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Ladies, gentlemen, and my non-binary friends, I author this letter today regarding the abhorrent and nonsensical events that transpired during the impeachment trial of the Governor. I will explain some of my actions that need explaining, condemn unlawful and disgraceful behavior by certain parties involved, and provide what guidance for the future I can. I will reiterate a statement I made prior to beginning this trial: in this state, we are a government of laws, not men. The Constitution of this great state grants every citizen rights and protections, and it is my obligation to protect those rights as a judicial officer in service of that state.
Let’s begin with explaining some of my more eccentric activities during the course of this debacle. I shall preface this section by reminding everyone that I am a judge, I have been a judge for years. As a judge I am empowered and obligated to maintain order in any preceding of which I am presiding. Nevertheless, I am the first to admit that I was indeed heavy handed in my handling of certain matters. I will not apologize for this. As I shall detail further in my exploration of the reprehensible activities of certain parties involved, some abject bullshit was occurring from the minute everyone was sworn in (pardon my brevity). Senators clearly threw out their oath of impartiality the moment it began (shocker, almost like it’s a political process), intentionally and unlawfully disrupted the session (external parties also engaged in this), etc. To that note, allow me to quote the criminal code: “Contempt of Congress shall be the act of obstructing the proceedings of the State Legislature” - 6 F.S.C. §2. Ranting like a maniac, showing insubordination to the chair, and other fun activities certainly qualify as this. This is the tip of the iceberg for the illegal chicanery that ensued throughout. Lastly, I’d like to wrap up with a particular point of controversy regarding my handling of the final vote. Below you will find my exact instructions:
Point one is self-explanatory. Point two begins the interesting notions. For context, the chamber motioned (and succeeded in) to disregard normal trial procedure, which is already somewhat scuffed. They then proceeded to not allow any debate, PQ, and go to a vote. I considered just not allowing it, but why bother when they can just as easily override me and we waste time as a result. Now, a quirk of doing all of this is that the impeachment is no longer a special charging document similar to an indictment where we go down the list charge by charge. It became a simple bill. As with any bill, you can’t just vote to ascent to some of it, but not others. You vote on the bill as a singular piece because that’s how basic parliamentary procedure works. Ergo, a Senator must therefore agree the Governor committed all offenses listed in the bill because it is being voted on wholly. Point three comes down to the fact you can’t just make shit up for voting on a bill. This point became necessary because certain agitators in the public elected to try and push their own agendas mid-trial to get Senators to ignore the actual articles. That isn’t how legislation works. You can’t just decide “I’m going to completely ignore the text of a bill and just decide to vote aye/nay for my own content of it.” You vote on the text before you, not the text someone else randomly wants at the vote. And, once again, the Governor still has a right to due process. Even without trial procedures in place, one can’t just come up at the 11th hour with random hullabaloo to try and unsink the impeachment ship. As to point four, this was somewhat explained in my discussion on point two. I wanted it to be potently clear what each vote meant. As mentioned earlier, voting as a whole. A vote for aye must be to convict the Governor of all charges and remove him. A vote for nay is because a Senator couldn’t find him guilty of all charges. Simple and fair. Five, self explanatory.
And now comes the part everyone wants to hear. As I cannot preside over any legal, ethical ,etc. Inquiries or proceeding resulting from the trial, I get to (within reason) express my immense dissatisfaction with this entire process. I first and foremost call on the Attorney General to appoint and task a special prosecutor (along with the Firestone Bureau of Investigation) to investigate the exceptional misconduct of several parties involved during this process. I can think of at least three crimes (Contempt of Congress, Obstruction of Justice, and Altering Judicial Proceedings to name them) committed by said parties. First and foremost on this list is Senator dannybec, whose incompetent bafoonery and illegal interference in this process is laughable, but serious. Throughout the entire proceeding, this disgraceful individual: was obstinate to basic etiquette and rules, insubordinate to the lawful authority of the chair, clearly violated his oath of impartiality and enticed others to do the same, attempted to manipulate/confuse the votes of his fellow Senators, ignored no less than eight individual warnings to cease all this conduct, and likely was involved in external influences of the proceeding from the start judging by his poorly staged showmanship from the beginning. I also condemn members of National Guard command who, in typical fashion for a FNG spectacle, spat on the guy they liked two minutes ago when not immediately appeased of their every whim and desire and attempted to unethically and unlawfully influence the vote despite my clear instructions that outside influence need not be considered, near changing the entire outcome of the event. Finally, let’s all give the House a big clap on their impressive feat of incompetency. One, it appears like two of them realized they actually have to argue their case by law (not including the sponsor of the impeachment in those two). I get Representative crankyluke has real life business, perfectly fair. His displeasure is a bit undercut, though, by the slight fact he had unilateral control of this entire thing up to the point of the actual trial , didn’t even realize his own obligations despite the resolution about impeachment trials being over a year old, pushed the bill to passing during a time he would be busy, and then proceeded to get publicly upset at his own folly. The fact none of the other members of the House were inclined to step up to the plate either speaks volumes as well.
I conclude with some simple insights and messages. Firstly—I cannot stress this enough—I did not, nor do not, care what happens to the current Governor. We are by no means friends, and his past, publicly released behavior regarding his anti-minority speech is reprehensible. Nevertheless, he is entitled to a fair shake. This is the basis of our system of government. I could not and would not not sit idly by as he got unfairly and dare I say corruptly prejudiced to the point of near being forcefully ejected from his lawfully elected office. It was (and is) my moral and legal obligation to ensure that didn’t happen. I don’t care if doing such isn’t popular, if it even makes me risk my job, it’s the right thing to do. Furthermore, it’s not just about the one man who inhabits that office. The Governor was duly elected by the people. To unjustly proceed with an impeachment in the manner that was occurring is a slight against the entire politic body, and threatens our republican form of government at its very core. Overall, this entire circus was an unmitigated disaster from the point it started due exclusively to legislative incompetence, misconduct, and chicanery. As a final note, I leave you with the following: may Lady Justice protect the innocent with her scale, and cut down the guilty with her sword.
- The Governor has rights that parties conspired to deny him of.
- I refuse to apologize for my lawful actions.
- I implore the Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor to punish parties who committed crimes during the trial.
- In regards to dannybec, I’ll just quote the entire paragraph:
First and foremost on this list is Senator dannybec, whose incompetent bafoonery and illegal interference in this process is laughable, but serious. Throughout the entire proceeding, this disgraceful individual: was obstinate to basic etiquette and rules, insubordinate to the lawful authority of the chair, clearly violated his oath of impartiality and enticed others to do the same, attempted to manipulate/confuse the votes of his fellow Senators, ignored no less than eight individual warnings to cease all this conduct, and likely was involved in external influences of the proceeding from the start judging by his poorly staged showmanship from the beginning.
- The House goofed this up from the start.
- Just do better y’all.