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HORIST: Preet Bharara blows away prosecutorial bs … inadvertently

HORIST:  Preet Bharara blows away prosecutorial bs … inadvertently

It was an off-hand statement that went totally unnoticed and, more importantly, unappreciated by the anchors on CNN.  And yet, in just a few words one of the most recognized and influential prosecutors in America blew away one of the most pernicious and deceptive narratives making the rounds among the elitist media.

Former New York federal prosecutor Preet Bharara appeared on CNN as part of his media rounds promoting his book entitled, “Doing Justice.”  In it he promotes a glorified role of the prosecutorial community – you know, never political and always just going where the evidence leads.

It is part of the popular narrative that we are governed by a rule-of-law and an equality of justice to which prosecutors are merely supplicants.  That is a self-serving innocents’ narrative that has all the reality of Santa Clause, the Stork and the Tooth Fairy.  But that is a much bigger story than the subject of the moment.

In his morning appearance on CNN, Bharara was postulating his belief that President Trump may have been the reason for the indictments of Paul Manafort in New York.   According to Bharara’s contention, it was the prospect of a pardon, which Trump refused to take off the table, that motivated the folks in New York to indict Manafort for essentially the same crimes to which he pled guilty in Washington and Virginia.

According to Bharara – and pay close attention to what he is saying – he doubts that Manafort would have been indicted had it not been for fear of a pardon from Trump.  WHAT!!!

In that one statement, Bharara exposed the wolf under the sheep raiment – a wolf that he, and others, have long claimed does not even exist.  The decision to indict Manafort was NOT some faithful following of the rule-of-law, says Bharara.  It was what is known as “prosecutorial discretion” – and maybe even an example of something prosecutors do not talk about very much, “prosecutorial abuse.”

Bharara’s professional insight suggests that the decision in New York was based on … politics.  It was designed to circumvent a power of a President – of this President – to issue pardons.  It was not even a pushback against any action by Trump but a prophylactic to preempt and undermine what they thought the President MIGHT do.

Even at the time, the New York indictments of Manafort had a number of legal scholars scratching their heads.  As a matter of tradition, it is rare – almost unheard of – for a lower court to take up a case that has already been substantially adjudicated by a higher court.  It violates the spirit if not the strict double jeopardy limitation of the Constitution.

To pursue Manafort, the New York prosecutors had to slip through a few technical loopholes in the law.  Under the concept of “separate sovereign,” the legal bloodhounds in the Big Apple could go after Manafort for the 10 of the 18 counts for which there was no verdict – basically a hung jury.  Even in such cases, however, lower courts refrain from picking over the bones of the bigger cases.

Since they will be prosecuting charges that were unresolved, the New York prosecutors will be essentially putting the same charges before another court.  And even worse for Manafort, they are charges closely related to the eight charges to which he pled guilty.  His own testimony can be used against him in the new trial.  So, Manafort not only faces double jeopardy, but also loses his protection against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment.  His guilty pleas are now matters of public record.

As I have previously written, prosecutors are as much the enforcement arm of the political powers to which they align as they are enforcers of the rule-of-law.  We saw that in the Democrat controlled courts in the old segregationist south, and we see it every day across America – especially in major urban centers where longstanding political machines control the judicial process.

Anyone who follows politics and the courts is aware of the fact that cases with political ramifications are prosecuted or not prosecuted based on the political culture of the prosecutors. Prosecutors at all levels are among the most political public servants.  They derived their positions by political appointment or election.

If you have any doubt that prosecutors are political animals, just count the number of public officials who are former prosecutors.  Then count all the media personalities and political pundits who are former prosecutors.  Within our lawyer ruling-class, the prosecutors are the most represented, the most powerful and the most dangerous of the breed.

What Bharara inadvertently blurted out was that prosecutors operate under the rule-of-politics as much as the rule-of-law.  Am I the only one who noticed Bharara’s inadvertent “truth telling”

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Name

    Preet Bharara is a corrupt political animal. He lied in an Affidavit to a judge in the SDNY, itself a corrupt court, which welcomes perjury from prosecutors as long as the inconvenient case can be fixed. I have that perjurious Affidavit.

  2. Name

    After Bharara was fired, his successor lied to a judge in the SDNY too. Correction: It was not an Affidavit where both US Attorneys lied to the SDNY. It was a letter to the Judge and an Affirmation.

  3. B King

    This is not news. I truly believe most people are aware this has been happening for a long time now but it was well written. Thank you.

  4. jack stone

    want to fix the nation !? shoot ALL the lawyers. !

  5. Wimingren

    That’s a great way of saying it: “rule of politics.” Democrats always shop around for friendly courts, usually within the Ninth District, where the “rule of politics” is the “rule of the DNC.” Trump has been super targeted by the DNC because he has been appointing judges more likely to support the “rule of law,” rather than the “rule of the DNC.” Of course, Democrats view the “rule of law” to be nothing but the “rule of the RNC.” And why wouldn’t they, considering the Conservative factions’ wish to preserve the Constitution, upon which the “rule of law” is based?

    The Democrats dearly wish to pack all the benches with Leftists bent on legislating from the bench, a hallmark of the “rule of politics.” But for Trump, they were making pretty good progress at invalidating the “rule of law” and the Constitution. Now they seek other means, such as increasing the number of seats on state Appellate and Supreme Courts and the U.S. Supreme Court, by which they hope to seat more of their own kind to throw the majority back to their side of politics.

    It’s like the guy who loses a “two out of three” contest, and insists on making it a “three out of five” replay. To ensure proper placement of activist judges, Democrats are pushing to lower the voting age to 16, students whose Leftist teachers have fully indoctrinated them to support Leftist causes and Leftist candidates. Childishness in the extreme being played with the lives of a couple hundred million citizens. Look what such games have won for Argentina and every other socialist, communist, and fascist state. We need not follow them into the pits of Hell.

  6. marlene

    To see just how corrupt these lying, deceitful prosecutors really are, read the articles and watch the videos of the Bundy Ranch and Hammond Ranch land grabs by the federal government. If any one of them told me justice was just, i’d prepare for the end of freedom. Worse, they pick their judges who are in their pockets every time.

  7. Djea3

    The PROPER thing for Trump to do is to PARDON Manafort and state in the pardon that he is doing so because of “double Jeopardy and ADMITTED politically Oriented Prosecutorial Abuse”.

    That is correct, STATE IT IN THE PARDON. State that it was political and abusive actors in the state.

  8. Lynda Casagrande

    I hope Trump sees this. What happened to Manafort is criminal–while Podesta gets away with the very same crimes–many of them never prosecuted until Manafort.