America’s Lawyer E58: Voices are growing louder calling for the Democratic Party to have a REAL primary for the 2024 nomination, but the Party is scared as the non-Biden candidates start to gain momentum. The drug company Merck is suing the federal government so that they can continue to price gouge consumers with their over-priced drugs. And crime is going to be a major talking point in next year’s election, so we’ll explain what’s real and what’s not when you hear politicians talking about crime statistics. All that, and more is coming up, so don’t go anywhere – America’s Lawyer starts right now.


*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. Voices are growing louder, calling for the Democratic Party to have a real primary for the 2024 nomination, but the party is scared to death as the non Biden candidates start to gain momentum. A lot of momentum. The drug company, Merck, well, they’re suing the federal government so that they can continue to price gouge. They say it’s their constitutional right to price gouge. And crime, well, it’s gonna be a major talking point next year’s election. So we’ll explain what’s real and what’s not when you hear politicians talking about crime statistics. All that more, it’s coming up, don’t go anywhere. America’s Lawyer starts right now.

It’s becoming crystal clear that the Democratic Party wants to keep their thumb on the scale to protect President Biden, even as his approval rating continues to show bad, bad signs. The other Democrats running for president are gaining traction with Americans, but the party is still refusing to acknowledge the fact that that’s happening. So they don’t wanna debate, they don’t wanna hold real primaries. Joining me to talk about that is Farron Cousins. Farron, this reminds me of Bernie Sanders all over again, doesn’t it? Or what they, you know, any time the Democratic Party is put in to where they have their handpick, their handpicked now is basically Kamala Harris. I mean, that’s who everybody’s running against. They’re not even in earnest running against Biden. You know, he is 81 years old. He is liable to tip over any moment. And so along comes Bobby Kennedy, along comes Williams, and they say, you know, we just wanna debate, man. I mean, just give us the opportunity to debate. And the Democrats, it freaks the Democrats out.

Farron Cousins: See, that’s what just bugs me so much about this, is they’re not asking for much.

Mike Papantonio: No.

Farron Cousins: All they’re saying is, hey, it’s a president, it’s presidential primary season. Where the hell’s the presidential primary? Can we get on TV? Can Biden come down for an hour or two and talk to the public? Can he answer questions that we have? Can he go up against us? Can he put his policies against our proposals? And the public is entitled to that. I don’t care if you’re a diehard Biden supporter or not, you should still support choices.

Mike Papantonio: You don’t even care what the other, I mean, if you’re not gonna invest in their politics, fine. But it’s that debate that creates a democratic process. We get better from debates. And here it’s not just the debate, you know, now Biden and the Democrats are trying to change the plans even on where the primaries take place. They know that Biden is gonna get killed if he goes to New Hampshire. The numbers showed it last time. So they don’t wanna do that. They wanna change the game even there, because what, when he ran, he was like number five in the pecking order in New Hampshire when he.

Farron Cousins: Well, and that’s why they changed it, because it was South Carolina, which of course Obama came in right before South Carolina. Finally endorsed him because Bernie had it.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: Bernie was running away with the thing. Winning states they didn’t think he’d win. South Carolina came along, along with the whole establishment, flipped the script. So they’re trying to flip the script before it starts this time.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. It’s this smug, elitist Democrat leadership that sends in their flying monkeys. And now the flying monkeys are all over Williams. They’re all over Kennedy. They’re not even giving them a chance to explain their position. Explain what did you mean on the Covid issue? Talk about it. Let me ask you questions and you defend it. The point being is that this is the demise of democracy. And the Democrats are leading the demise of democracy. They’re in charge right now, and they’re certainly leading. They’re the party now, this is what the public thinks. This is not me talking, this is the numbers that come from the public. They’re for, this is a Democratic party that is for censorship. They’re in love with the spook industry. They love the CIA, FBI, whoever is part of that spook industry.

Their love of war. They’re the new party of war. They love the new Ukraine War. They know they’re the party that is, has this incredible bond with corporate media that are, and they’re trained to only deliver for corporate media. So this list of things goes on. They’re, it’s a party really, if I’m, let me add my point now. It’s a party with a dying vision for America. That’s what’s happening. As you know, I’m not Democratic. I’m not Republican. I, you know, gave up that a long time ago. But as I look at the Democrats, I would love to say, look, this stagnant, geriatric Democratic leadership is killing your party. And, you know, of course when we say that the comments will go crazy. I don’t, as if I give a. But that’s just the truth. It’s what’s happening.

