Or, How to Create Do-It-Yourself Ethics Filings to Attack the Licenses to Practice Law held by Bush Administration Attorneys
Distressed that the Democratic National leadership has chosen to take impeachment “off the table?” Don’t want to wait until January 2009 to finally show the door to some of the current Administration’s flunkies? You don’t have to.
For one example, consider filing an ethics complaint against, say, the chief torture researcher for the Prez - Attorney General Roberto Gonzales. You can do it on your own.
You should file it with whatever agency in your particular state licenses attorneys which could be a committee or office within either the state bar association or state supreme court.
A sample is set forth below. While you’re at it, send a copy to the newspapers when it is filed.
In addition to Gonzales, consider filing against the White House Counsel and other licensed attorneys who drafted Bush’s various pro-torture, anti-Constitution legal opinions if you believe that they are illegal or unethical.
If nothing else, defending themselves might keep the defendants and their bosses so busy they can’t get up to much mischief the next couple of years.
Proposed possible wording, but feel free to use your own:
COMPLAINT AND REQUEST FOR INVESTIGATION
I respectfully request that the State [insert here the title of the appropriate Grievance, Disciplinary and/or Professional Responsibility Committee or Board] initiate an investigation of US Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales for the purpose of determining whether he is fit to practice law in this State.
From his public statements, his published writings, his testimony before Congress and other evidence, it strongly appears that Mr. Gonzales has (1) violated ethics, (2) committed, authorized, encouraged, participated in or directed acts which may constitute criminal conduct as well as (3) violated his oath of office to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the land.
If it is determined that he has violated ethics, it is requested that he be banned from entering our State to conduct any acts which might be deemed the practice of law, banned from supervising, hiring or firing licensed attorneys who are employees of the Justice Department regardless of his own physical location at the time, banned from participating in any way in any cases that take place in this state, and disbarred if he happens to be licensed here.
If it is determined he has committed, authorized, encouraged, participated in or directed acts which may constitute criminal conduct, it is further requested that the information be forwarded to the appropriate legal authorities for criminal investigation and possible arrest.
If it is determined that he violated his oath of office, it is requested that the information be forwarded to the Congressional delegation for our state so that he may be impeached to determine whether he should be removed from office and/or censured.
Among the most serious charges, the currently available evidence strongly suggests that Mr. Gonzales has repeatedly violated the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution and laws enacted by Congress such as PISA, not to mention our own State Constitution by having searches conducted without probable cause, without warrants, without court supervision of any sort and in defiance of the proposition that any court supervision or jurisdiction is required. Moreover, he has clearly indicated he plans to continue doing so in the future.
Mr. Gonzales has also apparently admitted to repeatedly counseling clients such as the President of the United States that it is permissible to ignore the separation of powers and other clauses of the Constitution, that it is permissible to ignore duly enacted US laws as well as international laws and treaties to which the US has agreed, all because it was unilaterally proclaimed by his client to be "war time." It should be noted that, even if armed conflict involving the US was occurring, that does not make a difference to the wording of the Constitution. No declaration of war has been formally passed since the current President took power and the so-called “force resolution” did not amount to one. Legal opinions by attorneys can be wrong or even stupid, but in court, truly frivolous arguments are not a defense to misconduct by attorneys.
Of more immediate consequence, Mr. Gonzales, by his own admissions, has consistently sought to deny many individuals in US custody access to attorneys, the courts and other fundamental human rights under both US and international law. Far worse, although he has chosen to call it something else, he apparently has conspired to actually torture some of them, at least as that term is commonly understood, not to mention as defined in specific laws. Even if one or more those laws have now been amended to permit such repugnant practices, nevertheless, the violations seem to have knowingly taken place prior to any applicable amendment.
Moreover, for a licensed attorney, regardless of his appointed office, to counsel someone on how to avoid punishment for past crimes of, say, robbing a bank, that is vastly different from counseling them on how to conduct bank robberies in the future. It is the latter which Mr. Gonzales appears to have done, not to mention it being utterly reprehensible for an officer of the court to condone such tactics.
Even if Congress passes a brand new law proclaiming all the foregoing is currently “legal” and even the Congress has chosen for the moment to take impeachment proceedings against any Administration official “off the table,” that does not prevent our State from independently pursuing the ethics violations. For that matter, merely because Congress passes a law declaring something "constitutional" does not necessarily make it so, especially when it contradicts unambiguous wording in and intent of the Constitution or its framers.
Thank you in advance for your consideration and whatever assistance you might provide in investigating this matter.
[Name, Address, and Phone]