John Pierce Tries to Hire His 18th January 6 Defendant while on a Ventilator with COVID-19

I’ve written about John Pierce’s efforts to collect a cast of January 6 defendants to represent — many, those who could incriminate Joe Biggs, especially Proud Boys. That means he represents a ton of Floridians, though he lives in California. As of this morning, he represented 17 defendants (after having been fired by two other key January 6 participants, Ryan Samsel and Alan Hostetter, already).

Christopher Worrell: Christopher Worrell is a Proud Boy from Florida arrested on March 12. Worrell traveled to DC for the December MAGA protest, where he engaged in confrontational behavior targeting a journalist. He and his girlfriend traveled to DC for January 6 in vans full of Proud Boys paid for by someone else. He was filmed spraying pepper spray at cops during a key confrontation before the police line broke down and the initial assault surged past. Worrell was originally charged for obstruction and trespassing, but later indicted for assault and civil disorder and trespassing (dropping the obstruction charge). He was deemed a danger, in part, because of a 2009 arrest for impersonating a cop involving “intimidating conduct towards a total stranger in service of taking the law into his own hands.” Pierce first attempted to file a notice of appearance on March 18. Robert Jenkins (along with John Kelly, from Pierce’s firm) is co-counsel on the case. Since Pierce joined the team, he has indulged Worrell’s claims that he should not be punished for assaulting a cop, but neither that indulgence nor a focus on Worrell’s non-Hodgkins lymphoma nor an appeal succeeded at winning his client release from pre-trial detention. On September 24, Alex Stavrou replaced Pierce as Worrell’s attorney.

1. William Pepe: William Pepe is a Proud Boy charged in a conspiracy with Dominic Pezzola and Matthew Greene for breaching the initial lines of defense and, ultimately, the first broken window of the Capitol. Pepe was originally arrested on January 11, though is out on bail. Pierce joined Robert Jenkins on William Pepe’s defense team on March 25. By April, Pierce was planning on filing some non-frivolous motions (to sever his case from Pezzola, to move it out of DC, and to dismiss the obstruction count).

2. Paul Rae: Rae is another of Pierce’s Proud Boy defendants and his initial complaint suggested Rae could have been (and could still be) added to the conspiracy indictments against the Proud Boys already charged. He was indicted along with Arthur Jackman for obstruction and trespassing; both tailed Joe Biggs on January 6, entering the building from the East side after the initial breach. Pierce filed to join Robert Jenkins in defending Rae on March 30.

3. Stephanie Baez: On June 9, Pierce filed his appearance for Stephanie Baez. Pierce’s interest in Baez’ case makes a lot of sense. Baez, who was arrested on trespassing charges on June 4, seems to have treated the January 6 insurrection as an opportunity to shop for her own Proud Boy boyfriend. Plus, she’s attractive, unrepentant, and willing to claim there was no violence on January 6. Baez has not yet been formally charged (though that should happen any day).

Victoria White: If I were prosecutors, I’d be taking a closer look at White to try to figure out why John Pierce decided to represent her (if it’s not already clear to them; given the timing, it may simply be because he believed he needed a few women defendants to tell the story he wants to tell). White was detained briefly on January 6 then released, and then arrested on April 8 on civil disorder and trespassing charges. At one point on January 6, she was filmed trying to dissuade other rioters from breaking windows, but then she was filmed close to and then in the Tunnel cheering on some of the worst assault. Pierce filed his notice of appearance in White’s case on June 10. On September 7, White got a PD to temporarily replace Pierce until she found someone else she liked.

4. James McGrew: McGrew was arrested on May 28 for assault, civil disorder, obstruction, and trespassing, largely for some fighting with cops inside the Rotunda. His arrest documents show no ties to militias, though his arrest affidavit did reference a 2012 booking photo. Pierce filed his appearance to represent McGrew on June 16.

5, 6, 7. On June 30, Pierce filed to represent David Lesperance, and James and Casey Cusick. As I laid out here, the FBI arrested the Cusicks, a father and son that run a church, largely via information obtained from Lesperance, their parishioner. They are separately charged (LesperanceJames CusickCasey Cusick), all with just trespassing. The night before the riot, father and son posed in front of the Trump Hotel with a fourth person besides Lesperance (though Lesperance likely took the photo).

8. Kenneth Harrelson: On July 1, Pierce filed a notice of appearance for Harrelson, who was first arrested on March 10. Leading up to January 6, Harrelson played a key role in Oath Keepers’ organizing in Florida, particularly meetings organized on GoToMeeting. On the day of the riot, Kelly Meggs had put him in charge of coordinating with state teams. Harrelson was on the East steps of the Capitol with Jason Dolan during the riot, as if waiting for the door to open and The Stack to arrive; with whom he entered the Capitol. With Meggs, Harrelson moved first towards the Senate, then towards Nancy Pelosi’s office. When the FBI searched his house upon his arrest, they found an AR-15 and a handgun, as well as a go-bag with a semi-automatic handgun and survivalist books, including Ted Kaczynski’s writings. Harrelson attempted to delete a slew of his Signal texts, including a video he sent Meggs showing the breach of the East door. Harrelson had previously been represented by Nina Ginsberg and Jeffrey Zimmerman, who are making quite sure to get removed from Harrelson’s team before Pierce gets too involved. On September 7, Brad Geyer replaced Pierce.

9. Leo Brent Bozell IV: It was, perhaps, predictable that Pierce would add Bozell to his stable of defendants. “Zeeker” Bozell is the scion of a right wing movement family including his father who has made a killing by attacking the so-called liberal media, and his grandfather, who was a speech writer for Joseph McCarthy. Because Bozell was released on personal recognizance there are details of his actions on January 6 that remain unexplained. But he made it to the Senate chamber, and while there, made efforts to prevent CSPAN cameras from continuing to record the proceedings. He was originally arrested on obstruction and trespassing charges on February 12; his indictment added an abetting the destruction of government property charge, the likes of which have been used to threaten a terrorism enhancement against militia members. Pierce joined Bozell’s defense team (thus far it seems David B. Deitch will remain on the team) on July 6.

10. Nate DeGrave: The night before DeGrave’s quasi co-conspirator Josiah Colt pled guilty, July 13, Pierce filed a notice of appearance for Nate DeGrave. DeGrave helped ensure both the East Door and the Senate door remained open.

