, let’s cover a couple of things. We know that some of the people in this tech company were looking at this Alfa Bank-Trump organization connection. We know that they didn’t think there was really anything there. Basically what you said was that they knew it wasn’t true. This is what you’re saying. So just qualify that for me.

Mr. Patel: Sure. If you look at the Durham indictment—it’s not anything I know because I never talked to these tech companies or these researchers during our investigation—but what Durham says is that during his investigation the people that Sussmann hired to do the research regarding Alfa Bank, they themselves said in the indictment, “We don’t believe that there’s a connection here, and saying so in writing would almost be putting down a lie.”

I’m using my own words, but it’s in the indictment. So for me that’s where that information comes from, and that’s pretty damning. The person that Sussmann hired must say, “There’s a Trump-Alfa Bank-Russia connection.” Is the expert himself then saying, “There isn’t, and we can’t really get it there.” But then there’s more emails in the Durham indictment that say, “Well, how do we make it look so?”

Which is really problematic, because now you have the person who is the expert saying, “We can’t get there because the information doesn’t support it.”  But now there’s an exchange between the individuals involved who say, “How do we couch it? How do we mask it, so it’s like that anyway?”

That’s why Durham took so much time in laying out a 27-page indictment, so you are able to see the extent to which Sussmann’s work product for the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign went into the FBI, and the level it went to in deceiving people in the FBI and the FISC and the FISA warrant.

Mr. Jekielek: Fascinating. There were a whole bunch of elements crafting this Trump-Russia collusion narrative, but how important was this Alfa Bank-Trump organization connection which was highlighted in late October?

Mr. Patel: I’ll just couch it like this. Flip the seats around the deck, move the deck chairs a little bit. Say President Trump’s campaign in 2016 hired law firm X to research a connection between the Clinton campaign headquarters and the government of Russia and a bank. Then say, “Whatever you find, make sure you put it down on paper and find experts to say that the Clinton campaign, irrespective of the facts, was coordinating and working with the Russian government right before the 2016 presidential election.”

That would have been international headline news. That’s exactly what, per the indictment, John Durham is saying the Clinton campaign did to the Trump campaign. That’s why it’s so problematic, but that’s also why it’s not getting a lot of coverage, because it’s against President Trump coming from the Clinton campaign. Most of the media doesn’t want to cover it, but I don’t think they’re going to be able to avoid it for much longer.

Mr. Jekielek: Another way to ask is would there have been a Mueller investigation without this specific piece of the puzzle?

Mr. Patel: That’s a great point. I think I overlooked that, yet I don’t know. Because this is another facet of what the Sussmann work product does here. It’s not just the media operation that they launched, it’s not just the FBI investigation and the FISA process against the presidential candidate, but ultimately we also had a special counsel.

And that special counsel was charged with finding out, among other things, was how this Alfa Bank stuff worked with the Trump campaign. Mueller was stood up in late spring, early summer of ’17. One of the questions that he was charged with answering was around these Russian connections surrounding Alfa Bank, because the information behind it hadn’t come out in our investigation.

Remember, Congress is very limited in terms of what we can get, the documents we can get, and the witnesses we can get to come forward. We don’t have the grant subpoena power, the investigatory powers, and the law enforcement agents doing our work. It’s just staffers on the Hill trying to do an oversight investigation.

Mueller comes in and can use all of the Department of Justice’s powers to go in and investigate this stuff. One of the main legs of his investigation was to look at some of this Alfa Bank stuff, because if true, it would have shown that Trump was coordinating with the Russian government.

Mr. Jekielek: I find this really fascinating that this is a very large 27-page indictment compared to what was necessary. Now I know you think there’s something bigger afoot here other than just simply this indictment and this charge.

Mr. Patel: I do, I do. Remember, it’s not just this one. It is this one coupled with the Clinesmith indictment. These two indictments cover the two big components that we’ve been talking about in the Russiagate investigation. This one is largely involved with the media campaign right before the election, and then seeding that into the FBI.

The Clinesmith indictment goes one step further and says, he, the lawyer at the FBI, took information from the intelligence community and doctored it and presented that to FISC, the FISA court. And so now you have a layered investigation in reverse almost.

