Is Judge Kyle Hawthorne trying to cover up real estate fraud by his former law firm?

In my July 9, 2018 blog post, I tried to give 85th District Court Judge Kyle Hawthorne the benefit of the doubt. It turns out he didn’t deserve it.

I learned last week that Judge Hawthorne’s favoritism toward his former law firm and law partner was far worse than I knew. In fact, I believe it merits a criminal investigation.

In a motion that I filed this afternoon, I set forth evidence suggesting that Judge Hawthorne is aiding and abetting an alleged real estate fraud that involves his former partner, Jay Goss, and his former law firm, now known as Bruchez, Goss, Thornton, Meronoff & Briers, P.C.

According to the motion, it appears that Mr. Goss, his firm and his clients have tried to defraud some of the rightful owners of approximately 100 acres south of College Station. According to the pleadings and evidence in Gregg Falcone v. The Known and Unknown Heirs of Joshua Washington, Sr., Cause No. 16-000649-CV-85, the firm prepared deeds that omit the names of many of the owners, yet those same deeds purport to transfer 100 percent interest in the property to the firm’s clients. … Read more

A case study in good-old-boy judicial corruption

Buckle up, kids. It’s time to air some dirty laundry.

First, a little background: As a practicing lawyer, I’ve had to keep my mouth shut about a lot of things. Some of it is pretty straightforward, e.g., privileged communications from my client. Other things are much murkier, e.g., deciding when to speak up about the petty corruption and political favoritism that I routinely witness in the courtroom.

If you follow this blog, you might assume that I automatically blow the whistle every time I see judicial chicanery, but I don’t. I learned years ago (and the hard way) that judges are often quick to retaliate. When I speak up, there is a strong chance that one of my clients will suffer for it. I once criticized U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore in Houston for some grossly inappropriate comments that she made in the courtroom, and 361st District Judge Steve Smith decided to avenge her by retaliating against one of my clients in a totally unrelated case in Bryan. The judiciary is a fraternity, after all, and they protect their own.

On the other hand, there comes a point when playing nice is no longer good enough, because the frat boys just keep hurting your clients in order to help their friends. I reached my boiling point last week, so today I’m going to air some dirty laundry that I’ve been sitting on for years. … Read more

Maryland high court whitewashes criminal misconduct of Hillary Clinton lawyers

Yeah, I know. I shouldn’t be surprised.

Following the lead of the D.C. Court of Appeals, Maryland’s highest court whitewashed the criminal misconduct of three attorneys who destroyed more than 30,000 emails while representing Hillary Clinton. In an opinion issued this morning, Chief Justice Mary Ellen Barbera of the Maryland Court of Appeals wrote that a lower court lacked jurisdiction to compel the Attorney Grievance Commission to investigate David Kendall, Cheryl Mills, and Heather Samuelson.

The court’s jurisdictional conclusion is a plausible one, but it cleverly sidesteps the real scandal, which is found near the beginning of the opinion: the court refused to hear my cross-petition.  Allow me to translate. When Maryland bar prosecutors appealed to the Court of Appeals (“COA”), they argued that only the COA could compel them to investigate Mr. Kendall, Ms. Mills, and Ms. Samuelson. If that’s true, I responded, then the COA itself should order bar prosecutors to investigate.  The COA’s response? It simply refused to hear my argument, and it did so without any explanation.

It’s hard to win an argument when the court refuses to hear it. Furthermore, as I noted in a post last year, the COA had serious conflicts of interest because it changed the rules after the fact in response to ex parte communications with bar counsel. When I asked the judges to recuse themselves, they likewise denied that request without an explanation.

Of course, if a peon lawyer like me had intentionally destroyed evidence that was covered by Congressional and court subpoenas, he or she would have been disbarred and sent to prison (although not necessarily in that order).  But Mr. Kendall, Ms. Mills, and Ms. Samuelson are covered by the Clinton protection racket, ergo they need not worry about the rules and laws that apply to mere mortals. … Read more

Why won’t Seth Rich’s brother authorize Wikileaks to tell what it knows?

It’s time to call somebody’s bluff.

On May 30, 2018, I asked lawyers representing Aaron Rich to authorize Wikileaks, Julian Assange, and Kim Dotcom to reveal what they know about payments to Mr. Rich or his brother, murdered Democratic National Committee employee Seth Rich. Those lawyers have been stonewalling ever since.

As you may recall, Mr. Rich sued my client, Ed Butowsky, as well as The Washington Times, America First Media, and Matt Couch, in D.C. federal court on March 26, 2018, claiming they defamed him with allegations that he and his brother orchestrated leaks from the DNC to Wikileaks in exchange for cash.

