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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, March 26, 2017
EPIC FAIL: Trump, Ryan, GOP Health Care Repeal Pulled: 'BradCast' 3/24/17
Guest: Journalist, health care reform advocate Jacki Schechner; Also: Trump approves KeystoneXL; Senate GOP sells your privacy...
Capitol Chaos & Pipeline Peril: 'BradCast' 3/23/17
Guest: DeSmog Canada's James Wilt on why KeystoneXL may never happen; Plus: House GOP fails to hold O'Care repeal vote, Senate Dems to filibuster stolen SCOTUS nom...
'Green News Report' 3/23/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Trump vows to bring back coal, as world moves away from it; Toxins found in Great Lakes; Wind energy blows past new milestones; PLUS: Wildfire season erupts early across US...
Previous GNRs: 3/21/17 - 3/16/17 - Archives...
How 'Citizens United' Gave Us Clarence Thomas, Climate Denial and Neil Gorsuch: 'BradCast' 3/22/17
Sen. Whitehouse calls out 'dark money' and $10M for Trump's stolen SCOTUS nominee...
(Not) Normalizing a Stolen U.S. Supreme Court: 'BradCast' 3/21/17
Law prof Peter Shane on lack of 'institutional penalty' for GOP theft of SCOTUS; Also: House GOP makes healthcare bill even crueler...
'Green News Report' 3/21/17
Trump cuts deepest on climate; Catastrophic extreme rain in Peru; SCOTUS nom blocked environmental suits; PLUS: DefSec says climate a nat'l security threat...
Comey Confirms Russia Probe, Rejects Trump Wiretap Claim: 'BradCast' 3/20/17
Guest: Marcy Wheeler on FBI, NSA chiefs testimony to House Intel Comm...
Sunday Toons of the 'Air Quotes' Moment
The scam, the con, the paranoia, the cruelity, the Trump Administration makes waves in PDiddie's latest collection of the week's best political toons...
'It's Wrong': Vet Group Slams Trump's Cruelest Cuts: 'BradCast' 3/17/17
Guest: VoteVets' Will Fischer on why, VA spending increase, Trump's budget is 'un-American'...
Ban Blocked Again; Cruel Cuts; Good News for GA, TX Voters: 'BradCast' 3/16/17
52 years after LBJ's Voting Rights Act speech, 4 since SCOTUS gutted VRA, it's still very much needed...
'Green News Report' 3/16/17
Trump rolls back fuel efficiency, seeks deeper EPA cuts; Global warming killing Great Barrier Reef; PLUS: Six years on, radioactive boars haunt Fukushima...
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...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 6/27/2016 6:22pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Climate change continues to ravage Americans and take lives in the east and west, surprisingly good news from the U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.K. remains gripped with panic, confusion and uncertainty in the wake of last week's vote 'Brexit' vote to leave the European Union.

We start today with more on the historic deadly flooding and "mass destruction" in West Virginia 'coal country' and the out-of-control wildfires across bone-dry Southern California. Yes, it's everything we've been warning you about for so long on both The BRAD BLOG and The BradCast, even if just the latest example of the enormous (and growing) cost of climate change, as still both under-reported by the corporate media and over-shadowed by other new events across both the U.S. and world.

Then, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down several major decisions on its final day of the session. Surprisingly, a number of those decisions were very good news for progressives, even on an otherwise divided Court with its still-vacant 9th seat. The biggest decision concerned abortion rights in Texas, where the Court dealt a devastating blow to Republican laws meant to shut down women's health clinics under the guise of 'safety'. The Court saw through the Rightwing con, and the 5-3 decision could result in the overturning of similar "TRAP laws" enacted by Republicans in other states. In any event, the decision is a huge setback for rightwing anti-abortion activists and a big victory for those who believe in Constitutionally protected reproductive rights and freedoms. Can we take anything from this decision as to how SCOTUS might eventually rule in the Texas Photo ID voting restrictions case --- another GOP law meant to rob (certain) citizens of their rights for entirely specious reasons?

