Chicago News Conference: Federal judge in Dennis Hastert case partially agrees with Andy Martin
Conservative New Hampshire Republican Party activist and law professor Andy Martin will hold a Chicago news conference Thursday, June 11th to discuss his efforts to have Judge Thomas Durkin recused from the case of former Speaker Dennis Hastert. Andy originally exposed Speaker Hastert’s homosexual situation in 2010. Judge Durkin agreed with the claims made in Andy’s prior letter to the judge (the original letter is reflected on the docket sheet) concerning the appearance of bias. Andy is now asking the judge not to allow Hastert and the U. S. Attorney to “waive” the admitted appearance of bias. Andy’s latest letter to Judge Durkin follows below.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Attention Chicago, National daybook/assignment editors
Announcement of Chicago news conference Thursday at noon
Andy Martin says Judge Thomas Durkin cannot allow Speaker Hastert and the U. S. Attorney to “waive” any appearance of bias
Andy has appeared previously in federal court to successfully argue against the U. S. Attorney’s office and private defense attorneys
(CHICAGO, IL) (June 11, 2015)
National Anti-Corruption Policy Institute
One of America‘s Leading Corruption Fighters
Global Headquarters: New York
Andy Martin, J.D.
Adjunct Professor of Law
June 11, 2015
Hon. Thomas M. Durkin
U.S. District Judge
219 S. Dearborn
Chicago, IL 60604
Re: U.S. v. Hastert, 1:15-cr-00315-1
Recusal of the Court for appearance of bias
Dear Judge Durkin:
I am following up on my prior letter asking the Court to recuse itself due to the appearance of bias.
I was gratified to see that you agreed with me, that there is indeed an appearance of bias in the eyes of a reasonable person concerning your participation in the current case, when a judge who has previously contributed to the campaign account of a defendant is subsequently assigned to hear a case involving that defendant.
By seeking to have you recused I mean no disrespect. Nevertheless, I believe recusal is mandated, not discretionary based on a potential “waiver” by counsel of the appearance issue.
By way of introduction, I have prior experience challenging judges for bias involving campaign contributions, as well as seeking to be heard as a representative of the broader public interest in contravention of the U. S. Attorney and attorneys for criminal defendants.
In 1978 I exposed that Peoria U. S. District Judge Robert Morgan (as I remember the name) had made a campaign contribution to Senator Charles Percy. Judge Morgan was very irritated when I exposed his contribution because his name was on a supposedly “secret” list of contributors to Senator Percy. The judge conceded the appearance of bias and recused himself.
The Seventh Circuit once wrote an opinion reciting my “legion” of battles with district judges over ethical lapses on the federal bench (the opinion reversed a district judge).
In a more apropos case in 1978, I appeared before U. S. District Judge (now circuit judge) Joel Flaum in a criminal case involving (don’t hold me to the exact names) Tom Bowler and the Brighton-Krug Construction Company. The U. S. Attorney and defendants’ counsel had negotiated a plea agreement, involving a nolo plea that would have negated any use of the plea in subsequent civil litigation.
Despite being somewhat troubled, Judge Flaum agreed with me, allowed me to be heard, and I proceeded to explain why the plea agreement was a bad deal for the public interest. Judge Flaum rejected the plea agreement, the defendants went to trial, they were convicted and a critical arm of the (original) Daley Machine organization was dismembered. As a result of my efforts taxpayers made a significant recovery.
So I go back a long way in seeking to hold federal judges to the highest standards involving the law concerning any appearance of partiality or impropriety regarding the reaction of a “reasonable” member of our society.
I would respectfully request that you follow Judge Flaum’s approach and allow me to be heard in this matter. There is no question that whatever “deal” Speaker Hastert receives from the Court, most people will feel he got off lightly. Mr. Hastert, moreover, is no ordinary defendant; otherwise I would not be seeking to hold you to the punctilio of the law.
I can also cite you chapter and verse when the supposedly neutral assignment “wheel” has been manipulated to steer cases to biased judges. Over the decades federal court has not been immune from political corruption.
Since I first walked into 219 S. Dearborn exactly fifty years ago this month, in June, 1965, my commitment has always been to the public interest.
Fighting for the amorphous rights of the public often encourages others, particularly our highly cynical media in Chicago, to ridicule my legal positions or to accuse me of being on a fool’s errand. But in the sweep of half a century, very few of my predictions, pronouncements or legal positions have been proven unfounded.
I exposed Speaker Hastert’s homosexuality in 2010, as my public blog postings confirm. The media attacked me in 2010 for telling the truth about Speaker Hastert and Mark Kirk. But as you can now see, in due course I was vindicated.
I continue my corruption-fighting efforts with unabated vigor after half a century of devotion to the public interest.
I am flying to Chicago Thursday to lay a foundation for challenging any decision by Your Honor to remain in the case. I earnestly feel that you should not allow your prior contributions to become a distraction involving the Speaker’s prosecution. And while I am aware that judges occasionally let defendants waive conflicts arising out of combined representation, I am not aware of any high-profile case where, once a judge acknowledges that the reasonable person standard applies and that the appearance of bias is present, that counsel may waive that bias.
Defendants have a right to a fair and impartial trial. But so does the general public. The best approach would be for a judge from outside the Northern District to be appointed to sit, but I do not expect that to happen. Given your own prior relationship with the defendant, I respectfully believe that recusal is not discretionary and may not be waived by the parties.
I have emailed a copy of this letter to both the U. S. Attorney’s office and Defendant Hastert’s counsel (see below).
June 11 Chicago News Conference Details:
New Hampshire conservative Republican Party activist Andy Martin
Andy Martin continues to seek the appointment of a new judge to hear the criminal case against former Speaker Dennis Hastert
Sidewalk news conference, SE corner of Huron and Wabash Streets, Chicago (weather permitting; otherwise indoors)
Thursday, June 11, 12 noon
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New citations after emailing:
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Andy Martin is a legendary New Hampshire, New York and Chicago-based muckraker, author, Internet columnist, talk television pioneer, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. With forty-seven years of background in radio and television and with five decades of investigative and analytical experience in Washington, the USA and around the world, Andy provides insight on politics, foreign policy, intelligence and military matters. For a full bio, go to: www.AndyMartin.com; also see http://www.boycottabc.com/executive_director.htm
Andy has also been a leading corruption fighter in American politics and courts for over forty-five years and is executive director of the National Anti-Corruption Policy Institute. See also www.FirstRespondersOnline.us; www.AmericaisReadyforReform.com.
He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a former adjunct professor of law at the City University of New York (LaGuardia CC, Bronx CC).
He is the author of “Obama: The Man Behind The Mask” [www.OrangeStatePress.com] and produced the Internet film “Obama: The Hawaii’ Years” [www.BoycottHawaii.com]. Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of the “Internet Powerhouse,” blogging at www.contrariancommentary.wordpress.com and www.ContrarianCommentary.com.
Andy’s family immigrated to Manchester, New Hampshire 100 years ago; today his home overlooks the Merrimack River and he lives around the corner from where he played as a small boy. He is New Hampshire’s leading corruption fighter and Republican Party reformer.
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