It seemed obvious to me that the fastest way to resolve the dispute was to authorize the people in the best position to know to tell what they know, hence my request that Mr. Rich authorize Wikileaks, et al. to speak freely. Apparently that idea struck a nerve.

On Friday evening, The Gateway Pundit, LawAndCrime.com, and Worldnetdaily broke the news that Mr. Rich’s lawyers had subpoenaed the Twitter records – including direct messages – of a number of right-leaning publications and authors. To the gullible masses, it might seem like Mr. Rich’s attorneys are aggressively trying to find the truth. In reality, it is the exact opposite: Mr. Rich’s attorneys are trying to intimidate anyone who asks inconvenient questions.

Like me, for example. My personal Twitter account was one of those covered by the subpoena. In other words, Mr. Rich’s lawyers tried to get the private communications of their opposing counsel by serving a subpoena on Twitter. … Read more

Sgt. Tallywacker rides again — hide the women and children!

A disgraced former Hearne Police Department sergeant is wearing a badge and gun again, according to records that I received today from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, and it is only one example of a much larger problem.

Stephen Yohner, known on this blog as “Sgt. Tallywacker,” left Hearne PD last year amid accusations that he texted a photo of his gonads to a female officer.  He was also accused of taking money and drugs from crime scenes without properly accounting for the evidence, and he is named as a defendant in an ongoing civil rights lawsuit.  Nonetheless, he was commissioned on May 15, 2018 as a reserve officer by the police department in tiny Hico, Texas (home of the Billy the Kid Museum, as it happens).

I emailed City Administrator Adam Niolet and Police Chief Ronnie Ashmore a couple of my blog posts about Sgt. Tallywacker and asked if they knew about his history.  I received this response from Mr. Niolet:

I had no knowledge of the information you just sent over. Chief Ashmore retains the files on his reserve officers.  Chief Ashmore is on vacation but will return to duty on Monday.  I have notified him about your email.

 

I’ve got a feeling somebody will get called into the principal’s office on Monday morning.  It’s not like Sgt. Tallywacker’s reputation was a secret.  If you Google “Stephen Yohner,” a list of news articles and blog posts explains the circumstances of his departure from Hearne PD, and all of that should have shown up in any background investigation.

So how did he get hired? Did the chief not conduct a background investigation, or did he just ignore what he found? As you can see from my July 6, 2017 blog post, Sgt. Tallywacker had a shady history even before he was hired by Hearne.  … Read more

DOJ refuses to release records about Seth Rich murder

The U.S. Department of Justice will not release any records related to the murder of former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, according to a letter that I received today from the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys. Actually, they have refused to release any records about Seth Rich at all, e.g., whether he had a security clearance or a background check.

The same office originally refused to even search for records related to Seth Rich, but it was overruled on October 2, 2017 after I appealed to DOJ’s Office of Information Policy.  Six months later, they’re still refusing to release anything.

I have already filed suit against the FBI and DOJ to force the agencies to release records (DOJ’s answer to the lawsuit is due next Thursday), and I am not particularly surprised by the response thus far.  For one thing, the Freedom of Information Act grants broad exemptions for records pertaining to law enforcement and prosecution.

Even so, those exemptions have limits, and not everything should be protected by FOIA. I expect to show, for example, that the FBI lied by claiming that it has no records related to Seth Rich.  My sources tell me that the FBI assisted D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department in hacking some of Mr. Rich’s electronic devices, yet the FBI has refused to even search for records at its Washington Field Office, where the records would be kept. … Read more

Federal lawsuit seeks records about Seth Rich murder

This morning I filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that asks a federal judge in Brooklyn to order the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice to release records concerning the murder of former Democratic National Committee employee Seth Rich.

Back in October, I wrote about the U.S. Department of Justice ordering the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. to release records about the murder, but since that time not a single record has been produced.  Around the same time, the FBI refused to search for records in its Washington Field Office, even though that is where the records are most likely to be found.  The lawsuit notes that the FBI has a history of trying to hide records from FOIA requestors and Congress.

I also asked the court to order the National Security Administration to release all of its communications with members of Congress regarding Seth Rich, Julian Assange, and Kim Dotcom, among others.