Also, the right of states to restrict the possession of guns by domestic abusers was upheld in a surprising bi-partisan 7 to 2 opinion, as was a new rule by the U.S. Dept. of Labor concerning overtime pay for home healthcare workers.

In an unusual unanimous decision by the Supremes, Virginia's former Republican Governor Bob McDonnell saw his bribery conviction vacated, despite having accepted some $165,000 in personal gifts and cash loans from a wealthy businessman hoping the Governor would help promote his products. Will that decision have any effect on Alabama's former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman, who is now serving his 6th year in federal prison for having done far less than McDonnell was found guilty of? That, even as the Republican federal judge who sentenced Siegelman has resigned from the bench after having been arrested for beating his wife and the Republican heads of all three branches of government in Alabama face removal of office via impeachment (Governor), ethics charges (Chief Justice of the AL Supreme Court) and multiple felony conviction (AL Speaker of the House) for various crimes, alleged and proven, in their home state.

Finally today, last week's 'Brexit' vote continues to wreak havoc as world financial markets continue to plunge (though not nearly as low as I incorrectly reported it on today's show, as based on an inaccurate number reported by my iPhone's stock app!); the British government is in complete disarray about how (or, perhaps, even, if) they will officially begin the formal procedure required to leave the EU; voters express 'bregret' over having voted to exit; questions arise about overseas voters failing to correctly receive ballot papers at all; and some call for a second ("do-over") referendum.

All of that and much more on yet another insanely busy BradCast today!

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...

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Guest: John Nichols of The Nation | PLUS: Hillary finally takes a position on the Keystone XL pipeline...
By Brad Friedman on 9/22/2015 5:02pm PT  

On today's BradCast...

First: The Nation's Washington Correspondent and Wisconsin native son John Nichols joins us to explain what went wrong with the Walker campaign and what to expect in the wake of a state Supreme Court Justice dying yesterday in court.

"The fantasy," upon which Walker's campaign was built, Nichols tells me, "was that Americans hate trade unions so much --- they hate living wages, they hate good benefits, they hate weekends off, they hate vacations --- so much, that they were ready to elect a guy whose only argument for himself was that he got in a fight with the unions. And when Walker actually got the spotlight and he started talking about his record, what he wanted to do, everybody got bored in about five minutes."

Even Republicans "said, 'what else do you have for us?'," he says. "In fact a fifth of Republicans say they think unions should be stronger. So the notion that there's some scorching anti-union sentiment out there isn't true."

Nichols contends it wasn't a lack of funding that did Walker in, but he also explains why the Koch Brothers --- who have long been Walker's his biggest supporters --- didn't bother riding to his rescue. "When you play with billionaires, they always set the rules of the game," he explains.

Also, Nichols details how yesterday's sudden death of state Supreme Court Justice N. Patrick Crooks could shake up the balance of the court --- perhaps even more in Scott Walker's favor than it already is --- as another contentious court election battle now looms once again in the Badger State.

Next: The U.S. Judicial Conference sends its report [PDF] to the U.S. Congress on the now-resigned and long-disgraced U.S. District Court Judge Mark F. Fuller, following his arrest on domestic violence charges last year. Turns out, as we've long suspected and reported, Fuller was found, during the year-long investigation, to be a serial wife-beater.

"Judge Fuller physically abused [his second wife] Kelli Fuller at least eight times, both before and after they married, which included and culminated in the assault that took place on August 9, 2012, in the Riz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Atlanta, Georgia," the cover letter on the report to Congress reads. The Special Commission of federal judges investigating the matter also found the Judge lied (committed perjury) to the panel of federal judges carrying out the probe, and should be impeached by Congress for his "reprehensible conduct", even though he has already resigned.

I offer details and background on the full case on today's program, including information on Fuller's lifetime appointment to the federal bench by George W. Bush in 2002, his participation in the Karl Rove-cabal takedown of Alabama's Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman (who is still in federal prison following his sentencing by Fuller), and more.

My full report on this latest Fuller news, including some of the apparently false information his attorney offered me earlier this year (which I declined to report at the time), and Kelli Fuller's chilling 911 call from that hotel room in Atlanta last year, is now posted here.

