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NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
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The bi-partisan leadership of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee has sent a letter to the U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit, seeking an update on their investigation into the August domestic battery charges and prosecution against Alabama federal Judge Mark Fuller.
Judiciary Committee chair Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and ranking Democrat John Conyers (D-MI) sent the letter on Monday to the circuit's Chief Judge Ed Carnes and to Judge Gerald Tjoflat who is heading the Special Committee convened by the 11th Circuit to investigate the wife-beating incident by the George W. Bush-appointed federal jurist.
The letter from the House Judiciary Committee raises the possibility of impeachment of Fuller. The missive follows a vow by Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell (D) to seek articles of impeachment against Fuller in the U.S. House, as well as calls by the rest of the state's Congressional contingent who have stated that the U.S. District Court Judge should resign his lifetime appointment to the federal bench.
Fuller was arrested on the night of August 9th, after his wife made a disturbing 911 call from an Atlanta hotel room requesting an ambulance, while telling the operator that the judge was "beating on her". (The audio of the call, in which she is heard being struck, is posted at the end of this article.) Police found Fuller's wife Kelli bloodied and bruised along with other signs of violence in their Ritz-Carlton hotel room. He has been allowed by the state court to enter a pretrial diversion program and will have all charges dismissed, as if the incident never happened, once he successfully completes a program of once-a-week visits with a domestic abuse counselor.
Whether or not charges against Fuller are dropped by the state judge, the U.S. Congress may impeach and remove him from his $200,000/year lifetime appointment.
The letter (posted in full below) says "The allegations against Judge Fuller raise serious, substantial and troubling questions that have been the focus of constant attention and close monitoring by the Committee on the Judiciary since August 2014 when reports first appeared of his arrest for a violation of state criminal law"...
Zach Roth and Trymaine Lee of MSNBC highlight a number of the problems at the polls being reported so far in various states today.
"Voters in Connecticut, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Alabama and other states all encountered potentially serious problems casting ballots as Americans went to the polls Tuesday," they report. "The issues included malfunctioning machines that caused long lines, problems with statewide voter registration systems, missing voter lists, and delays processing voter registration applications. Meanwhile, voter ID laws and other strict voting measures kept others from even attempting to make it to the polls."
Here are the key portions of their problem reports from each of those states...
It's been a very busy few weeks here of late, just trying to keep up with all of the roller coaster court rulings (here's the latest, and its not good), thanks to GOP voter suppression laws around the country. (Your donations to our efforts in that regard help a great deal --- thank you and please!)
So, with a very few minutes pause in the voter suppression action on Friday morning, we were finally able to catch you all up with the latest in the Judge Mark Fuller wife-beating case on Friday.
Naturally, no sooner did we do so, when a few more noteworthy events happened in the case...
[This article now cross-published by Salon...]
Recently, the attorney for U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller (Middle District of Alabama) described the incident where the federal judge was arrested and charged for beating his second wife bloody in an Atlanta hotel room in early August as overblown.
This week, his attorney went further in describing allegations that Fuller similarly beat his first wife as little more than "nonsense" and "gossip".
Also this week, Fuller's most famous "victim", former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman (D), has finally spoken out about the entire sordid business.
Fuller's Alabama attorney Barry Ragsdale says that it was only after the release of a video showing an NFL superstar knocking out his then-fiancée in a hotel elevator in Atlantic City that people began to care in the least about a federal judge who, according to the police, repeatedly struck and kicked his second wife Kelli and dragged her around the hotel room by her hair.
"It got caught up in the Ray Rice and NFL scandals, and it's gotten lumped into a category of domestic violence that I don't think it belongs in," Ragsdale said in his attempt to marginalize the incident on behalf of his client, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. "There was not a beating, kicking or slapping in this instance," he says.
Really? Is that the case? Well, aside from the wife, the police and the evidence at the scene suggesting otherwise, let's review the audio from Kelli Fuller's 911 call again to help determine if Ragsdale's claim is credible.
Since the audio, as we originally posted it here last month, was buried inside of a longer video segment from Chris Hayes' MSNBC show, we've taken the liberty to pull out just the audio from the call itself, as played on MSNBC, to put it into its own standalone video for easy reference. Here ya go...
