Op-Ed: An Open Letter to Donald Trump

As a practicing criminal defense attorney for the past 40 years, I want to thank you for making my job so much easier for the past two.

Over the decades, I have represented some really “bad hombres,” the worst of the worst, gang members, drug traffickers, sex offenders – you name it.  

Thanks to you though, and your public pronouncements about how corrupt the Department of Justice is, going forward, so many of them won’t ever see a day behind bars.

Your venom and vitriol and abominable tweets have singularly made American streets more dangerous. You recklessly and personally have endangered the lives of thousands of our citizens.

You spent your life as a developer belittling building inspectors, so you may not know what I am about to tell you, but we in the criminal defense bar do. Hear me out.

For us, there is no greater adversary than your Department of Justice. When the Federal Bureau of Investigation brings criminal charges against defendants in federal court, almost 97 per cent of them immediately plead guilty, knowing they are going to lose the case. Not any more.

When you are the defense lawyer, and you see agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation lined up as witnesses against your client, you know your case is toast and your client is fried. Not any more.

Thanks to you, Mr. Trump, Americans now realize we have no attorney general. Instead, the man holding that office is a senile, incompetent, measly-mouthed moron- and those were the nice things you said about him.

Thanks to you, Mr. President, we have also found out how your entire justice department has been infected and compromised by this thing you call the “Deep State” and some guy, a friend of mine named Roger Stone.

Thanks to you, we now know the real criminals are not in the streets breaking into homes, but at the highest levels of law enforcement. Can’t trust a soul in government anymore, certainly not anyone with a badge.

Thanks to you, the chief of law enforcement officer of our nation, we also now know there is a pervasive and ‘lingering stench’ at the FBI. Yes, because of you, every American citizen picked as a juror in an upcoming trial will now know, without a defense lawyer asking a single question, that the federal agent who testifies could be purposely lying. Nothing they say is worth a damn.

It’s too bad for you, really, Mr. Trump. In the past, when we would try to discredit FBI agents, they would come back and show how many convictions they have won; how fiercely honest and dedicated they have been. Not any more.

You probably don’t know this, what with having to pay off a hooker every other week, but the FBI has successfully dismantled 118 violent gang criminal enterprises over the past few years, arresting over 1,345 perpetrators during that time. Jurors won’t hear about that though.

Jurors won’t hear about the 72 drug trafficking cartels the FBI has destroyed in the past few years either, or the 342 white-collar criminal enterprises they dismantled. Nope. We lawyers will be too busy asking them if they are part of that ‘lingering stench’ you, their boss, says is so pervasive in their ‘out of control’ justice department.

Thanks to you, Sir Donald, it will be so much easier for criminal lawyers everywhere to persuade juries anywhere how the government’s case against our clients was a witch-hunt from the start; that the fix was in.

For decades, the integrity, reputation and truthfulness of FBI agents who took the witness stand was impenetrable and impregnable, like Superman’s fortress, but not any more.

You have individually destroyed the credibility of every FBI agent who takes the witness stand. No juror or judge will ever believe a word any FBI agent swears to again.

Mr. President, you have done for the criminal defense bar in 24 months what we could not do for ourselves in 50 years. Because of your efforts, we criminal defense attorneys, from shore to shore, are going to win so many more acquittals than ever before.

Because of you, Mr. Trump, there is a new day in America. Cops are not to be believed, the justice department is crooked, and federal agents are part of a wholesale conspiracy to obstruct justice, going on witch-hunts daily. It could not have happened without your daily tweets, Mr. President. By all means, publish more.

Because of you Mr. Trump, jurors will now realize that all our clients were really victims, set up unfairly by “flippers,” illegally arrested by crooked FBI agents, and then prosecuted by corrupt justice department lawyers.

Like your own National Security adviser, personal attorney, or campaign manager or the other dozen or so convicts in your administration, my clients are all victims of the government’s witch-hunt.

However, Mr. President, you have showed jurors how if these investigators can take down you and your team, they can also take down any average citizen at any time. It’s a fake prosecution; a “disgrace.”

My clients are not “bad hombres.” Like members of your administration, they are all “good people,” even the one running around the children’s playground in nothing but a raincoat. He was just a misunderstood man with a prostate condition necessarily trying to relieve himself. Unfortunately, the only place available was an elementary school playground.

I am not even worried if a client or two gets convicted now and then. Just like you did with that racist sheriff in Arizona, you can pardon them.

What is the going rate for a pardon nowadays? Does the FBI take cash, or can we at least get the Stormy Daniels discount by admitting guilt early? Anyway, thanks, Mr. President, for making the criminal defense bar great again.

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