Michael Gaynor
Lori Loughlin is entitled to a fair trial as well as the presumption of innocence, and you are poisoning the jury pool, Mr. Bongino
By Michael Gaynor
April 13, 2019

Too bad Professor Alan Dershowitz wasn't there to speak for the Constitution!

Lori Loughlin and Felicity Hoffman are talented actresses and loving mothers ready, willing and able to help their daughter go to the college of their choice and neither of them is a legal expert or a tax expert.

Their legal situations are very different.

Hoffman has pleaded guilty to having paid thousands of dollars to falsify her daughters test scores, expressed regret and assured the world that her daughter did not know about it (making it likely that her daughter will retain the benefit of Hoffman's crime instead of being expelled as admitted under false pretenses).

I don't doubt that Hoffman loves her daughter dearly and I accept her admission that she knew what she was doing was not only morally wrong, but criminal, because I am unaware of any evidence to the contrary.

Loughlin and her husband retained a then generally believed to be reputable college admissions adviser to facilitate the admissions of their daughters to USC as crew team recruits without previous crew experience.

Loughlin and her husband spent hundreds of thousands of dollars after having been referred to the expert.

It was their money, and how they spent it was entirely their business if they spent it legally. They have pleaded not guilty and are entitled to the presumption of innocence.

If the prosecutors can prove that they had criminal intent, so be it.

If Loughlin and her husband take a plea deal as their trial is about to commence (like Dinesh D'Souza did).that will be their (and the prosecutors') choice.

If they go to trial, they deserve a fair trial, since they are neither above nor below the law, and for Dan Bongino to use his opportunity on April 12, 2019 as substitute host on "Hannity" to poison the jury pool is deplorable.

Not "adorable deplorable."

Deplorable deplorable.

The people of the United States owe a debt of gratitude to Dan Bongino for helping to keep Hillary Clinton alive when she was receiving Secret Service protection, but Bongino really should know better than to insinuate that Loughlin and her husband must be guilty and to refer to unnamed sources.

Yes there was the obligatory acknowledgement of the presumption of innocence of a constitutional conservative (or constitutional conservative wannabe), but Bongino and his single-minded but racially and gender mixed three-lawyer panel (one white woman, one white man, one black man) all pilloried Loughlin as absurd for not taking the plea deal offered to her.

The white male panelist asserted that Loughlin is "living in an alterior kind of universe."

"Alterior" is not even a word.

"Alterior...is not a word. If it were, however, it probably would mean something like alternate. Which is probably where the confusion comes from – people thinking that saying someone has 'an alterior motive' means they have a different motive from the one they claim." (https://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/writing-for-business/which-is-correct-alterior-or-ulterior/)

Bongino's bias and eagerness to rush to judgment against Loughlin was obvious.

Bongino: "What is Lori Loughlin doing not taking the plea deal? ...It's dead to rights on this."

So much for the presumption of innocence, trial and the need for evidence of consciousness of guilt.

The white woman panelist not only criticized Loughlin's preference for trial, but also lauded Hoffman as "very gracious" for taking a plea deal.

The white lawyer who thinks "alterior" is a word damned Loughlin for giving autographs to autograph seekers (and probably would have been damned her as ungracious if she had refused to give autographs).

Topping off his "Hannity" appearance, he opined that if he had represented Loughlin, he would have had her buy "running shoes" and run to the prosecutors for "leniency."

Thanks be to God that he isn't Loughlin's lawyer.

Fortunately, there is a silver lining in the dark cloud put over Loughlin on "Hannity" last night.

The over-the-top legal commentary raises the question of whether Loughlin believed everything she did was lawful because the so-called experts (her college admissions expert and lawyers and accountants either told her so or didn't tell her that some things were criminal when they should have and she reasonably expected them to do so if they were criminal.

It is particularly galling that Bongino and panel did this on "Hannity," since Hannity staunchly stood for due process for such persons as Richard Jewel and the Duke Three were being savaged in the media by so-called experts and generally perceived as legal toast instead of the innocent victims of the legal process that they were.

Too bad Professor Alan Dershowitz wasn't there to speak for the Constitution!

© Michael Gaynor


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


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