Levy Firestone Muse partner Joshua A. Levy and criminal and civil litigation lawyer Steven M. Salky have authored an article for the June 2020 issue of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ journal The Champion that reviews and proposes reforms for the majority of state laws allowing police use of deadly force.
In the article, Levy and Salky advocate that “state laws could instead help make clear that allowing suspects to escape immediate apprehension for almost every crime is a more reasonable alternative than killing them,” and review the recent killings of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks to formulate a model for reform and “to focus attention on creating alternatives to the use and escalation of force and different incentives for police interaction.” After all, per Levy and Salky:
If the police are to regain the respect of the public they serve, the use of deadly force must be limited to only those arrests where the use of such force is objectively necessary to prevent imminent loss of life or serious bodily injury to the police or third parties.
Read the full article, “Reforming Policy Use of Deadly Force to Arrest,” on The Champion’s website (for NACDL members only) or download a PDF here.
Levy Firestone Muse partner Joshua A. Levy‘s representation of Foreign Service officer and former National Security Council director for Eastern Europe Liz Zentos has been featured in a recent Washington Post overview of Senator Ron Johnson’s investigation into Hunter Biden’s role with the Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
Despite Johnson’s decision to interview Zentos regarding the White House’s potential dealings with Burisma during the final months of the Obama administration, Levy shared with the Washington Post that:
“…In all of the government meetings in which [Zentos] participated, she has no recollection of Burisma or Hunter Biden coming up in any of them… [including] the January 2016 meeting with Ukrainian and U.S. officials she recalls attending.”
Read the full article, “Senate Republicans advance Ukraine probe aimed at Biden despite foreign interference concerns,” at the Washington Post.
Levy Firestone Muse clients Fusion GPS and CEO Glenn Simpson won a substantial victory against House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes on Friday, after US District Court Judge Liam O’Grady dismissed Nunes’ suit for $9.9 million in damages.
Fusion GPS is the firm whose leaked intelligence report came to be known as the “Steele dossier,” which helped prove Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Nunes later filed a complaint against Fusion GPS, claiming civil violations under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. In dismissing the complaint, O’Grady wrote that it included “many rote statements of law and conclusory allegations which fall short of satisfying the pleading standard.”
To learn more the case, read the full overview, “Court dumps Nunes’ suit against Trump dossier firm,” at Politico.
Levy Firestone Muse partner Daren Firestone is quoted in Tax Notes on President Trump’s pardoning of Bernard Kerik and Paul Pogue, both of whom were granted clemency for tax crimes. Firestone told Tax Notes:
A president who has reportedly flouted tax laws and continues to cite ever-changing and entirely bogus reasons for refusing to release his tax returns cannot and will not ever understand that tax enforcement is necessary to ensuring that we all share the cost of a thriving republic based on the rule of law.
Read the full article, “Trump Pardons Ex-NYPD Commissioner, Texas CEO for Tax Crimes,” at Tax Notes.
Levy Firestone Muse partner Daren H. Firestone shares his thoughts on Julian Assange’s recent indictment, including its relation to the Espionage Act and Supreme Court precedent in a detailed editorial for Bloomberg Law:
The Department of Justice has not used the 1917 Espionage Act to indict a member of the media for publishing classified information since the 1940s. Recent charges against Julian Assange may put this practice to the test.
Read Daren’s full post, “Will Assange’s Indictment Erode Freedom of the Press?,” on Bloomberg Law.
Levy Firestone Muse partner Joshua Levy is quoted in a detailed look at House Democrat subpoenas served on the Trump administration and its affiliates, including Donald Trump’s personal accounting firm, Mazars USA:
Joshua Levy, a lawyer for Fusion who argued the case, said Trump faces an uphill battle to block the Mazars subpoena. “Courts defer to Congress’ representation of what lies within the legitimate legislative sphere and are reluctant to interfere in a congressional investigation,” Levy said.
Read the full post, “Democrats look to courts as White House stonewalls on subpoenas,” on CNN.com.
In a fact-checking analysis by Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post, Levy Firestone Muse partner Joshua A. Levy offers comments on the Mueller Report’s substantiation of the Steele dossier, which was prepared by British intelligence officer Christopher Steele in 2016:
The Mueller Report substantiates the core reporting and many of the specifics in Christopher Steele’s 2016 memoranda, including that Trump campaign figures were secretly meeting Kremlin figures, that Russia was conducting a covert operation to elect Donald Trump, and that the aim of the Russian operation was to sow discord and disunity in the U.S. and within the Transatlantic Alliance… To our knowledge, nothing in the Steele memoranda has been disproven.
Read the full Washington Post analysis, “What the Steele dossier said vs. what the Mueller report said,” for a detailed breakdown of how the two documents compare.
In representing Glenn Simpson, the CEO of Fusion GPS (the organization that commissioned the Christopher Steele dossier), Levy Firestone Muse partner Joshua A. Levy was featured on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show.
Mr. Levy’s comments after Mr. Simpson had already testified to three Senate intelligence committees were broadcast and discussed by Rachel Maddow on Wednesday, October 17:
In 2016, our clients, Glenn Simpson, and Fusion GPS, did their civic duty by providing credible information to the Justice Department that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election here. . . Since that time, the US intelligence community under this administration and the bipartisan Senate Select Committee agreed and found that Russia not only interfered with our 2016 presidential election, but that Vladimir Putin led an effort to help elect Donald J. Trump president.
This committee has shown no interest in the fact that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Rather than do its duty, consistent with its traditional and constitutional role, the House Judiciary Committee has looked the other way at White House efforts to influence and interfere with the Justice Department’s investigation of this administration. . .
The Russians tried to elect Donald Trump president—it’s been proven. . . The big picture is that a foreign hostile power was trying to interfere in our democracy, in our presidential election.
Visit MSNBC.com to watch the full clip, “Dossier nit-pickers miss the big picture,” complete with Rachel Maddow’s commentary.
Levy Firestone Muse partner Josh Levy has filed a complaint to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board on behalf of several Washington D.C. citizens—including retired judges and religious leaders—that articulates why President Trump’s license to serve beer, wine, and liquor at his establishments in the District should be revoked.
In a Washington Post op-ed, Colbert I. King writes about the complaint and its significance:
When I first wrote about the complaint against Trump on July 6, a few readers dismissed the issue as trivial, a nuisance — a case of a mosquito biting an elephant’s hide. I disagree. This case matters, if the rule of law is to have any meaning.
Read more: Trump’s booze, beer and wine fate rests in D.C.’s hands
In a Washington Post op-ed, Bob Muse is quoted sharing his thoughts regarding U.S. courts’ ability to protect the Mueller investigation from presidential interference:
“Just as with Sirica, it’s improbable that the chief judge of the district court will sit idly by and watch the president corrupt the system,” argues Robert Muse, a prominent defense lawyer and former member of the Senate Watergate Committee.
Read more: How the courts — not Congress — could protect Mueller’s investigation