Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justiceby Sidney Powell
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A tragic suicide, a likely murder, wrongful imprisonment, and gripping courtroom scenes draw readers into this compelling story giving them a frightening perspective on justice corrupted and who should be accountable when evidence is withheld. Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice is the true story of the strong-arm, illegal, and unethical tactics used by headline-grabbing federal prosecutors in their narcissistic pursuit of power. Its scope reaches from the US Department of Justice to the US Senate, the FBI, and the White House. This true story is a scathing attack on corrupt prosecutors, the judges who turned a blind eye to these injustices, and the president who has promoted them to powerful political positions.
Powell, a former Department of Justice attorney now in private practice, focuses this exposé on the prosecution of officers from Enron and on the trial for fraud of former Alaska senator Ted Stevens. Powell represented employees of Enron and recounts the legal mistakes made by lawyers assigned to the company's task force. She charges that the Justice Department, driven by public pressure to punish those involved in the Enron scandal, forced innocent employees to plead guilty. Powell tells of whistle-blowers in the department's Public Integrity Section who were punished for reporting misconduct by its attorneys. Throughout, the author includes stories of her clients' treatment by the Justice Department and the federal prison system, in which guards repeatedly harassed them and denied them access to their attorneys. There are repeated accusations of prosecutorial misconduct and malpractice by the department, so much so that it becomes hard to believe. VERDICT This book tells a shocking story of corruption. The author portrays the Department of Justice as so vile that she seems to have an axe to grind, even though she denies it in the text. Readers and libraries will want works with a more objective view.—Becky Kennedy, Atlanta-Fulton P.L.
A former Justice Department lawyer, who now devotes her private practice to federal appeals, dissects some of the most politically contentious prosecutions of the last 15 years.Powell assembles a stunning argument for the old adage, "nothing succeeds like failure," as she traces the careers of a group of prosecutors who were part of the Enron Task Force. The Supreme Court overturned their most dramatic court victories, and some were even accused of systematic prosecutorial misconduct. Yet former task force members such as Kathryn Ruemmler, Matthew Friedrich and Andrew Weissman continued to climb upward through the ranks and currently hold high positions in the Justice Department, FBI and even the White House. Powell took up the appeal of a Merrill Lynch employee who was convicted in one of the subsidiary Enron cases, fighting for six years to clear his name. The pattern of abuse she found was repeated in other cases brought by the task force. Prosecutors of the accounting firm Arthur Andersen did not make exculpatory material available to the defense, a violation of due process under the Supreme Court's 1963 Brady v. Maryland decision; the company was forcibly closed with the loss of 85,000 jobs. In the corruption trial of former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, a key witness was intimidated into presenting false testimony. Stevens' conviction, which led to a narrow loss in his 2008 re-election campaign and impacted the majority makeup of the Senate, seems to have been the straw that broke the camel's back; the presiding judge appointed a special prosecutor to investigate abuses. Confronted with the need to clean house as he came into office, writes Powell, Attorney General Eric Holder has yet to take action.The author brings the case for judicial redress before the court of public opinion.
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Meet the Author
Sidney Powell served in the Department of Justice for ten years in Texas and Virginia and has devoted her private practice to federal appeals for the past twenty years. She was the youngest Assistant United States Attorney in the country and the youngest elected Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, for which she also served as President. Recognized by her peers as a “Super Lawyer” and named as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” for years, she has been lead counsel in more than 500 appeals in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, resulting in more than 180 published opinions, and was President of the Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit. Powell's briefs have long been used as samples for practitioners on the website of the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
In Licensed to Lie, Powell leads readers through the disturbing events, missteps, cover-ups, malfeasance, and corruption of justice that have caused her to question the system she has been committed to for over thirty years. With the narrative style of a legal thriller, this true story captures the drama of the law, the real human costs and consequences of the corruption of justice, and cautions for anyone facing the Department of Injustice.
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Riveting, profound, compelling, revealing read. Brilliantly written, brutally informative detailed with fact and honesty. Sidney Powell has narrated a piece of history from a perspective deep within the legal circle...confirming what most of us fear, our government is only as good as those who serve it, or at best, how they are held accountable in their privilege to practice and enforce law. By design, the media is our conduit to information, not necessarily based on facts or truth. Licensed to Lie takes us on a journey of Sidney Powell's unyielding commitment to uphold the law, all that it stands for, the quest for facts, knowledge and truth to support the law. Never have I read a book in which the author has the gumption to name names and call out those who still hold power. This is a story that makes you think about the essence of our American freedom, our rights as citizens, and the corrupt powers that control it. Those named need to be held accountable. Those pursuing a career in law and politics, need to embrace this story as a code of ethics. Sidney Powell must be applauded and thanked for her courageous plight to expose and right the wrongs of our judicial system. Licensed to Lie is a factual account of real people, whose lives were destroyed by those in power with questionable judgment and corrupt agendas. It reminds me of the Titanic, we know the end is horrific, but throughout the story, you keep hoping the ship will not hit the iceberg... our judicial system is sinking the American spirit... Licensed to Lie is blowing the whistle. Kudos to Sidney Powell and the stones it took to write this book. Best read in decades.
Excellent Book. A must read for anyone concerned about prosecutorial overreach or just interested in a gripping story