Monday, March 26, 2007

Will the Feds come to Durham?

ABC News reports:

Another voice has joined the call for a federal investigation into the handling of the Duke Lacrosse case — this one with the punch of presidential politics.

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in a written response to a constituent, said that an "independent inquiry is needed" into the conduct of Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong.

Nifong prosecuted and led the investigation into the alleged sexual assault of an exotic dancer at a lacrosse team party in March 2006.

Obama cited the fact that Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., has already asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for a federal investigation into Nifong's conduct. ABC News has learned that similar requests have been made by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., and Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Fla.
Reps. Jones, Franks, and Feeney aren’t the only House members calling for a federal investigation. By my count more than a dozen members have made that request.

Will the Feds come to Durham and investigate Nifong?

I believe they will.

The need for a federal investigation becomes more obvious almost by the day, and the demand for an investigation is building in strength and breadth.

Not only are there bipartisan calls by members of congress for a federal investigation, but the NC State Bar has now on two occasions said Nifong has violated citizens' constitutional rights.

Some weeks back I asked in a post what the special prosecutors could do if they found Nifong had committed criminal acts.

Here’s part of a response comment from Jason Trumpbour, a University of Maryland law professor whom Nifong, in typical Nifong fashion, has blamed for his State Bar ethics troubles:
Keep in mind that the most likely and most obvious criminal violations would be violations of federal law which makes it a crime to violate the civil rights of a citizen or to conspire to violate the rights of a citizen.

The special prosecutors could and should turn over the results of their investigation to the local United States Attorney if any possible violations of federal law are revealed.
Trumpbour cautioned that he thought the possibility the special prosecutors would do that wasn’t high but a lot has changed since he made his comment. And what’s changed has made clear the need for a thorough federal investigation into not only Nifong’s conduct, but that of his coconspirators.

Attorneys tell me the State Bar also could and should turn over to the federal authorities any evidence it uncovers of Nifong violating citizens constitutional rights and/or conspiring to do so.

What are your thoughts on the possibility the Feds will at some point enter the case?

BTW – Nifong blaming his troubles on Trumpbour and the outstanding organization for which he’s spokesperson, Friends of Duke University, is a lot like Nixon blaming his troubles on the people on his “enemies list.”


gak said...

This whole thing is going to drag out for years. It will be a long time before we see all the loose ends tied up on this. I pray that the USAG comes to town. I'm not sure we will see it this year

kbp said...

Thanks John,

We know there is not any shortage of prosecutors that want a case to make their name known, it may just be a question of whether they'll expose to the public how the judicial system often works while they make their name known.

Emailing the federal prosecutors closest to the case would not be a bad idea. I need to contact Quasi on that idea.