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Saturday, March 13, 2021

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's Convenient Opinions Regarding Due Process - Does An Accused Have The Right To Be Heard, And The Right To A Fair Investigation?


Military Defense Lawyer (Former JAG Attorney) News: 

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has long championed herself as an advocate for women's rights and a crusader to change the disciplinary systems on college campuses and the justice system in the military to give "more voice" to complainants alleging sexual assault and sexual misconduct.  As she loudly pressed her position, administrative and/or criminal due process seemingly was not her concern.  She advocated against due process rights for the accused, limiting investigations into one-sided shams, attempting to create a presumption of guilt instead of a presumption of innocence, pushing the narrative of blindly "believing the victim."  

I have previously posted about the danger of the positions she advocated to the fairness of the systems she was ravaging.  I have also previously posted about Senator Gillibrand's hypocrisy regarding those she supported in the Democratic Party, when it suited her ambitions.  Please see:

Please understand that my blog posts do not reflect my personal political affiliations.  I don't post about party politics.  I only post about issues that impact my profession as a criminal defense lawyer practicing in the military justice system.  I take issue with any politician on either side of the aisle who misguidedly tampers with the military justice system in the name of politics.  It just so happens that Democratic Senator Gillibrand has made it her mission to tamper with the college disciplinary system and the military justice system to see just how far she can dismantle due process.  

Senator Gillibrand has now come out with a statement that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo should resign, as more complainants claim to have suffered sexual harassment, assault, and boorish behavior directed at them by Governor Cuomo.  However, I think it is important to consider one of Senator Gillibrand's initial statements about these sexual misconduct allegations, which she reportedly made on 24 February.   After expressing that the sexual harassment allegations against Governor Cuomo were serious and concerning, Senator Gillibrand reportedly said:

"Governor Cuomo also has the right to be heard and he has come forward and has denied these allegations..."

What?!  He, as an accused, has the right to be heard?  He has the right to publicly deny these allegations and have those denials be fairly considered?  Judgment should be withheld while a fair investigation is launched?  

These are words Democratic Senator Gillibrand would NEVER utter regarding an accused college kid or military member.  In those cases, the accused individuals should be presumed guilty and limited in their rights to investigate the allegations and defend themselves.  These are words Democratic Senator Gillibrand would NEVER utter regarding a politician on the other side of the aisle.  But, she took this position when then Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden faced sexual assault and sexual misconduct allegations, and she initially took this position when Democratic Governor Cuomo faced his sexual misconduct allegations.  

Why does this hypocrisy matter?  It matters because it pulls back the curtain on how politically motivated her position is with regard to the issue of alleged sexual assault and sexual misconduct.  It raises serious issues regarding her credibility, sincerity, and motives when she advocates to crucify college kids and military members without fair process.  In short, her hypocrisy should be considered, and her position should be rejected, when she again crusades for even more due process limiting changes to college disciplinary systems and the military justice system.  

For more information about the military justice system, particularly cases alleging rape and/or sexual assault in violation of UCMJ Article 120, type "rape" or "sexual assault" into the search bar above the blog posts and see:

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Thank you. 

By:  Attorney Richard V. Stevens

Civilian criminal defense lawyer and military defense lawyer

Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.

Blog postscript: I (attorney Richard V. Stevens) am a former active duty military lawyer (JAG). My perspectives and advice, therefore, are based upon my experience as military defense lawyer and as a civilian criminal defense lawyer practicing exclusively in the area of military law and military justice. This blog addresses issues in military law, military justice, military discipline, military defense, court-martial practice, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and other military and/or legal topics. Nothing posted in this blog should be substituted for legal advice in any particular case. If you seek legal advice for a particular case, please contact The Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens for a free consultation. These military defense law offices are located in the Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Maryland, National Capital Region (NCR), but the military defense representation is worldwide – when necessary, the attorneys travel to wherever the client is stationed around the world.