Commentaries, Global Warming, Opinions   Cover   •   Commentary   •   Books & Reviews   •   Climate Change   •   Site Links   •   Feedback
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
WEBCommentary Contributor
Author:  Michael J. Gaynor
Bio: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  September 29, 2006
Print article - Printer friendly version

Email article link to friend(s) - Email a link to this article to friends

Facebook - Facebook

Topic category:  Other/General

Caught Jeanine Pirro, Upset, Tries to Pirouette

2005 was a bad year for the ambitions and political aspirations of Jeanine Pirro.  2006 just became worse.  But, instead of dropping out of the New York Attorney General race quietly, with a sense of shame, a semblance of decency and a modicum of dignity, Mrs. Pirro ran the favorite play in the Clinton's political playbook and pathetically portrayed herself as a brave victim of the federal government instead of owning up to being a wife who thought herself wronged (again) and lost her good sense.

2005 was a bad year for the ambitions and political aspirations of Jeanine Pirro.  2006 just became worse.  But, instead of dropping out of the New York Attorney General race quietly, with a sense of shame, a semblance of decency and a modicum of dignity, Mrs. Pirro ran the favorite play in the Clinton's political playbook and pathetically portrayed herself as a brave victim of the federal government instead of owning up to being a wife who thought herself wronged (again) and lost her good sense.

On September 28, 2006, Newsday excitedly reported:

"In a jaw-dropping disclosure that could shatter her campaign to become New York's attorney general, Jeanine Pirro said yesterday she is under investigation by the FBI for discussing a plan with former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik to secretly eavesdrop on her husband.

"An angry Pirro, at a news conference designed to preempt leaked stories about the probe, said she had contacted private eye Kerik because of suspicions that her lobbyist husband, Albert, was having an affair. But she insisted that bugging her husband would not have been illegal and said she would continue her campaign against Democrat Andrew Cuomo.

"'There is no way, when I have the opportunity to be the first woman attorney general in the history of this state, that I'm going to be pushed out of a race because somebody wants to delve into the personal lives of my husband and myself,' Pirro said. 'I'm standing up for myself and standing up for women.'"

Standing up for herself, yes.

Standing up for women, no.

Desperately and shamelessly pandering to women, yes.

The FBI was interested in  a possible crime, not the personal lives of the Pirros.  No one was targeting Mrs. Pirro.  Mr. Kerik was being wiretapped in connection with a corruption investigation.  Mrs. Pirro appeared on the FBI's radar screen because she chose to seek Mr. Kerik's help.  The FBI should not have ignored her, and should not be blamed for doing its job..

This excerpt from the Pirro-Kerik conversation is damning, at least politically,  for Mrs. Pirro:

Mrs. Pirro (on placing a bug on a boat): "We can just simply say if there is an issue that I am redecorating it for our anniversary."

Kerik: "But, Jeanine, I'm having the same-----problem with everybody.  Everybody is panic-stricken because it's you. I've gone out on a limb.  I had two other people looking at this.  It's a problem."

Pirro: "What am I supposed to do, Bernie?...I can go on the boat.  I'll put the ----thing on myself."

You're supposed to behave much better than that if you want to be New York's Attorney General, Mrs. Pirro. 

In August of 2005, I wrote a piece titled "Impending Battle of the 'Innocent Spouses,' lamenting that this year's United States Senate race in New York looked like it would be a contest between two unworthy candidates: Hillary Clinton, the former carpetbagger, current incumbent and presidential aspirant, and Jeanine Ferris Pirro, former Westchester Family Court Judge, former Westchester County District Attorney, Fox contributor, wife of ex-convict Albert Pirro and a Republican whose "social" views generally mirror those of Senator Clinton.

I wrote: "What did New York State do to deserve a United States Senate race between two pro-abortion wives who implausibly, albeit successfully, claimed to be 'innocent spouses' when their respective husbands were investigated for tax evasion in one case and perjury and obstruction of justice in the other?

