So much for our nation’s justice system.
Among the final instructions that Judge Beryl Howell gave to the jury in the trial against Ed Schultz on Monday was a blatant lie.
Schultz is being sued for breach of partnership by Michael Queen, a NBC producer and sound engineer. Queen worked with the liberal radio host for 14 months leading up to Schultz landing his talk show on MSNBC. Then he promptly froze him out and had his lawyer send a note telling him to stop contacting him.
Final summations were Monday morning. The case has now gone to the jury for deliberation.
Howell, who has displayed an obvious, seething, contempt for the plaintiff’s lead attorney Catfish Abbott all week long, got in one last boost for Schultz before the jury decides his fate in the case.
After giving out an obscenely long and boring list of instructions for the jury, Schultz’s attorney John Hayes requested a bench meeting. As usual, he got it. The white noise came on. The lawyers conversed with her in what appeared to be an animated, hand waving discussion.
After the meeting, Howell immediately instructed the jury to ignore any talk by Abbott in his rebuttal summation that Schultz erased any of his emails to Queen. “There is no evidence of that,” she declared.
Except there is. And it came straight from the horse’s mouth.
Had Howell really been listening to the trial, she would have heard Schultz admit, only days earlier, that he makes a regular practice of erasing emails. Abbott had questioned Schultz under oath about it.
Ed Schultz: “I have not produced any emails.”
Catfish Abbott: “Because you erased them.”
Ed Schultz: “I did.”
As everyone except Howell may recall from the pre-trial hearing, Schultz admitted then, too, that he had erased his emails.
Abbott point blank asked Schultz if he ever destroys his emails.
“I periodically delete emails because of the business I’m in because I get hundreds of emails a day,” the MSNBC host explained. “I make it a practice of deleting them. The reason is because of who I am. I’m visible and I’ve been hacked numerous times. In fact, I’ve been hacked within the last couple of months.”
He eventually changed his practice of deleting emails. “I didn’t start saving emails until I found out I was being sued,” he said. “He [Queen] lawyered up within six months of meeting me.”
Judge Howell also told this incredible tall tale to the jury in Monday’s proceedings: “Nothing I have said or done should influence you in this case.”
Except for the fact that even a casual trial observer could see that she’s been in the tank for the defense team all week long, as evidenced by her attitude, dirty looks, raised eyebrows, rulings and regular tongue lashes for the plaintiff’s attorneys.
Let’s hope the jury wisens up and reads Schultz’s actual testimony.