Finally: Mid-show today, we received word that Hillary Clinton finally decided to take a public position on the Keystone XL pipeline. We've got her announcement and reaction to it from her fellow Democratic 2016 opponents and even a predictable thought or two from the Republican side of the contest...

Download MP3 or listen online to the complete show below...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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Impeachment of now-resigned jurist recommended; Report contradicts prior, unreported claims made by Fuller's attorney to The BRAD BLOG
Gov. Don Siegelman (D-AL), sentenced by corrupt, disgraced, abusive judge who failed to recuse, remains in federal prison as Fuller roams free...
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2015 12:37pm PT  

"Impeachment of former United States District Judge Mark E. Fuller [Middle District, Alabama] may be warranted," according to the Special Committee to the Judicial Council of the U.S. 11th Circuit Court.

While Fuller has already resigned from his lifetime appointment in the wake of his wife-beating scandal, the panel of federal judges found "the severity of the misconduct" by the former jurist so "reprehensible", they believe impeachment may be appropriate nonetheless.

"In the event that the House of Representatives determines in its sound discretion that impeachment is not warranted, this certification may also serve as a public censure of Judge Fuller's reprehensible conduct, which has no doubt brought disrepute to the Judiciary and cannot constitute the 'good behavior' required of a federal judge," U.S. Judicial Conference Secretary James C. Duff wrote in his letter [PDF] to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, accompanying the final report of the Special Committee.

As the panel of federal judges tasked by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court with investigating the 2014 arrest of Alabama's U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller on spousal abuse charges proceeded over the past year, his Birmingham attorney, Barry Ragsdale, was adamant about his client's innocence.

Fuller "never hit, punched, slapped or kicked," his wife Kelli on the night he was hauled away by police from the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta following her chilling call to 911, Ragsdale repeated over and over to any media outlet which would listen.

Judge Fuller made similar "repeated statements under oath before the Special Committee," according to Duff. The Committee found those assertions to be "false."

As we suspected over the past year --- and as both 911 evidence and evidence from the divorce proceedings in Judge Fuller's previous marriage suggested as well --- Ragsdale's assertions on behalf of his client were completely untrue. At least according to the final report issued by that panel of judicial investigators last week.

In an email exchange with The BRAD BLOG earlier this year, Ragsdale even went so far as to describe our detailed coverage of the Fuller affair [see complete index below] as "sensationalized and misleading". He suggested that Fuller's second wife Kelli --- who, during that chilling call to 911, tearily begged for an ambulance, as apparent sounds of battering could be heard through the phone --- had made the entire thing up. Ragsdale claimed she admitted as much under oath during the probe by the judges impaneled to investigate the matter.

"Your blog entries on this case suffer from the very glaring misapprehension that Kelli Fuller was telling the truth when she claimed that Judge Fuller was 'beating on me' to the 911 dispatcher," Ragsdale told The BRAD BLOG via email last March. "The only thing that is clear from the 911 call is that Kelli Fuller was drunk when she made the call."

The Birhimgham attorney asserted that he had "a very decided advantage" over us "when discussing the facts of this matter," due to the fact that he had heard "the sworn testimony of all of the witnesses with knowledge about this case, and I have examined and cross-examined them under oath."

"The truth," Ragsdale continued in one part of his email that we declined to report publicly at the time, "is that even Kelli Fuller has admitted under oath that the 'slap' sounds that you think you hear on the 911 tape were not caused by Judge Fuller hitting her. Instead, Kelli Fuller has admitted under oath that the brief physical altercation between her and Judge Fuller was over before she ever called 911."

He claimed that it was Kelli Fuller who, in fact, "assault[ed]" and "attack[ed]" the judge, who was otherwise lying on the bed, minding his own business while watching TV.

Ragsdale's description of events at the Ritz-Carlton that night appear to be in stark contradiction to the report submitted by the panel of federal judges. They assert that Judge Fuller's behavior towards his wife was far worse than we had reported and included "at least" eight different instances of spousal abuse between Fuller and his second wife Kelli, "both before and after they were married, which included and culminated in the assault that took place on August 9, 2014, in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Atlanta, George," according to Duff's description of the Judicial Conference report.

