Washington, DC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 08/05/2014 --Nationally Syndicated Financial Myth Busting Radio Show with Host Dawn Bennett, CEO of Bennett Group Financial Services, LLC, on July 27, 2014, interviewed Sidney Powell, author of the new book, "Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice."
Sidney Powell is a long-time lawyer at the U.S. Department of Justice. She's talking about the corruption that's happening in the U.S. Department of Justice and she names names. She didn't change the names to protect the guilty. She talks about why American companies have an entirely new reason to fear the federal government and the true stories behind some of the government's biggest headline-grabbing cases.
She pulls no punches when it comes to talking about her former colleagues at the U.S. Department of Justice. She describes how the government settles an outcome and then does whatever it needs to do to try to make that outcome happen, even if that involves hiding evidence or inventing evidence, or any other duplicitous and unethical type of behavior. It just wants to win at any cost.
Powell is one of the most distinguished attorneys in America, as her appellate experience is unprecedented. Powell has led counsel in more than 500 federal appeals, resulting in more than 180 published opinions. Powell's also considered one of the greatest whistle blowers in modern history.
In her new book, she discusses the corruption she personally witnessed while involved in the U.S. justice system, calling them cruel, illegal and unethical practices being used by prosecutors in the U.S. Department of Justice.
Powell's book is a real-life warning about the real human cost and consequences by federal prosecuto rs that don't have conscience enough to acknowledge the suffering that they have caused, and a President that has rewarded them by promoting them to powerful political positions.
Here is the interview with Sidney Powell
Q: Where did you come up with the title of your new book, "Licensed to Lie"?
A: It came about because we could not get the Bar Associations or the courts to do anything about this egregious misconduct, so these prosecutors are literally licensed to lie.
Q: So the Bar Associations and the courts have turned a blind eye to these grievances? Have you or anyone filed anything against these prosecutors?
A: Yes, we did. Bill Hodes, who's one of the leading legal ethics experts in the country, filed grievances against former White House Counsel Catherine Rumler, and against Matthew Friedrich, and against Andrew Weissmann, who was General Council Deputy Director of the FBI.
The one against Friedrich, filed in Texas, bounced like a rubber ball despite the horrific Michael Morton case that had just been resolved there where a man was found innocent by DNA evidence after he'd served 25 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, and the district attorney had become a state district court judge. That was just egregious, so we thought the Texas Bar would pay attention to that but according to them, our complaint didn't even state a grievance, even though it was 30 pages long and included yellow highlighted evidence the prosecutors deliberately hid for six years.
Then the one against Catherine Rumler and the D.C. Bar just kind of wafted away. The one against Andrew Weisman, filed with the New York Bar, was held for about 14 months while he was General Council of the FBI, and then they punted it to the Department of Justice Office of Professional Responsibility without even telling us they were doing that, even though the Department of Justice was defending Mr. Weisman on the charges.
Q: It sounds like a hidden agenda. Do you feel the same?
A: Yes. There was definitely an agenda to protect these prosecutors from any sort of way of being held accountable for their wrongdoings, particularly once they had been promoted to their extremely powerful positions. Mr. Friedrich was the acting Attorney General for the Criminal Division in the Department of Justice, who micromanaged the prosecution against former United States Senator Ted Stevens. This unseated him and changed the balance of power in the United States Senate, and facilitated the enactment of Obamacare, among other things.
Q: You wrote a brave book naming names. You didn't change the names to protect the guilty?
A: No, I didn't change the names.
Q: You've got guts. You mentioned some of the judges who actually went along with whatever the government is doing no matter what, yet we never seem to hear about judges being impeached or otherwise tossed out. Is there any accountability remaining for federal judges, and have you heard from the Department of Justice since this book came out?
A: There has been dead silence from the other side since the book came out, which I think is damning in and of itself. Judge Alex Kozinski, who wrote the forward for the book, said he hoped people would respond. So far the only factual correction I've received is somebody told me I had the floor of the courthouse wrong for a particular scene.
Q: I guess that's good news and bad news. Good news you were highly accurate. I wonder is the Department of Justice a political tool for whoever is in the White House?