11. Nathaniel Tuck: On July 19, Pierce filed a notice of appearance for Nathaniel Tuck, the Florida former cop Proud Boy.

12. Kevin Tuck: On July 20, Pierce filed a notice of appearance for Kevin Tuck, Nathaniel’s father and still an active duty cop when he was charged.

13. Peter Schwartz: On July 26, Pierce filed a notice of appearance for Peter Schwartz, the felon out on COVID-release who maced some cops.

14. Jeramiah Caplinger: On July 26, Pierce filed a notice of appearance for Jeramiah Caplinger, who drove from Michigan and carried a flag on a tree branch through the Capitol.

15. Deborah Lee: On August 23, Pierce filed a notice of appearance for Deborah Lee, who was arrested on trespass charges months after her friend Michael Rusyn.

16. Anthony Sargent: On September 24 (the same day he swapped off of Christopher Worrell’s case), Pierce showed up at the initial appearance for Anthony Saregent, another Florida Proud Boy.

Representing this many defendants would be an impossible feat, even for the most experienced defense attorney, and harder still for a civil attorney like Pierce. Plus, some of these representations would seem to pose serious conflicts.

At a status hearing for Shane Jenkins, a January 6 defendant accused of assault, this morning, his currently retained attorney, Public Defender Maria Jacob, started by saying that she believes that she’s being replaced. John Pierce’s colleague, Ryan Marshall (who is not barred in DC but nevertheless handled Pierce’s appearance in Nate DeGrave’s case yesterday), piped up to say, yes, that was happening but unfortunately the notice of appearance he thought had been filed last night had not appeared on the docket yet. When Judge Amit Mehta asked where Pierce was, Marshall said, “Mr. Pierce is in the hospital, we believe, with COVID-19, on a ventilator, non-responsive.”

Judge Mehta wished the Pierce family well and scheduled a hearing next Thursday rather than accepting the appearance of a lawyer on a ventilator to represent his 18th client in this matter.

Update: A week ago, Pierce said he would never get vaccinated.

Update, September 24: I’ve updated the clients who’ve since fired Pierce.

187 replies
  1. Drew says:

    Wait a minute! He’s “on a ventilator, non-responsive”?? Non-responsive means he’s pretty far gone. Not that no-one has ever re-awakened from a coma, etc. But even the most young, spry and resilient of people isn’t going to be able to go from on-a-ventilator, non-responsive to being back to work effectively within less than several weeks, more likely, months. How can anyone allow him to continue to be the attorney for all these people? It can’t be adequate representation.

    Perhaps some of the lawyers on here have some insight on how this works. He doesn’t sound like he’s physically in condition to even withdraw from the cases under his own volition, even if he started being a reasonable person.

    • Bobby Gladd says:

      I don’t know what the current aggregate mortality data are regarding ICU patients on ventilators owing to COVID-19. But, historically, it’s been well south of 50%.

    • Summertime Blues says:

      Patients in general, and especially COVID+ patients on ventilators are kept sedated, and if the level of support is low enough are given a neurologic assessment daily or what’s known as an SAT by reducing the level or turning off sedation. If they are responsive and the ventilator setting are minimal they are placed on a spontaneous breathing trial and assessed for suitability to extubate. COVID+ patients are frequently on high levels of support, difficult to wean, need paralytics when they are asynchronous with the ventilator, and have a high rate of mortality. Those that do survive are debilitated physically, and subject to pulmonary, cardiac, renal, and cognitive sequelae. So no, he isn’t able to represent clients, and will be extremely lucky to survive unscathed if he is indeed intubated.

        • Ravenclaw says:

          Those results are fairly chilling. Based on a large sample. Mild deficits even after mild cases and a marked correlation between disease severity and deficit size. Impact of hospital-level care is roughly equivalent to the decline in fluid intelligence from age 20 to age 70. There is one confound, though. This was NOT a “pre-post” study. Instead, those who had a definite or probable history of COVID infection were compared with those who did not. Therefore, it is entirely possible that the same underlying health conditions that make one more vulnerable to the coronavirus were also associated with lower cognitive functioning before the virus came into the picture. But the large effects for those on ventilators suggest to me that either the virus or the severity of the illness and its aggressive treatment had an impact.

          As to whether Pierce can “spare” a few IQ points, well, probably not at the exact point in time when he is supposedly mastering a whole new branch of legal practice.

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Non-responsive and on a ventilator would make it hard for Pierce to form a client services agreement with a new client. It would make it impossible for him to do the work he would have committed to. Someone should look into that for the California bar.

    Ethics and insurance rules require lawyers to have back-up arrangements – to protect the client – when a lawyer is incapacitated or unavailable to work as promised. Being in a firm does not necessarily mean another lawyer in it is capable of substituting for the absent lawyer, except as a temporary placeholder. Regardless, any client who agreed to hire a lawyer as compromised as Pierce – even if he’s working pro bono – is nuts.

    Glad the court delayed the hearing, putting off the decision whether to accept the arrangement. It does not appear that it should accept it.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    So, is “John Pierce” like the Dread Pirate Roberts? Whoever signs his pleadings and statements to the court (without attribution) is him? Inquiring DC bar investigator wants to know.

    • pdaly says:

      I was thinking of another fictional name, “Linda Green.”

      (I wonder what Lorraine Brown, DocX and Lender Processing Services are up to these days?)

  4. harpie says:

    Would it be crazy to suggest that maybe the person/people/entity which hired and is/are paying Pierce are not the defendants, but some person/people/entity which has/have an interest in these particular cases being litigated in a certain way?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Excellent question. If such a sugar momma exists, she wouldn’t seem to care about the quality of the actual representation, or the outcomes of these cases. She seems to care only about having martyrs. If the defendants were important – instead of optics and the “cause” – having more and more competent lawyers would be a priority.

      • harpie says:

        Marcy probably knows if there is a connecting narrative thread that links the stories he’s telling about the defendants that were chosen by/for him.
        I think I recall one aspect being to equate them to Kavanaugh protesters.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Thanks, harpie and earl. I have wondered since Dr. EW brought him to our attention just what “story” it is that Pierce is assembling the elements to tell–or more likely, sell. You’ve reminded me of First Principles: with these folk, always follow the money. Now I want to know whom you’re hinting about, earl! Mercer?

        • pasha says:

          that makes sense. a de vos-funded front group helped organize the spring 2020 armed cosplay at the michigan capitol building, which in retrospect seems pretty analogous to, or even practice for, 1/6/2021

    • Silly but True says:

      Pierce jumped head-first into use of third-party litigation funding.