While we reported some of Ragsdale's comments at the time, we declined to report both his characterization of Kelli Fuller's sworn testimony before the panel of judges, as well as his characterization of the sworn testimony by Fuller's first wife Lisa. In both cases, the testimony had been confidential at the time and it was impossible for us to verify what had or hadn't been said. We had only Ragsdale's word for it. Moreover, as his previous public assertions were often in apparent contradiction from known evidence --- and he was unwilling or unable to offer evidence to back up his assertions about the sworn, confidential testimony and other supposed evidence that he claimed to have access to --- it seemed irresponsible to uncritically publish hearsay and unverifiable claims that he was clearly offering us in hopes of exonerating his own client in the "court of public opinion".

The 11th Circuit Court's Judicial Council report, forwarded to the U.S. Judiciary Council and then to the U.S. House of Representatives last week, as AP notes, paints a very different picture of that probe, declaring that, in fact, Judge Fuller was a serial domestic abuser, whose conduct was nothing short of "reprehensible"...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 6/2/2015 12:43pm PT  

U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller "will not qualify for either a judicial salary or be eligible for a judicial pension," according to a statement just released by the bi-partisan leaders of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. His resignation from the federal bench "in shame", as the statement describes Fuller's stated intention to step down as of August 1, will disqualify him from any further payment for his role on the federal judiciary.

In their statement, posted in full below, committee chair Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and ranking member Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) make clear that they were prepared to consider impeachment of the federal judge, prior to the resignation letter he tendered to the President over the weekend.

Fuller, a 2002 George W. Bush-appointee to the federal bench in Alabama's Middle District, was arrested last August on charges of beating his wife at a hotel room in Atlanta. Prior to that, he had been most well known for overseeing the controversial trial of Alabama's former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman.

"It is a rare occasion when the U.S. Congress impeaches a federal judge and removes the accused from the bench, but it is a necessary tool to protect the integrity of our judicial system," the two high-ranking Congressmen say in their joint statement. "However, the House Judiciary Committee was prepared to initiate impeachment proceedings against Judge Fuller pending the recommendation of the Judicial Conference of the United States, and the Committee strongly encouraged the courts to expedite the investigation into Judge Fuller's misconduct."

On Monday, as we reported in detail, following a nearly 10-month probe of the incidents surrounding the disgraced Judge's arrest in 2014, the 11th Circuit Court's Judicial Conference issued an order [PDF] stating that the matter "might constitute one or more grounds for impeachment."

Unless he had voluntary stepped down, impeachment would have been the only way to remove Fuller from his lifetime appointment to the bench, despite the charges of domestic abuse. Judge Fuller submitted his resignation to the President late last week in advance of the publication of the Judicial Conference's order, but questions had remained about whether he had struck a deal that would allow him to accept a retirement pension after stepping down from his $200,000/year job.

According today's statement from Goodlatte and Conyers, so long as he leaves by August 1, he will not receive any compensation from the federal government thereafter...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




Or, what BRAD BLOG readers knew long ago...
By Brad Friedman on 6/1/2015 6:14pm PT  

Those shocked about the indictment of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) wouldn't be so surprised had they been long time readers of The BRAD BLOG. As to the resignation of "wife-beating" U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller (R-AL), well, no surprise there either. Only question is whether he'll face any real accountability or continue living off the federal dole for the rest of his life, even after the 11th U.S. Circuit's Court's Judicial Conference has found "grounds for impeachment".

Special coverage of both breaking news stories on today's BradCast --- a show that we were never supposed to do, since we were supposed to be off and traveling today! Just had to come back early for these. You're welcome!

Tune in for exclusive audio about alleged "blackmail", "bribery" and "immoral acts" by Hastert from the sworn 2009 testimony of FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. And the remaining questions about whether the disgraced Judge Fuller is actually going to make out like a bandit despite his announced resignation.

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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While we post The BradCast here everyday, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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As 11th Circuit recommends potential removal by Congress, U.S. District Court judge resigns 10 months after arrest on battery charges, continues to receive tens of thousands from taxpayers...
By Brad Friedman on 6/1/2015 2:32pm PT  

[This article now cross-published by Salon...]

