In what appeared to be in direct contrast to the administrations position on transparency in government, the attorney general has refused to provide Congress with documents requested in relation to the botched gun smuggling operation into Mexico. The true sad reality about the United States Justice Department is that no matter what they say, they will never give all the documents, all the facts or all the evidence. It is clear from the actions of different divisions of the Justice Department that there is an unwritten rule, “withhold any and everything that could make us look bad.” Senator Stevens died before he could be completely vindicated from the actions of the United States Attorney malfeasance. There is an old saying in many prosecutors offices, “it takes a good prosecutor to convict an guilty man, but it takes a great prosecutor to convict an innocent man.” There is no stopping the power of the United States law enforcement. The federal judiciary does little to curtail the power of the justice department. Every federal judge has some experience with the power of the federal prosecutor prior to becoming a federal judge. The FBI goes to some lengths investigating prospective judges prior to their Congressional confirmation. To shed some light on this scenario it is as if the fox was interview the dog that would guard the chickens. How can law enforcement be involved in approving the one person who can stop illegal government action.
Eric Holder knew he did not have to turn over any documents to Congress. He went to Congress because he did not want to make the president look bad, but he knew there was nothing they could do to him. Now, what is the next step in this investigation? NOTHING. The justice department decides when and what they will investigate and they are not about to investigate their boss for refusing to follow the orders of a Congressional subpoena. Many of my clients that are charged with federal offenses for the first time are shocked at how one sided the system really is. Forget a fair fight, you are going into the ring against the power of the most powerful country in the world. It takes skill and knowledge to win a federal trial as a federal criminal defense lawyer. You can be the best criminal defense lawyer in your state, but if you have never been to federal court, you are in for surprise. There are no rules designed to protect the innocent. If the grand jury indicts, then the government knows they have their man. If the grand jury does not indict, then the government will have to wait until the next convening to present the case to a new grand jury. By the way, all this grand jury stuff is confidential and the public is not allowed to see what goes on in grand jury proceedings. On that same note, ever wonder why there are not cameras or video allowed in federal court. What goes on in the tax funded buildings that we as tax payers cannot see or hear?
It goes then that the attorney general of the United States answers to no one except the President. If you are wrongfully convicted of a federal crime and it is later discovered that the prosecutor intentionally withheld evidence in your favor. You may go free and the prosecutor will also go free because they all have immunity. There is never any fear that they have the wrong man, because they will not even get fired if they lie to the court. Federal criminal defense is a tough area of law to practice, but when you win a case, it is a big win. They are difficult to come by no matter who the criminal defense lawyer may be.