« Does Chaidez expand the reach of Padilla even while rejecting its retroactive application? | Main | "Defunding State Prisons" »

February 21, 2013

Jacksons plead guilty and federal prosecutors recommend significant prison terms for both

This recent post, titled "You be the prosecutor: what federal sentence should be sought for Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife?", engendered a lengthy debate over federal sentencing law and practice as applied to a pair of new high-profile federal defendants.  Now, this New York Times article, headlined "Jesse Jackson Jr. Pleads Guilty: ‘I Lived Off My Campaign’," reports that federal prosecutor, apparently parroting the recommendations of the federal sentencing guidelines, have already urged significant prison terms for Jesse and Sandi Jackson.  Here are the details:

Jesse L. Jackson Jr., the former Democratic representative from Illinois, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one felony fraud count in connection with his use of $750,000 in campaign money to pay for living expenses and buy items like stuffed animals, elk heads and fur capes.

As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors recommended that Mr. Jackson receive a sentence of 46 to 57 months in prison. The federal judge overseeing the case, Robert L. Wilkins, is scheduled to sentence Mr. Jackson on June 28....

“Guilty, Your Honor — I misled the American people,” Mr. Jackson said when asked whether he would accept the plea deal. Mr. Jackson’s father, the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, his mother and several brothers and sisters accompanied him to the hearing.

Mr. Jackson’s wife, Sandi, also accompanied him, and later in the day she pleaded guilty to a charge that she filed false income tax statements during the time that Mr. Jackson was dipping into his campaign treasury. Prosecutors said they would seek to have her sentenced to 18 to 24 months....

Last summer, Mr. Jackson took a medical leave from Congress and was later treated for bipolar disorder. After winning re-election in November, he resigned, citing his health and the federal investigation into his use of campaign money.

After the hearing, Mr. Jackson’s lawyer, Reid H. Weingarten, said his client had “come to terms with his misconduct.” Mr. Weingarten said that Mr. Jackson had serious health issues that “directly related” to his conduct. “That’s not an excuse, it’s just a fact,” Mr. Weingarten said.

Court papers released by federal prosecutors on Wednesday provided new details about how Mr. Jackson and his wife used the $750,000 in campaign money to finance their lavish lifestyle.

From 2007 to 2011, Mr. Jackson bought $10,977.74 worth of televisions, DVD players and DVDs at Best Buy, according to the documents. In 2008, Mr. Jackson used the money for things like a $466.30 dinner at CityZen in the Mandarin Oriental in Washington and a $5,587.75 vacation at the Martha’s Vineyard Holistic Retreat, the document said.

On at least two instances, Mr. Jackson and his wife used campaign money at Build-A-Bear Workshop, a store where patrons can create stuffed animals.  From December 2007 through December 2008, the Jacksons spent $313.89 on “stuffed animals and accessories for stuffed animals” from Build-A-Bear, according to the documents....

Documents released on Friday showed how Mr. Jackson used his campaign money to buy items like fur capes, celebrity memorabilia and expensive furniture.   Among those items were a $5,000 football signed by American presidents and two hats that once belonged to Michael Jackson, including a $4,600 fedora.

Because neither Jesse Jr. nor Sandi Jackson would appear to present any threat to public safety whatsoever, I am not quite sure why federal prosecutors believe that imposing a sentence "sufficient but not greater than necessary" to achieve congressional sentencing purposes requires a muti-year prison term for both of them.  I fully understand, of course, that the sentences here ought to be severe enough to serve general deterrence purposes.  But I am not sure that such extended prison terms are needed, especially if the Jacksons' sentences require them now to pay significant criminal fines and penalities in addition to forfeiting all ill-gotten gains and paying all their tax liabilities.

Former federal prosecutor Bill Otis has said repeatedly in recent threads that federal prosecutors should not have their sentencing recommendations defined by applicable sentencing guidelines.  But I surmise that the prosecutors' recommendations here that Jesse Jr. get 46 to 57 months in prison and that Sandi get 18 to 24 months are drawn directly from the guidelines.  (We can be quite sure that the defense attorneys in these cases will not draw their recommendations from the guidelines, and I would guess that the defense will end up making full-throated arguments for non-prison sentences for both Jesse Jr. and Sandi.)