Over the weekend, the news broke that U.S. District Court Judge Mark E. Fuller (Middle District of Alabama), who was arrested almost one year ago after allegedly beating his wife bloody in an Atlanta hotel room, has finally submitted his resignation from the federal bench to President Obama. Previously, through his attorneys, Fuller had strenuously refused to step down, declared his innocence, and insisted that a 5-judge Special Committee convened by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to investigate the matter would eventually clear him of wrongdoing.

It appears instead that the panel has found "grounds for impeachment" instead. That finding has been "unanimously adopted" by the Circuit's full Judicial Council which is sending its report and recommendations to the U.S. Judicial Conference. That body, in turn, may then decide whether to recommend the U.S. Congress take up such rare proceedings. Without a federal judge voluntarily stepping down, impeachment by Congress is the only way to remove a sitting federal appointee to the bench.

Fuller, who would not otherwise be eligible to draw retirement pension for another three years, will continue to draw a salary from taxpayers for two more months --- just as he has for the last 10 months --- despite having had his caseload reassigned to other judges in the immediate aftermath of his arrest a the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Atlanta in early August of 2014.

"Justice was not served here," said Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) in a statement over the weekend in response to the news of Fuller's resignation. Alabama's only Democratic Congressmember had long been calling for impeachment proceedings.

"Fuller failed to uphold our most fundamental values," she said. "Perhaps the only consolation is that he has chosen to spare his family and our nation of the expense of a drawn out impeachment process." The rest of the state's Congressional contingent, including its two Republican U.S. Senators who had originally supported Fuller's appointment in 2002, had also called for him to step down. Many offered statements approving of his decision over the weekend to finally step down.

Despite the tendered resignation, however, impeachment proceedings could still legally be carried out in the U.S. House, though the likelihood of that may now somewhat diminished.

We have covered Fuller, who was appointed to his lifetime position on the court in 2002 by George W. Bush, in great detail since news of his arrest became public. (See links to many of our noteworthy articles in the saga at the bottom of this piece.) Prior to his arrest, Fuller was perhaps best known for having sentenced Alabama's former Gov. Don Siegelman (D) to some seven years in federal prison on questionable "bribery" related charges. That, despite the Judge's own long-apparent conflicts of interest in the case. Before being named to the court, Fuller served as a political operative as the head of the Alabama GOP and his office, when he served as a state prosecutor, had been investigated and criticized for improprieties by the former Governor long before Fuller oversaw Siegelman's trial...

Following his arrest, Fuller was able to strike a plea deal for a pretrial diversion program with the state court in Georgia in order to have his criminal record entirely expunged after just 24 weeks of once-a-week domestic abuse counseling and a court-ordered drug and alcohol evaluation. He was offered the deal by the judge on the premise that the incident at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta --- when his wife called 911 in tears, asking for help and claiming that "he's beating on me!" --- was his first infraction. Records from his messy divorce in 2012, however, suggest that there were very similar incidents of physical abuse, as well as drug and alchohol abuse, involving his first wife and their children during the first marriage.

"We sent the wrong message to victims of domestic violence by allowing a federal judge to collect a paycheck --- without managing a caseload --- and ultimately having his record expunged," said Sewell over the weekend...

Judge Fuller's first wife, Lisa Boyd Fuller, had accused Judge Fuller of having an affair with his then court bailiff, Kelli Gregg who he would marry shortly after his divorce from Lisa was finalized. The records from those proceedings were sealed over her "strenous objections". During the incident at the Ritz-Carlton hotel last year, Kelli accused her husband of having an affair with a court clerk.

Though Fuller's two-sentence resignation letter delivered to the President stated that "It has been an honor and privilege to serve," it's likely that the timing of his decision was meant in hopes of avoiding the embarrassment of impeachment by Congress...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2015 6:28pm PT  

From AP late today:

A federal appeals court has upheld the bribery conviction and prison sentence of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.

The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that Siegelman was not entitled to a new trial. The judges also upheld Siegelman's 78-month sentence.