A: It is. It's becoming increasingly politicized in the last 10 to 15 years. I can't pinpoint exactly when it started by any means, but I can tell you that the last 10 years, it's done nothing but become increasingly political. A tool for the President to promote whatever his agenda is.
I would like to see the Department of Justice restored to the bastion of integrity that it used to be and to teach prosecutors that their job is to seek justice, not convictions. People should not be rewarded for prosecutorial misconduct. Right now Attorney General Holder's protecting I don't know how many corrupt prosecutors.
The public interest group called the Project on Government Oversight, http://www.POGO.org came out with a report that I featured in an article at the New York Observer, observer.com talking about the multiple hundred instances of prosecutorial misconduct, intentional and reckless, identified within the department by its own records, confirmed even by the Office of Professional Responsibility, which, as we discussed earlier, is loathe to confirm any misconduct at all. Holder won't even release the names of those prosecutors, or the cases in which the conduct occurred.
Q: What’s the reason why he's not releasing those names?
A: Obviously he wants to keep them on board there.
Q: One of the fundamental responsibilities of a prosecutor is to charge defendants only with the conduct that is clearly criminal, and yet in your book, you speak of high profile prosecutors of the Unit ed States Department of Justice that actually charged multiple defenders with a crime that wasn't even a crime at all. This in turn destroyed these innocent people and their lives. Why is there such a lack of human conscience today in the Department of Justice, and is this only happening in the DOJ? Are there other departments or government agencies suffering from the same unethical behavior?
A: I'm sure it's more widespread than the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice right now seems to be the worst, because it's the largest arm of the government that can bring these massive cases against large institutions or high profile individuals. I'm sure it's more widespread than that. The agencies are running ramp ant, causing all kinds of problems for people, making up their own rules as they go along.
Q: Is there some form of reward that we don't know about that they are getting by doing this?
A: No one seems to be stopping them. Where are their supervisors?
Q: Right. Who's paying attention?
A: Exactly. Why isn't somebody paying attention? We gave Mr. Holder every opportunity to pay attention to this. We wrote and had hand-delivered to him multiple letters to bring this to his attention, and I went to DOJ and had a meeting with his immediate subordinates and got absolutely nowhere. So his statements that he would clean up the Department of Justice after he had to dismiss the indictment against Senator Ted Stevens for the egregious prosecutorial misconduct there are all a farce. It’s been worse since he took over than it was before, and it was bad enough before.
Q: Let's fast forward to today. There is this recent $7 billion settlement against Citibank, which resulted from the bank's role in misleading investigators on the quality of mortgage-backed securities. Why wasn't Fannie and Freddie co-conspirators? From your experience, what is the appetite of the DOJ to go after wrongdoing in the public sector?
A: Not very high at all. Fannie and Freddie deserve a full investigation and complete transparency for the taxpayers, and instead they have been protected. The people who left there as h eads, despite the disasters they caused, got $180 million between them in bonuses, which to me is unfathomable. All that was the result of pure misconduct and corruption.
Q: Even with the IRS scandal, the DOJ's not even looking into that. There appears to be willful destruction of damning evidence from everything that we've seen and know so far. Do you think anyone there will ever be held accountable?
A: I think Judge Emmet Sullivan, about whom I've also wr itten about at observer.com, may very well help us get to the bottom of the IRS scandal just as Judge John Sirica helped get to the bottom of the Watergate scandal.
Q: What is your blog?
A: My blog is http://www.seeking-justice.org and I'm on Twitter at @SidneyPowell1.
Q: Your book is filled with a lot of shocking revelations, one after the other. I can't help to think that it's really aroused a lot of reaction. Have you heard from any of your former employees?
A: I have heard that the Department of Justice and the U.S. attorneys hate my guts.
Q: That's scary. What about Congress?
A: I was hoping to hear from Congress, but I have not. I'm hoping that the Department of Justice will take a serious look at itself and make some meaningful changes. Apparently, that may take a new administration.
Q: There haven't been any calls for hearings or investigations based on what you wrote?
A: No, not at all. There's so many problems right now that the country is dealing with and Congress is dealing with, Benghazi, the IRS, everything.
Q: So it will be put on the back burner?
A: I don't know.
Q: Why is it that federal prosecutors aren't ever penalized for wrongdoing?