Recent related post:

February 21, 2013 at 08:47 AM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451574769e2017c37030165970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Jacksons plead guilty and federal prosecutors recommend significant prison terms for both:

Comments

The defendants should be out, working to repay. Any general deterence utterance should result in a mistrial and all costs to the persnal assets of the prosecutor. To punish a defendant to scare an unrelated, unknown future criminal violates procedural due process. This self evident defense point is never used.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Feb 21, 2013 9:24:07 AM

I am not familiar at all with how the federal guidelines work, but doesn't California Republican Rep. Duke Cunningham's case and sentence, similar in some ways, not so similar in others, suggests the sentence should be in the 36-40 month range, maybe give or take a couple, for Rep. Jackson?

Posted by: C60 | Feb 21, 2013 10:32:25 AM

Doug --

"Because neither Jesse Jr. nor Sandi Jackson would appear to present any threat to public safety whatsoever, I am not quite sure why federal prosecutors believe that imposing a sentence 'sufficient but not greater than necessary' to achieve congressional sentencing purposes requires a muti-year prison term for both of them."

When I said exactly the same thing about Scooter Libby, who unlike the Jacksons never sought to enrich himself by his crimes, I got my head sawed off.

"Former federal prosecutor Bill Otis has said repeatedly in recent threads that federal prosecutors should not have their sentencing recommendations defined by applicable sentencing guidelines."

Correct, but I also said that the government, being the quintessential repository of conventional wisdom, almost always recommends a within-guidelines sentence, and no one could or did disagree with that.

I also said on the earlier threads that sentencing should be deferred while (1) the PO undertakes a robust investigation of Jackson's ever-so-conveniently-timed discovery that he is the -- get this -- "victim" of that old defense stand-by, bi-polar disorder, and (2) to see if he actually does pay all taxes due and refund all his political contributions.

Any lawyer who's spent time litigating white collar cases knows, as soon as the client walks in the door, to call up one of the ten shrinks on the Rolodex to set the client up with an appointment to get diagnosed with bi-polar (or PTSD or whatever multisyllabic "syndrome" the shrink can think up). White collar defense lawyers aren't fools, and Reid Weingarten is among the least foolish around.

I mean, please. Nobody's greedy. Everybody's just sick. How many times are we supposed to fall for this?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 21, 2013 12:24:02 PM

Bill: "When I said exactly the same thing about Scooter Libby, who unlike the Jacksons never sought to enrich himself by his crimes, I got my head sawed off."

I guess we have our answer then - Jesse Jackson, Jr., should serve no prison time and just pay the fine and restitution. Jackson's professional reputation is no less forever damaged than is Libby's, after all.

Posted by: C60 | Feb 21, 2013 12:33:26 PM

C60 --

"I guess we have our answer then..."

This is what happens when you guess.

You must have missed the part where I said, "...who unlike the Jacksons never sought to enrich himself by his crimes."

Avarice, indeed years of unbridled if not breathtaking avarice, is, one would think, an aggravating factor. And paying it back, via a fine or anything else (if it ever actually happens, which I doubt), is no more sufficient to avoid jail here than a burglar's paying back what he stole would be sufficient.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 21, 2013 12:50:31 PM

C60 --

While I'm at it, Libby never tried a ploy like this convenient discovery of "bi-polar disorder" or any of these other "I'm-a-victim" sentencing mitigators, and at least was a man about it.

BTW, are you buying this bi polar dodge? Does that smell a little fishy to you?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 21, 2013 12:58:40 PM

Bill, you're right, I did miss that part. Either way, it doesn't change my "guideline guess" of 36-40 months, based on Cunningham's result. I don't know if Jackson is bi-polar or not. I will add that Jackson has been diagnosed with bi-polar II and I would not find a bi-polar II diagnosis relevant in mitigation for Jackson's particular offenses.

Posted by: C60 | Feb 21, 2013 2:34:28 PM

Bill Otis,

I'm not necessarily buying the bipolar diagnosis here, but I'm also not buying that Scooter Libby was worthy of any sort of leniency. In my ideal world where a felony conviction results in a rebuttable death sentence it would be the rare political official indeed who managed to avoid that fate.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Feb 21, 2013 2:46:29 PM

Libby allegedly interfered in the investigation of the outing of a covert CIA agent. I can see how this might be a "threat to public safety" though it is quite true avarice wasn't the problem there. Avarice isn't the only aggravating factor though & avarice isn't the only thing liable to get you multiple years in prison.