      We know numerous sources have provided “litigation capital” for Pierce, because he always defaults on them and they have to sue:
      Virage Capital: loaned $59m and sued when Pierce defaulted
      Pravatti Capital LLC: loaned $9m and sued when Pierce defaulted

      Pierce’s office landlord also had to sue for about half a million in unpaid rent over months — which one can sort of view as yet another indirect bridge loan against performance (or lack of) Pierce’s operations.

        • John Lehman says:

          Oh ya…they have the same accountant that handles their liabilities…she’s really quite well known……..Helen Waite…
          You want your money?

          Go to Helen Waite

  5. HanTran says:

    Not a lawyer, just asking a question. Is this in any way setting up future arguments of ineffective council?

  6. harpie says:

    oh my…Marcy just retweeted this:
    11:21 AM · Aug 25, 2021

    As it happens, Ryan Joseph Marshall, the lawyer who is handling John Pierce’s cases as he fights COVID in the hospital, is awaiting trial in Pennsylvania on multiple charges of theft, fraud & conspiracy related to a prior job as a judicial law clerk. [screenshots]

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Was he admitted in DC pro hac vice or is he just winging it? I suspect that might come up in his next appearance in court.

      • emptywheel says:

        He was just winging it, both times. I don’t think he claimed to be eligible for pro hac vice. He instead was proposing coming in under COVID emergency permissions for law students who didn’t have a chance to sit the Bar Exam.

        • cue says:

          “Meanwhile, Kisner Jr.’s wife attempted to visit him in a care facility but was told she wasn’t allowed to see him, Bower said. The next day, she learned he had been moved, but no one would say where, he said. No one notified her of his death on March 7, Bower said.

          “To this date, she does not know where her husband is buried,” he said.

          County detectives found eight recordings on Marshall’s cell phone from inside the courtroom of Judge Steve Leskinen, according to court papers. He additionally is charged with intercept oral communications and unlawful use of an audio device. It was unclear from court papers the nature of the recordings.

          Marshall surrendered Thursday and is free on unsecured bail. Cable had not been arraigned. Criminal complaints were provided by authorities Thursday but online court records for the other suspects were not available. ”

    • Silly but True says:

      The details are pretty wild.

      Marshall was caught up in unrelated wife-ranging investigation of Court employees running contraband ring for the jail. More than 20 court employees were indicted, most tied to running Xanax into jail.

      Marshall and another court partner were caught in that sting conspiring to defraud an elderly relative of the other. Marshall was charged with assistant court administrator Tammy Cable with falsifying documents in an attempt to steal from an elderly relative of Cable.

      What a guy.

    • P J Evans says:

      I’m wondering if they’re using “unresponsive” to mean “can’t talk or write, but awake”. (Yeah, I get suspicious when some things seem really convenient.)

      • gulageten says:

        It has a whiff of kayfabe, much like the Meadows “off the record sidebar” when Trump had his covid.

      • Ralf Maximus says:

        Medical people use ‘unresponsive’ to mean unconscious, and usually in the context of coma or near death. IANAD but have spent way too much time in ICUs.

      • Jenny says:

        Asked my friend who is a Physicians Assistant (PA) about the medical explanation of “non-responsive.”

        Not responsive means just that. No response to any stimuli (and not on any sedation like drugs/infusion). This could be due to infection among other things and this would be he is encephalopathic. When the infection (or other problems like acute kidney failure for instance) resolves/improves, the patients sensorium improves and he becomes more responsive provided he is not on any sedating drugs/infusions which are used often to keep them comfortable on a ventilator.

        Also he could be non-responsive because they are purposefully sedating him to control his ventilation/oxygenation which is a severe complication of COVID.

      • Scott Church says:

        Well, he still hasn’t responded to my tweet congratulating him on his shiny new ventilator !
        This one ain’t experimental, so he should be good..

    • Ravenclaw says:

      I would like to see independent confirmation of the ventilator story. It seems likely to be true, since these mega maga conspiracy peddlers probably wouldn’t pick COVID as their fake medical excuse. But so far no news outlet seems to have sought confirmation; they’re all citing Marcy citing Marshall’s courthouse statement. (If it is a made-up story to win time, which I doubt, it would be shades of old Rumpole of the Bailey, who would – however fictional – have been a better choice of representative for these folks.)

      • Raven Eye says:

        It would be difficult to get a confirmation of an individual’s medical status from someone other than immediate family or a person specifically authorized by the patient to reveal that sort of information.

        • Ravenclaw says:

          Yes, it would require seriously good reporting skills. Not just rephrasing Marcy’s careful analysis of what’s happening in court & on the legal record.

  7. Frank Probst says:

    I wouldn’t trust this guy’s description of Pierce’s medical condition to be 100% accurate. He pretty much says so himself, with the “we believe” part of the statement. It’s highly unlikely that he has access to Pierce’s medical team to begin with, since he’d need either a power of attorney or a HIPAA waiver to do so, and visiting COVID patients–especially ones who are in the ICU–is usually limited to a small number of people.

    • Frank Probst says:

      (That being said, the fact that his office doesn’t seem to know what his condition is suggests that he’s in pretty bad shape.)

    • Peterr says:

      I disagree. I think the description of Pierce’s condition is probably very accurate, with qualifier being attributed to the second or third hand knowledge (HIPAA and POA, as you noted). This is an easily checkable thing, if the court was predisposed to check. (“We would like a signed statement from an attending physician presented to the court by close of business on the 27th.”). And if the lawyer is lying and gets caught, he’s in an even bigger world of hurt than he is already.

  8. Hoping4Better_Times says:

    If I were charged with a crime on Jan 6 and needed a defense lawyer, I would ask the following questions before I engaged lawyer X to represent me:
    1. Are you licensed in federal court in the District of Columbia?
    2. Are you an experienced criminal defense attorney? (prove it)
    3. Who else have you represented in the past?
    (I would check those names and cases)
    4. What other Jan 6 defendants do you represent?
    5. If the answer to question 4 is yes, I would ask about “conflicts of interest.”
    6. How are you paid? Contract?
    7. Make sure you can discharge the lawyer by simply firing them.
    8. Bar complaints (any jurisdiction) filed against you?
    9. Have any former clients sued you?
    Obviously, John Pierce does not meet the criteria listed above.

