America’s Lawyer E10: The Fed is raising interest rates to fight inflation, but with the nation on the brink of a recession, that might not be the smartest move – we’ll bring you the details. Police officers in Uvalde are fighting hard to keep the body cam footage of the recent school shooting hidden from the public, and we’ll talk about their legal reasoning for doing so. And most Americans believe Trump is responsible for the Capitol Riot – but that doesn’t mean a prosecution is likely to happen. We’ll explain why. All that, and more is coming up, so don’t go anywhere – America’s Lawyer starts right now.

Transcript:

*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             Hi, I’m Mike Papantonio and this is America’s Lawyer. The Fed is raising interest rates to fight inflation, but with the nation on the brink of a recession, that might not be a good idea. We’ll bring you up to speed on those details. Police officers in Uvalde, well, they’re fighting hard to keep the body cam footage of the recent school shooting hidden from the public. And we’ll talk about their legal reasoning for doing that. And most Americans believe Trump is responsible for the Capitol riot, but that doesn’t mean a prosecution is likely to happen and we’ll explain why. All that and more it’s coming up, don’t go anywhere, right here on America’s Lawyer.

Inflation is outta control and the Biden administration is raising interest rates to fight it. But is that the smartest move? Right now to join me I have Michael Bixby, the fire breathing progressive standing in for Farron Cousins this week. Michael, as I look at this case, you have all of the talking heads all over the place about the fact that the Fed should do this and Fed should do that. But there are, there are some, some, some pretty important points that they’re making about raising interest rates and how it’s potentially gonna bring on a recession.

Michael Bixby:                    No, that’s exactly right. So that’s exactly what they’re talking about is the natural reaction to this of, oh, we’ve gotta keep the prices down and you notice what some of the Fed is saying, oh, we actually wanna really bring wages down.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Michael Bixby:                    Is part of, part of what the goal is to be accomplished here. And absolutely there’s a real risk. In fact, it’s the consensus that if the Fed keeps this up, that what you’re gonna get is, is at, at best some sort of a, maybe if it’s not a full blown recession, you are gonna have some contraction. So you’re talking about something that’s obviously gonna have negative effects.

Mike Papantonio:             The problem with recession, as you know, is most of the time we don’t even see it until it’s almost over. And what I, I thought was so remarkable is Yellen telling, you know, Janet Yellen coming out and saying, well, there’s a couple things I didn’t see coming. I, I didn’t see the potential for a recession and I didn’t see inflation. What scares the hell outta me about that is that’s her job. And she, it was almost as if she said the whole administration was at sleep. They, they were asleep on this issue.

Michael Bixby:                    And, and if you think about that, Pap, I mean, this is complicated and I, I don’t wanna say oversimplify it.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Michael Bixby:                    But at the same time, some of this is fairly elementary. I mean, what happened in 2020 and 2021, we printed trillions of dollars. The natural effect of that of saying, well, what is the likely cause of this going to be? Is that going to cause inflation or deflation? I mean, if you ask it on a very elementary side, it’s like, well, that’s much more likely to cause inflation. And there’s a lot of com, complicated effects of that. I appreciate that, but you’re right. We have the best minds or supposedly the best minds who should be looking out for this and saying, how are we going to manage?

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. How do you say you never saw it coming? Okay. It was like, we heard the same thing about the economic crash with the mortgages. Never saw it coming. And you ask yourself, well, my God who, you know, who’s, who’s at the wheel? And it doesn’t seem to make any difference when we’re talking to these economists, because they, they didn’t see either the crash coming. They don’t see the, they didn’t see this coming. They didn’t see inflation coming. They didn’t see potential for a recession coming. They don’t talk about what you talked about is that the end result is to lower wages and potentially put millions of people outta jobs as this progresses.

Michael Bixby:                    Right. And you, you want to say, how is if you bury your head in the sand, you can miss a lot of stuff.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Michael Bixby:                    If you, if you choose to ignore it. But the ultimate consequence here, it’s gonna not, it’s not gonna affect the people at the top. The people who didn’t see it. And what you’re gonna see is the most damage is gonna happen on the bottom end. It’s gonna happen for the lower wage workers already, who are gonna be harmed.

Mike Papantonio:             Right. Gated communities are not gonna feel this.

Michael Bixby:                    Correct.

Mike Papantonio:             The Supreme Court might be stripping American citizens of their Miranda rights and that could be a disaster. Michael, when I saw this, I, I just got to thinking, this is the Miranda of course is, trying to think, 1966.

Michael Bixby:                    Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             The Supreme Court said, they’re just things that you ought to tell somebody you’ve taken into custody and arrested before you interrogate ’em because of the terrible coercion that existed before then. Pick it up.