He, Clinesmith, was the one closest to the FISC and the intelligence community. He, Michael Sussmann, is closest to the FBI and the media portion as it relates to Alfa Bank servers. So I think there’s a larger conspiracy at play here.

It’s laid out in the 27-page indictment Durham put out because he identifies not by name, but he identifies six to eight individuals by title. I can recognize most of them, if not all of them. Those are major players that we deposed and investigated during our 2017-18 investigation into Russiagate. So he’s just starting, if you want my opinion.

Mr. Jekielek: That’s really interesting because there’s a lot of people that didn’t expect to see an indictment of someone like Michael Sussmann. One of the things that folks are concerned about is justice being done. Actually, it’s very likely that Durham may be defunded, there’s only a few days left in his official funding. So what do you think about that?

Mr. Patel: It’s tragic that so many in the media are focusing on that and not a federal indictment for one of the biggest political scandals in U.S. history, if not the biggest. This individual, Michael Sussmann, was just charged. A federal trial, a federal case on average takes 12 to 18 months to adjudicate, whether it’s by plea or trial.

So I laugh at anyone in the media who tells me they are worried about John Durham being defunded. He literally can’t be, because he is in the middle of a federal prosecution. So I don’t worry about any of that. He’s going to keep going, so there’s no defunding issue for me.

Mr. Jekielek: Again, this is very interesting because you’ve been one of the people that’s been kind of bullish on Durham, expecting that he would actually come through with something. It seems like he has. Another cause for concern which I’ve seen, and this is something that our friend, Lee Smith, has actually written about and that I’ve talked to him about—the judge in the case actually has some pretty strong connections with the Democratic party.

Mr. Patel: Yes.

Mr. Jekielek: Is this something people should be concerned about?

Mr. Patel: It’s something that should at least be looked at. As a former federal prosecutor and federal public defender, I know there are canons of ethics that apply to recusal for conflicts of interest. If I were the judge and someone brought forth an individual before me that I knew or had a relationship with through my universe, it would be a conflict of interest for me to sit over and preside over that trial, that proceeding. That’s sort of simplifying it.

So in this case, the judge that was assigned to the Sussmann case, his wife happens to be a prominent lawyer in town, and she represented Lisa Page, and still does. Who is Lisa Page? Just a quick refresher, she was the central FBI attorney who reported to Andy McCabe, and was special counsel for him. She also worked for James Baker at the time, who was the attorney who reviewed this entire FISA application process and worked hand-in-hand with Peter Strzok, the lead counterintelligence FBI investigator for the investigation into the Trump presidency.

By the way, they were having an affair and kept that information withheld from the American public and the FBI. So it would seem that this question should be asked in this larger conspiracy that is coming, “Is Lisa Page going to be a witness? Is she going to be a witness for the defense or the prosecution? Is someone calling her? Is Durham working with her? Is she cooperating?”

Conflicts of interest are supposed to be adjudicated, not on the eventuality that they’ll happen, but on the possibility that they might. Let’s just say this is how it plays out—Sussmann goes to trial and Lisa Page is brought into the courtroom, and this judge’s wife is the lawyer for the witness.

To me, that’s a conflict worth looking at. There are canons of ethics that guide and adjudicate that. What ticks off American people so much about Washington is this style of beltway insider operations that most of the public doesn’t even know about—the few that do are calling for it to be examined.

The best person to examine it is the judge and the Department of Justice. They should just say, “I can do my job fairly or else the case isn’t coming here.” John Durham can have a ex parte communication with the judge and say, “Look, this individual that your wife represents was a target, is a target, is an unindicted co-conspirator, could be a witness for the government, or could be a witness for the defense. You might find yourself overseeing a trial in which your wife represents the witness.”

Mr. Jekielek: As we’re speaking here, I’m thinking this is pretty big news.

Mr. Patel: Yes.

Mr. Jekielek: It doesn’t seem to be getting the attention that you might expect with big news like this. The funny part is I’ve almost been conditioned not to expect it to be treated that way. That’s what I just realized.

Mr. Patel: Yes, me too, me too. I’m glad we’re talking about it, but I don’t know if other people are going be talking about it.