The ruling is the latest legal blow to Siegelman, who has been fighting to overturn his 2006 conviction in a government corruption case. A federal jury convicted Siegelman of appointing former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy to a state board in exchange for campaign donations.

Siegelman, a Democrat, had argued that a prosecutor with ties to GOP politics remained involved in his case despite her recusal. Federal judges said there was no evidence she influenced the prosecution team

Siegelman is projected to get out of prison in 2017.

See below for an appearance of mine on Thom Hartmann's television show in 2013 discussing the status of the Siegelman case at the time. Hartmann describes him as "America's Political Prisoner". The appearance coincided with the dismissal of the conviction against former Republican U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay for money laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars. 113 bi-partisan former state Attorneys General have stated that what Siegelman was convicted of had never been a crime until he was charged with it.

The court's decision, however, could help to finally clear the way for clemency or a pardon from the President, as advocates have long sought. See Jeffrey Toobin's January 2015 New Yorker column calling for same.

Meanwhile, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller (the former head of the Alabama GOP and George W. Bush-appointed federal judge who oversaw Siegelman's trial and sentencing after refusing to recuse himself despite long-held grudges against the popular Democratic governor) remains a free man. His criminal record has been expunged despite having been arrested for allegedly beating his wife in a hotel room last summer. (911 call here and embed below.) Unless impeached by Congress, Fuller will retain his $200k/year seat on the federal bench for life.

More info at Free-Don.org.

USA. USA. USA.

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UPDATE 5/22/2015: My BradCast interview with Siegelman's son Joseph, in response to the news above and what the Siegelman legal team plans to do next, is now posted here.

* * *

My 2013 appearance on Hartmann's show and a video snippet of the chilling 911 call from Judge Fuller's wife in 2014, both follow below...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




PLUS: Some important 'BradCast' programming news!
By Brad Friedman on 4/22/2015 6:32pm PT  

Big news about The BradCast in this week's BradCast! You can listen to it to find out what it is or wait for me to mention it here at The BRAD BLOG shortly.

Beyond that, while it happens to be Earth Day, it's always Earth Day around here, so we decided to make it Un-Earth Day in "honor" of the rightwing anti-science, anti-climate, anti-reality group The Heartland Institute. You'll enjoy some of their thoughts on this 45th Anniversary of Earth Day.

Also, updates in the Judge Mark Fuller "wife beating" case; a thought or two about Hillary and "the Left"; a bunch of great listener phone calls (including one with a, um, rather remarkable explanation for climate change!); and, of course, Desi Doyen and the latest Green News Report. Enjoy!

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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By the way, if you're a BradCast fan, now is a great time to subscribe for free to the BradCast RSS feed (or use the iTunes subscription page, if you prefer) to have it downloaded automagically to the device of your choosing!




Criminal charges dismissed as expected; More testimony heard by 11th Circuit panel; Senate seeks update; Calls for impeachment persist...
By Brad Friedman on 4/20/2015 8:31pm PT  

There were several small, but somewhat noteworthy updates over the past week in the continuing saga of federal Judge Mark Fuller (U.S. District Court, Alabama's Middle District) which we've been covering in great detail here since his arrest last August on charges of beating his wife in an Atlanta hotel room last summer. (See links to our long series of coverage at end of this article.)

First, as expected, following the plea deal Fuller struck with the Georgia state court allowing him to avoid trial by attending 24 one-hour-a-week domestic violence counseling sessions and a court supervised drug and alcohol evaluation, all criminal charges have now official been dropped against him and his criminal record is now officially expunged. As we explained in this short video which includes a portion of the chilling 911 call made by his wife Kelli from the Ritz-Carlton hotel on the night of his arrest, as far as the official record is concerned, this incident now "never even happened"...

Though the official criminal charges against him "no longer exist", Fuller --- who maintains his innocence in the matter, as detailed to The BRAD BLOG by his attorney recently --- may still be impeached by Congress. Indeed, impeachment is now the only way Fuller will face real accountability or be removed from his lifetime appointment to the federal bench.