Michael Bixby:                    Yeah. Right to, right to remain silent. Right to an attorney. If, if you don’t have the money for an attorney, we’ll provide one for you. These are things that it, it’s there for a reason is because again, the average American doesn’t really know, doesn’t understand the legal system and you get down to it, it’s the coercion. And you do see that the way the police state in America is set up, it is based on, oh, just tell me this. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen instances like this. Oh, if you just tell me, the officers just want you to confess, want you to give them the information that helps them get the conviction, helps them get the arrest and, and say, oh, well, everything will be okay. And, and that’s not the case.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, the history flashback is that it got much worse than that. It got to where it was some situations looked like Guantanamo to get these confessions. And so all of a sudden, 1966, the Supreme Court says we have to stop that and we at least, if we have these constitutional rights, then at the very least, we have the responsibility to tell people about. The case to watch is Vega v. Tekoh. Right?

Michael Bixby:                    That, that’s, that’s right. And this it’s an interesting case, Pap, because the, the person who’s raised the issue is actually the officer.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Michael Bixby:                    He said, I didn’t violate this person’s right because the Miranda warnings that’s been the law for, you know, 50 years, that’s actually not the law. That’s not a requirement. That’s not part of the constitutional provisions here that I have to comply with. So the officer’s the one bringing it up and saying, this isn’t actually your right.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, it’s part of that Federalist argument versus state’s rights argument. And that’s where this is going. As this progresses what we’re gonna find is that states get to build their own standards on what they think a Miranda should look like. They can decide what the policies are, how far we can take it. They’re gonna let law enforcement have a bigger, a bigger hand in how an interrogation takes place, state by state, according to who the legislators are.

Michael Bixby:                    And that’s, that’s scary, Pap. And I, I see with this court, I think that there is a very real, it seems like the consensus is there’s a good chance that at least the Miranda warning or the Miranda rights are gonna be eaten away at if not done way with altogether. Exactly under that federalism, oh, let’s give it to the states. And that might be good in certain states, there might be some states where that’s okay. But I see a lot of potential for substantial harm.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Michael Bixby:                    In, in many, many states who are gonna look at it and say, hey, we’ve gotta support the, the police, the police need to have unlimited rights. This idea behind it. I’m like, no, there’s constitutional protections.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Michael Bixby:                    For a reason.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Miranda 1966 was, that of course it’s still criticized as, as it being the, the court going where they shouldn’t go because the constitution doesn’t provide for it. Miranda is right on point with the constitution.

A group of SpaceX employees have alleged that they’ve been fired for criticizing Elon Musk in a letter to the board of directors. Now I gotta tell you, I saw this, I saw this story and I got to thinkin’, what numb nut would not believe they’re gonna get fired if they send out a letter. They, they sent out thousands of these letters just across the board saying, will you sign the letter now? Whether they’re wrong or right, you know, they have a right to criticize him, but they also need to understand he has a right to fire ’em. I mean, what kind of bonehead says, yeah, I’m just gonna go do this and then expect no ramifications from it?

Michael Bixby:                    Right. Talk about burying your head in the sand and I think you’re exactly right. It’s a private company, Pap. So you’re talking about, I mean, and you could say, we think the law should be this or that, but the reality is if you go and bite the hand that feeds and here clearly Musk is the hand that feeds with SpaceX, that’s of course, that’s what’s gonna happen. And, and, and, and, and I, now that being said is, honestly, this tells me a lot about the company.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Michael Bixby:                    Because I think that there’s a couple of responses they could have. I think, yes, you can, you could criticize the SpaceX employees and say, well, you knew you were gonna get fired and if you didn’t, you were just completely ignorant. But, but SpaceX’s response is not very encouraging, which maybe isn’t a surprise if you followed.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, as you said, it’s a privately held company, Michael. This isn’t a, I mean, that, that’s what, that’s what’s so amazing about. Matter of fact, the people who didn’t sign it say exactly that. They said what in the, their own employees are saying, well, of course I didn’t sign it. It sounds like a childish tone deaf thing to do. You know of, look, there’s no question, they have the right to criticize. But then to come out and say, we’re victims, because I’m not under contract. If they’re, it’s a non-contract state. Musk can fire as many of them as he wants. But to say you’re surprised by the idea that they, they said that he was an embarrassment to the company that the whole Twitter, the whole element of what was going on with Twitter was an embarrassment to them. And they’re talking about the guy who gives ’em their paycheck. Any surprises there?

Michael Bixby:                    No, no, no, no surprises there whatsoever. But I do think, you know, there’s been things about their culture, SpaceX’s culture and Musk.

Mike Papantonio:             Yes.