    • bmaz says:

      1) If you are admitted in any other federal district court, you can get admitted in DC with a only a modicum of hassle, and can pretty easily get temporary pro hoc vice status in the meantime.

      2) A fair question to ask.

      3) No, not giving you that information.

      4+5) A great question. If the answer is any others, I would run if I were you. This may not apply to FPD’s or CJA panel attorneys on unrelated cases.

      6) Paid by retainer upfront and/or regular billing. Ought to be a sizable retainer up front for any private atty not an FPD or Panel atty.

      7) No, you can never simply fire a criminal atty on a whim. Once an atty of record, you can only leave the case with leave of court.

      8) Fair question.

      9) Most of any such suits get dismissed or are subject to confidential settlements.

      But, no, Pierce is a complete embarrassment. Look no further than his “work” on Rittenhouse. That alone is disqualifying.

      • Peterr says:

        Aren’t the answers to #3 and #9 public information? Court records will show who a lawyer represented, right, and whether any lawsuits were filed?

        Now asking for *details* of any of those cases might be out of bounds, but that’s a different issue.

        • Zirc says:

          Interesting. So if a suit is settled or dismissed, the fact it was ever filed can be disappeared from the public record?


        • Rugger9 says:

          In my neck of the woods, no if there was an actual case filed (and it appears, properly served). There will be a filing and a request for dismissal at least. Remember the court has to spend some time on these documents so would want to memorialize it somehow.

        • Rugger9 says:

          Aside from PACER for the feds (where Qs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 9 can be found with name searches) in CA it depends very much on the county, for example Santa Clara and San Mateo can support this type of query since the name check returns the cases regardless of status as defendant, plaintiff or attorney and in most cases the court docket filings as well (for the civil side, anyway). Other counties don’t do that (i.e. Alameda and Contra Costa) even in the same geographical area (SF Bay Area).

  9. harpie says:

    1/8/21 Mike LINDELL:

    [VIDEO He’s on a plane] I’m headed out to meet with General Flynn and Sidney Powell. All I can tell you is that Donald Trump is going to be your president for the next 4 years. It will all be revealed.

    Lotta stuff going on that I can’t say …this is the only time in history we have, to beat these guys, to – to suppress the evil… “[Eureka: he then repeats their well-weathered conspiracies, so what’s the “lotta stuff” he can’t say?]

    1/10/21 MEGGS: Insurrection act appears to be signed and we shall se [sic] what tomorrow brings.
    1/10/21 JAMES: That’s correct. The Insurrection act has been signed but not published to the public.
    1/15/21 TRUMP meets in Oval Office with LINDELL, whose meeting notes include:

    […] 15 [insurrection?] Act now as a result of the assault on the
    16 marial law if necessary upon the first hint of any
    19 Sidney Powell, Bill Olsen, Kurt Olsen.
    20 Move Kash Patel to CIA Acting. […]

    Info here:
    [From Eureka’s notes]:
    3:48 PM · Jan 15, 2021

    • harpie says:

      I just did it again…I think I’ll go to bed now.
      Is there any way these comments can be deleted?

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        Please don’t delete.
        I’ve not been able to catch up here in ages, so was this was a gem.

        (As for these defendants and their attys… you could not make this stuff up.)

    • John Paul Jones says:

      I dunno, but to me the whole MyPillow scheme sounds exactly like the sort of get-rich-relatively-quickly scheme that a cokehead would dream up. And the conspiracy BS fits perfectly: true gamblers always double down when they’re losing.

      • Peterr says:

        No, it’s a pretty standard late-night-infomercial operation that went to Lindell’s head. He’s been at it for years, long before Trump, and sees himself as the heir to the crown of Ron “But wait – there’s more!” Popeil.

        Lindell is more akin to Dan Ackroyd’s Bass-o-matic salesman.

        • P J Evans says:

          I suspect Popeil’s products were higher quality. (I once saw a cartoon, set in the Trek “Mirror, Mirror” episode, with the “captain’s woman” standing next to a framed screen with buttons marked “Slice”, “Dice”, “Julienne”, and “French Fry”.)

      • Raven Eye says:

        He might be dumb enough to try it. Can you imagine the cost of shipping a container load of pillows? Even my $2.49 Ikea pillows are assembled in the U.S.A.

    • matt fischer says:

      U.S. District Judge Linda Parker: “And this case was never about fraud — it was about undermining the People’s faith in our democracy and debasing the judicial process to do so.” [original in italics]

    • Leoghann says:

      Based on some of the judge’s remarks over the last couple of weeks, this is no surprise. But it is delightful to read about.

      • Peterr says:

        Even more delightful to read — and it is eminently readable. For instance:

        The Court does not believe that Wood was unaware of his inclusion as counsel in this case until a newspaper article alerted him to the sanctions motion filed against him and this is why.

        First, the City’s motion for sanctions was filed on January 5, 2021. (ECF No. 78.) At no time between that date and the July 12 hearing did Wood ever notify the Court that he had been impermissibly included as counsel for Plaintiffs in this action. Almost a month before the motion hearing, the Court entered an order requiring “[e]ach attorney whose name appears on any of Plaintiffs’ pleadings or briefs” to be present at the hearing. (ECF No. 123.) Wood still did not submit anything to the Court claiming that his name was placed on those filings without his permission. No reasonable attorney would sit back silently if his or her name were listed as counsel in a case if permission to do so had not been given.

        Second, Wood is not credible. 18 He claims that he was never served with the City’s motion for sanctions; however, counsel for the City represents that the motion was sent to Wood via e-mail and regular mail. (ECF No. 157 at Pg ID 5363-64.) Kimberly Hunt, the office manager for the City’s attorneys, affirms in an affidavit that she mailed via First Class U.S. Mail a copy of the Safe Harbor Letter and the Safe Harbor Motion to Wood, among others, on December 15, 2020, and that no copies were returned as undeliverable. (ECF No. 164-3 at Pg ID 6393 ¶¶ 5, 8.) And despite being told that he had the opportunity to attach an affidavit to his supplemental brief in order to put his oath behind his factual assertions (see ECF No. 157 at Pg ID 5517), Wood surprisingly chose not to do so.19, 20

