Friday, November 24, 2017

Big news regarding Flynn... or not?

The N.Y. Times reported that sources have  revealed that Michael Flynn's attorneys are no longer sharing certain information with "Trump attorneys". The headline screams that Flynn is moving to cooperate.

I garnered the opinion of someone familiar with these sort of cooperating or shared defense situations and it was suggested this typically will happen when an investigation moves into areas where one or some of the clients are no longet involved. It could involve one person turning on the other, but it is not as common as the other reason.

The N.Y. Times article acknowledged this possibility when they suggested that Flynn could be negotiating a plea. Since the potential charges would involve actions that took place prior to Flynn's involvement with the Trump campaign they would not only have no reason to share, there would probably be privilege reasons not to.

Occam's razor. We already know that the rumored Flynn charges are unrelated to anything that involves Trump or collusion. Unless there are other potential charges that we do not know about, the privacy issues are best explained by what we do know.

Does this mean that Flynn couldn't potentially have information to provide? Of course not.  But nearly every charge to every potential dependant  comes with some attempt to come to a plea agreement. Very few actually are 'turning" on anyone. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

What are you thankful for?

Two more women

Boobies and butts! Boobies and butts! Boobies and butts!! 

“My mother loves Al Franken. She listened to Air America [on which Franken had a radio show] every day,” the first woman said. ”I saw him and asked if we could take a photo together for my mother, and we stood next to each other ... and down his hand went.” HuffPost spoke to two sources close to the first woman who corroborated her account. One fellow choir member, Sarah, remembers not only being there for the groping incident but hearing another choir member say that Franken wouldn’t stop looking at her chest.
The second woman told HuffPost that Franken cupped her butt with his hand at a 2008 Democratic fundraiser in Minneapolis, then suggested the two visit the bathroom together. She spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear that the allegation could affect her position at work. “My immediate reaction was disgust,” the second woman said. “But my secondary reaction was disappointment. I was excited to be there and to meet him. And so to have that happen really deflated me. It felt like: ‘Is this really the person who is going to be in a position of power to represent our community?’

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

From Personal Experience... Part I

I have had two distinct situations in my life where I had to defend myself against fairly serious allegations. Fortunately, things (for the most part) went my way, but I can say from personal experience that the whole process can be ridiculously frustrating.

Part I:

The most recent came after my divorce a few years back. Within a week of our divorce becoming finalized, my ex-wife (who was still upset over the 50/50 divorce rules in Minnesota) filed first for an "order of protection" and subsequently for a "restraining order" against me.

The first "order of protection" petition was rejected as both an emergency order, and then by a judge overseeing a hearing. The judge basically told my ex that her complaint did not qualify for an order of protection (because it neither cited any previous, or any threat of future physical harm). When asked flat out if I had ever physically harmed her or threatened to do so, she admitted that I had not. But suggested that I was capable of doing so, and that the fact that she claimed to be afraid of me, should be enough to carry the day. Judge not only disagreed, but offered to my ex that rather than pursue legal action, that she should take me up on my suggestion that we go back to the counseling that we had been going through during the divorce, but that she had opted out of once it was complete. She told the judge (in his own court) that he was wrong, and stomped out and went back to refile again.

Her second attempt (a restraining order that citing stalking) was much more clever.
  • First, she cited several instances where she claimed she saw me following her in my car after she left work. She even included multiple dates where she had seen my car driving behind her, or in some cases just ahead of her. Creepy, huh?
  • The other major complaint she cited was also a good tale. She told a story about how she was meeting her mother at a Green Mill restaurant in the late afternoon. The restaurant not crowded (given the odd time), when suddenly I entered the restaurant, choose a table in the same area, and then sat in such a way where I could view her and her mother. I even walked up towards them at one time (but didn't engage them).  Talk about creepy! I was the classic stalker.
Funny thing is that both stories were entirely true.

Except for the information she omitted.

