John H. Hinderaker, who writes for the right-wing blog Powerline, bills himself as a Harvard-educated “lawyer with a nationwide litigation practice.” According to his law firm bio he was even named Minnesota’s 2005 “Super Lawyer of the Year.” For someone with such impressive credentials he seems to be quite confused about basic legal concepts. For example, he had this to say after reading DeLay’s criminal indictment:
Based on the indictment, which we linked to yesterday, it doesn’t appear that Earle has any evidence at all. In all probability, the DeLay indictment will be thrown out at some point…
An indictment, however, isn’t supposed to include evidence of a crime; it’s supposed to include an allegation of a crime. The Washington Post explains:
No evidence to support the conspiracy charge was cited in the indictment, which says only that DeLay and two named associates entered “into an agreement with one or more of each other” or with the committee to conduct the funds transfer. But Texas law permits such evidence to be left out of the indictment, so it is rarely included.
As someone with a “nationwide litigation practice” Hinderaker should know it’s a bad idea to reveal your strategy to opposing counsel before it’s necessary.
Email Hinderaker at email@example.com and tell him to read Chapter 21 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
UPDATE: Hinderaker responds:
Some goofball on a left-wing site attacked this post earlier today, claiming that I was criticizing Earle’s indictment for not reciting the evidence against DeLay.
Hmmm. How did this goofball ever get that idea? Oh yeah, when he wrote this:
Based on the indictment, which we linked to yesterday, it doesn’t appear that Earle has any evidence at all.
The good news is that, thanks to your emails, Hinderaker has now read the Texas Code of Criminal procedure. After citing a section he concludes:
I assume that the indictment will be deemed barely sufficient to survive a motion for dismissal.
Apparently, reading the actual law changed his mind. Earlier today he wrote:
In all probability, the DeLay indictment will be thrown out at some point.
The conclusion he draws from all this is that I’m ignorant. Fair enough.