The self-anointed “nationally recognized” fighter of corruption. Who moonlights as the lead defense attorney for Mikal Watts, Texas Democrat darling, accused of filing claims on behalf of dead people from the BP oil spill fund.
First, who is Mike McCrum? Well let’s go right to the source. McCrum calls himself “nationally recognized.” A term usually found on the bios of people who aren’t usually “nationally recognized.” But McCrum may have been prophetic with this description. Because after his “sketchy,” “unAmerican” indictment of Rick Perry, you could say that Mike McCrum is very much “nationally recognized” now. And not for the best of reasons.
Here’s the humble Mike McCrum in his own words, from his website’s home page.
Michael McCrum is a nationally recognized trial and appellate attorney who is known for his successful representation of business executives, public officials, physicians, attorneys, law enforcement officers and everyday people in high-profile and high-stake matters.
Mike McCrum graduated from Southwest Texas State University in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. After graduating from college, McCrum became a police officer and worked for Dallas police department in the early 1980s. He then entered law school at St Mary’s University, and graduated with a juris doctorate (i.e. law degree) in 1985. McCrum started his legal career by working for a couple of San Antonio law firms, seemingly specializing in commercial litigation. In late 1989, McCrum joined the US Attorney’s Office in San Antonio and stayed there for about 11 years. In the early 2000s, at about the close of the Clinton term, McCrum left the US Attorney’s Office, and went into private practice in San Antonio. He was nearly appointed to the position of US Attorney by President Barrack Obama, but the nomination was held up, and McCrum withdrew his name. He is now back working in private practice.
Okay. Now let’s get to the myths being peddled by the leftwing Texas (and American) media to make it appear that Mike McCrum is a non partisan fighter of corruption.
Myth 1: McCrum was hired by the George H.W. Bush administration in 1989 to work in the US Attorney’s Office.
Mike McCrum worked as an Assistant US Attorney from 1989 to 2000 (from George Bush, the senior, through Bill Clinton). He was not appointed by George H.W. Bush. An Assistant US Attorney is simply a prosecutor who works in the US Attorney’s office. To be hired as a Assistant US Attorney, one simply fills out an application and then goes through a standard hiring process. You are not confirmed by Congress, nor does the POTUS have any input with the hire. This talking point is false.
Myth 2: Mike McCrum was chosen by the two Republican Texas US Senators, John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison, to become a US Attorney (Western Texas).
The US Attorney is a special appointment at the privilege of the POTUS (Barrack Obama). S/he works under the direction of the Attorney General (Eric Holder). The ultimate decision is that of the POTUS with consultation from the AG and legal counsel/committee. This is similar to a Supreme Court appointment. A Democrat POTUS, one as political as Obama, does not appoint Republican US Attorneys. Period. The Republican Senators, similar to that of a Supreme Court appointment debate, simply hope to get the most acceptable “liberal” appointment. This is why you see hold ups on appointments, from both sides. Democrats want committed activist liberals. Republicans seek more moderate liberals. And vice versa, when a Republican POTUS is in power. In this case, Cornyn and Hutchison were pushing for the most acceptable liberal attorney from a Democrat short list. The idea that a partisan AG like Eric Holder would allow a Republican, or even an independent with centrist leanings, to oversee one of the most important districts in the country is preposterous.
Myth 3: Travis County District Attorney Office had nothing to do with naming Mike McCrum. He was named as special prosecutor by a Republican Judge.
Yes. McCrum was named by Bert Richardson, a Republican judge. But this is simply a case of political semantics. The Travis County District Attorney’s Office ultimately calls the shots and used the Republican judge as a proxy. The idea that a Republican judge could somehow name a Republican or independent prosecutor (who could be sympathetic to Perry), in one of the most partisan and liberal districts in the country, is beyond indefensible. It’s laughable. Richardson was used to provide political cover to the Travis County District Attorney.
Myth 4: Mike McCrum is a hard to pin down, politically.
Name me the most important state in the country, politically? Yes. Texas! If the state of Texas goes blue, the political game, nationally, is over. And so you do not get nominated as the US Attorney to one of the most politically important districts in the country, by the most partisan and political POTUS in history, without being thoroughly investigated for your political leanings. Republican and independent prosecutors do not work for Eric Holder, the most partisan Attorney General in recent history.
Secondly, you do not defend the Texas Democrats #1 money man (and one of the most powerful Democrat trial attorneys in the country) in a multi-million dollar corruption lawsuit if you are not politically connected to Texas Democrats. Mikal C. Watts is one of the most partisan and well connected Democrats in the state of Texas. He is a partisan’s partisan. Watts would not hire a Republican-leaning defense attorney – especially when his entire fortune and future is on the line.
