Monday, New Orleans’ Soros-backed crook-friendly district attorney Jason Williams went back to work after surprisingly/not all that surprisingly getting acquitted in a tax fraud case that likely would have sunk him with any jury poll other than one made up largely of Orleans Parish residents.
And his comments in the little press conference he gave on the way into the office were, frankly, pretty discouraging – although, as with everything else about Jason Williams, they were not a surprise.
If you thought he was crook-friendly before, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
With a film crew in tow, Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams returned to a courthouse as a prosecutor instead of a defendant on Monday (Aug. 1).
“I’m ready to get back in the courtroom and try a case this morning,” Williams said.
Williams made his first public statement since a federal jury found him not guilty last week on 10 counts related to tax fraud and conspiracy, but refused to take questions. He said he now knows what it’s like to be on the other side of the criminal justice system as a defendant.
“I suppose this was my pepper spray,” he said. “In order for an officer like Kevin Williams to carry pepper spray, he’s got to be sprayed in the face with it.
“Now, I have personally felt the pain, fear, isolation and disorientation of an abuse of power, of the abuse of prosecutorial discretion.”
But Rafael Goyeneche, president of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, said, “I’d like to point out a ‘not guilty’ verdict is not evidence of prosecutorial misconduct. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is a subjective thing. Prosecutors subjectively review the facts and the evidence and decide to bring charges against individuals. His office has done it.”
Goyeneche noted that there have been at least 25 ‘not guilty’ verdicts in Criminal District Court this year, in cases prosecuted by Williams’ office and under his leadership.
“And I don’t think he’d say that his office committed prosecutory misconduct in those cases,” Goyeneche said.
Williams said, “Whether you agree with my politics or my policies or not, what I learned is that this could happen to anyone. What happened to me can happen to anyone.”
Williams’ law partner and co-defendant in the case, Nicole Burdett, was found not guilty on the same counts as Williams related to his private law firm’s taxes. But Burdett was convicted on four separate charges of falsifying her own personal tax returns. Williams said she was wrongfully convicted.
“She acted with integrity and refused to lie or embellish the truth,” Williams said, “and she paid a dear cost for her intergrity. I’m confident that she will be vindicated and this ordeal will finally be over.”
Apologize for the spelling errors in that Fox 8 story excerpt. The TV stations go fast when they’re getting stories up and you’ll get some typos as a result.
But anyway, look – there is a valid point to be made about prosecutorial misconduct. We’ve seen examples of overzealous prosecution particularly in the political space; Dinesh D’Souza having to sleep in a halfway house in San Diego with rapists and gangbangers for eight months because he wrote a $30,000 campaign check to Wendy Long’s doomed Senate campaign was a good example, and the over-the-top persecutions of grandmothers and car mechanics for going into the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 are others.
So yes, it’s a good thing if Jason Williams wants to make sure his office isn’t abusing its authority by attempting to destroy criminal defendants who society doesn’t need to destroy.
Except that isn’t the problem with Jason Williams. The problem with Jason Williams is the opposite. Crime in New Orleans is absolutely out of control because he’s running a sieve of a DA’s office which lets not just criminals but violent criminals off the hook on the regular.
And his saying his tax fraud trial was a “pepper spray” moment just indicates this is all going to get worse.
We keep saying New Orleans is a dead city and law-abiding ordinary folks need to get out as fast as they can. It doesn’t bring us any joy to say it. It’s just the truth. The city’s electorate, either because the political culture in the black community has gone so septic that nobody even wants to mount a challenge to an obvious incompetent like LaToya Cantrell or because there’s a critical mass of idiotic white leftists moving in from deep-blue places like Boston and San Francisco, isn’t capable of choosing leaders who can accomplish anything. And the business community has taken all the signals and is cutting and running.
You can’t fix that. Not unless you get leadership at the state level willing to go into New Orleans and make war with the local leadership over control of the city. You’d have to put the NOPD in receivership, essentially, you’d have to revoke New Orleans’ home rule charter, you’d have to do a whole host of things which are very difficult and which would be very messy politically.
And honestly, which would not be politically advantageous to do.
It’s probably better for the next governor to let New Orleans burn itself out, and simply pull the resources out of the place and reinvest them in the adjoining parishes which aren’t dead yet.
One way or another, though, the criminals run New Orleans. And though Jason Williams might have escaped an official designation as one of them in his trial last week, he’s signaling that he’s good with the ugly status quo.