2018: Not Such a Good Year (Professional Misconduct)

Saud al-Qahtani

Oh what a year for professional misconduct:

Michael Cohen President Pussygrabber’s lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, exposed incidentally by the Mueller investigation as an outright crook, was sentenced to three years in America’s particularly unpleasant slammers for (amongst other things) inexplicably paying off women who allegedly falsely claimed to have had extra-marital relations with the President, a violation of campaign finance laws. One of the women, ‘Stormy Daniels’, sued the President for defamation over one of his tweets ‘A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!’ She said it insinuated that she had lied about the man whom she sketched having threatened her against going public with her allegations. The President had the suit struck out under a law designed to protect against strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP), the judge ruling that the tweet was ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ protected by the first amendment. Ms Daniels is to pay the President’s legal fees (the claim was for 580 hours at up to US$840 per hour) fixed at nearly US$300,000.

Brett Kavanough The misconduct against Judge Brett Kavanough must not have been established to the satisfaction of the senate committee which confirmed President Pussygrabber’s nomination of the arch-conservative whose appointment imperils Roe v Wade. The hearing was excruciating in its hopelessness (highlights here); senators have no idea how to cross-examine.

It is widely believed that whatever the truth about Professor Ford, Kavanough lied on oath about many matters (here is one excellent analysis). Professor Christine Blasey Ford from Stanford, and Palo Alto University alleged that Judge Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in 1982 when he was 17 and she 15, holding her down on a bed at a small party and groping her, lying on her and grinding so hard she thought he would accidentally kill her, and that he intended to rape her. One of Professor Ford and Judge Kavanaugh were likely lying: she was 100% sure he did it and he was equally sure he never went to the party. (Deborah Ramirez, a Yale alumna, Julie Swetnick, a Georgetown alumna, and a fourth anonymous complainant also detailed sexual misconduct by Brett Kavanaugh in his youth.)

President Pussygrabber himself tweeted, before the hearing, ‘I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!’ He told a rally that Judge Kavanaugh was ‘a perfect person’, and at another, mocked Professor Ford. He called one of the women’s lawyer ‘A sleazebag. Sleazebag. Sleazebag.’

More than 2,400 American law professors signed an open letter arguing that Kavanaugh’s testimony, whether or not he told lies, was so un-judicial that it demonstrated his unsuitability to sit on the Supreme Court.  Didn’t matter.  He sailed through.

Professor Ford was subjected to a hate campaign which saw her move home four times and has prevented her from returning to work at the university. A Go Fund Me campaign raised $647,000 for her, and she was shortlisted for Time’s person of the year (which was won by ‘The Guardians’, a swag of journalists including Jamal Khasoggi fighting the War on Truth). To think that this man will share a bench with Ruth Bader Ginsberg, about whom two fan movies were released this year, is astonishing. ‘RBG’ is the 26th most financially successful documentary of all time. The New York Times is writing a book called ‘The Education of Brett Kavanaugh’. I kid you not, and I must say I look forward to it.

Lawyer X, informer 3838 The details of informer 3838’s conduct sprang from a fog of suppression orders so effective that even this blog had dozed off and thought little about Lawyer X since the Herald Sun headlines a few years ago. Here is the Court of Appeal’s judgment and here is the High Court’s.  She alleged in a letter to the police chief that solicitors were perverting the course of justice, and will possibly tell all in the Royal Commission, while the Herald Sun alleged that the Gelobar’s Pascal Acquaro, a lawyer who sometimes represented alleged Mafiosi, may also have been a police informer, explaining his assassination. His alleged murderer was charged recently.

Saud al-Qahtani The former legal adviser to the King of Saudi Arabia, a gentleman with a Masters in criminal justice, seems to have directed the execution of dissident journalist (his last column is here) and media proprietor Jamal Khashoggi as it played out live in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul. Turkey taped the Skype call in which the lawyer is said to have ordered the 15 man kill squad which had flown in hours earlier on private jets (including an autopsy expert equipped with bone saws) to ‘bring me the head of the dog,’ rather Medieval, like his kingdom. All this occurred as Mr Khashoggi’s fiancée waited outside for him to return with the papers that would facilitate their marriage, and as they were murdering him, po-faced embassy staff told her that he had already left through a back entrance, which is what they told the rest of the world for weeks afterwards.

But Turkey’s Islamist strongman President Erdogan did Mohammad bin Salman (MBS in the argot of 2018) exquisitely slowly, forcing the Kingdom to retreat incrementally, from bald lie to bald lie by leaking details of what he knew from the tape without immediately disclosing its existence, until all that was left was to deny that this was an MBS project: 3 October, ‘he left after a few minutes or one hour’; 7 October, Reuters tours the consulate (nothing to see here); continuous denials of any death ensue and Trump tweets reassuring things while Erdogan leaks details, drip, drip, drip; 19 October, actually it seems there was a fist fight and 18 have been arrested; 21 October, it’s coming into focus now: a rogue group travelled to Istanbul without the slightest knowledge of MBS and accidentally strangled Khashoggi, then a staffer dressed like him and walked around to suggest he was still alive, the body was disposed of, and Riyadh was lied to; 15 November, no actually, we topped him by lethal injection (but the tape allegedly has his last words as ‘I can’t breathe’…). It is hard to think of a worse public relations disaster.

It is alleged that the lawyer Saud al-Qahtani was also involved in the torture of women for campaigning for the right to drive and go outside without a male relative. The women were allegedly made to kiss male detainees while Mr al-Qahtani and his henchmen giggled, a bit like how the Chinese in Tibet used to make monks copulate with nuns. And they were groped, and electrocuted. The women won, in the limited sense that the Kingdom opened its first cinema, women were allowed to drive for the first time, and even to congregate in groups of 2 or more at the soccer, or get a job or open a bank account or travel without the permission of a male guardian (who might be your son if your father and husband are dead). You still can’t have sex outside marriage, have a beer, or get into debt though. And one of Khasoggi’s points was that these concessions were in fact just distractions from an increasingly oppressive state.

As the Washington Post put it, ‘For decades, the Saudi government has routinely violated human rights — barring Jews, prohibiting free religious practice of Christians, permitting slavery, subjugating women, persecuting journalists, arresting clerics and princes, and locking up feminists for “treason”.’ But then, in 2017-2018, the royals continued their campaign of arresting dissidents, including ‘dozens of clerics and intellectuals, then dozens of princes and billionaires, and eventually 19 feminists’.

Con Kyriackou Hawthorn GP Dr Con Kyriackou, aged 79, was charged with rape. That resulted from complainants to medical disciplinary authorities becoming frustrated with the glacial pace of investigations of their complaints. So they took them to The Age. The publicity generated more complaints. Dr Kyriackou’s lawyer says he is unfit to stand trial. There is also a disciplinary prosecution in VCAT.

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