Here’s how the San Antonio Express News described Watts in a 2013 profile.
Mikal Watts is a courtroom pit bull, a superstar personal-injury attorney who has rubbed shoulders with shady characters and worked every angle of the legal system to build a colossal fortune.
At the same time, he’s a pious family man who faithfully attends Oak Hills Church and speaks of his casework as a kind of calling to compensate victims of corporate negligence.
He’s a sugar daddy for the Democratic Party, pouring more than $7 million into party coffers and hosting fundraisers for Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Julián Castro at his Dominion mansion.
Try this role switch. A special prosecutor indicts a star Democrat governor while working on behalf of a star Republican power broker. For example, what if a special prosecutor indicted Democrat Governor Deval Patrick, and also happened to be the lead defense lawyer for Karl Rove. You think the media would ho-hum it and say, “you know, this guy is really hard to pin down, politically?” Never happen.
Furthermore, a well connected Texas lawyer like Mike McCrum, who previously worked in government (US Attorney’s Office), oddly never worked in DC during the eight years of the Bush administration. From 2001-2008, Washington DC was littered with Texas-based Republican lawyers, in every agency and think tank. Not Mike McCrum. When the Clinton term was coming to a close, McCrum left the US Attorney’s Office and went into private practice, back in Texas – for the entire Bush presidency. When Bush retired back to Texas, McCrum was the pick of Barrack Obama and Democrats for the US Attorney slot . That right there is all you need to know about Mike McCrum’s political leanings.
Finally. Here is Mike McCrum on his personal blog where he raves about the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (a law which eventually became bipartisan, but one which was wildly promoted (for years) by leftwing activists). McCrum even includes commentary on the low approval ratings of Congress (i.e. Republicans), and never mentions the low approval numbers of Obama.
In today’s world, where approval ratings of Congress are alarmingly low, we grow less and less hopeful that our government can effectively function. Every now and then, however, we see a glimmer of light that offers some positive indication of a job well done. The United States Sentencing Commission recently published a data report on the results of Congress’ Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. The data is interesting.
Recall that Congress initially created in 1986 a widely disparate 100:1 sentencing structure between crack and powder cocaine on the view that crack was a more dangerous and harmful drug. In decades after, extensive research by the United States Sentencing Commission and other experts debunked Congress’ initial theory by finding that the differences between the effects of the two drugs were grossly exaggerated. Research conclusively proved that the sentencing disparity was unwarranted and effectively created an unconstitutionally discriminate sentencing scheme. Simply put, the data proved there was no reasonable basis to punish one man more harshly than another for the same type of conduct.
After more than fifteen years of attempted legislation to fix the wrong, Congress ultimately passed the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. The Act brought fairness and equality into our sentencing structure by increasing the quantities of crack cocaine that trigger the five and ten-year mandatory minimum sentences, and eliminating the five-year mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine. The Act was signed into law by President Obama on August 3, 2010, and later retroactively implemented by the Sentencing Commission through sentencing guideline amendment.
The data report recently published by the Commission sets out in detail how the 2010 Act impacted previously-sentenced defendants. It breaks down statistics by state, federal judicial circuit, divisions within each circuit, year of original sentence, criminal history categories, demographics by race, ethnicity, citizenship, gender and age, as well as other categories. In sum, nearly 6,600 defendants received, on average, a 29-month reduction in their sentences as a result of retroactive, new guidelines. Corroborating the suspicion that the previous sentencing structure was largely discriminatory, more than 85% of those entitled to a reduction were black persons.
Myth 5: Mike McCrum has integrity. Ask anyone.
He may in fact. But a person who defends Mikal Watts (see above), a Texas Democrat trial attorney, who is being sued by BP for filing fake claims relative the oil spill fund is suspect in my book. But that’s me. Some of Watts bogus claims included dead people.
Here’s the NY Times with the news on Mikal Watts…
BP on Tuesday accused a Texas lawyer of fraudulently driving up its settlement costs in the 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill by claiming to represent tens of thousands of clients who turned out to be “phantoms.”
Mr. Watts ultimately filed just 648 individual crew claims through the seafood fund, BP said, and just eight have been found eligible for payment. That means, the company said, that “98 percent of the Watts claimants never even filed a claim” with the program, and “96 percent of the claims that he did file have been denied.”
Mr. Watts has since filed 43,976 claims under a separate compensation program intended to address claims that had been excluded from the settlement agreement. In examining those claims, the company said it found that 40 percent of the claims used Social Security numbers that belonged to someone other than the person supposedly making the claim; 13 percent gave incomplete numbers or obvious fakes such as 000-00-0001. Five percent of the numbers belonged to dead people. “The inference of fraud is overwhelming,” the company stated in its complaint.