But, if Bill Otis is applying a set rule evenly to Libby and others, no decapitation is warranted.

Posted by: Joe | Feb 21, 2013 2:49:30 PM

Bill, I recall that the Libby case involved lots of other seemingly important sentencing factors: (1) Libby persistently denied guilt, (2) he sought to cover up the serious wrong-doing of other government officials, (3) he went to trial and lost, (4) he never showed any significant remorse, and (5) the federal judge who presided over Libby's trial concluded that a sentence of 30 months' imprisonment was necessary to serve congressional sentencing purposes.

Despite all those factors, for Libby you effectively advocated for the President to commute his sentence so that he served NO prison time at all for his crimes. I personally think Jesse Jr. should get a year or more to serve general deterrence, but I am not sure why much more than a year is necessary to achieve that end in light of all the other formal and informal punishments that will come to bear on him.

Further, as you may recall, my main beef with the Libby commutation as explained in my testimony to Congress was that Prez Bush never showed any similar sentencing concerns for other (even less serious) non-violent offenders (like Victor Rita). I have always viewed Libby's sentence to be just another example of another first-offender who's life not only got chewed up by the federal criminal justice system, but who also had the guideline machine spit out an unduly severe sentence because the guideline machine harmfully has ranges that includes prison terms (and often quite lengthy ones) in all cases for all offenders no matter what kind of mitigating factors they can raise.

Finally, I do not think having the US President operationalize your op-ed sentencing advice in the Libby case really constitutes getting your "head sawed off." If it does, I sure hope I can have a similar "sawed off" experience with some of my sentencing advice for the current Prez and future ones.

Posted by: Doug B. | Feb 21, 2013 5:26:07 PM

I realize that for some this fact doesn't matter one whit because the law is the law but I fundamentally disagree with the law in this area. I think it is wrong headed and I think it is crazy to lock a man up for it. I am highly sympathetic towards Jackson (and others like him) not for being sick but for being innocent. This "crime" he committed is about as close to the financial version of jayalking as one can get.

I do understand the law is the law the guidelines are the guidelines blah blah blah. But really, of all the ills in this world this matters? I think not.

Posted by: Daniel | Feb 21, 2013 6:13:22 PM

Bill said that the difference between Scooter Libby and Jesse Jackson, Jr., is that Libby "never tried to enrich himself."

No, what Libby did was far worse than what Jackson did (stealing money (from a fund set up to benefit the candidate, albeit not in this way). Libby illegally tried to (and largely did) destroy a private citizen's life as part of a broad attempt to intentionally deceive the American public into allowing Libby and his bosses to do whatever they wanted to do. Libby's crime was much, much worse than Jackson's. Unfortunately for Jackson, the President is not a close, personal friend.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 21, 2013 6:20:14 PM

Doug --

Just a quickie for now. I was floored when you wrote that, among the sentencing factors that counted against Libby, was that he "persistently denied guilt [and] went to trial and lost..."

Surely this could not have been written by the man who who has put up post after post blasting the "trial penalty"!!!

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 21, 2013 8:29:22 PM

Anon --

Just so you'll know -- since apparently you don't -- Libby was not the one who outted Valerie Plame. It was Richard Armitage, who was never charged with anything. BTW, Ms. Plame was not a spy. She was a desk jockey at the CIA in Langley. Nor was her life destroyed. She's now writing spy novels, which seems to be a favorite thing to do among ex-CIA people, whether or not they even got close to a spy.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 21, 2013 8:38:36 PM

The problem with the Scooter Libby sentence was that the evidence suggesting guilt was based on recollections of what was said. I have a very good memory, and I often can't remember exactly what was said three days ago.

And Joe, when you start with your tut-tutting about outing a CIA agent, why don't acknowledge that Joe Wilson was a liar.

Posted by: federalist | Feb 21, 2013 9:24:27 PM

Scooter Libby was the fall guy for Cheney and Rove. Perhaps Fitzgerald couldn't prove their culpability in connection with the outing of Valerie Plame, but they are the real crooks in that deal, and everyone knows it.

The outing of an active CIA agent is a pretty darn serious crime. And, it was all part of the Bush Crime Family's effort to retaliate against Joe Wilson's effort to expose the lie in Bush's State of the Union address.

