Who is paying for the Lakin defense circus? It turns out we all are.
Some of our commentators have already called attention to this web site seeking funds for LTC Lakin’s legal defense fund.
The site states: “A vigorous defense of this case presents the ONLY present hope that Americans will finally learn whether their president lawfully holds office. If you want the proof, you can only hope to get it by supporting LTC Lakin NOW.” If that’s true, then there’s no hope the birthers will succeed in obtaining the documents they seek, since there’s no chance they’ll do so my means of discovery in the (presumed) general court-martial of United States v. Lakin.
The first charge LTC Lakin faces is missing movement. Of course President Obama is constitutionally eligible to serve as president, having been born in Hawaii, thus obtaining citizenship by birth, as provided by the 14th Amendment. But — I can’t believe I’m writing this — let’s assume for the sake of argument that he wasn’t born in the United States and for some reason his mother’s American citizenship was insufficient to make him a natural born citizen. How would that provide a defense to missing movement? The obvious answer is it wouldn’t. And since it wouldn’t, any evidence concerning President Obama’s citizenship is irrelevant to that charge. Accordingly, a military judge won’t grant a defense motion to compel the issuance of subpoenas to obtain evidence concerning President Obama’s citizenship to defend against the missing movement charge.
Now look at the three violation of a lawful order specs. One is based on an order issued by a LTC Judd, one is based on an order issued by COL Gordon R. Roberts, and one is based on an order issued by a COL McHugh. Those orders are lawful regardless of whether the President is constitutionally eligible to serve. No military judge would allow discovery concerning the President’s eligibility to defend against those specs, since any materiaI or testimony obtained would have no relevance to any matter under litigation and couldn’t reasonably lead to the discovery of relevant evidence. I don’t think a military judge would even have to get to the de facto officer doctrine to hold that, but as we’ve previously discussed, the de facto officer doctrine exists for just such cases. If there were a constitutionally ineligible President, the U.S. government wouldn’t grind to a halt and U.S. servicemembers wouldn’t be free to walk away from their places of duty; the de facto officer doctrine would continue to give legal effect to orders by officers such as LTC Judd, COL Roberts, and COLMcHugh. See Ryder v. United States, 515 U.S. 177, 180-81 (1995). Finally, there’s a willful dereliction of duty spec for failing to carry out Temporary Change of Station orders issued by COL McHugh directing LTC Lakin to report to Fort Campbell, as it was his duty to do. Again, even if President Obama weren’t constitutionally eligible, that would provide no defense for LTC Lakin’s failure to carry out his duty as established by the Temporary Change of Station orders issued by COL McHugh. No defense, no discovery.
Despite the absence of any chance that the Lakin case will succeed in obtaining any documents or testimony concerning President Obama’s citizenship, the web site proclaims: “It is expected these fees and costs will exceed $500,000 and therefore it is essential that LTC Lakin’s supporters come to his aid NOW.” Which now brings me to the point of this post. According to the web site: “American Patriot Foundation’s Legal Defense Fund will pay for all of LTC Lakin’s attorneys fees and costs, and so we urgently need your tax deductible contribution.” So LTC Lakin isn’t paying his lawyer–or, he isn’t footing any more of the bill than the rest of we American taxpayers are. It appears that the United States Treasury will be out the money that goes to Paul Rolf Jensen to engage in his quixotic quest.