A: Judges don't want to look at it. They want to believe that prosecutors are there to seek justice the way they used to be, and it's hard for them to face this, I think. It's not that they aren't willing to do something about it. It's more of an abject sort of denial problem, which is one of the reasons why I wrote the book, and even called to task the judges that I think so much of. The men that I had to write about in the book and criticize, most of whom were men that I have admired for years, and still do, to a large extent. Somebody told me the other day that o ne of the people in the book was one of his friends, and he just couldn't believe that she had done this. I said, "Well, unfortunately a lot of people in the book are my friends, too, but if you are going to be a true friend, I think you have to speak up and hold your friends accountable. Otherwise, you're part of the problem." You've heard of he who makes the rules never goes to jail for breaking them?
Q: Yes, I think it was the old movie, Billy Jack, that had a line in it something to the effect of "If the sheriff can break the law, there is no law."
A: Yeah, that's true. I just want the government held to the same standards by which it seeks to hold everyone else, and will send other people to jail for destroying evidence. If any of us did it, they’d put us in jail, but IRS can do it, and it's no problem. Or someone get promoted because they have facilitated a supervisor's, or a President's, agenda. It's an outrage.
Q: This is what you called this epidemic of Brady violations. Can you explain it to us?
A: Yes, those are actually Judge Alex Kozinski's words. He's the Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit, and he wrote the forward to the book in his personal capacity, and spoke on it the other day at the Cato Institute, where we did a live forum that's going be rebroadcast on Book TV, and is also at cato.org on their website.
Brady violations are a Constitutional violation by prosecutors who have a legal, ethical and Constitutional obligation to provide to the defense any evidence that is favorable to the defense, mitigates the punishment against the defendant or impeaches or und ermines the credibility of any of the government's witnesses. The Supreme Court said in a case called Brady versus Maryland back in 1935, that prosecutors have this duty to disclose evidence. They hold all the cards. They're the ones who investigated the crime scene, or investigated the crime, put the case together, have access to all the witnesses. You can't refuse to talk to the government. They can put you in front of a grand jury, and you can take your 5th Amendment rights there, but they can also put extraordinary pressure on you and even get a grant of immunity to compel your testimony. So the government has the entire deck stacked in their favor, and it's only fair that they be required to give to the defendant anything they have that shows that he's innocent, or mitigates his punishment.
Q: This epidemic of Brady violations, has it just happened in the last couple of years or has this been going on at the DOJ for the last 10 to 15 years?
A: It's probably been going on for at least 10 to 15 years, maybe longer than that. It's a big problem, also, in the states. One of the solutions I've proposed, and I know other lawyers have also, including Barry Scheck at the Innocence Project, who does this work all the time, freeing people by DNA evidence who have been wrongly incarcerated for decades, literally. It's called the Brady Compliance Order. I drafted a very clear and precise one that I'm uploading to my website so that judges could enter it in state or federal cases and compel the government to produce the actual documents and actual exhibits that show a defendant may be innocent, because all of this is for a jury to decide. If we're going to have a jury system and trust the jury system, we need to make sure they get all the evidence. The same is true for even bench trials. Nobody can accurately decide a case when somebody's siding the ball.
Q: Sidney, I thank you so much for bringing this important issue to the public's attention. “License to Lie” is available on Amazon, and at www.Licensedtolie.com It's got the links for Amazon, Barnes &am p; Noble, all the book outlets that people can order the book from. It's also on Kindle and Nook, and all the eBook websites. Sidney’s blog is www.seeking-justice.org and that's a source of current information about misconduct by the federal prosecutors.
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Dawn Bennett is CEO and Founder of Bennett Group Financial Services. She hosts a national radio program called Financial Myth Busting http://www.financialmythbusting.com.
She discusses educational topics and events in the financial news, along with her thoughts on the economy, financial markets, investments, and more with her live guests, who have included Rock Legend Ted Nugent, as well as Steve Forbes and Grover Norquist. The show is a great complement to Dawn’s monthly investing seminars that take place at Tysons Corner in McLean, VA, where she discusses investing.
She can be reached on Twitter @DawnBennettFMB or on Facebook Financial Myth Busting with Dawn Bennett or firstname.lastname@example.org