Farron Cousins: It really is. And listen, I’m a guy who right now is still leaning with Biden. And Bobby has said plenty of things that I completely disagree with, but I also have a very long history with Bobby as well, you know, and know him on a somewhat personal level. Certainly not as deep as you do. But my God, you and him started Ring of Fire and we cannot overlook that fact.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. We started this network, didn’t we?

Farron Cousins: Exactly.

Mike Papantonio: We went, we go all the way back to Air America where it was me and Bobby, Janeane Garofalo, Rachel Maddow, Al Franken, Sam Seder, just this wonderful group of people who were talking progressive in politics long before it was a thing. And he was there with me on that. He was there in trial with me when we took on major corporations that nobody else would touch and beat the hell out of them. He was with me there. So I mean, I know what he’s about. And I would love to at least say he ought have the chance to debate an 81 year old guy that wants to run his election in his basement. Doesn’t want to take on, doesn’t want to do interviews, doesn’t wanna hold press conferences. Wants to sit in his easy chair in his basement and hope like hell that Kamala Harris can pull it off for him. It’s an ugly story, but nevertheless, we’re gonna have people comment. Oh, you know, I can’t believe you’re saying this Pap. You’re right wing. The new thing is Tucker Carlson, you replacing Tucker. Really?

Farron Cousins: Well, here’s the thing about Bobby too, and it also goes for Marianne Williamson. You know, we know what the media is out there saying about both of these people. Obviously, Bobby’s only thing, the only thing you need to know about Bobby Kennedy is the anti-vaxxer. And that, of course is the part that I totally disagree with him on. With Marianne Williamson, they’re like, oh, well she’s the crystal lady and into auras. So she’s weird. But there is so much more to these people that the public needs to know about. But the media’s not saying any of it. They’re not talking policy at all.

Mike Papantonio: No, they own, the Democratic elite leadership owns corporate media. At least they own the MSNBCs, the CNNs, they, you know, Fox, they own those folks. They’re gonna do what’s required to be done. They won’t even give him a platform. They won’t even let him talk. They won’t even let him on a show to talk about his issue. He appeared with Musk on Twitter.

Farron Cousins: He’s going on Fox News to do Hannity.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. Finally, finally. But look at what it’s taken. And so what I’m saying is what’s taken is now the Democrats have the hell scared out them because the numbers keep climbing. And they’re saying, well, you know, this guy’s a contender. He is a contender. And if you put him up against Kamala Harris, which is, that’s the way the election’s going now. I mean, the Republicans are, they’re running against Kamala Harris. They’re not even running against Biden. They’re saying, yeah, he is old. He’s 81 years old. He’s tipping over every time we see him. He’s a problem. He ain’t gonna make it through the first couple of years. And your president is gonna be Kamala Harris. So now the media is saying, well, maybe we ought to pay attention to it.

Farron Cousins: Well, and I think, look, at this point, I’ve made it clear where I’m at right now.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah, I know.

Farron Cousins: And we know where you’re at right now.

Mike Papantonio: I’m fine with it.

Farron Cousins: But I still think everybody needs to be able to hear from both Bobby and Marianne Williamson. It’s only fair to the voters, especially when Bobby’s at 20% now, according to the CNN latest poll.

Mike Papantonio: A little higher than that.

Farron Cousins: And that’s, you know, where Ron DeSantis is polling on the Republican side.

Mike Papantonio: Well, I think you and I, we try to set an example. There’s stuff you and I just disagree with. But we can sit here and debate about it and talk about it. You know, at the end of the day, we agree with 99% of everything.

Farron Cousins: Yes.

Mike Papantonio: But it’s that 1% that, you know, you don’t yell at me, I don’t yell at you and we try to have a discussion. And so that’s all that’s at stake here. It’s the discussion is vibrant. It’s the discussion is part of the democratic process. And to just completely make him disappear like they did with Bernie is so classic elite Democrat.

Farron Cousins: Yep.

Mike Papantonio: It really is.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein is still holding her job, even though reports have confirmed that her staffers have been doing all the work for the past years and really hiding it from the American public of how bad, what kind of bad shape she’s in. And now a new poll shows that a majority of California voters want Feinstein outta the office today. Today. They understand. I mean, this is pathetic. She is like, she’s a walking, what is it, Bernie, what was it?

Farron Cousins: Weekend at Bernie’s.

Mike Papantonio: Weekend with Bernie. I feel like every time I see the staffer pushing her around it’s like Weekend with Feinstein. And so, you know what it’s all about. It is about Pelosi not wanting Newsom to make some appointments. Pelosi is dead set on Schiff. Gotta have Schiff because Schiff came in and started talking the Russian conspiracy issue.

