“For a lawyer to do less than his utmost is, I strongly feel, a betrayal of his client. Though in criminal trials one tends to focus on the defense attorney and his client the accused, the prosecutor is also a lawyer, and he too has a client: the People. And the People are equally entitled to their day in court, to a fair and impartial trial, and to justice.”
Since he’s a former prosecutor and even represents a District in California I really hoped that Adam Schiff would have reminded us of this piece of wisdom from the man who put Charles Manson in jail (and it was an enormous task) and was once widely known in this country. Don’t get me wrong. Schiff, like the other House Managers, Speaker Pelosi and other leaders in the House who got us to this point are smarter and surely politically more savvy that I am in my sometimes delusions of grandeur. Schiff and the other Managers have put on a masterful case, and if some are nitpicking it including the amount of repetition (something I’ve addressed earlier this week) and I’m as guilty of doing the same as this process began unfolding months ago.
Still, we lost in the first go-round and once the President’s lawyers put on whatever case (likely to be b.s., lies and if Trump gets his way rantings about the lies/b.s. to please his base) there will be, and Schiff pointed out another vote. There will be one last chance to make the case that while Trump’s misdeeds have been proven, there is still enough right-wing cover that I think virtually every GOP Senator will decide they are too afraid of being “twittered” by Trump than they are of the weight of history. Or even the ongoing & immediate damage being done to our country and our standing in the world. However, issuing subpoenas for Bolton, Mulvaney and others and for documents as well could change the calculus. Even though it’s still unlikely (highly unlikely) that anywhere close to 20 Republicans would vote to convict I still have fantasies about four or five breaking ranks and Trump at least losing the conviction vote on at least one count. In fact, I’ll bet some Senators that are between the Trump rock (rockhead!) and political hard place of threading the needle of winning a primary and then being able to win in November have at least considered a “split the baby” solution of voting to convict on one count and to acquit on the other since they know 67 is an unreachable number.
Anyway, when it comes time to have the debate prior to voting on the question of issuing subpoenas I think Bugliosi’s quote is something that will register. Bearing in mind that older voters are the most reliable voting block they will, with little reminding necessary remember the Tate/LaBianca murders, and the sensation trial that convicted Manson who didn’t actually take part in them but got others to do his bidding (sound familiar?) – and the prosecutor who got the job done.
Defendants in criminal (and civil too) have rights. Precious rights that are often maddeningly frustrating not only to law enforcement/prosecutors but to the public in communities all over the country. Frankly, I still think Rachel Maddow had it right long ago (during Mueller times) that this or any President should have the very best defense as only that would allow the country to heal should, as was the case with Nixon a President is forced from office. Trump has nowhere near a first class defense, much less the best available because the best, even staunch Republicans at the top of the legal profession that practices the kind of law needed here want nothing to do with him. Still, even this President is entitled to a defense.
At the same time however, it must be noted that when the system works as it’s supposed to the burden of proof is on prosecutors as I believe it should be when someone’s freedom or very life is at stake. Also let’s face facts – not all prosecutors act in a manner that bring honor to the awesome power they hold and in a manner that results in justice. Still, many try every day in state and federal courts.
Because they too have a client – the people.
The House Managers have “We the people” as a client, even if not all Americans like or want them to be prosecuting the President in the Senate. Polling however shows over two-thirds of Americans want the witnesses House Managers have asked for and also want documents that have been withheld produced. In addition to that, 51% are in favor of conviction and removal from Office.
That BTW is BEFORE this week’s events.
The House Manager’s client, the people of the United States (even Trump’s people who maybe believe Bolton or Mulvaney can provide exculpatory evidence instead of burying Trump) deserve a fair trial every bit as much as the defendant Donald J. Trump.
I hope Schiff, or one of the other House Managers or someone else who works with them remember Bulgiosi’s quote and that they will make use of it – preferably in the early evening “prime time” hours in addition to early in the day. IOW the two times the most people are likely to be watching. It might not (I fear might is actually probably won’t) make a difference for the impeachment trial but it WILL carry weight as the 2020 election unfolds for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot make use of it when some voter(s) at a local gathering bring up the impeachment trial.
Any chance to put the GOP on the defensive and also the wrong side of history is one that should be seized and I think this quote and the philosophy behind it is something that can easily get “parked” in voter’s minds.