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Paranoid Homeland Security official?


The deputy Homeland Security director for Prince George’s County, Maryland was in court Friday for a preliminary hearing on assault charges stemming from an April 5 incident when a real estate agent mistakenly knocked on the door to the official’s home.  The agent was greeted by a belligerent Keith Washington who stuck a gun in his face and, according to the victim, yelled “I know  what the [expletive] you’re here for. You’re not here to do an appraisal”.

The official, Keith Washington, is already under investigation for shooting two Marlo Furniture movers who were making a delivery to his home in January. One of the men died from the the shooting, the other was wounded. Washington says he shot the men in self-defense.

In the sketch a police investigator, Sgt. Aaron Ajani is answering a questioned from the prosecutor on the far left. Washington is sitting in the background behind his attorney, Michael Worthy. Judge Hassan A El-Amin ruled that there is sufficient evidence to send the case to the grand jury, but also noted “numerous weaknesses” in the case.

Washington Post story here.

Libby II, the civil suit


Lawyers for “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Cheney, Karl Rove and Richard Armitage today asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit by former covert CIA officer Valerie Plame and her husband, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV for harm caused by the outing of Ms Plame in retaliation for Ambassador Wilson’s criticism of the White House case for invading Iraq. In the sketch above Valerie Plame is seated in the left foreground while Rove’s attorney, Bob Luskin makes his argument.

It’s hard to do justice, with pencil and paint,  to Valerie Plame; she’s quite striking.Plame070517_Chemerinsky

Here she is with her attorney, Duke law professor Erwin Chemerinsky (who is not quite so).

Washington Post story here.

Congressman challenges FBI raid


A three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia heard arguments today in a separation of powers case stemming from the bribery investigation of congressman William Jefferson.

MSNBC’s  Joel Seidman has the story here.

Padilla trial begins


The trial of Jose Padilla, previously known as the “dirty bomber” and held in a Charleston, SC navy brig for three and a half years as an “enemy combatant”, began in U.S. District Court in Miami yesterday.  Padilla and two co-defendants, Adham Hassoun and Kifah Jayyousi, face charges of participating in a “conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim”.

The sketch shows Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Frazier making his opening arguments to the jury. Padilla is the forth figure from the right. Hassoun is to the left of Padilla, and Jayyousi -with mustache and goatee- is on the right.

Washington Post story here.

DC Madam draws a crowd


The courtroom was packed yesterday for a routine status hearing in the prostitution case against Deborah Jeane Palfrey, AKA the DC Madam, after the resignation Friday of a former client who happened to be the State Department’s director of foreign assistance and administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Ms Palfrey was there to fire her highly regarded public defender, and ask the judge for $150,000 to hire a new lawyer. Judge Gladys Kessler agreed to appoint a new lawyer, but not of Palfrey’s choosing. “You are operating under the Criminal Justice Act because of indigent
issues,” the judge explained. “It does not give you the right to select


At the conclusion of the hearing the defendant had one more request. She told the judge that she holds 5000 shares of Dolby Laboratories. “The stock has increased in value approximately $13 a share” — to $37 — “since this particular asset was seized, “I really do believe it’s at its peak. I’d like the court to order this stock be sold as soon as possible.” The judge said she could not do that.

Washingto Post story here.