Allow me to remind the audience who Lisa Page and Peter Strzok were. You have the number one lawyer responsible for the Russiagate investigation, and the number one FBI agent. While having an affair before the election, these two were literally texting each other and saying that they would stop candidate Trump from being President.

Just hit pause on that alone. The individuals charged to lead the investigation into the Trump campaign were texting each other before the election listing all the ways that they would stop it.

And now this person, Lisa Page, might be a witness or an unindicted co-conspirator in the Sussmann indictment. This is the type of stuff that should be newsworthy, and should be talked about. When it gets buried, this is the type of stuff that ticks off so many people in America, because the rules are applied differently to those that were in and running the Russiagate hoax versus those that revealed the Russiagate hoax.

Now all of a sudden you see the John Durhams of the world being excoriated. This guy, I remind you, is a 30-year-plus plus federal prosecutor. He’s worked for Democrats and Republicans alike.

Mr. Jekielek: And he’s known for getting his man, so to speak.

Mr. Patel: Yes. Democrats have appointed him to be U.S. attorney and Republicans have appointed him to be U.S. attorney. What more could you ask for in terms of a career prosecutor who is just doing the job and has established himself over and over again, namely during the rendition investigation back when the CIA was investigated about its enhanced interrogation techniques. That was led by John Durham, so his work speaks for itself.

Mr. Jekielek: In these kinds of situations, I can’t help thinking about how it’s only something like 3 per cent of cases ever go to trial.

Mr. Patel: Sure.

Mr. Jekielek: Almost everything gets resolved by plea bargains these days. That has its own issues that we’re not going to discuss today. It makes me think that a seasoned, re-appointed U.S. attorney like Durham has a broader plan with this indictment. He’s hoping to get some people to cooperate, to talk, and to expose some things that weren’t exposed before to build this case, and maybe build the case of a broader conspiracy. So how do you think he might be using this indictment?

Mr. Patel: For me, the 27-page indictment is the biggest signal that more is coming. Because when you issue an indictment for lying to the FBI, like they did with Sussmann, it’s two to five pages max. It’s unheard of to be 27-pages. So why put all that information out there? It’s exactly for that reason.

The public can now go and read the indictment and see what John Durham has been working on. It’s a way to announce pieces of investigation by name, by title—all of the six to eight individuals in the indictment identified as working with Sussmann, on behalf of Sussmann, who were paying Sussmann, and where the information was going. Because people are going to figure out who those individuals are.

The other thing is you talk about cooperation. Look, I’ve tried 60 trial cases to verdict in state and federal court, and sometimes people cooperate and sometimes they don’t. You don’t bring an indictment on the hopes that someone is going to cooperate. That’s not how federal trials are conducted. If you’re doing that, you’re going to fail.

You bring the best case that you can, and if someone cooperates along the way, then you can enhance your conspiracy charges, and maybe bring in other people that you weren’t initially looking at.

My question is, although we’ve got two people that have been charged, who hasn’t been charged and is cooperating? Are the Peter Strzoks of the world cooperating? Are the Lisa Pages of the world cooperating? James Baker, is he cooperating? He hasn’t been charged, but he’s been a central figure in all of this. Remember, he was the one who had to sign-off on the fraudulent FISA warrant.

So are those people cooperating? Are there people at Perkins Coie cooperating? What about at the Hillary campaign? This indictment cites individuals who are in communication at the Hillary campaign. The Hillary Clinton campaign manager, the communications director and one of their advisors were all in direct contact with Sussmann about all this Alfa Bank stuff. So have they been talked to?

I would imagine that you would put all those people in grand juries for interviews and then you obtain documents. I think that’s what is coming.

Mr. Jekielek: This has been going on for at least five years. I saw someone noted that perhaps one of the reasons why Durham made this indictment at the time he did was because the statute of limitations on making false statements is five years. At this point, five years in, for people that maybe don’t know the details, don’t know the nuance, and maybe don’t understand what actually happened—why is this important?

Mr. Patel: Sure. Let me address the timing first, and then the importance of it. So having run complex investigations, federal investigations, let me give you a perspective. Healthcare fraud investigations or Medicare fraud investigations take the government anywhere on average from three to seven years to investigate and adjudicate.

