Democratic Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel suffered a humiliating defeat in the Michigan Supreme Court that you probably haven't heard anything about.  It was a repeat of failure on her part to get any sort of justice for the good people of Flint and an opportunity to legally pursue the prior Republican administration of Rick Snyder, accused of ignoring the Flint water crisis in the middle of the last decade.  Her ineptitude is in clear focus when compared to the prior attorney general, a Republican who had indicted over a dozen people before Nessel dismissed them and sought her own indictments with improper grand juries. 

Most Michigan news outlets seem hesitant to relay the facts of this story, probably because the AG is aligned politically with them; it took the progressive-leaning New York Times to relay the action of the court and lay out the facts of how terribly her office handled the whole affair.  On Tuesday, June 28th, the Michigan Supreme Court voted 6-0 finding that Michigan statutes explicitly prohibit a judge acting as a one-man grand jury and nullified the indictments received. That means former governor Rick Snyder and eight other officials will be off the hook barring a total restart of the process.

The AP News Service labeled is as an "astonishing defeat" and wrote:  

"Nessel assigned Fadwa Hammoud to lead the criminal investigation, along with Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy, while the attorney general focused on settling lawsuits against the state.

Hammoud and Worthy turned to a one-judge grand jury in Genesee County to hear evidence in secret and get indictments against Snyder and others.

“There are no velvet ropes in our criminal justice system,” Hammoud proudly declared in 2021 when charges were filed. “Nobody — no matter how powerful or well-connected — is above accountability when they commit a crime.”

But she and her team, acting on Worthy’s recommendation, didn’t follow a traditional process. Hammoud still hasn’t publicly explained why."

 The court was unanimous, as well as “unequivocal and scathing” in its rebuke to Nessel, according to one defendant’s attorney. The controlling opinion seems relatively mild, but the concurrence from Judge Bernstein brings the problem more to light and breaks it down in easy terms after highlighting the governing laws:

"Our court rules state that a defendant is entitled to “subpoena and call witnesses, offer proofs, and examine and cross-examine witnesses at the preliminary examination.” MCR 6.110(C).

Clearly, and as this Court’s decision aptly recognizes, a preliminary examination serves a crucial function for criminal defendants in our adversarial system. It allows defendants to learn about the specific criminal charges they face, confront allegedly incriminating evidence, and prepare a defense. The prosecution argues that the Legislature, through the statutes in question, has given it the discretion to opt out of a preliminary examination, as the prosecution did here. This assertion is quite alarming, and were it true, the prosecution would have the power to decide whether to grant a defendant permission to probe and challenge the charges against them before being formally indicted. Such a result runs afoul of the basic notions of fairness that underlie our adversarial system. I do not believe we can tolerate such a procedural offense. …

Put simply, the prosecution’s power to charge individuals and haul them into court is constrained by certain preconditions. We recognize today that, under these circumstances, one of those preconditions is required by statute—a preliminary examination. The prosecution cannot simply cut corners in order to prosecute defendants more efficiently. To allow otherwise would be repugnant to the foundational principles of our judicial system."

The NYT adds the fact that when Nessel took office in 2019, fifteen Michigan officials had been indicted using the normal grand-jury process. Nessel had those indictments tossed:

"The charges brought by Ms. Nessel’s team were a second attempt at prosecuting officials for what had happened in Flint. Before Ms. Nessel took office, her Republican predecessor helped oversee cases against 15 state and local officials for crimes as serious as involuntary manslaughter. But Ms. Nessel’s team had those cases dismissed in 2019 before filing new charges against several of the same officials."

Years of substantive legal progress with legitimate grand juries were thrown away by Nessel in what appears to be an attempt to grandstand the issue and call it her own prosecution of those who poisoned the water in Flint-- yet nearly four years into her effort, all the resources she used have effectively been for nothing other than showing what a complete failure she has been as an attorney general.


Back in April, federal prosecutors failed to convict four men accused of conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, signaling that the specious charges created by Attorney General Dana Nessel against six other men at the same time may meet the same fate.  Scheduled for a trial beginning on October 10th for three of the six accused (over two years after the men were arraigned), and August for the other three, nothing has been offered publicly to show the alleged conspiracy created by the Attorney General's office ever existed. 

It will be interesting seeing whether the likely failure of these prosecutions in front of juries will try to be postponed until after the November election, after the voters decide whether to retain this joker who can't even follow the rules herself.

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Another corrupt politician. Thanks X for the information.


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