Michael Bixby:                    I think that there’s legitimate concerns there. But you say, hey, read the room a little bit, in the way you get ’em addressed, or is there a better way to address a toxic environment than that? Yeah. The end result was always going to be those people getting fired.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. It’s just like, they it’s like a bunch of tone deaf boneheads that don’t understand it’s gonna happen. No question. They said, we need to reign him in. Yes. Maybe that’s the case. But expect the consequences. There was other ways to go about doing it.

The former fiancée of Khashoggi wants president Biden to ask Saudi Arabia an important question on his upcoming visit. Real simple question, where are the pieces to my husband’s body? That, that, that’s a horrible thing to have to ask, but that’s the question she has. She says, look, if, if, if president Biden goes over there groveling and begging on bended knees for something, maybe mention that I might, that this guy that you were so critical of the prince of Saudi Arabia, maybe ask that guy that you called a pariah, by the way, before you were over here groveling, ask him where the parts to my husband’s body are today.

Michael Bixby:                    Yeah. That’s awful powerful, Pap. And, and, and if you’re Biden, I think he’s in a tough spot because he’s very clearly, I mean, it wasn’t, he didn’t equivocate. He said it is pariah. We will bring ’em to justice. We’re going to hold them accountable. We’re gonna do something different because Trump failed here too. There’s no question. Trump and Trump, Trump was all over Saudi Arabia.

Mike Papantonio:             It was like they we’re, they had a love affair after it with Trump. Had a love affair with the prince after he chopped up Khashoggi.

Michael Bixby:                    And that was embarrassing. But yeah, what, what happened here is they got caught. That was the only difference is that if you think that this is the one exception, the CIA concluded with regards to him, that this was something, this was directly an order from the crown prince.

Mike Papantonio:             The real question, Michael, you realize there’s questions whether he was even watching it because they had the TV set up. Now this, this freak, this maniac, that is just nothing but a despot, you know, just a dictator over there. There’s no, he has no right to even sit there. It’s like, they proclaimed one day that I’m gonna take all this land. I’m gonna take all these oil rights. Who in the hell says, yeah, you can have? But that’s how the family’s grown, you understand?

Michael Bixby:                    Right.

Mike Papantonio:             It’s just, we’re in charge. Nobody put us in charge. We’re in charge. And they’ve been in charge for all these generations. When, when Biden came out and said, look, I’m gonna make him pay the price. Remember he was running for president, all that tough talk. He was saying, criticizing Trump, who should have been criticized, but saying, when I’m in charge, they’re gonna pay the price for what they’ve done.

Michael Bixby:                    Yeah. How much you wanna bet that we don’t, we don’t see a strong Biden who’s, who’s criticizing that, bringing this up, addressing this issue, for something where again, they convicted multiple people, Saudi Arabia convicted them, and then commuted the sentences.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Yeah.

Michael Bixby:                    I mean, it’s, it’s an embarrassment. Absolute embarrassment.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, you know what? There’s right now, as we speak they’re teetering, does he go, doesn’t he go? You know, don’t go. I mean, don’t go. The idea of expedience over values just doesn’t fit a president.

The Uvalde police department is fighting hard to keep body cam footage on the day of the Robb elementary school shooting, hidden from the public. Wow. Okay. Here, here it is. They’re being, they’re being sued obviously. The, the, the police officers that, that were supposed to be in charge of saving these kids, 19 officers, 19 officers waited outside the school fully armed while all this was going on, while children were, were, were saying 9, you know, calling 9 1 1.

Michael Bixby:                    Calling 9 1 1.

Mike Papantonio:             Help. What’s your take?

Michael Bixby:                    Yeah, this is, this is kind of pathetic, Pap. It’s, this is another thing that is embarrassing. And that’s actually, if you look at their response and say, why? Why don’t they want to give the video? Why don’t they want sunshine here so we can see as these children were murdered and you didn’t do your job? You allowed these children to be murdered. Why? Because we would be embarrassed.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Michael Bixby:                    That’s what they said.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Literally they came out and said, we, anybody would be embarrassed for, to have 19 police officers. Who in the hell would not have rushed in just like the fellow that ended up doing it? You know, 19 police officers out there and they can’t make a decision on how to handle the problem. So here’s what I really love about, about their, their answer when you take a look at it. They say, it’s going reveal the methods that we use to fight crime. Literally, that’s part of their, they’re gonna say, if we were to disclose this, this is gonna reveal the techniques that we use to fight crime. It’s gonna show, it’s gonna show all of these tricks that we have to fight crime. So we can’t release this. Also, it’s gonna cause distress to our employees once they understand what really happened.

Michael Bixby:                    Once they understand how irresponsibly we were.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Michael Bixby:                    How shameful we were. We’re gonna be in fear for our physical safety. I mean, it, the, the juxtaposition between children being murdered and the failure and allowing that to happen, versus you saying I’m gonna be uncomfortable. This is a conver, I mean, unquestionably, this information has to come out.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. There’s no judge.

