Balch & Bingham appears to have shown the public what money and influence peddling can buy: your own, private, secret Star Chamber.
Is Balch & Bingham shielding alleged corrupt acts, unscrupulous behavior, and perjury?
On Friday, we purchased more documents of the Newsome Conspiracy Case from Alacourt.com, but none of our PDF documents would open and instead showed the message above, “Error. This is a confidential case.”
Even the hundreds of pages we previous purchased from the last couple of months were blocked from viewing. (Luckily, we downloaded them.)
Maxine, a representative from Alacourt.com, called us back and said the case had been sealed and “not even the attorneys of record” could view the documents. She speculated the case might have been sealed Thursday evening, but later said she could not confirm anything since she, too, did not have access to the case.
Without a hearing, not even a notice, Judge Carole Smitherman appears to have done what Balch, the co-conspirators, and their legal counsel wanted: to shut down the public discussion about the Newsome case.
Instead, the public discussion about what Balch & Bingham is hiding in the Newsome Conspiracy Case is now escalating and gaining even more attraction from outside investigators.
Remember, our coverage and posts about the Newsome Conspiracy Case has exposed some alleged unprofessional and dishonest behavior including:
- Balch & Bingham lied about the CDLU in a public (now sealed) filing in May. What raw nerve did we strike?
- Balch & Bingham misled Politico.com and attempted to deceive the public about their lobbying ties to a Russian-linked aerospace company. Why lie about a lobbying client?
- Balch & Bingham foolishly stated in open court, and connecting all the co-conspirators to a single phone number, that the phone number was from a telemarketer. Why make such a baseless claim?
- Balch & Bingham was overly confident in comments not made under oath or in a deposition that was yet to take place about that phone number linking all the co-conspirators in which Verizon Communications had not even been subpoenaed about. Was the fix in?
- In a deliberate and deceptive tactic to impede justice, to hide evidence, and to protect the alleged co-conspirators, an attorney for one of the co-conspirators dispatched a letter to AT&T in early 2016 calling on AT&T not to provide documentation on phone numbers of another co-conspirator, demonstrating the two conspirators indeed knew each other. Who perjured whom?
In addition, Schuyler Allen Baker, Jr., Balch’s lead attorney on the Newsome Conspiracy Case, donated thousands of dollars to BIZPAC, a political action committee funded in part by Balch partners. BIZPAC funneled over $15,000 in campaign contributions to Judge Smitherman.
Now Smitherman has created a Star Chamber where secret proceedings can move forward and the public will have no knowledge of the alleged criminal, unscrupulous, and perjuring acts by Balch and others.
And sealing a case from the inception for no real reason, without a hearing is unprecedented. As the Federal Judicial Center writes, “Sealing of judicial records is not considered appropriate if it is done merely to protect parties from embarrassment.”
Interestingly, according to Alacourt.com, some cases are sealed with the codes JU (juvenile) or YO (youth offender). But the Newsome Conspiracy Case was slammed shut in its entirety.
Balch & Bingham may have wanted to demonstrate the enormous power and influence they have over Smitherman and the judicial proceedings in Alabama. Instead, Balch & Bingham appears to have shown the public what money and influence peddling can buy: your own, private, secret Star Chamber.