Sipsey Street Exclusive: Mike Vanderboegh and David Codrea file ethics complaint on Eric Holder with the D.C. Bar!
3 July 2012
An ethics complaint against U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has been filed by David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh with the Office of Bar Counsel, Board on Professional Responsibility of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Codrea and Vanderboegh are the two bloggers who first broke the news of the Fast and Furious scandal in December 2010.
Said Vanderboegh, Eric Holder believes that he will escape serious consequences of the congressional investigations of the Fast and Furious scandal simply by running out the clock on his tenure. We intend this ethics complaint to place him on notice that his lies and malfeasances will follow him until justice is done.”
The particulars of the complaint are included in the letter reproduced below.
July 2, 2012
Office of Bar Counsel
Board on Professional Responsibility
District of Columbia Court of Appeals
515 5th Street NW
Building A, Suite 117
Washington, DC 20001
In re: Ethics complaint against member Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Dear board members,
This letter serves as notice that a complaint is being filed against one of your members for professional misconduct. A search of your website at http://www.dcbar.org/ shows Eric H. Holder, Jr., currently Attorney General of the United States, has been an active DC Bar member since he was admitted on January 23, 1980.
As per your professional standards published as Rule 8.4, “Misconduct,” at http://www.dcbar.org/for_lawyers/ethics/legal_ethics/rules_of_professional_conduct/amended_rules/rule_eight/rule08_04.cfm, “It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:
(a) Violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;
(b) Commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;
(c) Engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation;
(d) Engage in conduct that seriously interferes with the administration of justice;
(e) State or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official;
(f) Knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law; or
(g) Seek or threaten to seek criminal charges or disciplinary charges solely to obtain an advantage in a civil matter.”
It would appear that several, if not all of these rules, have been violated as evidenced by Eric Holder having been found in contempt of Congress on June 28, 2012 “for refusal to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform” (Note House Calendar No. 140/Report 112-546 appearing at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CRPT-112hrpt546/pdf/CRPT-112hrpt546.pdf).
As per Rule 8.5, “Rule 8.5—Disciplinary Authority; Choice of Law,” at http://www.dcbar.org/for_lawyers/ethics/legal_ethics/rules_of_professional_conduct/amended_rules/rule_eight/rule08_05.cfm, which states in part “A lawyer admitted to practice in this jurisdiction is subject to the disciplinary authority of this jurisdiction, regardless of where the lawyer’s conduct occurs,” and due to the seriousness of this misconduct, we, as citizens of the Republic, with an interest in ensuring full accountability for the legal conduct of government officials, feel compelled to issue a formal complaint in accordance with your established filing protocol at http://www.dcbar.org/for_the_public/working_with_lawyers/when_problems_arise/filing.cfm
Because of the serious political ramifications involved, and because some on the Board may be sympathetic to AG Holder’s positions and hostile to those of the House contempt charges, and in order to ensure that this complaint receives proper attention and is not ignored through deliberate indifference, we are making a copy of this letter publicly available via our respective websites, SipseyStreetIrregulars.blogspot.com and DavidCodrea.com.
Further, it appears your own rules may remove any discretion and require an investigation. As per Rule XI, “Disciplinary Proceedings,” Section 10, “Disciplinary Proceedings Based Upon Conviction of Crime,” at http://www.dcbar.org/inside_the_bar/structure/bar_rules/rule11.cfm:
“(a) Notification. If an attorney is found guilty of a crime or pleads guilty or nolo contendere to a criminal charge in a District of Columbia court, the clerk of that court shall, within ten days from the date of such finding or plea, transmit to this Court and to Bar Counsel a certified copy of the court record or docket entry of the finding or plea. Bar Counsel shall forward the certified copy to the Board. Upon learning that the certified copy has not been timely transmitted by the clerk of the court in which the finding or plea was made, or that an attorney has been found guilty of a crime or has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to a criminal charge in a court outside the District of Columbia or in any federal court, Bar Counsel shall promptly obtain a certified copy of the court record or docket entry of the finding or plea and transmit it to this Court and to the Board. The attorney shall also file with this Court and the Board, within ten days from the date of such finding or plea, a certified copy of the court record or docket entry of the finding or plea.”
“(b) Serious crimes. The term ‘serious crime’ shall include (1) any felony, and (2) any other crime a necessary element of which, as determined by the statutory or common law definition of such crime, involves improper conduct as an attorney, interference with the administration of justice, false swearing, misrepresentation, fraud, willful failure to file income tax returns, deceit, bribery, extortion, misappropriation, theft, or an attempt or a conspiracy or solicitation of another to commit a ‘serious crime.’”
While District of Columbia courts have not (yet) been involved, there is no question that the Congress has found the Attorney General guilty of contempt under conditions that rise to your definition of “serious crime.” It would also appear that Attorney General Holder is required to report the contempt finding to you within the ten day requirement, and that the Bar “shall” investigate this matter.
Please give this matter your immediate attention and we look forward to receiving your formal written response.
Enclosure: Complaint form
Press inquiries should be routed via email to David Codrea at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mike Vanderboegh at GeorgeMason1776@aol.com.