As you are probably aware, Mr. Rich’s parents filed suit this week against Fox News, producer Malia Zimmerman, and frequent guest Ed Butowsky.  I think that was a serious tactical error.  All of the defendants now have the legal right to subpoena documents and witnesses, and you can be sure they will use that power aggressively. … Read more

Rusty Russ ran scared, his cronies lied, and somebody may get sued for it

The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” — Proverbs 28:1

Last week I blogged about how 82nd District Judge candidate Bryan F. “Rusty” Russ, Jr. fled a judicial candidates forum in Franklin, Texas, and ever since his supporters have accused me of “lying.” Well, now that I have video and police reports from the event, we can all see who was lying (hint: it wasn’t me).  Body camera video from three Franklin police officers shows a slightly-stooped, unarmed elderly man with a wavering voice as he displays legal documents to the officers and explains why he believes Mr. Russ is unfit to hold judicial office. Click on these links to see for yourself:

Body camera video of Officer Anthony Mangham

Body camera video of Officer David Myers

Body camera video of Sgt. Brian Taylor

Sgt. Taylor’s video is the most comprehensive, probably because he arrived first, and it refutes most of what Mr. Russ’s supporters have said about the incident.

This morning I sent a letter on behalf of that elderly gentleman, 71-year-old Ronald Braneff, demanding a front-page retraction and apology from The Robertson County News, as well as the termination of publisher Dennis Phillips for defamation.  Mr. Phillips did not attend the candidates forum, but one of his reporters did, and he must not have liked what she had to say because he did not let her write about it in the newspaper.

Instead, Mr. Phillips wrote an an opinion column trying to portray Mr. Russ’s cowardice as a profile in courage. And while Mr. Phillips had every legal right to spin the story in favor of his preferred candidate, he did not have the legal right to make a false accusation that Mr. Braneff  had previously attacked Mr. Russ.  Granted, Mr. Phillips did not mention Mr. Braneff by name, but people in the community knew exactly who he was writing about.

In a similar Facebook post, Mr. Phillips described Mr. Braneff (again, not by name) as “unstable” and further claimed that five gunshots had been fired near Mr. Russ’s house on the evening of the candidates forum. Bear in mind, Mr. Phillips was not at the candidates forum and had never met nor talked with Mr. Braneff, so I emailed a couple of questions to Mr. Phillips: … Read more

The spoof that got me kicked off the Marlin, Texas Facebook page

Rusty Russ’s minions are fit to be tied.  Yesterday I wrote about how Mr. Russ ran scared from a debate with Judge Matthew G. Wright, his opponent for 82nd District Judge, and now all of his flunkies are trying to say it never happened.

Well, it happened alright. I’ve now heard from four eyewitnesses, including the elderly man who purportedly caused Mr. Russ to flee in fear (never mind the fact that the sheriff and another cop were in the audience). As you can see from the comments beneath yesterday’s post, Mr. Russ’s cronies know they have a serious problem on their hands. Did they really think I was going to let Mr. Russ run for office without reminding everyone that he is a liar, a cheater, and a career white-collar criminal?

In most communities, a reprobate like Mr. Russ would be driven out of town (and in fairness to the First Baptist Church of Franklin, Mr. Russ has been driven out of some places).  Mr. Russ and his law partner, however, own the town, the county, the district judge, etc.  Even worse, there are a lot of backwards people who keep them (and the rest of the Booger County Mafia) in power.

Now I’m not knocking small towns, as I am proud to have grown up in a rural community, namely Union Grove in East Texas (it’s a suburb of metropolitan Gladewater). Nonetheless, as the prophet Peter Gabriel has written, people in some small towns think so small, they use small words. … Read more

Why did Rusty Russ walk out of the judicial candidates forum?

Attorney Bryan F. “Rusty” Russ, Jr. walked out of the 82nd Judicial District candidate’s forum last night in Franklin, Texas, according to witnesses. I did not attend the forum, in part because my wife bought tickets to a concert in Carnegie Hall as part of her ongoing efforts to civilize me, but I received some email reports this morning.

If Mr. Russ would like to give his side of the story, or if he would like to respond to the evidence that he is a liar, a cheater, and a thief, I will gladly post his response on my blog verbatim. And if you were there, or if you know what the back story is, please post something in the comments section below. Here are the emails (senders’ names redacted):

Really interesting night, last night. It seems, a guy Rusty has had a spat with since 2001 was there and Rusty felt intimidated enough to call the cops. The cops took the guy out back to talk to him. He came back and, just sat in the back without saying a word. They left a cop there. Sheriff Yetzek was there, too. Rusty, still, felt so intimidated, he picked his marbles without saying a word and left. Really courageous of him, don’t you think?
————————————————————–
So last night Rusty threw a hissy fit at the candidate forum in Franklin…. said that some guy there had put out a death threat against him and he left and refused to face Matthew. The guy he accused of “threatening him” was about 70 and even I coulda taken him in a fight. 🙂 🙂

Matthew did great, everyone loved him….

Rusty is a coward and a piece of work…
————————————————————– … Read more