        More importantly, Wood’s social media postings undermine his current assertions, as do his statements in other court proceedings. As discussed during the July 12 hearing, on the day the City e-mailed copies of the Safe Harbor Letter and Safe Harbor Motion to Plaintiffs’ counsel, Wood tweeted a link to an article containing a copy of the motion, stating “[w]hen you get falsely accused by the likes of David Fink and Mark Elias . . . in a propaganda rag like Law & Crime, you smile because you know you are over the target and the enemy is running scared [sic]!” (ECF No. 164-6 at Pg ID 6424; ECF No. 157 at Pg ID 5369-70.) On January 5, 2021, the day the City filed the motion, Wood tweeted a link to an article with the motion, stating that it was “unfair” for the City to seek sanctions against him. (ECF No. 164-7 at Pg ID 6426.) In a federal courtroom in the Eastern District of New York on January 11, Wood acknowledged that the City was “trying to get [him] disbarred.” (ECF No. 164-12 at Pg ID 6506.) Even more importantly, prior to the July 12 hearing, Wood took credit for filing this lawsuit.21 In a brief submitted in the Delaware Supreme Court, Wood claimed, through his counsel:

        [Wood] represented plaintiffs challenging the results of the 2020 Presidential election in Michigan and Wisconsin. . . . In the days and weeks following the [General Election of 2020], Wood became involved in litigation contesting the election’s results or the manner votes were taken or counted in critical “swing states.” Among those cases in which Wood became involved were lawsuits in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Wood’s own suit in the State of Georgia.

        Phrases like “Here’s why” and “. . . and this is why” ought to strike fear into any attorney or attorneys at whom a judge aims it. And she aimed them very, very well.

        This is a judge who is not pleased at being lied to by lawyers standing before her, not pleased at having the Court’s time wasted, and very very not pleased at seeing lawyers try to use the Court to engage in “undermining the People’s faith in our democracy and debasing the judicial process to do so.”

      • Peterr says:

        Another keeper:

        Plaintiffs’ counsel [the Kraken] may not bury their heads in the sand and thereafter make affirmative proclamations about what occurred above ground. In such cases, ignorance is not bliss — it is sanctionable.

      • Peterr says:

        And don’t neglect the footnotes:

        82 And for these reasons, this lawsuit is not akin to Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), as Plaintiffs’ counsel, Powell, baselessly suggested during the July 12 hearing. (ECF No. 157 at Pg ID 5534.) Yes, attorneys may and should raise difficult and even unpopular issues to urge change in the law where change is needed. But unlike Plaintiffs’ attorneys here, then-attorney Thurgood Marshall had the requisite legal footing on which his clients’ claims were grounded in Brown, and the facts were not based on speculation and conjecture. Brown arose from an undeniable history during which Black Americans were treated as second-class citizens through legalized segregation in the schools of our country. In stark comparison, the present matter is built on fantastical claims and conspiracy theories.

        Let us pause to note this from Judge Parker’s official bio at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan’s website: “A native Detroiter, Judge Parker is a former director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, a position in which she served from 2003 until 2008.”

        I sense Judge Parker is channeling and paraphrasing her inner Lloyd Bentsen here: “Ms Powell, I know of Thurgood Marshall. Thurgood Marshall is an inspiration of mine. You, Ms. Powell, are no Thurgood Marshall.”

        • Ravenclaw says:

          Yes, a pleasure to read. Love how the “lawyers” in question need to complete CE units on pleading standards and election law.

    • John Paul Jones says:

      A page-turner for sure. Even the sort of boilerplate in the middle was (to me) fascinating, watching her knock down the Plaintiff’s “arguments” one by one. I hope her referrals to other jurisdictions for sanctions get acted upon.

    • FLwolverine says:

      I checked out the local Michigan lawyers who signed on to this garbage. According to his website, Richard Scott Hagerstrom (a graduate of Michael Cohen’s alma mater, Cooley Law School) has been very active in Trump campaigns since at least 2016.

      Gregory Rohl already had his law license suspended for 30 days a few years ago because he was convicted of disorderly conduct and because he failed to supervise his non-lawyer staff properly (I don’t know what they did, but it must have been pretty egregious for someone to complain to the Attorney Grievance Commission and for the AGC to follow through on the complaint). A trial attorney friend who tried a case with Rohl said he was “insufferable” and “bat shit crazy” (my friend won that case BTW). But Rohl spent time working for Geoffrey “Dr Kevorkian” Feiger, so he had quite a role model.

      Stephanie Junttila I don’t know about except that her online resume is long on words and short on substance and her law firm website photo looks like a teenager trying to look tough. I can’t tell if she’s a true believer or an opportunist. But she’s been practicing for 14 years and should have known better.

  10. skua says:

    Would these defendants be much worse off if Sidney Powell becomes their attorney?
    Pierce, perhaps enhanced now with the benefits of being unconscious, may not deliberately try to manipulate the judge into increasing the sentences imposed so as to inflate #stopthesteal martyrdom and increase outrage. Though the defendants could easily miss out on featuring in Sidney’s evocation of a fictional monster.
    How unlikely are good choices when awash in Trumpism?

  11. Molly Pitcher says:

    I just have to say that this site and all the people on it frequently make my day. This is one of the times. I would buy you all a drink.

        • Peterr says:

          A picture may be worth a thousand words, but words will not quench your thirst. When I’m hungry, I want a meal and not a menu.

          But perhaps Robert Burns put it best, noting the power of Scotch Drink to quell arguments:

          When neebors anger at a plea,
          An’ just as wud as wud can be,
          How easy can the barley-bree
          Cement the quarrel!
          It ‘s ay the cheapest Lawyer’s fee
          To taste the barrel.

          Which brings us back to Sydney Powell, L. Lin Wood, et al.

          More scotch and fewer lawyers!

        • rip says:

          Their poison is probably 80+% alcohol with flavorings. Ginebra, tannins/oak flavanoids, twist of lemon, or maybe a dash of olives.

          Still just ethanol coursing down their gullets (esophageal cancer), into their digestive tract and brain and liver and kidneys. So many ways for dimwits to destroy their half-wits. But how would they know?

        • Eureka says:

          LOL (and I knew this would revolt someone) but the trend of pickling in beverages gets sold (for those who “need” the marketing) as like dirty martinis (American institution, that: cf. pizza). So imagine some pickled grapes (gently, dipping toes into the sour/briny idea- no muddling!) skewered into your malbec. Wonderful, it turns out (besides sparkling up restaurant/bar menus with novelties).

          That is my one and only Book Report from # Hot Vax Summer, squelched before it even began.

