I am not a lawyer, but I think lawyers agree that grand juries are a pointless relic of the middle ages. There’s nothing to be done, because they are mentioned in the 5th amendment, but they are silly. Over here east of the English Channel they don’t exist. Decisions about possible indictments are made by judges.
One problem with grand juries is that the prosecutor is the only lawyer allowed in the room (unless a witness happens to be a lawyer). Also, since there isn’t yet a defendant, targets or possible future targets can’t present their case. So, the cliche is that a commpetent prosecutor could convince a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. There is, it seemed, no limit to the feebleness of a case sufficient to enable a prosecutor to convince jurors to indict. Note the past tense of “seemed”.
Thus my interest in the extremely boring case of former sometimes acting FBI director Andrew McCabe (they guy who was fired 2 days before his pension vested). He is accused of being other than frank when discussing the possibility of misconduct which harmed Hillary Clinton. This makes him a minor player in Trump’s deep state fantasy in which everyone who has anything to do with any investigation of Trump is alleged to be an anti Trump criminal based on any alleged misconduct (which is usually misconduct harmful to Hillary Clinton because there was a whole lot of that).
The DOJ has just announced that the investigation is closed and that no charges will be sought (note the difference from the Comey press conference about how no charges against Clinton would be sought even though she dd not meet James Comey’s exalted ethical standards and respect for rules [other than the one he was breaking by calling a press conference]).
I found this sentence in Matt Shulman’s TPM post on the topic concise and very interesting.
Later in 2018, reports revealed that prosecutors were using a grand jury to investigate McCabe’s actions. In September 2019, prosecutors were authorized to seek an indictment. But none came.
So it seems that a grand jury didn’t go along with prosecutors. Again, I am so not a lawyer, but I wonder if any actual lawyers can think of a precedent. It seems to me that (long before Barr) Trump’s DOJ was exploring new frontiers of prosecutorial excess.
Also, of course, McCabe should thank Roger Stone, because without the Stone scandal he would still be waiting to find out if he would be charged. Today’s announcement is another attempt to put lipstick on the DOJ pig.
Honest to God, I had just posted and surfed over to Wonkette and read this
Michael Fesser of Portland, Oregon, just received $600,000 in the cash settlement sweepstakes, but this isn’t another upbeat lottery story. The city of West Linn, Oregon, negotiated the settlement because Fesser, who’s black, was the target of an “unwarranted racially motivated surveillance and arrest.” Former (thank God) West Linn Police Chief Terry Timeus used his own officers to put the smackdown on Fesser as a “favor” for a fishing buddy.
The case against Fesser rightly went nowhere, and it didn’t scare him away from suing Benson in 2017 for racial discrimination. Benson pressed his cop buddies to put the screws to Fesser. He was
on first-degree theft charges, based primarily on grand jury testimony from Benson and Reeves, and statements from “shady and dirty” witnesses. Fesser had done nothing wrong.