Tucker Carlson Right Regarding Sidney Powell’s Claims; Lawyers Using Media to Spread Allegations Should Provide Some Backup
Tucker Carlson Questions Sidney Powell On Her Claims About Rigged Voting Software
WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 21, 2020) - Popular Fox News host Tucker Carlson has come under severe criticism for asking attorney Sidney Powell for some evidence supporting her widely publicized claim that rigged voting software switched millions of votes from Trump to Biden.
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Some critics of Carlson have argued that lawyers don't and should not hand over evidence to the media, and/or that the evidence should be revealed in court, and not in the media.
But public interest law professor, who is a well-known and very successful lawyer, says that's incorrect.
Attorneys who want to try their cases in court, and not present evidence outside that venue - the way many lawyers choose to proceed - are under no public duty or other obligation to disclose their evidence except though proper legal channels (e.g., in court or in court documents).
But lawyers who voluntarily choose to publicize their claims in the media, and otherwise inform the public of them, should be prepared to make some kind of showing outside court if they want to be taken seriously, says Banzhaf.
Although I frequently disagree with Tucker Carlson on many legal and other issues, on this one he is correct, especially since he went out of the way to severely limit his criticism of Sidney Powell by reminding his viewers that Powell's refusal to provide evidence does not mean her claims are false: "It doesn't mean it didn't happen . . . It might have happened. . . . It means they haven't seen any evidence that it happened. And by 'they,' we are including other members of Donald Trump's own legal team."
Lawyers Cannot Always Be Believed
While we like to think that lawyers would not lie or make frivolous claims - especially since they are members of the Bar and therefore subject to discipline for violation of strict ethical obligations which do not apply to laymen - they cannot always be believed, especially when speaking on behalf of a controversial client, so they must be prepared to present some evidence if they want any credence, argues Banzhaf.
In very rare cases, an attorney may wish to hold back evidence - e.g., if there is legitimate concern that a party might try to flee, suborn perjury, or falsify documents - but that is usually in a criminal case, since full disclosure long before trial is the rule in civil cases, explains Banzhaf. The days of Perry Mason suddenly pulling a key document from his briefcase have long since gone.
Here there appears to be no legal logic or justification for attorney Powell not providing evidence of her claims which could affect the presidency, and where time is very much of the essence since the Electoral College will meet shortly.
In short, it is entirely proper for Tucker Carlson - who can hardly be credibly accused of being an opponent of the President - to request some evidence of Sidney Powell's claims, Banzhaf concludes.