Farron Cousins: He did her dirty work.

Mike Papantonio: He did her, she didn’t want to do it. So he did it for her and now he looks like an idiot when all this new information’s coming out. So now the point is we know that there’s some good candidates out there that she could appoint. Who are they?

Farron Cousins: Katie Porter, who is doing much better in the polling than I had realized.

Mike Papantonio: Oh yeah.

Farron Cousins: Katie Porter is 20, or excuse me, I think somewhere in the teens, I guess. But either way I did not know she.

Mike Papantonio: 18 is where the last point was set.

Farron Cousins: Yeah, I didn’t realize she was ahead of Barbara Lee. But Barbara Lee is also not a bad pick. And those are actually the two people that Newsom, according to reports, is considering appointing to that seat. And instead Schiff who’s polling ahead right now because he has the Pelosi support, he’s the one who’s gonna take over in that primary. And when that happens, we lose Barbara Lee and Katie Porter from the House. They will no longer be elected officials because they will not be able to run in their House primary. So they’re gone for good, or at least for two years, and that me off

Mike Papantonio: Actually, Farron, this is The Hill reporting that 20, Katie Porter is at 22%. Okay. So, and Schiff is only at 23%. So I mean, it’s not like this is a big leap. They ought to let Newsom make the appointment. Look, we can’t even do anything on the judiciary because she can’t even show up. She doesn’t, she literally is quoted as saying she didn’t remember the vote. She voted on something, she didn’t know what it was. She doesn’t even, she didn’t even understand what the role was for Kamala Harris when she had to show up for a tiebreaker. She was asking, why is she here?

Farron Cousins: Why is she up here? I mean, so she didn’t know she was vice president. She didn’t know there was a tie. She didn’t know any of this. And this is not, again, make it crystal clear for everybody, this is not an attack on Feinstein. This is not her fault. I mean, she.

Mike Papantonio: Oh, it’s elderly abuse.

Farron Cousins: It is. It honest to God is, and I’ll take it a step further. I think on behalf of her staff who is doing everything for her, including telling her how to vote.

Mike Papantonio: Why don’t they.

Farron Cousins: I think that’s fraud.

Mike Papantonio: Well, it is fraud. But you would think that a staff member would have enough class to say, you know, we are engaged in elderly abuse and, you know, you could bring the case just about anywhere that this is elderly abuse. It’s pathetic. It is like Weekend with Bernie. And the idea that she can do anything that’s gonna help California voters right now is absurd. Still got what, two more years?

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: Two more years. Yeah.

Pharmaceutical giant Merck is suing the federal government so they can continue to price gouge American consumers. Merck is really mad about legislation that would require them to lower the cost of a handful of their drugs covered by Medicare because they wanna squeeze every dime outta sick people. So here’s, their argument is that it violates their First Amendment to be able to say you’re price, I mean, they ought to have a First Amendment and a Fifth Amendment right, this is their argument, constitutionally they should have a First Amendment and Fifth Amendment right to price gouge. Right? And I guess to lie, because in order to get there, they have to lie. It’s a $14 billion profit they made last year and they say that’s not enough. We can’t do research and development with only a $14 billion profit. We can’t give enough to the CEOs and to management. Right?

Farron Cousins: Exactly. And the lawyer, this is such a stupid argument that I think even somebody fresh outta law school on day one would be able to tear this apart because this legislation does not set the prices. And by the way, that is what the lawyers say. They say, oh, the legislation is setting prices and you can’t do that. Okay. Well it doesn’t. It actually, the legislation says you have to negotiate.

Mike Papantonio: Negotiate. It doesn’t, that is the fine point to the entire argument. First of all, the people, I think this is like a sub-story. The people making this argument is the Jones Day Law Firm. Read this book, this book that’s up on the screen in order to understand, in order to understand a level of corruption, a level of ugly that will make your skin crawl, you have got to read this book. And then you understand why Merck loves Jones Day. You know, why would they hire Jones Day? Because they’re just like Jones Day. And so if you look at this story, I mean, you gotta read this book. I don’t wanna say anything beyond that. Read the book. It lays it out about Jones Day Law Firm. I don’t have to say it, it’s right there in the book. But the idea of Merck hiring them to do this, to make this ridiculous argument, makes perfect sense to me.

Farron Cousins: Oh, it absolutely does. And listen, Merck is not even required to negotiate all of their drug prices. It’s just a couple of them covered under Medicare and they’re still gonna make an astronomical profit. And even with the Jones Day argument, it makes me so mad because I’m not a lawyer and I can pick it apart. That’s how bad they are at this right now. Because they say.