"There should never have been an agreement to expunge his record, nor should he be allowed to remain on the federal bench," says Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL), who continued her call for Fuller's impeachment last week. She said she was "deeply disturbed" that charges were dismissed, and continued her persistent calls for impeachment proceedings to be taken up by Congress...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 4/1/2015 6:51pm PT  

We covered a lot of ground on this week's BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio.

From today's breaking news on Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ); to today's breaking news on mandatory water restrictions in CA; to a shockingly good act of MSM journalism helping to force Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN) to do the right thing; to our latest exclusive on U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller's "wife-beating" case; to callers' opinions (lots of 'em!) on the one condition I'd agree to in exchange for mandatory voting (a very popular condition, it seems!)

PLUS, one caller surprises me with a song that seems to be about me (it actually has my name in it!) and Desi Doyen joins us for a very amusing Green News Report!...

Told ya we covered a lot of ground. Please enjoy it! I know I did!

Download MP3 or listen online below...




Barry Ragsdale says audible smacks likely 'attempt by Kelli Fuller to imitate sounds of slapping'; Says she was 'drunk', 'hysterical'...
By Brad Friedman on 3/30/2015 6:02am PT  

[This article now cross-published by Salon...]

The Birmingham attorney for U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller says that, despite 911 audio which seems to suggest otherwise, his client "never hit, punched, slapped or kicked" his wife Kelli in an Atlanta hotel room last year. The federal judge was simply defending himself from the "hysterical" rage of his wife who, the attorney now tells The BRAD BLOG, blatantly lied to police about the entire incident before his client was subsequently arrested on charges of domestic battery.

Moreover, Barry Ragsdale tells us, Kelli Fuller was "drunk" when she called 911. He says "slap" sounds heard clearly on the audio tape as she told the 911 dispatcher she was being beaten and needed an ambulance were either an attempt by Judge Fuller's wife to "imitate the sounds of slapping" or just "random background noises produced by someone who was intoxicated and hysterical."

In several emails sent to The BRAD BLOG in recent days, Ragsdale provided the most detailed public defense yet of his client, a lifetime appointee to the federal bench in Alabama's Middle District.

Ragsdale was responding to our queries after we exclusively published the complete 911 call from the domestic violence incident that occurred last August. The audio, obtained from the Atlanta Police Department, appears to contradict remarks given by Ragsdale to reporter Timothy M. Phelps of the Los Angeles Times earlier this month, in which the attorney claimed that, despite the arrest and a police report describing Kelli Fuller's "visible lacerations to her mouth and forehead" and other signs of abuse when officials arrived on the scene, it was actually Judge Fuller, not his second wife Kelli, who was the victim of a physical attack in their Ritz-Carlton hotel room in August of 2014...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 3/24/2015 8:35am PT  

The call for the impeachment of U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller is now making its way onto the airwaves in a number of Congressional districts around the country.

The women's rights group UltraViolet, which describes itself as "an online community of over 600,000 women and men who want to take collective action to expose and fight sexism in the public sector, private sector and the media," is now airing radio ads calling for the impeachment of Fuller in the wake of the federal judge's arrest last year on domestic battery charges.

The :30 second spots (posted below) are said to be "airing in GOP house districts in Wisconsin, Ohio, Texas, California and Virginia urging members of the [U.S. House] Judiciary Committee to remove Alabama Judge Mark Fuller from the bench for assaulting his wife."

Citing The BRAD BLOG's recent publication of the complete, chilling audio from the 911 call by Fuller's wife Kelli, which seems to contradict new "self-defense" claims being advanced by Fuller's Birmingham attorney Barry Ragsdale, the group argues in a recent mailing to media that "The 911 call makes clear that Judge Mark Fuller is not fit to sit on the bench in Alabama and highlights the need for Congress to take action immediately."

A press release sent out to announce the release of the radio ads, notes that UltraViolet is "sounding the alarm about an Alabama judge who was arrested for assaulting his wife last August but remains on the Federal Bench"...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 3/18/2015 7:08pm PT  

On this week's BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio, we air, for the first time, the complete EXCLUSIVE audio obtained via public records request from the Atlanta PD, that appears to contradict 'self-defense' claims by U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller following his arrest on domestic battery charges last year after his wife called 911 claiming he was "beating on her".