        • Peterr says:

          Or . . . you could just get a better Malbec.

          I’ll put pickles on my burger, pickles in my rouladen, and pickles in my ham salad, but I won’t put them in my wine.

        • Eureka says:

          Wow, throwing down the gauntlet without embracing the subtlety. And eww, gross: who defiles burgers with pickles?



          If I ever leave the house again I will raise a glass to you in sorrow of your missing out.

          Adding: and while I’m at it, maybe I should find some nice rap music to post to bmaz’ Watts page.

        • J R in WV says:

          You do know that when local vine ripe tomatoes come in, pork belly futures rise like a tide, as BLT sandwiches become possible again after a long winter without?

          Vie ripe tomatoes are a blessing from the gods of horticulture and farming! They are part of what makes summer better than winter!

          Thinking of frying some bacon tonight to go with the big ripe tomatoes from the farmer’s market. Varmits have done a horror in the local garden tomato patches. But the farmer’s market sells vine ripe heirloom tomatoes to all comers.

        • nord dakota says:

          Same. I made a good faith effort to like raw tomato on a sandwich once (Harriet the Spy!) and just couldn’t do it. If I make tabouleh I used canned diced tomatoes instead of raw.

        • Leoghann says:

          Thank you for your creativity. “#HotVaxSummer” will now be the name of my next porno production. To where should I send the royalty checks?

        • Eureka says:

          Well I hear Trump likes to cash checks worth pennies and take credit for others’ innovations

        • P J Evans says:

          Raisins in booze is an old idea – they go with sherry, rum, or triple sec. (James Beard’s mother’s raisin bread has raisins plumped in sherry. Happy raisins!)

        • Rayne says:

          This recipe is similar to my mother’s “Tin Lizzies” she made at Christmas, though hers called for soaking the raisins in bourbon and citron in brandy overnight rather than putting the liquor in the batter. Small boozy fruitcakes, they are. I recall getting hammered as a child while sampling the fruits before mixing the batter.

        • tmooretxk says:

          When my father passed away, he had enjoyed more than a half century of sobriety, with the sole and storied exception of an encounter with a well-doctored fruitcake. Ah, memories …

  12. Tom says:

    These folks who won’t take the vaccine because they “don’t know what’s in it”, I wonder if they know what’s in a bag of Doritos.

      • rip says:

        Interesting. Never knew that all those frito products really wanted to emphasize that the white, corny people were actually the product.

        Personally I like the expensive blue corn ones but can’t eat any of these fatty products very often.

        • P J Evans says:

          LOL They use white corn because they can color it uniformly. Yellow corn is more variable than they want.

  13. RWood says:

    Watching the daily crumble of the MAGA world is entertaining, but I can’t help but look long term. What happens after this band of imbeciles is locked away or disarmed? Is there a second-string team waiting to take their place? Will the punishments being doled out to both the leadership and their cult followers be enough to deter them from trying this again? Or will they learn from the mistakes of the first string and do better the second time?

    Cult members are never in short supply, but are there enough of the Kelly Meggs type still out there willing to risk prison time for dear leader?

    Cult leaders are fewer in number. There are some that would love to step into trumps shoes and leverage the Cult to a position of power. But most suck at it. Being a malignant narcissist is evidently easier than playing one on TV. DeSantis needs acting lessons.

    Cult financiers. Here is the rub. Money is not the issue for them but rather a problem of backing the right horse and doing so without the backlash that impacts their status/fortune. It doesn’t take too many of these types so I doubt this will change.

    Cult defenders. This may be the straw. Few lawyers worthy of the task seem willing to take on these clients. The ones who do are quickly becoming pariahs and proving themselves to be idiots. I doubt many will be willing to step into the vacancies left by the ones being sanctioned/disbarred, unless someone from the financier group is willing to compensate them for the loss of their career. Who knows? Everyone has their price.

    Then we have a timing issue. 2022-2024 elections are not far off. Will the crumbling of the MAGA empire be advanced enough for the cult to no longer follow it in the numbers necessary? Will they vote for a leader who is facing federal charges or waiting to be sentenced? The Big Lie is still being pushed. Will there be enough believers two years from now to make it a viable campaign issue?

    Or will Covid kill off enough of the MAGA voters to make this whole thing moot?

    Regardless, I’m watching the downfall and wondering what it will look like a year from now.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      RWOOD, don’t let the appearance of sane government fool you. Anti-democratic forces have dispersed and gone underground, where they will continue to roil and fester as long as people in power see stoking their fears as their own ticket to more power/money. Nothing about the American experiment is safe. Certainly not when voting itself is being vivisected under the perversely brilliant banner of Stop the Steal.

    • Peterr says:

      Re cult leaders and members, MO and KS have plenty. Josh Hawley is angling to run for President on the MAGA ticket, with MO AG Eric Schmitt looking to replace the retiring Sen Roy “He’s a RINO, right?” Blunt. Hawley is walking right up to the line with supporting the Jan 6 folks, and Schmitt has filed bat-sh*t lawsuits against St. Louis, Jackson County (KC area), and Columbia (U of MO area) for imposing mask mandates. Honestly, the “facts” he cites in his filings are on par with the Kraken in this case, and I hope there’s a MO judge willing to follow Judge Parker’s example.

      Financiers in MO have split on these guys. Some are quite willing to fund them as usual, while a few have said “no more.” So far, neither Hawley nor Schmitt is hurting for money, but there are lots of shadows around the campaign spending.

  14. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Grifters gonna grift. By definition, they change their story as the moment demands. A day or two ago, for example, an associate of John Pierce asserted in federal court that John Pierce had Covid, that he was non-responsive and on a ventilator. Cue sympathy cards. (That associate, however, is apparently under indictment in Pennsylvania for multiple felony counts related to his past employment with a state court.)

    Today, however, a “dear friend” of Pierce – Brody Womack – put out a statement that might – or might not – contradict that earlier statement. He asserted via e-mail that Pierce was under a doctor’s care and suffering from “dehydration and exhaustion.”

    Womack does NOT say Pierce does not have Covid. He only implies it, then talks about his bravery and toughness as a former Army captain and tank commander. He does say that Pierce reasonably believed he might have Covid. Based on the published language, both stories could be true – or neither. I suspect not much is gonna happen until Pierce himself directly informs the court about why he isn’t there representing his clients. But none of this miscommunication helps his clients – and they should take note.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      EW has more on the John Pierce stories, noting that the statement from Womack neither confirms nor denies that Pierce has Covid. She refers to an Insider story that discusses the Ryan Marshall – Pierce has Covid – statement from yesterday – and that Brody Womack is a colleague, not an associate, of Pierce. He works at a “think tank” Pierce helped found – the misnamed right wing National Constitutional Law Union.