I thought Mrs. Pirro fortunate to have been treated as an "innocent spouse" while her attorney husband was convicted of an imprisoned for tax evasion.

The Internal Revenue Service specifies these conditions for qualifying as an "innocent spouse":

  1. You must have filed a joint return which has an understatement of tax;

  2. The understatement of tax must be due to erroneous items of your spouse;

  3. You must establish that at the time you signed the joint return, you did not know, and had no reason to know, that there was an understatement of tax;

  4. Taking into account all of the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understatement of tax; and

  5. You must request relief within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998.
My opinion was that neither Senator Clinton nor Mrs. Pirro dserved to be elected in 2006, even though "[e]ach is undeniably an experienced and very capable attorney."

My position: Mrs. Pirro "should not have signed income tax returns, under penalty of perjury, declaring that she had 'examined this return and accompanying schedules and statements, and to the best of my knowledge and belief, they are true, correct, and accurately list all amounts and source as of income I received during the tax year' without making a thorough examination herself."

Mrs. Pirro subsequently dropped out of the Senate race and into the Attorney General race.

Her Democrat opponent is Andrew Cuomo, another "legacy" who comes with his own baggage

Again, an election in which we can be thankful that only one can win and sad that neither is fit.

Mrs. Pirro's name is on  a book published in 2004 and titled To Punish and Protect--Against a System that Coddles Criminals, purportedly describing "one DA's fight against a system that coddles criminals."

It seems that Mrs. Pirro needs punishment and New York needs protection.

Mrs. Pirro's own website (www.jeaninepirro.com) predictably trumpets her book:

"'The office of the district attorney is a battleground, where the fight between good and evil unfolds each day. We see the ugliest side of life, the pain that people go through for no reason. They didn't do anything. They didn't ask for it. Yet here they are, living their personal nightmares. We cannot take away their pain, or turn back time to undo the damage, but we can be the avengers. We can seek justice on their behalf.'

"So begins this riveting account by Westchester County District Attorney, Jeanine Pirro, as she takes us inside the violent world of modern crime fighting. Before Pirro was elected DA in 1993, the job was always considered a man's domain, demanding a macho toughness. Pirro can be as tough as any man, and yet she adds an important new dimension to the role. She believes that being tough on crime means much more than just filling the jails. She goes beyond her role to punish criminals, to be a passionate advocate for the victims of crime.

"In To Punish and Protect, Pirro brings readers face to face with the gruesome realities of her daily battles, and tells the true, heartbreaking stories of the victims - the slaughter of a young woman and her two children by a jealous, enraged boyfriend; a teenage girl forced to assume wifely duties after her father murdered her stepmother; a nine-year-old boy chained to a radiator in a dark room and nearly starved to death, as the rest of the family went about its business; a gentle, hardworking man shot fatally in a dispute over a parking place, because he was black; an eighty-year-old woman, savagely beaten by her son and left for two days on the cold floor of her apartment; a beautiful woman whose wealth and privilege could not prevent her murder at the hands of a violent husband; and a group of young girls lured into a sexual nightmare by a cunning predator posing as a trustworthy youth counselor.

"Pirro presents hard truths about the ways in which parents, communities, and the justice system share complicity in fostering an environment of danger to our children. She describes the dark world of Internet pedophiles and hate mongers, who are allowed to hide behind First Amendment protections to gain access to kids in their own bedrooms. She offers a harsh judgment on parents who fail to address the deadly consequences of teen drinking, and even host keg parties in their homes, while alcohol continues to take young lives and destroy families.

"Pirro delivers a bold indictment of the criminal justice system, and asks whether we as a nation are truly committed to justice. Increasingly, she warns, our laws, attitudes, and behaviors seem to be veering away from what we say is our moral core as a nation. We say that we exalt good and punish evil, yet we do the opposite. We turn criminals into celebrities, and view victims with suspicion. If we're going to make our communities safer and our society less violent, we need to do more than just pay lip service to our ideals. To Punish and Protect challenges us to have the will and the courage to wage war on the predators roaming our streets, and to avenge their victims."

