Orange County prosecutorial misconduct scandal

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas may pull out the old playbook, but it hasn’t kept the latest scandal from getting national play [OC Weekly, Dahlia Lithwick/Slate, Kevin Williamson/NRO (entire office disqualified from representation in case “following revelations that the office colluded with the Orange County sheriff’s department to systematically suppress potentially exculpatory evidence in at least three dozen cases, committing what legal scholars have characterized as perjury and obstruction of justice in the process.”]


  • Why isn’t he in jail for that?

  • Wow. There’s something to spice up the old CV, eh?

  • Because he is the DA. and his accomplices are the police.

    Would anyone have an objection to a DOJ investigation in this case?

    • Allan,

      I would object to the Federal DOJ investigation as it is a local state issue right now. I would not object to the California DOJ investigating.

  • I believe that the DA’s actions violated the federal constitutional rights of the accused. I would think that this is a much more compelling case than the investigation in Florida and it is even more compelling than the investigation in Ferguson. I would agree that California DOJ would also have a reason to investigate, as much or moreso than the US DOJ.

    • Allan,

      You seem to be saying that the DOJ correctly investigated Ferguson and Zimmerman. I am not willing to concede that at all. To many,the DOJ is as corrupt an organization as any law enforcement group out there. The DOJ has become a political group, one that is dedicated to protecting a party rather than the people.

      This incident in California spanned more than on DA and stayed within the state. I

      If the DOJ wants to play “big brother,” they can start with their own house first.

      • Gitacarver,

        you are a cynic.

        Would you care to complete the sentence: The last non-political AG was _________.

        Robert Kennedy? Certainly you would not make a case for Edwin Meese or John Ashcroft, let alone Janet Reno or John Mitchell. Maybe Robert Bork?

        I do happen to believe that the USDOJ had an interest in investigating both Zimmerman and Ferguson. That the investigations turned up nothing does not mean there was no interest in conducting one. It was within its portfolio. Whether it should have dedicated the resources to doing so is a different question altogether.

        My guess is that USDOJ will not investigate OC in part because it believes that the California DOJ will conduct a credible investigation. Perhaps that is because, unlike in Florida and Missouri (I think) the state AG is a Democrat. So, yes, it is political.

        And, for the record, I am not a fan of most managers of law enforcement and prosecutors right now, USDOJ or otherwise. The police are corrupt and the prosecutors overcharge and are overzealous in prosecutions. The state of law enforcement in the US is disconcerting, if not disgusting. Either the US population is the most immoral and criminal in the world or the US criminal justice system is broken.

        • Allan,

          I am a realist.

          The job of the Department of Justice is not political gain, but justice. When the DOJ refuses to look into Fast and Furious, that isn’t justice. When the DOJ stonewalls public records requests, that isn’t justice. When the DOJ coordinates responses with the IRS on targeting conservatives rather than actually investigating, that isn’t justice. When the DOJ breaks the law by using political affiliation and beliefs in hiring, that isn’t justice. When the DOJ lies to a judge on illegal amnesty, that isn’t justice. When people continue to have property and money taken on the basis of civil forfeiture after the DOJ says “we aren’t going to do that anymore,” that isn’t justice.

          The DOJ investigating another agency is like Elliot Spitzer investigating a house of ill repute.

          While you think the DOJ was right to investigate the Zimmerman / Martin case, what are you basing that on? The cops who did the initial investigation thought there was no case. Angela Cory and her investigators lied under oath in the charging documents, fired someone for giving the defense exculpatory evidence she had withheld, and threaten other investigators if they didn’t cooperate. Yet the DOJ didn’t investigate her efforts to deny Zimmerman his rights. Why is that?

          The DOJ didn’t conduct an investigation in Florida or Ferguson. They conducted a witch hunt. They conducted an hunt where they had a certain conclusion and worked back from that.

          California is a sovereign state and it can handle any investigations at this point in time.

          Until then, the DOJ can use its resources to clean its own house and remove lawbreakers from within before pointing fingers at other agencies.

          PS – you seem to be admitting that without any shred of evidence that the Florida AG has done anything wrong, the DOJ needed to step in because of her political affiliation? You really want to go with that? That the DOJ is investigating to further political gains rather than to further justice as it is required to do by law?

          • Of course USDOJ investigated instead of leaving to Florida or Missouri because they believed the states would not do it right. Perhaps it was the party in charge, perhaps it was the history of racial animus in those states, perhaps it was a combination of the two.

            I guess we both agree that the system is corrupt. It is just that you think the corruption is limited to Democrats?

  • Allan,

    Your position is that the DOJ investigated in Florida because they believe they state would not “do it right” (which seems to be outcome based rather than fact based) and then when there was actual civil rights violation because of Cory’s office, the DOJ was correct to turn and look the other way?

    And sorry, but “feelings” shouldn’t matter when launching an investigation. Either the evidence is there or it is not.

    Once again, if the DOJ wants to tell everyone to clean up their houses, they should start with the DOJ itself.

    • How do we know if “the evidence is there” unless someone looks for it, i.e., conducts and investigation?

  • It may well be that USDOJ was inconsistent in Florida and/or Missouri. I am not defending how the investigations were conducted. I am not even commenting on it. Instead, I am merely saying that, objectively, there was justification to investigate and, subjectively, there was a rational basis for believing that the States would not investigate thoroughly.

    My position is not “outcome based.” An investigation should produce whatever results are substantiated. There is a perception that, at least with race-related government improprieties, some states do not do thorough investigations and release pertinent facts.

    • Allan,

      The local authorities and the FDLE had investigated the Zimmerman / Martin incident and found nothing. At the same time, the DOJ was saying “we are going to investigate,” a move that you seem to admit was based on “feelings” rather than facts.

      The Zimmerman charges and trial were political theater. The prosecutor and her investigators committed perjury and other crimes and yet the DOJ gave them a pass.

      The local police and the FDLE were right – there was nothing to charge in the Zimmerman shooting and yet because the DOJ wanted to be political, they let investigated the incident for three years, found nothing, and let the real lawbreakers off the hook.

      And you think the DOJ should investigate California? Based on what impartial history?

      Fish rot from the head and you seem happy to have that rotting head stickin’ up the joint.

    • Allan,

      You are defending how the DOH investigations took place because you “think” and “feel” the investigations were warranted when the evidence showed otherwise.

      You claim that your position is not “outcome based” but yet say that there is a perception that states do not do thorough investigations. That is “outcome based.” If the investigations don’t turn out the way some people want them, they want another investigation because of what they feel and what the outcome was.

      The DOJ has enough to keep itself busy in house.

      That is the bottom line and my last comment.

      (Which I am sure will thrill Mr. Olson.)

  • […] And of course Rackauckas’s office has lately been embroiled in one of the nation’s most prominent scandals of prosecutorial abuse (with retaliation […]