      The bigger buzz is that the phone numbers for Pierce’s law firm – Pierce Bainbridge P.C – appear to have been disconnected! That’s a big deal. Bar and court rules require that you provide a ready means for the court and your clients to contact you – and that you respond promptly to their requests. That especially applies to criminal defendants – whom Pierce has little experience representing – in the midst of hearings on their cases.

      If Pierce’s 17+ criminal defendant clients have a hard time contacting a guy who’s shut off his phones, it will be another matter for the courts and the California and DC bar associations to take up. As Pierce is about to learn, snowballs just get bigger when they roll down hill.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The Pierce Bainbridge P.C. website is still up. The chutzpah is of near Trumpian proportions. But there are a few tells that there’s no there there – apart from the phones not working.

      The most obvious is that the web page that describes the lawyers on Pierce’s team does not name any lawyers. It’s just cliched marketing-speak: “The best and the brightest,” who come from “the world’s premier law firms,” and “thrive on competition” and “working together.” This last bit had me rolling in the aisle:

      “We are relentless, detail-oriented, and can turn on a dime when the situation changes. Pierce Bainbridge P.C. learns your business, lives and breathes your case, and does whatever it takes to accomplish your litigation objective. We are a courtroom special operations force dedicated to the lost art of combat by trial.”

      Apologies to bmaz. That last bit must have made him spew his coffee.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The coffee or the web site? I reckon you’ve seen this bunk so many times, it no longer fazes you.

        • bmaz says:

          Lol, okay, finally got it to resolve. Took a couple of minutes (and my technology is pretty new!).

          But, man, you and Earl are right, it is bizarre. They don’t even name any of their lawyers. Wow

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Strange, the website opens for me, both the top level .com and the /the-team/ pages. Am using firefox and a vpn.

      • Ravenclaw says:

        The sub-page under “team” (which cannot be linked to from the main page) is called “partners” and it lists only one – guess who? Then you can drill down to the description of this best of the brightest at and be treated to a depiction of The Man in all his glory. Starting with how he was called “one of the world’s most esteemed trial lawyers” by something called Benchmark Plaintiff Litigation in 2012. Benchmark Plaintiff seems to be a spinoff from Benchmark Litigation; 2012 was its first release; I don’t think it’s still a thing but am not sure. Benchmark Litigation looks to me a lot like one of the outfits that “ranks” colleges or college programs, basically to attract clicks from people trying to find the right school but without really doing much of anything to evaluate them. Could easily be wrong there, though, as it’s outside my field.

        I also stumbled across this piece describing how he lost a managing partnership at a big firm back in 2016. Maybe everyone here already knew this, but just in case, it seems that he punched out another employee (detaching their retina) while intoxicated, then refused to follow through on a drug rehab placement the firm arranged. Charming as ever.

        • Nord Dakota says:

          “A graduate of Harvard Law School, where he received the honor of serving as an editor of the highly prestigious HARVARD LAW REVIEW, John is often retained by major corporations and FINANCIAL institutions in the most difficult, high-profile bet-the-company business disputes”

          This doesn’t show the font so to show italics I used caps. Law review fine, but why italicize “financial”? And who adjectivizes Harvard Law Review as “highly prestigious”?

        • Ravenclaw says:

          Yes, and he really was on the masthead in 1999-2000. Man had some intellectual gifts for sure. But that plus a soupcon of privilege isn’t always enough to counter a long history of intoxication, violence, and narcissistic bullying. (Supposedly 70+ lawyers have worked for him, then quit, over the last few years, many telling similar stories of the experience.)

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          As bmaz points out, HLR has historically been regarded as very prestigious. Given its size, it has a ton of editors every year. If you were one of them, you broadcast it. Apart from maybe medical doctors and academics, few trades are as resume-conscious as lawyers.

          The three other law firms Pierce worked at are also prestigious. The tell is in how long he was there and why he left. He’s a comet that’s already crashed and burned. It just hasn’t caught up with him yet, though his mysterious absences of late suggest he’s in the process of figuring that out.

      • Nord Dakota says:

        Oh well. My son has a business (network installation) with a site hosted by godaddy and built by someone else. It has a lot of webspeak blurbs and photos, one of which actually does picture him and a partner, the rest stock photos, They want a ridiculous amount of money to so much as change a photo. He had a dispute with the state over whether he was required to pay to worker’s comp (he won) but part of their argument was the appearance of the site and references to “our team of blah blah blah”, he candidly said in depo that was to make them look bigger than they are. (And no, he’s not the kind of guy who calls his Senator buddy and tries to snag a humungous federal contract when a hurricane hits PR).

      • Raven Eye says:

        Maximize…, utilize…, facilitate…, and enhance… — all in the same sentence; the mark of a pro!

      • Leoghann says:

        The turgid verbiage on the PierceBainbridge site and the webspeak spew from Brody Womack this morning indicate that they’re from the same author. Repellant and grifty, with lots of red flags.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Good for her, because it looks like partners and associates have been bolting from his eponymous law firm almost since the day he opened it in 2017. His mountain of debt grew as fast as claims of malpractice. If Pierce isn’t really in hospital, I’d be concerned about his proximity to airports and border crossings.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        To answer your last question, the AUSA is putting on the record that Pierce, as defense counsel for Schwartz, has been given all the information his client is so far entitled to. Any delays or failure to act, any reckless disregard or gross or simple negligence are on him. Because it’s beginning to look like the hatches on MV John Pierce are open and it’s about to be hit by the gales of November.

  15. Eureka says:

    Afghan evacuees expected at Philly airport as soon as Friday

    WASHINGTON — Hundreds of evacuees fleeing Afghanistan are expected to arrive this weekend at Philadelphia International Airport, the second airport in the nation enlisted by the Biden administration to receive people rescued from the violence that’s engulfed the country.

    Two planes, each carrying 200 to 300 people, could land late Friday or early Saturday, according to a source familiar with the planning. A senior Biden administration official confirmed the airport would be the second, after Dulles International Airport outside Washington, to welcome people evacuated from Afghanistan. Dulles has accepted more than 8,600 people from the country this week.