Jackson's fraud is run-of-the-mill fraud by an American politician. But, it is fraud nonetheless. It is just nowhere near as serious as criminal activity of Rove and Cheney in connection with Valerie Plame.

And, I seriously doubt Obama will grant a pardon or commutation to Jackson.

Jackson will probably go to jail. Nobody did any jail time for the outing of Valerie Plame, other than that reporter who wouldn't give up a source.

The punishments meted out in our criminal justice system often have very little to do with the relative moral blameworthiness of offenders.

Posted by: Vance Askar | Feb 21, 2013 11:11:05 PM

Vance Askar --

You forgot to mention that the Bush Crime Family was also in on 9-11 (just ask Shelia Jackson Lee). And that's assuming 9-11 actually happened. Some people in the know say that it was staged in a TV studio in Burbank -- the same one where they staged the moon landing.

C'mon, Vance, you shouldn't let these Bushie thugs off so light.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 22, 2013 3:59:51 AM

"The problem with the Scooter Libby sentence was that the evidence suggesting guilt was based on recollections of what was said."

If this is, in fact, a problem, it is a problem with a great majority of criminal prosecutions, not just Libby's.

Posted by: C60 | Feb 22, 2013 9:07:08 AM

Actually Jackson stole $750K, he deserves a guideline sentence, just like the any ordinary joe on the street.. Judge Jack Camp, Scooter Libby, Jessie Jackson arenot above the law...But the DOJ is...So it seems...Another connected let him go case..

If Joe avg down the road stole $750, a guideline sentence would be expected and possibly then some.. Certain bloggers on this site feel that long prison sentences is not only good, but has made the difference in lowering crime... Why then let this obvious criminal out on the streets ever....He might do it again is the smack of what some bloggers leave behind as an after taste.....Its who ya know or who knows you....

Some system we got here....

Posted by: MidWestGuy | Feb 22, 2013 9:37:13 AM

A couple of points.

First, it is disturbing that returning stolen funds and paying taxes is seen as "punishment." If I steal a car, get caught, and the police merely return it to the owner, I have not been punished. Being forced to make the victims whole should not mitigate his sentence. An eminent law professor should be able to see that.

That said, I would have no difficulty keeping the Jackson's out of prison for a deal where they must pay treble damages (given ten years to do so) to a charity of the court's choice, cannot accept donations-even from daddy- for that purpose, and cannot hold a public sector job for the rest of their lives.

Which brings me to the next point. Someone brought up that, like Libby, their good name (cough cough) has been tarnished. Absurd. Liberals make heroes of their criminals, from Dorner to Spitzer. The two would end up on some corrupt liberal board where they will do nothing and get paid handsomely not to do it. In fact, I dare say that if they are released from prison and Jesse wanted to run for the very same seat he just left, he would win it. Illinois is that much of a cesspool.

Posted by: TarlsQtr1 | Feb 22, 2013 10:02:45 AM

I said "allegedly" and ended with taking Bill Otis at face value but still Otis has to call Joe Wilson a liar, fait accompli. What's the point?

Posted by: Joe | Feb 22, 2013 10:48:57 AM

Vance -- excellent points.

Bill Otis -- you're a reliable shill/toadie for Republicans.

Posted by: Scarlett Rose | Feb 22, 2013 11:04:06 AM

Scarlet Rose stated: "Vance -- excellent points."

Ipse dixit is an excellent point?

SR stated: "Bill Otis -- you're a reliable shill/toadie for Republicans."

Said the toadie. You remind me of the fools calling everyone who disagrees with them a "Faux News Watching Buffoon" while they sit on their couch watching Rachel Machio and Chris Matthews on MSNBC.

You people never have one iota of self-awareness.

Posted by: TarlsQtr1 | Feb 22, 2013 11:44:26 AM

Bill said: "Just so you'll know -- since apparently you don't -- Libby was not the one who outted Valerie Plame. It was Richard Armitage, who was never charged with anything."

1. Whether Libby was the first, second, or third person to out Valerie Plame is pretty much irrelevant. It's also convenient, isn't it, that Judith Miller's notes of one of her conversations with Libby have the name "Valerie Flame" written in the margins, and that while Miller agrees that Libby discussed Joe Wilson's wife she (I think?) claims that Libby didn't name her?