What she failed to mention was that we actually both worked at the same company, worked the same hours, and for years we carpooled. The fact that we would both leave the office at the same time, and might be driving on the same roads, was hardly unusual and certainly not stalking.

The rest of the story with the restaurant was that we both had traveled to a town about a 100 miles from the twin cities for a Hockey tournament that our youngest son was competing with. I had the boys that weekend, and the team was all staying in the same hotel. She and her gentlemen friend at the time had also chosen to stay at the same hotel and she had made plans for her mother to drop by (because her mother happened to live in that area). The restaurant in question was actually attached to the lobby of the hotel.

I entered with my boys to grab some food before an early evening game (as other families did) and we sat in the bar area (which was the only area open).  Since the boys wanted to interact with their grandmother (who they rarely saw)...  I chose a table where I could keep an eye on them while they interacted and so I could be able to gather them when the food came. (Me approaching and telling the boys that their food was there is apparently when I walked towards them but did not engage) .

Now the frustrating thing was that her petition for a restraining order (in spite of being dishonest) looked bad for me as written, and I was "served" with a temporary restraining order by a local sheriff at my place of business. The order also caused other problems, like  pick up and drop off issues with the boys (imagine a ten year old lugging his computer equipment down the street in winter in Minnesota to my waiting car, because I was not allowed within so many feet of her house).

Meanwhile, my ex was all over social media, telling everyone that I was finally exposed for the horrible person she suggested, that I wasn't to be trusted (especially around children), and that even a Judge agreed and she had a restraining order now to "prove it".  Within a few days, I had lost several Facebook friends, I was shunned by some mutual friends, certain people at work stopped talking to me, and even some people within our hockey community treated me differently.

The restraining order lasted for about 3 weeks, until the court date, when the Judge overturned the emergency order and ruled against her petition for a more permanent one. Not surprisingly, my ex did not share this information on social media.
  • The tangible legal effects of the temporary order were just that... temporary.
  • But the fallout from those events still effect me today, nearly five years later. 
So if there are times when I appear to be more skeptical of allegations, and less inclined to pass judgement until I hear both sides of the story... chalk it up to personal experience. Until you have personally lived with the fallout of being falsely accused and then treated by people as if those accusations are fact and forced to deal with the whole thing still hanging over you years later... don't judge me. 

Now some potential problems with the first Moore accuser...

Leigh Corfman was the first accuser.

Corfman came forward to say that Roy Moore took her to his house, undressed her to her underwear, stripped himself down to his underwear, and proceeded in touching her and trying to get her to touch him.

The situation alleged was that Corfman and Moore met outside the courtroom in Feb of 1979. Corfman's mother had a hearing in court, and Moore offered to watch Corfman while she was in court.  Corfman provided Moore with their home phone number that day, which he allegedly called multiple times to arrange meetings. According to Corfman, the first meeting took place "days later". Moore took her to his home, where he put his arm around her and kissed her. The second meeting (which involved the alleged molestation) took place shortly after that. She alleges that there was an intersection she described as "around the corner from her house" where Moore picked her up for these meetings. Moore allegedly continue to call Corfman, but Corfman then started to make excuses to not see him.

Corfman went on to state that she felt bad about the event, and that she felt like she did something wrong.  Eventually she claims this led to emotional problems, which led to her well documented behavior problems. She is basically blaming Roy Moore for childhood behavioral issues that led to a troubled adulthood as well.