Michael Bixby:                    We have to.

Mike Papantonio:             There’s no judge that’s gonna grant this. I, I don’t care. Even in Texas, even with a Texas judge, the Texas good old boy judge is not gonna grant. This is most outrageous kind of response.

More and more Americans are blaming Trump for the Capitol riots, but that doesn’t mean a prosecution is gonna be slam dunk. It’s actually far from it. If you talked, if you follow the comments of anybody following the details, and frankly, I haven’t followed the details, I watched parts of it. I watch reruns of things. I try to figure out what’s really going on. It’s very clear that these hearings need to take place because this has, this has significant ramifications. But is Trump going to be prosecuted with, with, with, with Merrick Garland, with this Department of Justice, is he gonna be prosecuted?

Michael Bixby:                    That, that’s, probably not is the answer.

Mike Papantonio:             No.

Michael Bixby:                    And it’s an incredible question, because obviously you have, you have Garland who, you know, was potentially going to the Supreme Court and, and maybe got shafted by most, by most accounts.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Michael Bixby:                    But I think Chris Christie was the one who really gave some comments recently, some insight as a former prosecutor himself. And he said, he said, the concern here is if you swing and you miss.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Michael Bixby:                    What, if you swing and a miss, you’re gonna be concerned about what sort of an effect that has. And basically they’re looking for, to prosecute this, it’s gotta be almost a guarantee. It’s gotta be something that’s 99.9%.

Mike Papantonio:             But, he goes beyond that. He says the Department of Justice is, is, is so sometimes dysfunctional. I mean, that’s what it is. When, when they’re so dysfunctional that unless there’s a 99.9% of, of, of, of a prosecution being successful, they won’t do it. That’s why you see ’em going after this low hanging fruit all the time.

Michael Bixby:                    Right.

Mike Papantonio:             That’s why we don’t ever see ’em going after Wall Street white collar criminals who steal billions of dollars from the American public because unless it’s a softball.

Michael Bixby:                    Right.

Mike Papantonio:             Especially with Merrick Garland.

Michael Bixby:                    Right.

Mike Papantonio:             They’re not gonna go after this. And that’s, that’s what Christie says and, and it’s not just Christie. There’s a lot of people talking about the idea of willful blindness. The concept that they’d have to get to is that there was willful blindness on his part. I think there is. I think when you look at it, it doesn’t take much to get there to conclude that. But they have to get there in front of a jury to prove intent and in, without intent, did he have an intention by way of willful blindness to allow this to happen and most of the, most of the pundits are saying no. And I agree with that.

Michael Bixby:                    Right. And, and I think you’re right, is that the, the fundamental problem is one of saying, well, I, I don’t wanna lose. I don’t wanna potentially be the guy who lost a case.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Michael Bixby:                    So I’m just not gonna take it. If it’s a hard case, if it’s a difficult case, even if maybe there’s some really strong facts, some of the stuff that we’ve come out and seen that is frankly uncomfortable to kind of watch, uncomfortable to see.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Michael Bixby:                    But it’s like, hey, look, if this is not a guarantee, then I’m just gonna, I’m gonna go onto the next one and prosecute the guy who doesn’t have any money to defend himself or the lower level person.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Well, you always see it, don’t you? I mean, and it’s, it’s disturbing because it’s a, it’s part of their culture. And when Chris Christie and these other folks are making this statement, they literally are saying, this is a Department of Justice, unless it’s a softball, they’re not gonna prosecute anybody. HSBC, how about that? You were involved with that whole banking issue as a lawyer. HSBC pleads to washing money for terrorism that ended up in the death of American soldiers. Yes, we did that. Yes, we washed the money. Yes, we made a hundred billion dollars. And yes, we knew it was gonna kill American soldiers. And you know what the Department of Justice did? They fined them.

Michael Bixby:                    Cost of doing business, Pap.

Mike Papantonio:             Cost of doing.

Michael Bixby:                    Cost of doing business. That’s just a little bit of our margin, a small little percentage of our margin.

Mike Papantonio:             And nothing will change. The next generation will do the same thing. He needs to be prosecuted. Trump needs to be prosecuted. Is there enough to do it? Yes, there is. Will they do it? No, they won’t. That’s my take on it, right there.

Michael Bixby:                    I think you’re right, Pap.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Thank you for joining me, Mike.

Michael Bixby:                    Thanks for having me, Pap.

Mike Papantonio:             That’s all for this week, but all of these segments are gonna be available on the coming week right here on this channel. And you can follow us on Twitter @americaslawyer. I’m Mike Papantonio and this has been America’s Lawyer where every week we tell you the stories that corporate media won’t tell you because their advertisers don’t let ’em do it, or because their political connections don’t allow for it. We’ll see you next week.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.