How is a person charged with not only upholding the laws of the State of Texas, but, also, convicting those accused of violating the laws of the State of Texas, supposed to seek justice when she herself is circumventing the judicial process?
|Assistant District Attorney Rachel Palmer emerges from|
a hearing on a motion to compel her to testify before the
grand jury. The Judge declined to force Palmer to testify.
Rachel Palmer effectively signed her own letter of termination, whether involuntary termination or a “recommended” termination, the moment she pled the Fifth. Crazy thing is: she thinks she won all because Judge Brown ruled in her favor (which was smart). It’s obvious she did not think this whole thing through. Rachel Palmer got what she wanted, but it will lead to something she did not want.
Let’s briefly recap. Rachel Palmer (Palmer) was supposed to testify before the Grand Jury on Thursday. Her lawyer, Clay Rawlings, spoke with the Special Prosecutors on Wednesday, the day before her scheduled appearance, and Rawlings told the Special Prosecutors that his client would invoke the fifth. While Rawlings screamed, “Ambush,” before Judge Susan Brown on Thursday morning, one of the Special Prosecutors, I believe it was Stephen St. Martin, told Judge Susan Brown at the bench on Thursday morning, “Your Honor, we were informed yesterday that his [Rawlings] client was going to invoke the fifth. We would have been remiss not to plan accordingly.” [If that is not a quote, it’s pretty darn close.]
Chaos is what ensued from the moment the Motion to Compel Grand Jury Testimony was filed. Smugly, Rachel Palmer sat there in court, laughing and talking with some colleagues, but she would later claim to be so afraid of Judge Brown. And who in the CJC on Thursday did not hear about the prosecutor getting arrested? Such a statement was hyperbolic at best, but referenced by Palmer’s lawyer at the bench. On Thursday, Rawlings was asking for a reset to get research and up-to-speed on the accusations. Ultimately, he was given time, a whole weekend. On Monday, he shows up, not with research, but rather, a motion to recuse. He had a whole weekend to prepare the motion to recuse and, yet, we get that Palmer is treated unfairly by Judge Susan Brown because of the way Judge Brown said, “Hi, Rachel.” Really, Rachel? That should not have even made it into the testimony. Palmer sounded like a whiny, entitled, narcissistic aristocrat with that statement.
I am not missing the crux of her testimony - this is all a political scheme, possibly a political witch hunt, which begs the question: why are you playing into your political adversaries’ hands??? Rachel Palmer, you had everyone captivated, on the edge of their seat, waiting to hear your words. Your hard-hitting information, that you highlighted through delay tactics, about the integrity of a judge and the judicial system amounted to tenuous allegations with no proof whatsoever, while accusations about your own ethics and integrity are questioned and unanswered. Rachel, I hope that you really did need to invoke the Fifth because, otherwise, you burned yourself for no apparent reason. Don’t get me wrong, I do not doubt politics is at play with regard to some things (but not , for instance, the grand juror Palmer presented who was supportive of Jim Leitner and switched to Lykos’s team after the primary); politics is a distasteful aspect of the judiciary, in my opinion. However, politics is the game Palmer decided to play the moment she threw her hat in the ring. If you cannot accept defeat, and everyone has got to like you, then maybe politics is not your best arena. After all, lawyers who supported your opponent will stand before you if you are elected, and you must still be fair to the defendant that attorney represents. Part of Palmer’s “proof” that people were against her was her own failed bid to the bench and a shout out to her detractors. Get over it already! I know others who ran, lost, and moved on! You can talk with them and rarely, if ever, hear about the election or their campaign. Move on already!
In the grand scheme of things, after all is said and done, we spent three days in two courts to hear that Judge Susan Brown has her concerns, like Palmer and her attorneys, that Palmer could say something incriminating. Well, if I weren’t a lawyer, that would sure sound like some law was violated somewhere. Who am I kidding? I am a lawyer and it sounds like a law was violated somewhere!
And, now, I am back to my original question: How is a person charged with not only upholding the laws of the State of Texas, but, also, convicting those accused of violating the laws of the State of Texas, supposed to seek justice when she herself is circumventing the judicial process? If Rachel Palmer wants to keep her job, she can always argue the case of the elected District Attorney of Shelby County that pled the Fifth.
P.S. - Rachel, please teach my clients how to invoke their Fifth Amendment rights before giving a statement to the police!