But there appears to be three potential problems with the story.
  • First is the timeline. The court hearing in question was a custody hearing. It took place (according to records) on February 21st 1979. The result of the hearing was that Corfman's father would be given full custody. The change in custody was ordered to take place less than two weeks later (March 4th). Her father did not live in the same town. While this conceivably provides a timeline for everything to have taken place. Several phone calls, two meetings, follow up phone calls and excuses within the 10 day period... it certainly provides for some suspicion. 
  • Second would be the place of the meeting. The intersection described according to those knowledgeable with the town, was more than a mile from Corfman's place of residence. It also would involve passing over a major highway. It's not inconceivable that Corfman would not specifically remember the meeting place correctly, but why provide a detail (much like the phone in the room detail) that is factually incorrect?
  • Lastly, the reasoning behind the change in custody (according to court documents), was due to the fact that Corfman had been suffering from emotional problems that had led to behavior problems. It was believed that a new start in a new town and the input of the father would be helpful. Everyone (including the mother) agreed to the custody change for these reasons. Basically, Corfman is not only accusing Moore of sexual molestation, but also blaming him for the start of behavior problems that predated the event. 
Again, none of this specifically proves that key portions of the events did not take place as described by Corfman. It's still entirely plausible that Moore did in fact take her to his house, and do the things she alleges. But what the historical timeline does show is that there are several details that Corfman either remembers wrong or possibly is being dishonest about. The timeline suggests that her blaming Moore for her behavior problems is factually incorrect, and looks like she is pushing the victim card. Lastly, the fact that she moved to a different town just a few days after meeting Moore, seems like an important bit of information to just "leave out" of the story... especially considering that that move would be the main reason why contact with Moore would have been cut off. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Under Closer examination

According to those who have taken this CNN picture of Beverly Young's yearbook signature, blown it up and did some preliminary analysis. The analysis shows that the writing and (possibly) the ink appears to be different for the: "Moore, D.A. 12-22-77 Old Hickory House"  portion of the signature. Take a look see?

If you look a little closer, it doesn't really seem like the first and last name are even in sync, the numbers after Christmas (1977) bear little resemblance to the numbers 12-22-77, and the does anyone really think the writing for the "beautiful girl" portion and 'old hickory house" portion look the same? Moreover, there is speculation that the two portions were written in different colored ink.

Five possible explanations:
  1. That Roy Moore did sign it, but only signed it "Roy".  Beverly Young then (back in 1977) added the Moore, the D.A. (believing wrongly that he was the D.A. at the time), the date, and then name of the restaurant, all for her own reference (in case she otherwise might have forgotten who "Roy" was). 
  2. That Roy Moore did sign it, but only signed it Roy. Beverly Young added the rest very recently, in order to bolster the claim that he did sign it. This might explain why the additional information was written to "appear" as part of the overall message.
  3. That Roy Moore signed it with two different pens, and the difference between the two pens somehow made his penmanship different. 
  4. That someone else signed her yearbook, who's name was Ray or Roy.  Beverly Young added the rest in order to make it look like it was Roy Moore.
  5. That the entire thing is a forgery. A blatantly bad forgery. 
Obviously, nothing can be determined conclusively without actual access to the Yearbook, which Beverly Young and Gloria Allred are basically refusing to turn over to any handwriting experts. It would now appear that their position on this one is motivated by self preservation. 

Meanwhile: A man who claims to have dated Beverly Young at the time, says he does not believe the story from Beverly Young.  In fact, he doesn't recall Young even working at the restaurant in question back in 1977. Not that this "proves" anything. It's just the second person who has come out to question Beverly Young's overall credibility. and specifically to question this story.

Another one bites the dust...

Florida Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Bittel tendered his resignation Friday after a report alleged that he sexually harassed women and created a hostile work environment.

Weeee!!! Boooobies!!!

Glenn Thrush and Oliver Stone

Charlie Rose

Accused of sexually harassing eight women
Viewers of “CBS This Morning” often tune in to see the show’s signature “eye opener,” a first-moment montage that recaps the newsy events that took place overnight. They got one of a different sort Tuesday morning: Co-anchors Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell told their audience in stark terms how much they were shaken by allegations of sexual harassment leveled at the third member of their team, Charlie Rose. CBS News said it has suspended Rose from his duties. PBS and Bloomberg, which have long distributed the anchor’s “Charlie Rose” program, have also suspended their association with him.