In two joint decisions this month, the U.S. Supreme Court unfortunately did exactly what was expected and overturned the convictions of former Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, a notorious corruption preacher. The jury did not like what Bharara and the trial court agreed were the criminal conduct of Andrew Cuomo’s kidnapper. Joe Percoco Also a bunch of guys nailed Ill Buffalo Bill Scandal.
They were charged and convicted in two separate cases before a jury in 2018. It was upheld by unanimous decision. A three-judge appeals panel in 2021 and the men were effectively sent to federal prison. The cases were heard by the Big Nine last November and the questions made it clear where the judiciary is headed.
So the Supreme Court continues to take away from federal prosecutors the tools of mail fraud and wire fraud and theft of fiduciary services and the Hobbs Act (which prohibits quid pro quo). Regardless of what the judiciary thinks, there is public corruption.
Clarence Thomas said during Percoco’s oral argument: “New York State, which is curious about this case, does not seem to be upset by this arrangement. It seems we are using federal law to impose ethical standards on state activity. Yes, that’s right because these are complicated and messy issues that are dangerous for local prosecutors who have to run for office or be appointed. And local DAs, who specialize in common crimes, except for the Manhattan DA’s office, lack the attorney-power and expertise to go after powerful political figures.
So policing crooks in local and state government at the national level is generally left to America’s lawyers and lawmakers, as we’ve seen in the lawsuits against state Senate leaders Joe Bruno, Malcolm Smith, John Sampson and Dean Skelos, and Senate Speaker Shelley Silver.
What about reforming federal anti-corruption laws that the Supreme Court watered down? That’s better than Jim Jordan’s House Judiciary Committee attacking Manhattan’s Alvin Bragg.
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