Bill said: "BTW, Ms. Plame was not a spy. She was a desk jockey at the CIA in Langley. Nor was her life destroyed. She's now writing spy novels, which seems to be a favorite thing to do among ex-CIA people, whether or not they even got close to a spy."

Yes, Bill, I'm sure this whole experience - losing their jobs, being essentially branded as traitors and incompetents by high-ranking govt officials who (at least in Libby's case) then couldn't even man up and admit what they had done and had to lie about it - has been very pleasant for the Wilsons.

You know what Bill didn't say? That my contention that Libby's crimes were far worse than Jackson's was incorrect. Wonder why.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 22, 2013 5:49:34 PM

Joe --

"I said allegedly' and ended with taking Bill Otis at face value but still Otis has to call Joe Wilson a liar, fait accompli. What's the point?"

I have no idea what the point is, since I never said beans about Joe Wilson.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 22, 2013 5:57:52 PM

Scarlett --

Thank you for that typically refined analysis.

But you forgot to say whether you agree with Shelia Jackson Lee that Bush was in on the 9-11 attacks. Do you?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 22, 2013 6:00:09 PM

Anon --

"Whether Libby was the first, second, or third person to out Valerie Plame is pretty much irrelevant."

What nonsense. You can only be outted once.

"It's also convenient, isn't it, that Judith Miller's notes of one of her conversations with Libby have the name "Valerie Flame" written in the margins, and that while Miller agrees that Libby discussed Joe Wilson's wife she (I think?) claims that Libby didn't name her?"

I have no idea what's "convenient" since, unlike you, I am not obsessed with the details of that long-ago case. One thing I do remember is that the prosecutor, Mr. Fitzgerald, decided that he didn't have enough of a case to go after Libby for disclosure, and went after him only for the derivative, process offenses. I suppose you know more than Fitzgerald, however.

"You know what Bill didn't say? That my contention that Libby's crimes were far worse than Jackson's was incorrect. Wonder why."

And I wonder why you won't give your name.

No, on second thought, I don't. If I said that the "first" outting of a person was just like the second and third, et al., I doubt I'd give my name either.

P.S. The real reason you find Jackson's crimes so relatively unserious is that Jackson is a black welfare state liberal Democrat and Libby was a white strong defense conservative Republican. You could save us the pretextual fancy dance by just admitting it.


Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 22, 2013 6:14:35 PM

Anon stated: "Yes, Bill, I'm sure this whole experience - losing their jobs, being essentially branded as traitors and incompetents by high-ranking govt officials who (at least in Libby's case) then couldn't even man up and admit what they had done and had to lie about it - has been very pleasant for the Wilsons."

LOL Right, like being "branded as traitors and incompetents" by a Republican administration is anything but a badge of honor in their circles. Their invites to swanky Georgetown dinner parties likely tripled. Their popularity in Democrat circles can only be eclipsed by ACTUAL traitors, such as Bill Ayers.

Would anyone be reading a Valerie Plame book if this incident did not occur? Would she have gotten a $2.5 million deal for her memoirs or the millions more for the movie based on her and her husband's books?

All because she was "outed" from her desk job.

I can hardly hold back the tears.

PS How many have been prosecuted for outing a REAL spy, Dr. Shakil Afridi? Would you like to bet that his time in Pakistan since being outed has been less "pleasant" than Valerie's and Joe's?

Posted by: TarlsQtr1 | Feb 22, 2013 8:53:19 PM

As to the comments upthread that because Plame had a desk job and/or was not a real spy what Libby and others did to her was not that bad.

In a war all soldiers are expendable. Leaders have to and oftentimes must sent soldiers to certain death. In the intelligence/espionage war against our enemies Plame was a soldier, broadly defined, maybe unimportant, maybe insignificant.

She was outed, not because it was necessary to accomplish some national objective, but because her husband had embarrassed politically some in the administration. This was a base betrayal. That fact that some would consider her unimportant and insignificant (and that maybe she was unimportant and insignificant) is an aggravating factor not a mitigating factor.

People who serve our country deserve better than this.

Posted by: Fred | Feb 23, 2013 9:27:39 AM

Fred --

Time and again our soldiers returning from Viet Nam were greeted with taunts and derision by the Left, and (literally) spat upon as child-killing "grunts."

I'm glad liberals have discovered, albeit belatedly and for selective purposes only, that "People who serve our country deserve better than this."

