Mueller’s cone of silence (2)

I wrote about Concord Managment’s pending motion in Team Mueller’s case against Russian entities in “Mueller’s cone of silence.” I also embedded a copy of the motion at the bottom of the post. Wanting to check my own perspective against that of a friend who has been following the case professionally, I sought his comment. He wrote me: “You just have to love [Concord defense counsel] Eric Dubelier for his feistiness, even if ultimately does not play well with the court. He managed to use the word ‘squinch’ in this most recent brief, for which he should get bonus points of some sort.” I meant to make that point myself.


What, you may ask, is a “squinch”? I didn’t know before I checked it out. The dictionary tells us that it is a noun meaning “a support (such as an arch, lintel, or corbeling) carried across the corner of a room under a superimposed mass.” It also provides the illustration of a squinch at the right. Here is the context of its use at page 2 in the reply memorandum filed by Concord in support of its pending motion:

The Court will recall that from the outset the Special Counsel maintained that there was no classified information in this case. In fact, the Special Counsel continues to concede that the discovery in this case contains no classified information. Instead the Special Counsel asks the Court to accept secret ex parte communications from him to support the unprecedented argument that the Defendant itself cannot view millions of pages of non-classified discovery. This request is just another squinch to support the novelty of this entire proceeding.

My friend adds: “In any case, the latest motion is a continuation of arguments over discovery that have been going on since the summer. Here is Dubelier’s memorandum on the question from mid-summer.” He also provides a link to “this pretty good roundup on the basic issues.”

My friend also highlights this quotable quote from Dubelier’s mid-summer memorandum: “[T]heSpecial Counsel seeks to equate this make-believe electioneering case to others involving international terrorism and major drug trafficking, and relies only on irrelevant dicta from inapposite primarily out of circuit cases. In short, fake law, which is much more dangerous than fake news.”

Eric Dubelier is having way too much fun for a lawyer representing a defendant in a criminal case. His courtroom appearances are full of hijinks and good humor. His memoranda all but taunt the Special Counsel. Who is Eric Dublier and why is he having so much fun? Rowan Scarborough profiles him in “‘Real Justice Department’ veteran emerges as Mueller’s top courtroom adversary.”

Scarborough’s profile covers the ground related to the pending motion. To Scarborough’s profile I would add only that it is easier to have fun representing a client who doesn’t care about the ultimate outcome of a given case, but rather seeks to use the case to achieve another objective. That is what is happening here. All in all, I am slightly mystified by the lack of interest in the whole thing.

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