So those are going on for years and years and years and years, and then you finally have an indictment five years later. I’ve defended those cases. As a federal prosecutor, I’ve even brought conspiracy charges that were years in the making. So I know five years sounds like a long time, especially for people who aren’t familiar with the criminal justice system at the federal level, but it’s not. I have to remind people of this, and this segues to the second point.

Arguably, John Durham has been charged with investigating the biggest political scandal in U.S. history. Mind you, he’s only been on the job for two years. He didn’t come into play on day one, he came into play way later. So now, he’s bringing out charges inside of two years. I know it might not sound fast, but it’s kind of fast for federal level work, especially at that complicated level.

There is another reason why I think about its importance and timing. To simplify it for those who haven’t been following this like you have for three, four, five years—for many in our audience, just think of it this way. In the United States of America in 2016, in 2020, in 2024, is it okay for a political opponent during a presidential election to go out and buy false information, know that information is false, and submit it to the U.S. media in an effort to castigate their opponent in the presidential election?

Then is it okay to take that same information used in the media and submit it to the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and know that this information is false, and think, “We’re not going to tell you guys.” But then say, “Please go up on a federal search warrant on my opponent to be the President of the United States, so we can dig up more dirt and make sure he does not become President of the United States.” Should that be allowed?

What we’ve been talking about for the last three, four, five years, and during this episode has happened. It took a couple of years. It took two congressional investigations. It took Bob Mueller as a special counsel, and John Durham as a special counsel, to look through all of this information.

Now we’re finally showing the American public what happened. Yes, it’s hard to simplify, but I think the magnitude can’t be highlighted any more than that. If you want a free and fair election for the President of the United States, you should care about John Durham’s investigation and where it goes.

Mr. Jekielek: Just to pick up on something we discussed a little bit earlier, it seems bizarre that the media are so reluctant in some ways to pick up on the story. And, of course, so many media in the past got it so terribly, terribly wrong.

Mr. Patel: I agree. Instead of you and I just going through the litany of articles that people got wrong, here’s what I suggest for our viewers. Go online and go back to 2016, ’17, ’18, ’19, ’20, and look up an article—it doesn’t matter what outlet it’s from—on the Russiagate investigation and look at the headlines. You don’t even have to look at the body of the work. Look at the headlines and see which outlets got it wrong time and time again, and which outlets got it right. See if you can do that.

See if the outlets you relied on so much to get your factual information were correct when they reported that candidate Trump was in the pocket of Putin. Go online and see if they were correct when the FBI and the DoJ came out and reported that there’s no way the FISA process could be abused in this fashion. “There’s too many people in charge, and there’s too many principals at play for that to occur.” See who wrote those articles.

Go ahead and see who wrote articles about private citizens and political campaigns, and what their involvement in the Russiagate scandal was then, and what it actually has shown to be now, i.e. Michael Sussmann and the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign and Perkins Coie. Don’t forget Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson. Go back and look at that trail and just look at the headlines, and you’ll see how broken the media is and why they’re not covering it as much as they should be today.

Mr. Jekielek: We’ll definitely link some of these infographics that we’ve created at The Epoch Times that will identify some leads for the investigation that you’re suggesting.

Mr. Patel: That would be great.

Mr. Jekielek: We’re about at the end here. It’s time for our shout out.

Mr. Patel: Okay, I’ve got a unique shout out this week, so just bear with me for a second. The shout out is for my Objective Medusa team. For those of you that don’t know who that is or what that is, you have to read and watch The Plot Against the President to get the full picture.

The Objective Medusa team was the warrior team that I was able to work with under Chairman Nunes on the House Intelligence Committee to run the Russiagate investigation. This indictment that we’re talking about today, the Sussmann and also the Clinesmith indictment, is for us a validation of so much of the work we did in 2017 and 2018, and that we were excoriated for personally. So to my Objective Medusa team, I miss you guys. This one is definitely for you.

Timeline of FBI’s FISA Abuse in Trump Campaign Investigation (Infographic)

Spygate: The True Story of Collusion (Infographic)

Timeline of the Durham Investigation (Infographic)

Follow EpochTV on social media: