Maryland’s top court this week rejected an attempt to punish Hillary Clinton’s lawyers for their role in deleting her emails, overturning a lower court that had approved a misconduct investigation.
Activist lawyer Ty Clevenger, who had demanded the investigation, said the state Court of Appeals “whitewashed” the case, protecting David Kendall, Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson from facing penalties for their activity.
The court ruled that Mr. Clevenger had gone to the wrong court in seeking to force the state bar counsel to investigate. Instead of going to a circuit court, he should have gone straight to the Court of Appeals, they ruled.
“This court has original and exclusive jurisdiction over attorney disciplinary matters,” the judges said in their Thursday ruling, overturning the lower court’s order to investigate.
The judges also said they have rejected Mr. Clevenger’s cross-petition request to order the investigation.
Mr. Clevenger said on his blog, lawflog.com, that amounted to a heads-I-win, tails-you-lose situation.
“It’s hard to win an argument when the court refuses to hear it,” he said.
He also said the court made things even tougher when it changed the rules midway through the process and after he’d already brought the complaint.
Under the old rules the bar counsel was required to open an investigation into an allegation of lawyer misconduct. Under the new rules the bar counsel retains much more discretion to refuse to conduct an investigation.
Mr. Clevenger said that allows politics to come into play — and in deep-blue Maryland, that means Mrs. Clinton’s lawyers are not likely to face a probe.
“Of course, if a peon lawyer like me had intentionally destroyed evidence that was covered by congressional and court subpoenas, he or she would have been disbarred and sent to prison (although not necessarily in that order). But Mr. Kendall, Ms. Mills, and Ms. Samuelson are covered by the Clinton protection racket, ergo they need not worry about the rules and laws that apply to mere mortals,” Mr. Clevenger wrote.
He has raised bar complaints in a number of jurisdictions against Mrs. Clinton and her lawyers.