Methinks I Spy the Fine Italian Hand of Rudolph William Louis Giuliani

Fine Italian Hand

Talking Points Memo, Shokin Demands Criminal Probe Of Joe Biden In Declaration To Kyiv Prosecutors:

Discredited Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin demanded in a Tuesday affidavit that Kyiv prosecutors open a criminal investigation into Joe Biden.

Shokin repeated long-debunked allegations in the declaration, accusing Biden of “blackmail” and violating international law in pushing for Shokin to be fired in 2016.

The filing marks the latest attempt to have Ukraine open a criminal investigation into a potential opponent of President Trump’s in the 2020 election. It comes as the Senate holds an impeachment trial of President Trump over allegations that he attempted to have Ukraine announce investigations into the Bidens and the 2016 elections.

Shokin has popped up throughout the pressure campaign on Ukraine as a source of debunked information for President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, alleging that Joe Biden fired Shokin to block an investigation he was conducting into a Ukrainian gas firm on whose board Hunter Biden — the Vice President’s son — sat.

Throw ‘Em Under the Bus

under the bus

I was planning a short addendum to my Chicken Kiev post. There I predicted that some time around next Tuesday Trump will be trumpeting that it’s perfectly OK to bully Ukraine by withholding military aid to a country under active attack.

I would have added that a reasonable alternative prediction is that, some time around next Tuesday, he will have discovered that the whole Ukraine mess was Rudy Giuliani’s fault, with Gordon Sondland sharing in the blame. He will have cast himself in the role of Henry II, whose offhand remarks about the Archbishop of Canterbury were sadly misinterpreted by some idiotic minions—who now need to be drawn and quartered.

I was wrong on timing. It’s today, not next Tuesday. And I was wrong about the first victim to be defenestrated.

See Axios, Scoop: Trump pins Ukraine on Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

But don’t worry, Rudy and Gordon, your time is coming, and it’s coming soon. Because who is better suited to play the role of idiotic, sacrificial minion, against Trump’s Henry II, than Rudy Giuliani?

And Now, a Statement by Macbeth’s Attorney, Rudy Giuliani

Macbeth

“I think Macbeth had every right to do what he did. I see no reason why he wouldn’t. These witches, or whatever they are, they did the patriotic thing, which was to give him information, and frankly I think he would be a fool not to act on that information, and as King of Scotland, he has a right, he has a right to defend himself even if that means maybe having to get rid of somebody else who was king before him, because what we’re dealing with here, Chris, is a corrupt system. That’s the bottom line. He had every right to stab King Duncan. I am not saying that he stabbed King Duncan, but if he had, it would have been his right, because the corruption he was dealing with goes back decades and can be seen reflected in mirrors for eight generations of kings and beyond. Ask anyone. Ask anyone with a cauldron, Chris, and they’ll tell you.”

Read the whole thing here.

In re Throwing Random Shit Against the Wall as a Legal Defense Strategy

Screen Shot 2018-12-19 at 9.06.29 AM

Trump signed letter of intent for Trump Tower Moscow project despite Giuliani insisting he didn’t

I beg pardon for the vulgarity, but it captures the essence of the matter more crisply than if I had employed a circumlocution.

Now that that is out of the way, I have a handful of substantive observations.

As a defense attorney, sometimes you find yourself defending a case that is so indefensible, on the facts and on the law, that if you are to carry on defending it, pretty much all you can do is throw sand in the judge’s eyes. Or, as my regrettable metaphor puts it, throw random pieces of shit against the wall, to see if something will stick.

When you find yourself in that circumstance, almost invariably your client’s best course of action is to find some way the settle the matter, even on very unfavorable terms.

But perhaps your client thinks he is living in Neverneverland, and can’t grasp the seriousness of his own predicament. Or maybe settlement is not possible for other reasons.

So you start throwing shit against the wall.

Conclusion: the mere fact that an attorney is seen to be throwing random shit against the wall does not, ipso facto, prove that the attorney is unintelligent, or that she is not acting in the best interest of her client.

A Crucial Distinction

But here’s a vital qualification to the above proposition. If you are throwing shit, it is vital that it be done in a clever way.

That means, for example, not claiming a draft letter of intent was never signed when, in fact, it was signed by both parties, and your adversary has the signed copy. See article cited above. That kind of easily disproven factual assertion discredits your client. It discredits you. And it unmasks your strategy.

It deprives you of any capacity to provide effective legal representation.

That is why I have said of Rudy Giuliani, and I now say again, that he is so bad that his client, Donald J. Trump, a person in serious legal jeopardy, is proceeding without the effective assistance of legal counsel.

And, one might add, in respect of General Flynn and yesterday’s disastrous day in court, that the general has a really good malpractice claim against his attorneys.

About that Whizbang New Lawyer, Emmet Flood, Esq.

popcorn

If and when Mr. Flood shows up at the White House—with, in my view, emphasis of if rather than when—he, like the soon-to-be-retired Ty Cobb, Esquire, will be working for “the presidency,” rather than the The Donald in a personal capacity.

One understands the distinction, in a sort of vague and general way, but I would think it might be rather problematic to apply in practice. That said, surely it would not be the function of a lawyer for “the presidency” to defend pre-election hush money payments to prostitutes.

If I’m right so far, Rudy Giuliani will continue to be the ringmaster at the Stormy Daniels circus. Or that role will fall to whatever idiot Trump can get to replace Rudy, day after tomorrow.

So get out the popcorn.