P.S. To compare Plame and her comfy office in Langley to soldiers facing death in combat is absurd, and shows just how far off the chart you are.

P.P.S. Where's your outrage about the non-indictment of Richard Armitage, the guy who actually did the outting?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 23, 2013 2:10:37 PM

Bill said: "P.S. The real reason you find Jackson's crimes so relatively unserious is that Jackson is a black welfare state liberal Democrat and Libby was a white strong defense conservative Republican. You could save us the pretextual fancy dance by just admitting it."

I think Jackson's crimes are damn serious, and I think he should go to prison for quite a while. He betrayed the public trust and stole from people who were trying to help him. I have no problem with prosecutors throwing the book at him. None of that changes the fact that Libby's crimes were much worse than Jackson's. You compared the two at the start of this thread; I just commented on your comparison.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 23, 2013 5:35:56 PM

Fred, Joe Wilson was a liar.

Why don't we start by getting that right.

Posted by: federalist | Feb 23, 2013 8:14:53 PM

federalist, Scooter Libby was a liar who had no trouble lying even when he swore to tell the truth. He was also a coward who wasn't man enough to admit what he had done to the Wilsons. Why don't we start by getting that right.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 23, 2013 9:33:57 PM

"Mr. Libby, a high-ranking public official and experienced lawyer, lied repeatedly and blatantly about matters at the heart of a criminal investigation concerning the disclosure of a covert intelligence officer’s identity. He has shown no regret for his actions, which significantly impeded the investigation. Mr. Libby’s prosecution was based not upon politics but upon his own conduct, as well as upon a principle fundamental to preserving our judicial system’s independence from politics: that any witness, whatever his political affiliation, whatever his views on any policy or national issue, whether he works in the White House or drives a truck to earn a living, must tell the truth when he raises his hand and takes an oath in a judicial proceeding, or gives a statement to federal law enforcement officers. The judicial system has not corruptly mistreated Mr. Libby; Mr. Libby has been found by a jury of his peers to have corrupted the judicial system."

The foregoing is the concluding language of the government's sentencing memorandum, filed in the Libby case on May 25, 2007.

In an earlier portion of the sentencing memorandum, the government described the nature of its investigation that ultimately resulted in the prosecution and conviction of Mr. Libby:

"In October 2003, the Department of Justice opened an investigation into the unauthorized disclosure of classified information concerning the employment of Valerie Plame Wilson by the Central Intelligence Agency. The allegations underlying this investigation were serious: that high-ranking government officials, in the course of responding to political criticisms of the present administration by Ms. Wilson’s husband, had deliberately, recklessly or negligently compromised her identity as an intelligence agent, posing risks to intelligence assets and operations."

Some of those who have posted comments in this thread seem to believe that the conduct of Libby was less wrong, immoral, grave, and/or blameworthy than the conduct of Jackson. However, that view seems difficult to reconcile with the foregoing comments of the government in the Libby sentencing memorandum.

Jackson's conduct was crude and fraudulent, but unlike Libby's it did not compromise the foreign intelligence activities of the United States.

In light of Bush's commutation of Libby's sentence, Libby did not serve prison time. Does anybody think that Obama is going to grant a pardon or sentence commutation in the Jackson case? It's not going to happen. Jackson will go to prison. Not that Jackson doesn't deserve to do prison time for his fraud, but unlike Libby, Jackson admitted his conduct, and pled guilty. Libby went to trial, and after his conviction, did not admit that he had done wrong. Given these circumstances, how is it fair/proportionate that Jackson will go behind bars, when Libby never did?

Posted by: Steven Moore | Feb 24, 2013 2:49:27 AM

@ Steven Moore

I cannot help but chuckle. I have no idea if Scooter lied or how many times. However, the thought of liberals on this forum taking government court documents at face value for the first time in history is quite hilarious.

If this sentencing memorandum was from The U.S. vs. [Insert Gang Thug Killer Here], there would already be 45 posts poking holes in it as the "man" keeping him down.