Mikal Watts, a darling of Texas (and national) Democrats, is accused of trying to rip off millions of dollars for his own greed, at the expense of the truly needy.
Mike McCrum calls Mikal Watts an “honorable man.”
Furthermore, Mike McCrum was in hot water just this year, and was charged with contempt for telling a witness to “get lost for a while.”
One of San Antonio’s best-known defense attorneys was accused by the Bexar County district attorney’s office this week of instructing a subpoenaed witness to “get lost for awhile” to avoid testifying in his client’s intoxication manslaughter trial.
Prosecutors filed a motion Tuesday for a finding of contempt against former federal prosecutor Mike McCrum related to his alleged instructions to Melanie Little, a witness in the October trial of Taylor Rae Rosenbusch.
If a judge agrees with the allegations, which McCrum’s own lawyers vehemently deny, he potentially could face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500.
Attorneys Mark Stevens and Patrick Hancock, who will represent their colleague at a hearing scheduled next week, described the assertions in a written statement as “personal, vindictive and untrue.”
“There are serious questions about whether that office has political motivations as well,” the attorneys said.
McCrum has served as lead attorney on some of San Antonio’s highest-profile cases.
His clients have included former NFL star-turned-drug trafficker Sam Hurd; Dr. Calvin Day, whose conviction for sexual assault of a patient was thrown out after McCrum filed a request for new trial accusing the DA’s office of political chicanery; fellow lawyer Mikal Watts, a Democratic Party stalwart who has hosted President Barack Obama at his home; and Mark Gudanowski, the former driver for District Attorney Susan Reed accused – and acquitted – of illegally selling Southwest Airlines vouchers.
Myth 6: Mike McCrum would never politicize an indictment.
Any attorney who goes to a grand jury in liberal Travis County with the motive of indicting a sitting Republican governor over a line item veto (knowing the sentence carries 99 years) is nothing but a political hack. So save me the “he’s above board” platitudes. When a Democrat partisan like David Axelrod calls it “sketchy,” and liberal Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz calls it “unAmerican” and the “criminalization of party differences,” you are outed as nothing but a political hit-man.
Myth 7: Mike McCrum didn’t indict Rick Perry. A grand jury did. So it is not political.
There is a saying, “you can indict a ham sandwich,” because it’s pretty much true. Inside a grand jury hearing was McCrum, his evidence, his witnesses, and 12 Travis County Court-selected (i.e. liberal) jury members. There is no defense argument. No objection to McCrum’s narrative. Nothing. It’s all one-sided.
After the indictment was handed down, McCrum said, “The grand jury’s spoken that at least there’s probable cause to believe that he committed two crimes, two felony crimes.”
Here’s a clue for the Democrat stenographers in the media. In a grand jury setting, it is McCrum’s job to lead the grand jury and to convince them to proceed with an indictment. He’s is the chief salesman for the indictment. Not some innocent bystander, taking directions from the grand jury. And selling a Rick Perry indictment to a leftwing jury in Austin is like selling twinkies at a weight watchers meeting. It’s not a tough sell.
The American Spectator calls it a “lynching.” And writes that the narrative of the grand jury being non political is absurd.
We may imagine if we like that a grand jury in one of America’s most liberal counties concluded, without bias or rancor, that one of America’s best-known conservative politicians illegally vetoed funding for that same county’s “public integrity” unit, presided over by a DA convicted of drunk driving. It was illegal for the governor to use his legal power? That seems essentially the narrative the jury bought from McCrum.
And remember. This is the same “non political” Travis County Court grand jury that took all of 30 minutes not to indict Democrat Travis County District Attorney, Rosemary Lehmberg, for abuse of power. This despite her disgraceful and inexcusable actions on video, even threatening jail staff, saying, “Y’all are going to be in jail, not me.”
Finally, why isn’t more done to deal with bias in grand jury selection? Because the legal theory is that a grand jury only agrees to prosecute the charges, so even if a grand jury is a little biased, the defendant still has the opportunity to prove their innocence in a trial. Except, it’s a different story if you are a sitting governor and a leading presidential candidate. In this case, the indictment alone is a win for the Democrat smear merchants. Their allies in the media compliantly run headlines like “Republican Governor Perry indicted” – while burying the lede. The damage is done. The waters are forever muddied. And the Democrats move on to their next target. Just over the past 4-5 years they have sued, and/or harassed through litigation, almost every leading GOP governor, beginning with Sarah Palin (who was forced to resign due to the legal costs) right up to Rick Perry.
Bottomline: Mike McCrum is most certainly a liberal partisan hack. Travis County is a banana republic inside the great state of Texas. And the liberal establishment media is corrupt to the core.