Really, Mr. Ragsdale? No "beating, kicking or slapping in this instance"? The 911 audio evidence strongly suggests otherwise, as did the lacerations and bruises reportedly found on Kelli Fuller's face and legs, the hair found on the floor in the room, and the blood discovered in the bathroom when police responded at the Ritz-Carlton.
We wonder if Fuller, a 2002 George W. Bush lifetime appointee to the federal bench (unless he resigns or is impeached by Congress) with a record for failing to recuse himself when presiding over trials of political opponents, would be impressed with the audio evidence from the 911 call and the testimony of police if it was presented in his court room.
In any event, Ragsdale went on to describe the reaction from the public and the calls for the federal Judge's resignation and/or impeachment from the entire Alabama Congressional delegation (including both of the state's U.S. Senators and all five Congressmen and women), the state's Governor, senior federal judges, and all sorts of newspapers from Alabama (here, here and here) to Washington D.C. as merely "overblown"...
• Latest developments in the case of Alabama's wife-beating, lifetime-appointed, Republican U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller (pictured above on left): Calls for accountability gain traction, CREDO posts petition for impeachment, horrifying 911 audio and disturbing 2012 documents concerning domestic abuse of previous wife (and children!)
• Bizarre twist in the 2012 GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal: Yet another arrest, and Nathan Sproul (pictured above on right), the highly-place, now-discredited GOP operative who headed up the firm at the center of the scandal, threatens The BRAD BLOG with legal action after our 2012 reporting was confirmed by a two-year Florida law enforcement investigation!
• Also, a hint as to why we were excused from jury duty last week; why we don't cover "O, Mighty ISIS"; breaking news in a longtime Scott Walker (R-WI) recall investigation; and his supporters now threatening Democratic voters; and, as usual, Desi Doyen with the latest Green News Report on Climate Week 2014...
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(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)
Well, it took long enough for Washington Post's editorial board to take notice of wife-beating U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller, but at least they finally have...
The paper then details the police response to the horrifying 911 call from Fuller's wife Kelli after the Judge reportedly "threw her to the ground, pulled her by the hair, kicked her and hit her in the face" (the actual 911 call is more horrifying still), leaving her bloodied inside their Ritz-Carlton hotel room in Atlanta on August 9th, and the disturbing similarities to the case of the NFL's Ray Rice, who was also allowed off the hook by the court system after beating up his then-fiancee/now-wife, as "first time offenders". (Even though Judge Fuller's previous wife alleged similar physical abuse during their divorce trial).
[A version of this article now cross-published by Salon...]
Over the last 48 hours or so, during which time I've been largely off the grid on jury duty, the story of wife-beating U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller has finally taken off in the corporate media, as well as among a number of the elected officials who would be responsible for impeaching the 2002 George W. Bush lifetime-appointee to the federal bench.
I couldn't be happier to finally be playing catch-up on this story for a change, as calls for accountability for the federal judge from Alabama's Middle District have now become a "virtual chorus" over these last few days. The state's Governor, as well as both of Alabama's U.S. Senators and its entire Congressional delegation, save for one member (Rep. Mike Rogers), have now called for Fuller's resignation and/or impeachment.
His resignation, however, and arguably his impeachment, would be far too generous for Fuller, as I'll discuss below, given previous allegations --- by his first wife --- that mirror what we now know about him, concerning drug and alcohol abuse, as well as physical abuse of both the first wife and their children...
On Tuesday night's All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC, at the end of a segment on the NFL's growing domestic violence controversies, he finally delved into the outrageous case we've been reporting in great detail since early August, when Alabama's federal U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller was arrested and charged with beating his wife bloody in an Atlanta hotel room.
Hayes plays audio from a portion of the 911 call from Fuller's wife, including the segment in which it sounds as if she is being repeatedly struck, as later cited by the 911 dispatcher. "Please help me. He's beating on me," she is heard crying afterward.
Hayes' brief segment on the Fuller wife-beating case --- with a promise to cover the story more in the future --- begins just after the 4:00 minute mark in the video below...
Atlanta Police say that when they responded to desperate 911 call from the Ritz-Carlton on the night of August 9, the wife's face and legs were bloodied and bruised, and that it appeared she had been dragged around the room by her hair. The room smelled of alcohol, but Judge Fuller appeared to otherwise be unscathed.
