A guy from Flint called me. We’d made a wager years ago. He bet me a McKinley that newly elected Attorney General Dana Nessel would deliver justice for Flint.
I told him I thought she was incompetent.
Being an honest man, he’d called to say he’d get me the $500 as soon as he could scrape it together.
“Keep it,” I told him. “Put it towards your water bill.”
Last week, the state Supreme Court rejected the last appeal from Nessel and her band of bush league underlings.
It was easy to smell this coming all the way back in 2018. Back then candidate Nessel, who had yet to win her party’s nomination or see a single piece of evidence, promised she would fire Bill Schuette’s investigative team for incompetence, tiring of their “politically charged show trials.”
Nessel even insinuated then the original Flint investigators were lining their pockets with taxpayer money, even though they had brought charges against eight people that included involuntary manslaughter and financial crimes.
Some of those charged were said to be cooperating against those above them, until they caught wind of candidate Nessel’s statements. Then they stopped cooperating altogether.
Nessel won the election, and her then-solicitor general, Fadwa Hammoud, fired Schuette’s investigators and asked a judge for a six-month continuation, claiming that they had found “new” evidence.
Among this “new” evidence was Gov. Rick Snyder’s cellphone. Oddly, Nessel’s crew was already in possession of Snyder’s cellphone but subpoenaed themselves anyway. Unimpressed, the judge gave Hammoud six weeks to present her case.
Five weeks and six days after the judge’s order, Hammoud dropped all charges and started over, promising a fresh investigation.
After a year-and-a-half of this “fresh investigation,” Hammoud brought basically the same charges, minus the financial crimes. The problem is, she used a judge to both investigate and charge the defendants, thus denying their rights to a preliminary examination. The Supreme Court later ruled this unconstitutional and ordered the charges dropped.
After a raft of appeals, the high court last week refused to listen any more. So now, it’s over. It should be noted that Nessel has promoted Hammoud to be her chief deputy.
In an effort to lessen the humiliation, Nessel released a statement last week, claiming she is looking for ways to release the evidence to the public. She can start by granting my Freedom of Information Act request for documents prepared by Schuette’s team outlining its plans to pursue racketeering and conspiracy charges against the Flint perpetrators.
Nessel’s office has denied my request, citing an “ongoing investigation.” Since there is no longer an ongoing investigation, Nessel should release the documents. If not, I’ll see her in court.
It was a historically bad week for Nessel, but she wasn’t done beating her hand with a hammer.
Her office also lost the case against three men charged in the plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Addressing a group of liberal activists, Nessel took the stupefying step of blaming their acquittals on “right-leaning” jurors.
The verdicts, Nessel said, were “perplexing, confusing but terrifying.”
She also told the group that the 16 people charged as fake electors for Trump were “brainwashed” into believing the 2020 election was stolen, that “they really legit believe that. They genuinely believe it.”
In saying so, Nessel may very well have tanked that case, too. If there was no criminal intent among the fake electors how can there be a crime? Even the usually friendly reporters at CNN ridiculed Nessel for that one.
Too often, this attorney general has shown she values politics over her responsibility to protect the powerless.
My friend in Flint will not get justice. And for that, Nessel should be indicted for obstruction and gross incompetence. At least in the court of public opinion.