    The plan is for those who come through Philadelphia to be bused to a processing site in Camden. Many without clear immigration status could end up at South Jersey’s Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst for further processing and resettlement. The base is one of four in the country so far housing people arriving from Afghanistan, along with others in Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

    The four bases have an initial capacity of 25,000 for the arrivals, according to the White House, but others could be added.

    In a statement late Thursday, Mayor Jim Kenney said Philadelphia “stands in solidarity with Afghan refugees and we look forward to providing them a safe haven in our Welcoming City.”

    A spokesperson for the Kenney administration said the operation was led by the federal government, but added: “We stand ready to provide medical assistance, housing, and connection to our diverse community of immigrant service providers who can assist with an array of social services. “

    How to help Afghan refugees: Where you can volunteer, donate, and more in Philadelphia

    • Eureka says:

      Marcy has been tweeting about Mirriam Zary’s efforts to help refugees and others arriving from her home country and RT’d this new announcement:

      MirriamZary 🇦🇫: “260 packages yesterday. All opened up and organized into the truck. Our org has a name. And an instagram. I’ll announce it tomorrow. [photo]”
      11:19 PM · Aug 27, 2021

  16. Ravenclaw says:

    The NCLU itself looks like a total grift. Incorporated in Wyoming last April as a nonprofit, one of the main stated goals is to “provide funding directly to clients and their law firms.” In other words, donations can simply be funneled to the lawyers who run the site as long as they can find clients willing to be represented. The web page lists only Pierce and Marshall as “the team.” But the articles of incorporation (whatever they’re technically called) name Brody Womack as the incorporator and director. Cloud Peak Law Group is the agent. This seems to be a basically legit firm that does a lot of work forming LLCs and corporations, drawing up trusts, etc., but also specializes in “asset protection” against creditors and bankruptcy proceedings – maybe how Pierce got to know them?

    Incidentally, I can’t seem to find *anything* definite about this Brady Lee Womack character. There is no such person in Wyoming (except maybe an Airman First Class, who doesn’t sound like our man), and none of the few other people of that name who crop up on web searches seem quite right – though I suppose one of them must be. And the contact information on the incorporation articles is an email address for one of the lawyers at the firm. Anyone have information about this man’s background etc.?

    • Ravenclaw says:

      Idiot alert! (Me being the idiot in question.) I searched for Brady, not Brody! There is a tiny bit of info out there on a Brody Womack who may have lived in Sheridan and/or Cheyenne. If this is the fellow in question, he’s barely reached adulthood. In 2018 he was a winner in a competition for high school kids writing essays about electric cars.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Wyoming has decided to compete with Delaware and Nevada as a super friendly place to incorporate a business. Low fees, secrecy, few regulatory requirements, the works.

    • Ravenclaw says:

      Update: Cloud Peak Law Group is a little shakier than I first thought. The principal is one Mark Pierce (!). His LinkedIn page states that he has been an attorney for over 30 years but lists a law degree from 28 years ago (not too far off). But he was admitted to the Bar in 2014 (before that worked as an accountant). Can’t help thinking he’s some kind of relative of John Pierce, though the name is common enough that it might be coincidence. (A son, Andrew, works for him as a paralegal, but there don’t seem to be any other members of the legal staff. Someone who works there must be called Dave, because that’s the only name on the email address for contacting Brody Womack on the articles of incorporation.)

      The location given for the “nonprofit” (which also appears once for the law firm itself, though it seems to have lots of addresses) is apparently just a place where mail gets sorted, not an actual office.

  17. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Given his track record since 2016, California bar authorities should have already disbarred John Pierce. Time for them to make up for past mistakes, before Pierce further harms other clients, courts, vendors, and associates.

    • Ravenclaw says:

      Unless Larry Elder becomes governor, in which case he’ll probably be named attorney general. (Not really! But it feels like this kind of craziness is in the wind.)

  18. Rugger9 says:

    OT: Leon Panetta is back in circulation, he’s only slightly better than Joe Lieberman (I do mean slightly) and a notorious opportunist in these parts. Of course his investments require the forever war to continue in Afghanistan, so that’s how he’s beating the drums now.

      • rip says:

        And make their sons and daughters go fight in THEIR wars. Let’s see if chicken-hawk blood runs red, blue, or gray.

    • MB says:

      Ugh, just saw a clip of Panetta being interviewed by Chuckie T.- “the work in Afghanistan is not yet done”. Interpreted narrowly, that’s probably true. But now we have domestic terrorism on the loose in our own country – and I wonder which form terrorism of Panetta gives more weight to in terms of prioritizing counter-terrorism resources.

      We should ship our terrorists over to Afghanistan and stage “cage matches”: Proud Boys vs. Taliban, Oath Keepers vs. ISIS-K, 3 Percenters vs. Al Qaeda etc. etc.

  19. dadidoc1 says:

    I’m trying not to sound cynical, but “non-responsive” is a legal term, “un-responsive” is a medical term. Is it possible that the whole he can’t be in court because he’s on a ventilator “non-responsive” is another way of saying the dog ate my homework and I’m not prepared to defend my client?

  20. bmaz says:

    Alright, if you want to see some truly bad legal takes other than Pierce, and some truly sick misogyny, check out this madness that emanates from Katherine Walsh’s nonsense post. Here is her tweet bragging about it. It may be the single most ignorant and misogynistic thing I have ever seen one woman write about others. Read the responses to her self congratulatory tweet, where about everybody properly blows her up. It is worth a couple of minutes.

  21. Leoghann says:

    As the saying goes, “cocaine is a helluva drug.” All of Pierce’s antics from around 2015 indicate strongly that he’s a cocaine addict. This includes the over-the-top self-aggrandizing behavior, his financial foibles, and his habit of occasionally dropping out of sight. Cocaine is particularly attractive to hot-shot lawyers because it makes them feel so powerful, competent, and superior. Also, the user quickly develops a tolerance that just continues to increase, unlike opiates and opioids, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates, which can cause the autonomic nervous system to fail. This rapidly increasing tolerance makes it essentially impossible to use it on a maintenance basis. Instead, users tend to go on “runs,” during which getting more of the drug becomes, not the most important, but the only consideration. An addict who has access to large sums of money, such as a successful attorney, can quickly find themself using all financial resources on the drug and the surrounding lifestyle. So questions like “where did all that money go?” become common from observers.

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