Several weeks after his arrest, Fuller took a plea deal in exchange for a pre-trial diversion program that will allow him to avoid prosecution and have his record entirely expunged after completion of once-a-week domestic violence counseling for 24 weeks. That, despite indications two year ago that he had also beaten his previous wife and had both drug and alcohol problems.
Unless he resigns or is impeached by the U.S. Congress, the George W. Bush-appointee to the federal bench in the Middle District of Alabama will continue to serve out his lifetime appointment for $200,000/year.
Two Congresswoman from Alabama, a Republican and a Democrat, have now called for accountability in the case of Fuller. They are the first members of Congress to speak out on the matter, despite outrage expressed from a number of elected officials in both the House and Senate over the NFL/Ray Rice domestic abuse scandal...
On Monday's Politics Nation with Al Sharpton on MSNBC, during a segment on the NFL/Ray Rice domestic violence scandal, the issue of the wife-beating U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller finally made it on to air, thanks to MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor who was joining Sharpton along with CBS Sports Radio reporter Dana Jacobson to discuss the latest in the NFL case.
Fuller, as The BRAD BLOG has been fairly relentlessly covering over the past month, was arrested for beating his wife bloody in a hotel room in August, before being allowed to take a plea deal allowing him off the hook with a pre-trial diversionary program that would expunge his record entirely, and leave him to continue his life-time appointment to the federal bench in the Middle District of Alabama. Fuller, a George W. Bush appointee, can only be removed from his $200,000/year job via impeachment by the U.S. Congress.
While the Rice case has been covered extensively over the past week by both the corporate media and elected officials, following the public release of a video showing the NFL star knocking out his wife in a hotel elevator, the Fuller matter has received very little coverage. As we reported last week, it's also received very little outrage from elected officials in Congress who might otherwise have brought articles of impeachment by now, had their been video tape of Fuller's bloodied wife pleading for an ambulance and help from police at Atlanta's Ritz-Carlton hotel in early August.
Following a segment concerning the 16 female U.S. Senators who wrote to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last week to demand a "zero tolerance policy" for domestic abusers in the league, Taylor noted the irony of the Senators failing to call for the impeachment of Fuller, despite the fact that, unlike in the NFL, those elected officials actually have direct control over the removal of federal jurists from the bench.
Beginning at around the 7:10 mark in the video posted below, in response to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D)'s appearance on Sunday's Face the Nation on CBS explaining the Senators' demand for accountability from Goodell, Taylor broached the topic of Fuller...
REV. AL SHARPTON: Mark Fuller, for our viewers who don't know, is a federal judge who had been...
TAYLOR: Absolutely, a federal judge...who beat his wife here in Atlanta, got a diversionary program, but no one has called for his impeachment...
SHARPTON: ...and still on the bench!
TAYLOR: ...why not that?
SHARPTON: Still on the bench.
TAYLOR: ...and still on the bench, and still has his job.
DANA JACOBSON: Because the NFL is in the spotlight right now, and I think that's a big part of it...
Note to Jacobson: The "NFL is in the spotlight right now", because you folks in the corporate media have finally helped put them there. That's fine, and certainly long overdue. But you can also help put a member of the federal bench who sits in judgment of others, and who arguably beat his wife far more viciously than Rice did, and who also appears to be a repeated wife abuser, in that same spotlight.
As a Twitter user aptly commented tonight in response to the MSNBC segment this afternoon, "#MarkFuller is more of a threat to society than Ray Rice ever will be."
True. In any event, thanks to Taylor for finally bringing this issue to MSNBC viewers. Perhaps it'll catch on. It damned well should.
Here's the complete video from the 9/15/2014 episode of Politics Nation with Al Sharpton. Much more of our coverage of this case is linked below it...
UPDATE 9/17/2014: MSNBC's Chris Hayes plays portion of 911 call from Fuller's wife, in which she is heard being repeatedly struck. Full story now here...