Mike Papantonio: Well, they know it. They, look, they got bright lawyers. They have some of the smartest lawyers that ever graduate.

Farron Cousins: But you’re defending the indefensible. So you have to be stupid.

Mike Papantonio: Right. I mean, at the end of this Jones Day gets to say, wow, we had a big victory here. We kept sick people from getting a better deal on pharmaceuticals, people who were dying. We had a great day because we kept Merck from, we allowed Merck to avoid having to negotiate for lower prices. Isn’t that a big victory? Sit around the kitchen table, hey kids, what’d you do? What did I do today? Well, let me tell you what I did. Wow.

Farron Cousins: You see all those sick people out there, they don’t get to get insulin because of what daddy did at work today. That’s what they have to tell their kids.

Mike Papantonio: Read the book. I mean, just read the book. Take it on yourself. I think it’s a, I think the book is important, not just because it’s about Jones Day, but it lays out kind of what the entire civil justice process is looking like right now. It’s worth reading for that reason alone.

A lawyer in New York is facing sanctions and possibly worse after he used the AI service ChatGPT to create a legal brief. The artificial intelligence bot created a list of fake court cases that the lawyer used in his brief. But he got busted when the opposing side couldn’t find any of the cases, couldn’t find any of the information that was in that brief because it was a big fraud. It was made up by AI. Right? This story, it’s so ugly that it’s crazy. It’s laughable.

Farron Cousins: It really is.

Mike Papantonio: But it’s an ugly story. Right?

Farron Cousins: And it’s so sad because you got this guy Steven Schwartz up in New York, 30 year lawyer. All right. We’re not talking about somebody fresh outta law school, didn’t know how to write a brief. Guy’s been doing this for 30 years. He knows how to write a brief. And honestly sounded like he had a pretty good case there. You got somebody injured on an airplane by the, you know, cart. Sounds like pretty, pretty simple.

Mike Papantonio: Truth is, he’s not a bad lawyer. I mean, he really, let me just defend the guy. He’s not a bad lawyer. But the AI spits out all of this stuff that AI made up and he doesn’t, you know, we all get busy. He doesn’t take the time to, wow, that’s a great case. It’s right on point and it’s perfect for me. Oh wait, there are 10 perfect cases for me and it gives me the sites. Well, at some point, don’t you say that doesn’t look right? He got busy. I mean, that’s really the truth. I if I were to drill down on this, that’s all that happened here. But it’s bizarre.

Farron Cousins: And you do feel bad a little for him because he says, listen, my kids had told me about ChatGPT. I thought it was a search engine. So I thought it was spitting out all these great cases related to what I needed. Cases like Martinez v. Delta Air Lines, Zicherman v. Korean Air Lines.

Mike Papantonio: They’re just made up.

Farron Cousins: Right. They don’t exist. Those were not actual court cases.

Mike Papantonio: Even the sites, even the sites that he uses when he says, judge, I wanna show you this case that is right on point with what I’m saying to you. You should rule for me because 10 cases here say that. Well, okay, if you go into a courtroom and you’re loaded like that, buddy, you’re ready to rock and roll. Right. Until somebody says, wait a second, judge, this is all made up. It’s not real. I don’t know. I kind of feel sorry for the guy. He just, you know, probably got busy, didn’t take the time to do it. Should have had somebody else take a look at it. But this is what AI is capable of. Right?

Farron Cousins: Exactly. And that is what is terrifying about this because this is the natural evolution. This is not going to be the first lawyer that tries to use AI to write a legal brief. Like this is just the beginning. This is the opening of it. And we’re gonna see it, I think we’re gonna see it in the medical field. You know, doctors will say, okay, ChatGPT, I have, you know, increased heart rate, blah blah, blah. What do you got? And we’re relying on it too much already. And it is so unreliable that it’s terrifying.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. That’s what this case is really about. If I were the judge, I would’ve really spent some time on the unreliability. Yeah. You gotta beat him up a little bit. He shouldn’t have shown, he shouldn’t have shown up with that. But, you can see how it could happen.

Crime is going to be a big talking point in the 2024 election, just like it was in the 2022 midterms. We already hear candidates like Ron DeSantis telling us that Democratic cities are overrun with crime. And on the Democratic side, we hear Biden talking about how the white supremacists are going to burn us down in the streets. What do you think?

