Indy journalists both left and right agree that DoJ screwed Bernie Kerik

From Andrew Kreig:

Dear Colleagues:

Harvard’s Nieman Watchdog for journalists published my analysis late Friday entitled, “Feds Bullied Kerik Into 4-Year Term, Hurting Us All,” illustrating another major breakdown in the federal justice system’s prosecution of official corruption cases. The Kerik prosecution has abused the former NYPD chief and Bush Cabinet nominee, along with his family. Readers saw that Kerik for years has been unfairly treated, much like Alabama’s former Gov. Don Siegelman and many other defendant families around the country. Kerik, a staunch Republican, reached out in sympathy last year to the Democrat Siegelman, encouraging him to never give up the fight for justice. Crushed by $4.6 million in legal expenses, thrown in jail pre-trial and with attorneys repeatedly forced off the case by the judge, however, Kerik ultimately pled guilty
on Nov. 5.

In just a few days, a remarkable divide has occurred between the initial mainstream media coverage of Kerik’s sentencing and news coverage on significant Web-based newsites. The progressive defense attorney Jeralyn Merritt published on Saturday a critique of the prosecution ( that’s remarkably congruent with the attack by Newsmax publisher Chris Ruddy today at By contrast, only Geraldo Rivera on Sunday among the traditional media has so far (at least to my knowledge) challenged the conventional wisdom that Kerik’s sentencing Thursday showed the federal system rooting out big-time corruption. I explored the failure of judicial oversight in this from a historical viewpoint Sunday
on the Connecticut Watchdog site, based on my five years covering federal courts fulltime for that state’s largest newspaper:

Recognizing that so many journalists face deadline pressures and tight budgets for research, the Justice Integrity Project is being created as a non-partisan, non-profit educational organization to help reporters, academics and community leaders around the nation better understand political corruption and other white-collar cases that are inherently complex and secretive. The famed litigator, Harvard Law adjunct professor and Cato Fellow Harvey Silverglate — author of “Three Felonies a Day: How The Feds Target the Innocent” — just left enthusiastic comments on the Connecticut Watchdog site about the need for such a new education center to provide oversight on official corruption investigations.

Certainly feel free to republish any of our information, although we would appreciate attribution and, if your time permits, notification of a link to include in our ongoing database of significant coverage in this field.

I hope that you’ll also visit our site below, register for relevant updates — and otherwise call upon us any time we can assist your research needs or you can envision other cooperation.

We’d also love to help you tell a story that you believe important and not otherwise covered.

The site has buttons for whistleblowers and others to leave a news tip, in strict confidentiality if needed.

Thank you for your attention, and all best regards!

Andrew Kreig
Executive Director, Justice Integrity Project

PS We regret if this reaches you in error or is undesirable, not withstanding what we understand to be your previous interest in the topic. We’ll promptly and permanently remove you from this distribution list if you hit Reply and type Remove line. Looking ahead, we are confident that our website, now under development, is unique in this field and will bring together for mutual benefit newsmakers and the most important criminal justice professionals, including journalists, lawyers, public officials, non-profits and TV/filmmakers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.