Recently related stories at The BRAD BLOG:
• 8/11/2014: "Federal Judge in Don Siegelman Case Arrested, Charged with Abusing Wife in Atlanta Hotel"
• 8/25/2014: "Federal Judge Who Was Arrested for Beating His Wife (and Who Sentenced Don Siegelman) Is Now Hoping to Avoid Prosecution Altogether"
• 9/5/2014: "BREAKING: Federal Judge Who Presided Over Siegelman Case and Who Recently Beat His Own Wife Bloody Strikes Deal to Avoid Prosecution"
• 9/10/2014: "NFL's Ray Rice Loses Job for Knocking Out Wife, Federal Judge Mark Fuller Keeps Lifetime Appointment After Beating Wife Bloody"
• 9/15/2014: "Republican Senior Federal Judge, Domestic Abuse Experts Call for Accountability for Wife-Beating U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller"
Last week, we wrote about the disturbing similarities (and differences) in the wife-beating cases of the NFL's Ray Rice, who knocked out his then-fiancée/now-wife in an Atlantic City hotel elevator in mid-February, and that of Alabama's U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller, who beat his wife bloody in an Atlantic City hotel room in early August.
Despite the allegations in the now-sealed 2012 divorce documents from his first wife, suggesting that he also beat her up (as well as their kids), Fuller, like Rice, is being treated as a first time offender by the court system, and being allowed to enter a pre-trial diversion program to avoid prosecution entirely. Both will avoid prosecution and have their arrest records completely expunged, as if the beatings never happened, upon completion of domestic abuse counseling. Rice has agreed to attend sessions for a year; Fuller has agreed to once-weekly domestic abuse counseling for just 24 weeks.
Rice eventually lost his job after video of his assault was published. Fuller, unless he's impeached by the U.S. Congress or chooses to resign, will keep his $200,000/year lifetime on the U.S. District Court in Alabama's Middle District. He has indicated he intends to continue his job sitting in judgment of others, stating, after the court agreed to the plea deal early this month, that he "look[s] forward to...returning to full, active status" on the federal bench.
We detailed some of the very few calls from media for Fuller to step down or be impeached, as well as the (so far) tepid reaction from elected officials --- the very same ones who have made their "outrage" known about the Rice case --- who are largely ignoring the Fuller case, even though the violence in his case was arguably much worse. According to the Atlanta Police, he struck and kicked his wife repeatedly, dragged around the hotel room by her hair, leaving bruises and blood on her face and legs, and in the hotel bathroom. According to the reported details of the desperate 911 call from his wife, asking for an ambulance, she is heard being struck and repeatedly crying: "Help me, please. Please help me. He's beating on me."
But the outrage about the wrist-slap treatment of a wife-beating federal judge seems to be growing --- very slowly, but growing --- including a scathing denunciation of Fuller by a fellow Republican federal jurist, this one a senior judge from the District of Nevada, who decries the plea deal allowed to Fuller and writes, "Given what happened in that hotel room, no one should trust his judgment in a federal trial courtroom"...
Part 1 of this week's BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio: How the NFL's Ray Rice knocked out his wife in a hotel elevator, lost his job and outraged America --- and how U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller beat his wife bloody in a hotel room, will have his arrest record expunged, gets to keep his lifetime appointment to the federal bench and very few in America seem to give a damn.
Part 2: What would you do about ISIS if you were President? Callers, lots of 'em, share their thoughts. I share a few of mine in kind. Nobody gets a free pass.
Plus, Desi Doyen and the latest Green News Report, and a few more items here and there in what was a very lively show this week. You should listen to it.
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The NFL has been appropriately shamed this week for not taking substantive action immediately in the case of Baltimore Ravens' superstar Ray Rice after he knocked his wife out cold in an Atlantic City hotel elevator earlier this year.
But what about the failure of the Judicial and Congressional branches, so far, to take any action at all in the case of federal U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller after he beat his wife bloody in an Atlanta hotel room last month?
Both Rice and Fuller, as supposedly first-time offenders, were allowed to participate in pre-trial diversion programs to avoid prosecution entirely. Rice agreed to attend domestic abuse counseling for a year. Fuller will have his arrest record expunged after completion of once-weekly domestic abuse counseling for just 24 weeks.
Rice was eventually suspended indefinitely by the NFL.
Fuller enjoys a lifetime appointment as a federal judge --- and can only be removed from his $200,000/year job-for-life if he is impeached and found guilty by Congress.