Posted by: TarlsQtr1 | Feb 24, 2013 11:59:13 AM

TarlsQtr1, I can't help but laugh. If a liberal questioned a series of jury guilty verdicts (as in, saying "I have no idea how many people Gang Thug Killer killed" after a jury had found him guilty) and a prosecutor's sentencing memorandum in US vs. Gang Thug Killer, you would be the first to tell that person to shove it. Funny how that works out the other way when the defendant is a conservative hatchet man.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 24, 2013 12:29:00 PM

Bush was no conservative. He was a dry drunk, big-spending, half-wit. He and his cronies lied the country into the Iraq War --- an immoral, unnecessary, murderous, multi-trillion dollar fiasco. Libby's crimes were committed in furtherance of that malevolent nonsense.

Many who post here, however, are unable to think and conduct themselves rationally when it comes to matters of Team Red vs. Team Blue. Hence their inability to see and accept Libby's conduct for what it was, and to compare it to Jackson's thuggery.

Posted by: Jason Arthur | Feb 24, 2013 2:09:31 PM

Anon,

Could you provide a quote where I defended Libby in any manner?

I could come up with scores of examples from this blog to back up my claim.

Posted by: Tarlsqtr1 | Feb 24, 2013 5:21:45 PM

The problem with Libby's prosecution was that it was pushed even after everyone knew who leaked the info and that it was based on different recollections.

Posted by: federalist | Feb 24, 2013 7:24:04 PM

Who had the differing recollections?

Posted by: C60 | Feb 25, 2013 3:16:27 PM

No.

The problem in the Libby prosecution is that the real crooks in the case --- Dick Cheney and Karl Rove --- were not prosecuted.

Posted by: Terry Swanson | Feb 25, 2013 3:20:26 PM

Steven Moore --

"In light of Bush's commutation of Libby's sentence, Libby did not serve prison time. Does anybody think that Obama is going to grant a pardon or sentence commutation in the Jackson case? It's not going to happen."

Jesse Jackson, Jr., succeeded Mel Reynolds, who had to resign the seat in the 1990's after he was convicted of kiddie porn charges, among others.

Now, to paraphase you, "Does anybody think that Bill Clinton is going to grant a pardon or sentence commutation in the Reynolds case? It's not going to happen."

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. OF COURSE it's not going to happen. I mean, the idea that a Democratic President would commute the sentence of a disgraced Democratic Congressman, especially a guy as sleazy as Reynolds is so ridicu............how's that?..........he did WHAT??

Oh, never mind.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 25, 2013 10:34:43 PM

TarlsQtr1 --

"...the thought of liberals on this forum taking government court documents at face value for the first time in history is quite hilarious."

It's also, and amazingly, a repeat of their quoting the analogous government documents in their attack on me for questioning why Holder's DOJ absurdly sought a life sentence in the Amish beard cutting case.

The SOP up to then, and up to this case, was for liberals on this blog to go bonkers over (1) the so-called "trial penalty"; (2) the relevant conduct rule; and (3) any consideration at sentencing of uncharged conduct. Now, as you point out, it's not merely the government's evidence that they embrace as Holy Writ, it's the government's SENTENCING MEMO, which is NOT evidence and merely the statement and argument of an adversary party.

They then, in apparent total unconciousness, accuse OTHERS of hypocrisy.

Yikes.

P.S. Scarlett Rose, Jason Arthur, Vance Askar -- I haven't heard from you about Bush's complicity in the 9-11 attacks. Come on now, don't get shy. We all know he was in on it. Please! Don't be part of the cover-up!!

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 25, 2013 10:49:02 PM

Mr. Otis at Feb 23, 2013 2:10:37 PM:

There is nothing funnier than unintended self-parody.

This was not just an inside-the-beltway case. It was a case inside the highest reaches, the inner circle, of a previous administration. The co-conspirators were the crème de la crème; the elites of the elite; the Golden Boys; the most powerful Old Boy network of its time, maybe of all time.

The victim was an underling, whose husband had embarrassed the administration.

The Powerful betrayed the Powerless, not for some overarching national interest (which most people could understand and accept), but because they had been embarrassed.

In this context, it was difficult, if not impossible, to advocate for the co-conspirator without criticizing the victim. And any perceived criticism of the victim increased the chances of a conviction and increased the chances of a sentence, harsher than it might otherwise have been.

It is just as difficult today, particularly if the apologist is a crème de la crème; an elite of the elite; a Golden Boy; a member of the most powerful Old Boy network of its time, without appearing completely tone-deaf.

Posted by: Fred | Feb 26, 2013 8:15:07 AM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB