Tuesday, January 24, 2023

So much for the 'Rule of Law' in Seattle


The far-left cabal that runs Seattle has demonstrated, yet again, its contempt for anything and anyone that tries to hold it accountable for its misdeeds.  This time, it's flagrant disobedience to court orders.

The city of Seattle has been hit with sanctions by a federal judge for deleting thousands of text messages between officials, including the former mayor, police chief, and fire chief during the deadly three-week-long Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, also known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or what was termed the CHAZ or CHOP.

. . .

The destruction of the evidence was intentional and officials worked for months to hide the evidence, which included deleting texts, according to the judge. He wrote, “The Court finds substantial circumstantial evidence that the city acted with the requisite intent necessary to impose a severe sanction and that the city’s conduct exceeds gross negligence.”

The judge added that when the case goes to trial he will impose a “severe sanction” on the city and instruct the jury to presume the text messages were detrimental to the city’s case and that there is plenty of circumstantial evidence they were deleted intentionally.

Zilly wrote in the 39-page order, “City officials deleted thousands of text messages from their city-owned phones in complete disregard of their legal obligation to preserve relevant evidence. Further, the city significantly delayed disclosing … that thousands of text messages had been deleted” and could not be recovered or recovered.

He concluded, “As a result, substantial evidence has been destroyed by the city and is unavailable to plaintiffs to support their position in this litigation.”

. . .

Zilly wrote, “Although the city issued a significant number of litigation holds” that required the preservation of all evidence pertaining to the lawsuits that had been filed months earlier, “Officials at the highest levels of city government completely disregarded these holds and deleted thousands of relevant text messages.”

He stated in the order, “Instead, Mayor Durkan, Chief Best, Chief Scoggins, and other key city officials purged (through factory resets, changed retention settings, or manual deletions) thousands of CHOP-related text messages from their phones after they were under a clear legal obligation to preserve such information and without confirming that all of their text messages had been preserved through other means.”

There's more at the link.

Therefore, those businesses suing the Seattle city council for the disruption and financial losses caused to their businesses by the CHAZ/CHOP fiasco must now make their case without much of the evidence they need to prove it.  That, of course, was probably the entire point of the mass deletion of messages.

I think the judge was absolutely correct to say that at the trial, he would "instruct the jury to presume the text messages were detrimental to the city’s case and that there is plenty of circumstantial evidence they were deleted intentionally".  However, we're dealing with a Seattle jury.  What are the odds that there won't be sufficient hard-progressive-left jurors that they'll ignore the judge's instructions and vote according to their political views?

I'm glad I'm not on trial for anything in Seattle.  I'm far from sure I'd get a fair trial, or a just verdict and sentence.



SiGraybeard said...

In situations like this, just like the way a bunch of states have reacted to the Supreme Court by passing clearly unconstitutional anti-gun laws, I've concluded the whole point is to make anyone opposed to their laws go bankrupt fighting them in court. The process is the punishment.

State governments don't have the Federal Reserve's Infinite Checkbook, but compared to the individuals fighting them, what they have is close enough. You'll go bankrupt long before you put a dent in a state's budget. Practically, that also applies to any organization going against them; the GOA, 2AF, and so on in the gun world.

There's a story that early in 20th century, someone advised Stalin that something he was doing was opposed by the Pope. Stalin supposedly said, "the pope? How many divisions does he have?" In this case, the state has a floor in a building full of lawyers that are getting paid anyway. What do you have?

MNW said...

The question is percentage of people who are blind ideologes vs the number of people whobare fed up

MNW said...

I would add that itvus federal court so the jurily pool likely extebds well past Seatle

Anonymous said...

Wondering when someone is going to subpoena the NSA for deleted records

Mind your own business said...

Makes you hope that there is a reason Seatle is on the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to active volcanoes.

Mike Austin said...

Law, as it is commonly understood, has not existed in the US for some time now. It has become a tool used by the elites---who themselves are immune from all laws---to oppress normal Americans. This system can function only if those Americans obey existing law. Once that obedience ends, then it is civil war.

A man can moan and groan and wring his hands about the coming violence, for all the good that will do. Recall the Jefferson quote about how to refresh the Tree of Liberty. Such refreshment is long overdue.

Old NFO said...

Why am I not surprised...

Ray - SoCal said...

My thoughts also.

Plus I wonder how many other backups there are.

Mike-SMO said...

When I was in a corporate situation, I made paper copies of everything and threw them in a drawer. I could not be sure that those in my "chain" kept their copy, but I had mine. There are always "backups", if you dig deep enough and know where to dig. As a practical matter, if a person claims "X" and there is no backup, "X" is true. SCOTUS might not agree but the lack of a backup means either evil actor or gross incompetence. Either way, "Guilty". Going that route makes it hard to target a conspiracy, but gets you something.

nick flandrey said...

the elites---who themselves are immune from all laws

- well, not entirely. See also Jeffrey Epstein. See also [a whole long list of bankers who stole from russian mobsters]. See also [a long list of bankers who we are not sure who they stole from or lost money for, but they don't typically nail gun themselves to death.]

There are a whole lotta russian oligarchs that thought they were above the law, but are now below the ground...

It's just a different law, played at a different level.

For you and me? Oh yeah, rule of law in the traditional sense is dead and with it western civilization. The corpse is just so big, the tail is still moving after the head has died.

Aesop said...

Subpoena all involved officials, and, upon their appearance in person in court, hold them in contempt. Then refer them to the prosecutor for obstruction of justice charges, and conspiracy, if possible and applicable. Hold them on the contempt charges until trial. No bail, no statute of limitations, and no maximum sentence.

Dulce et decorum est.

KurtP said...

They learned the consequences of deleting evidence when Hillary! got away with it scot-free.

bultaco1495 said...

So, it's a $3.5 million dollar fine.
[This goes with, "So much for the 'Rule of Law' in Seattle" post (dated January 4th, 2023) on this blog website.].
From the Seattle Times:
"Seattle settles CHOP lawsuit for $3.6M, with $600K for deleted texts"