Farron Cousins: I think obviously crime is an issue here in the United States, to say that it’s not, is to ignore reality and we don’t ignore reality even when it doesn’t fit our narratives. But Ron DeSantis has gone out there repeatedly, especially after Trump got indicted in Manhattan and he said, well this prosecutor’s not focusing on crime. Crime is outta control in New York City. People are getting.

Mike Papantonio: And it is, it is. I mean, but compared to Florida there’s some, make some comparisons.

Farron Cousins: Exactly. So yes, crime, well, property crime has gone up in New York. Violent crime has gone down. Then you turn around and you look at Florida. Well property crime has gone down in Florida, but violent crime, murders, rapes have gone up through the roof more than New York. So you’re more likely to get killed here than you are in New York CIty.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. Now how many journalists do you think actually analyzed that? When you, isn’t it easier to say, look at Chicago, 50 people got shot in Chicago this past week. They don’t pay a lot of attention to it because it’s black on black crime, unfortunately. It’s still people getting shot. LA, they got, you know, but the point is this, they don’t really make comparisons before they go there. And that’s what the statistics say about when a politician uses the crime card, it’s very effective. I mean, it is like twice as effective as an ad that doesn’t have some kind of scare aspect to it.

Farron Cousins: Right.

Mike Papantonio: And the interesting thing about the statistics on it are when the message is a scare tactic, then the person hearing the scare tactic is only going to read and absorb the things that agree with that. So they’ll seek out more information. In other words, LA crime is crazy. People gotten shot in San Francisco. You can’t walk down the street without getting mauled. They’re gonna sense that, they’re gonna hear that, and then they’re gonna go out and they’re gonna seek out information that tells ’em that same story. It just enables it even further. It heightens it even further. Both sides do it. You know, Trump is out there saying the Mexicans are coming across the border to kill us and to traffic our children. And MS 13 is here with all their tattoos and you ought to be afraid. Be very afraid. And then Biden, well Biden the pitch is, Klansmen and Neo-Nazis and white supremacists are gonna take over Washington, DC. They’re gonna take over your state houses. They’re gonna be, they’re gonna watch democracy perish in the streets if you don’t vote for Biden. It’s both sides because they both know it’s effective.

Farron Cousins: Well, and I gotta say the Democrats are actually really bad at it because for decades now.

Mike Papantonio: Good point.

Farron Cousins: Republicans have been using crime as a campaign issue. They show it in their ads. And again, this goes back to the 1980s trying to show Democrats are bad on crime.

Mike Papantonio: Lee Atwater.

Farron Cousins: Exactly.

Mike Papantonio: Lee Atwater.

Farron Cousins: But then again, when you look at the statistics, which the Democrats had these statistics, y’all are just too dumb to use them in an ad. But the top, of the top 10 cities in the United States with the worst crime rates, eight of them are Republican cities. And these cities in Florida, Miami, Tallahassee, Jacksonville have higher crime rates than San Francisco or LA or New York.

Mike Papantonio: But if you ask about the average voter, if you ask about it, they’ll say, oh hell no, LA, San Francisco, New York, much worse crime than Florida because nobody takes time to analyze it. And there’s a reason for it. That’s the point I’m trying to make. Is when somebody hears it, they embrace it and then they seek out information that is just like that. They want to absorb that information. So the truth is it works. And you know, the answer to it, if it sounds too scary, it probably is. Well, that’s the point to all this.

Farron Cousins: But it is going to be a massive issue in next year’s election.

Mike Papantonio: No question.

Farron Cousins: I mean, especially we got Trump under indictment in New York and now the federal indictment. So crime is at the top of everybody’s list. We are going to see more of this. And the Democrats, if they weren’t so stupid and lazy is the only words I can use because y’all have the statistics. Y’all could just go out there and say what’s actually happening.

Mike Papantonio: Didn’t we see it with Santos? Remember Santos?

Farron Cousins: Yes.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. Santos had all of this crazy stuff, man. He was a liar. He was a thief. He, I mean, and it was all true. I mean, the guy was a conman and the Democrats had all that to run against him. But rather than doing that, they took the Democratic party line and just ran some.

Farron Cousins: They said, we didn’t want to go too negative.

Mike Papantonio: We didn’t want to go too negative. Really? So here he is. There he sits. Farron, thanks for joining me.

Farron Cousins: Thank you.

Mike Papantonio: That’s all for this week. But all these segments are gonna be available throughout next week. And make sure you follow us on Twitter @AmericasLawyer. I’m Mike Papantonio and this has been America’s Lawyer where we tell you stories that corporate media just won’t tell you because their advertisers don’t let ’em or their political connections don’t allow for it. We’ll see you next time.

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.