Fuller, a Republican George W. Bush appointee to the federal bench, sits in judgment of others. For example, rather than recuse himself for blatant conflicts of interest, he sent former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman to federal prison for 6.5 years for something that 113 bipartisan former state Attorneys General argue was never a crime before the popular Democratic Governor was charged with it.
America was outraged by the video tape showing Rice knocking out his then-fiancée (now wife) in mid-February.
America hardly even knows about Judge Fuller dragging his wife around the hotel room by her hair and striking her repeatedly in the mouth, leaving blood behind on the bathroom tub in early August, despite a police report and a 911 call during which his wife begs for police and an ambulance and repeatedly says "Help me, please. Please help me. He's beating on me." The 911 dispatcher reportedly says during the call that she can hear the Judge hitting the woman.
But, of course, we have no video of Judge Fuller's violent assault on his wife. We also have no access to the records of Fuller's first wife charging that he beat her as well, because a fellow judge, in an unusual and still-unexplained move in 2012, ordered the divorce records sealed, against the wishes of that first wife.
So where is the outcry over what is going with Fuller?...
While Don Siegelman continues to serve out a 6.5 year prison sentence for something that 113 bipartisan former state Attorneys General argue has never ever been a crime until the former Democratic Governor of Alabama was charged with it, the federal U.S. District Court judge who presided over the trial and sentenced him has now struck a deal to avoid his own prosecution all together after having beaten his wife bloody in an Atlanta hotel room last month.
As we reported in an update last week, Judge Mark Fuller --- appointed to a lifetime job on the federal bench by George W. Bush in 2002 --- had reportedly checked into an unspecified "treatment program" in hopes of avoiding prosecution after being charged in August with domestic battery. Police reported at the time that they discovered the federal judge had dragged his wife around the hotel room by her hair, kicked her, and struck her several times in the mouth, leaving her with lacerations on her face, bruises on her legs, and blood found on the bathroom tub.
In court on Friday, Fuller struck a pre-trial deal to avoid prosecution entirely, despite reports that he had also beaten his previous wife as well, according to records from his 2012 divorce. Those records are said to have included accusations of drug abuse, domestic violence and infidelity with his court bailiff. The divorce papers were mysteriously sealed by the court at the time against the wishes of his former wife.
According to AP this afternoon, following the arrest on domestic abuse charges with his new wife, who has similarly charged that Fuller had an affair with his law clerk, it appears that Fuller will, once again, get off the hook...
Earlier this week I wrote about Charlie Grapski's attempt to get at the Ferguson and St. Louis County Police Department's documentation on Officer Darren Wilson's killing of Michael Brown via a long string of public records requests under the Missouri Sunshine Act law.
On this week's BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio, I spoke with Grapski, who heads up PhotographyIsNotACrime.com's new Opens Records Project, concerning his tireless efforts to obtain the real Incident Report and other documentation of Brown's shooting from either department --- if such documentation actually exists, as is required by law.
Grapski explains that, based on some pretty solid evidence he's received in response to his open records requests to date, he believes "it's more likely than not" that an actual Incident Report of the event was created by the police, but that "they have withheld it." If so, that would amount to a criminal cover-up and a very serious violation of the law. Listen to my full conversation with him for much more.
Also this week, an update to our interview last week with Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) regarding his legislation to demilitarize the police: The President has announced a task force to review the Pentagon's 1033 program that has transferred billions in surplus arms and other military equipment to local police around the nation. We also covered the latest maddening news in the story of U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller --- who presided over the
trial political prosecution of former AL Gov. Don Siegelman (D) --- as the George W. Bush lifetime appointee to the federal bench attempts to avoid his own prosecution all together after having been recently arrested on charges of beating his wife bloody in an Atlanta hotel room.
Plus: The latest on the GOP's Photo ID voting battle in WI; Rick Perry's latest "oops"; the newly published, secretly-recorded audio tapes revealing, once again, how the Republicans and the Koch Brothers now have a death-grip on democracy; and, as usual, the latest Green News Report with the lovely Desi Doyen, and a few other things.
Lots of news, muck-raking and trouble-making in just under 58 minutes. Please enjoy!...
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