News conference: GOP presidential Andy Martin renews request for federal judge to step down in Dennis Hastert’s criminal case
GOP presidential candidate, Illinois political expert and national corruption fighter Andy Martin will hold a telephone news conference today, October 28th to renew his request that the federal judge hearing former U. S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s case step down. The judge previously gave a campaign contribution to Hastert. Andy’s letter to the judge is self-explanatory.
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Announcement of telephone news conference Wednesday, October 28
Conservative columnist and Republican Party maverick Andy Martin renews request for Hastert judge to step down
Andy says that judge’s insistence on sentencing someone he gave a campaign contribution to disgraces
Andy says that the judge is acting as an accomplice to a political cover-up
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) ( Chicago October 28, 2015) GOP presidential candidate, conservative
columnist and corruption investigator Andy Martin will hold a telephone news
conference today, October 28th to renew his request that the judge hearing
former U. S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s criminal case step down. Andy’s
latest letter to the judge follows (the letterhead is redacted):
Hon. Thomas M. Durkin
v. Hastert, 1:15-cr-00315-1 U.S.
Renewed request for recusal of the Court for appearance of bias
Dear Judge Durkin:
This letter is being served on both counsel for the
States and counsel for the Defendant (see
With the utmost respect for the Court as an institution, and in light of the Defendant’s guilty plea, I am respectfully renewing my request that you step down as a presiding judge in the above case. I believe your continued assignment to the Hastert case does serious damage to the integrity of the administration of justice in your Court.
1. Prior history
After Mr. Hastert was indicted you admitted there was an appearance of bias and you left it up to the parties to resolve the appearance of bias as a private matter without regard to any countervailing public interest. Prior to becoming a judge, you gave Mr. Hastert a campaign contribution. In fact, that act was the basis of your admission that there was an appearance of bias. Consequently, given your admission, I don’t have to establish the “appearance” question; you have conceded the matter. The only issue is whether the public also has a right to a neutral and detached judicial proceeding.
Given the sordid history of political and judicial corruption in
Illinois, the need
for judges to respect the public’s right to the fair and impartial
administration is paramount. As a young law student I was a small part of the
media investigation that culminated in the removal of two justices of the
Illinois Supreme Court (Klingbiel and Solfisburg). The court later retaliated
against me for my youthful display of integrity. I realized then that there was
no way an advocate could serve both private clients and public integrity, and I
have happily devoted my life to investigating, exposing and fighting corruption
and the appearance of corruption or bias in our public life.
2. Guilty plea
Mr. Hastert has apparently agreed to plead guilty and will do so today.
3. The independent and overriding public interest
Although you have framed the public’s right to a fair and impartial judge as one that may be “waived” by the parties, and one that apparently belongs exclusively to the Defendant, there is a much broader public interest in the appearance of justice. The local media are already treating your acceptance of a plea as part of a cover-up of Mr. Hastert’s criminal scheme:
You are proposing to accept a plea that would clearly result in such a cover-up and also conceal the identity of the victim of Hastert’s original scheme. When have you ever heard of a criminal case where the victim’s identity is kept secret, and the details of the overall pattern of criminal activity are concealed from public view? There is no way you can escape the appearance that you are fostering this cover-up.
The most awesome power that a federal district judge exercises is the power to incarcerate someone convicted of a criminal violation. If you impose a lenient sentence, the appearance of a “fix” will be inevitable. If you impose a harsh sentence the appearance that you bent over backwards to avoid the appearance of a fix will be equally unavoidable, thereby imposing an injustice on the Defendant. There is no way you can avoid an appearance of impropriety.
The fact that the victim’s identity has been concealed, and the nature of the original criminal extortion scheme has also been concealed, do violence to the First Amendment and to the public’s right to know. No basis has been shown to shield Mr. Hastert from the disclosure of his lifetime of impropriety and apparent criminal activity. In fact, there is a likelihood that other victims exist. By concealing the nature of Hastert’s misconduct you discourage others from coming forward.
Protecting politically powerful defendants from public disclosure of their unlawful activity is not a legitimate objective of the criminal justice system or an appropriate exercise of prosecutorial discretion.
Adding to the public injustice that you are aiding and abetting, it is likely that the “victim” was also engaging in criminal activity. Putting aside the Defendant’s long-ago unlawful activity, there is an overwhelming appearance that Mr. Hastert was being extorted and that he was paying hush money. Under these circumstances, the identity of the “victim” becomes much more important.
Up until now, your actions have largely been ministerial and administrative. But when you move into the sentencing phase, you will begin to exercise the broad discretion of your office.
I urge you to reconsider your role in the above matter, and to step aside so that an impartial judge may be substituted. Frankly, given Mr. Hastert’s former position, I believe the wise choice would be to request that the Seventh Circuit assign a judge from outside the State of
You worked hard to establish a legal career that convinced the U. S. Senate to confirm you as a federal judge. Why would you undermine your own career by presiding in a case where you yourself admit that your impartiality can be questioned by reasonable people?
Because there will no doubt be a delay between acceptance of the plea and imposition of a sentence I have some time to consider available remedies. I would respectfully request that you enter an appropriate order on my request so that if I decide to seek review of your action or inaction through an extraordinary writ I may do so.
Note: this news conference was delayed from October 25th due to Andy’s travel requirements.
Republican presidential candidate,
Illinois political expert and conservative columnist Andy Martin
Andy Martin renews his request for the Hastert judge to step down
Telephone news conference:
Dial-in Number: 1-800-466-8543
Conference Code: 510518
Wednesday, October 28 – . (
CDT) ( P. M. EDT)
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