I also update my report on Fuller with new comment in response from Fuller's attorney, Barry Ragsdale.

Also on this week's show: Breaking news on today's shootings in Tunisia and Phoenix; Questions about Israel's election results; Donald Trump claims he's entering the 2016 GOP Presidential race (Dems celebrate); Oregon institutes Universal Voter Registration; and Desi Doyen joins us to explain the "impending disaster" of Friday's solar eclipse in Europe and, as usual, for the latest Green News Report...

Download MP3 or listen online below...




By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2015 5:50pm PT  

[This article now cross-published by Salon...]

In a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, the attorney of Federal District Judge Mark F. Fuller (11th Circuit, Alabama, Middle District) says Fuller was simply "defending himself" against his wife when she called 911, said she was being beaten, requested an ambulance, and was then found bloodied by police in an Atlanta hotel room in August of 2014.

That claim would appear to be at odds with the available audio evidence from the 911 call, segments of which were aired on MSNBC last year, and since obtained in full by The BRAD BLOG via public records request from the Atlanta Police Department. We publish the audio, in full, below for the first time, as it appears to contradict new claims by Fuller's attorney.

The interview with the LATimes also appears to confirm that the special five-judge panel convened by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to investigate the disturbing incident and make recommendations for action to that Circuit Court's Judicial Council is investigating very similar claims of domestic violence and substance abuse made by Fuller's first wife Lisa during their 2012 divorce proceedings.

According to the paper's Timothy M. Phelps, Fuller's Birmingham attorney "and longtime friend" Barry Ragsdale explained during a lengthy recent interview that the incident last summer which led to the arrest of Fuller at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Atlanta began after Fuller's current wife Kelli accused the judge of having an affair with his law clerk. That claim is consistent with the initial police report, though Ragsdale --- who has also dismissed allegations of infidelity and abuse made by Fuller's first wife as little more than "nonsense" and "gossip" --- goes a bit farther in defense of the judge this time...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




'One step closer', says Congresswoman calling for accountability of federal judge arrested on wife-beating charges last year...
By Brad Friedman on 2/16/2015 2:30pm PT  

In case you thought the clamor, such that it is, for accountability for U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller has waned, it hasn't. At least according to some behind-the-scenes, bi-partisan budgeting measures in the GOP-controlled U.S. House Judiciary Committee, which is now quietly preparing for the possibility of impeachment proceedings against George W. Bush's 2002 lifetime-appointee to the Alabama federal bench.

Fuller was arrested last August on charges related to physically abusing his wife in an Atlanta hotel room after she called 911 asking for help and an ambulance as the dispatcher heard what sounded like the Judge beating her. Here's a portion of Kelli Fuller's chilling phone call...

As Ken Hare of Montgomery's NBC affiliate WSFA summarized last week, when police responded to the 911 call at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta, Fuller's wife had "visible lacerations to her mouth and forehead," according to the police report. She told police the Judge "threw her to the ground and kicked her" in response to confronting him about an alleged affair with his court clerk. (Her own affair with Judge Fuller, ironically, began during his previous marriage, while she served as his court bailiff.) The police report says Kelli Fuller "stated she was dragged around the room and Mr. Fuller hit her in the mouth several times with his hands."

Despite the startling claims, supported by both evidence found by police in the hotel room, the audio of the 911 call excerpted above and eerily similar assertions made in court documents by Fuller's previous wife during their 2012 divorce, the state court in Atlanta allowed Fuller to enter a minimal pretrial diversion program which, once successfully completed, will completely expunge his criminal record --- as if his arrest on domestic battery charges never even happened.

While Fuller may get off the hook for criminal charges, his $200,000/year lifetime appointment to the federal judiciary is another matter. Unless he resigns or retires, the only way that a federal judge can be forced off the federal bench is through an act of Congress. And it is that act, the rare impeachment of a sitting federal judge, which the U.S. House Judiciary Committee has now budgeted for in its new session...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




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