Today the hard truth is that Mrs. Pirro herself is a target in a federal criminal investigation instead of an avenger. Yes, she is offering a legal excuse and has gone on the offense, demanding that the Attorney General of the United States appoint a special prosecutor to investigate a leak that exposed her as utterly unfit to be Attorney General of the State of New York (as well as unhappily married).

I'm for stopping leaks and prosecuting leakers, but I'd prefer national security leaks be given priority.

On her website, Mrs. Pirro explained why she should be New York's next Attorney General:

"For the past thirty years, I have devoted my life to law enforcement as a prosecutor, a judge, and the three-term District Attorney of Westchester County. I am now running for Attorney General – New York's chief law enforcement officer – on my record as an innovative District Attorney, a champion of justice, an advocate for victims, and a pioneer for the rights of children, women, and families.

"In these tough times, New York needs an Attorney General who has a proven record of taking on the tough cases, and making the tough decisions, necessary to protect the public safety. No other candidate for Attorney General has dealt day-in and day-out with the very law enforcement issues that are front-and-center for an Attorney General, such as: Medicaid and other insurance fraud, identity theft, consumer fraud, gangs, gun trafficking, sexual predators, mortgage fraud, public corruption, environmental protection, and Internet crime. My experience establishes my priorities as Attorney General, and my ability to do the job.

"The Attorney General has been called 'The People's Lawyer.' I have spent my career fighting to protect the people of New York from abuse and exploitation, and to preserve our neighborhoods, quality of life, and the environment. For three decades, I have battled for victims – many voiceless, many disenfranchised. As Attorney General, I can build upon my successes to benefit all New Yorkers."

BUT, Mrs. Pirro announced that the FBI is investigating her for allegedly plotting to secretly record her husband, because she suspected of having an affair with another woman.

Like Senator Clinton and her husband before her, Mrs. Pirro is singing the  "I am a victim of a partisan, overreaching federal prosecutor" song.

Mrs. Pirro's legalistic defense: "Placing a recording device on one's property to intercept a conversation involving one's spouse is not a crime," Mrs. Pirro said in a statement provided to The Associated Press. "I am being investigated for speaking in anger about doing something that it is lawful to do, and which I didn't do."  "I was a very angry woman and I said a lot of things.  But what matters is what I did and didn't do, and I didn't do anything here other than vent."

First, I don't know whether the boat on which the recording device was to be placed was Mrs. Pirro's property.  It has been reported that Mr. Pirro owned it, but Mrs. Pirro still may argue that it is a marital residence in which she has a sufficient interest to make her recording there lawful.

Second, Mrs. Pirro allegedly did more than "speak[] in anger"  or "vent."  She solicited Bernard Kerik's assistance in her plan to secretly record.

Under New York law, it is unlawful to record a telephone conversation if the recorder is not a party to the conversation or does not have the consent of a party.  It is a Class E felony, punishable by a prison term of one to four years.

New York law also prohibits a person not present during a discussion to overhear or record it without the consent of a party to the discussion.

New York needs an Attorney General who understands and abides by the law and the spirit of the law and enforces the law fairly instead of an excitable person who recklessly disregards warnings from a knowledgeable friend and instead concocts a lie to be used if her plot is uncovered and contemplates secreting a recording device herself.

Michael J. Gaynor

Send email feedback to Michael J. Gaynor


Biography - Michael J. 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.

Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.

The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.

Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.

Gaynor's email address is gaynormike@aol.com.


Read other commentaries by Michael J. Gaynor.

Copyright © 2006 by Michael J. Gaynor
All Rights Reserved.

[ Back ]


© 2004-2017 by WEBCommentary(tm), All Rights Reserved