F. Clinton Broden (l), attorney for Matthew Alan Clendennen (r)
Austin – The confrontation was brief and bombastic; it took place while attorneys waited for a visiting judge to arrive for a hearing on whether Justice of the Peace Pete Peterson should recuse himself.
Michael Jarrett, chief prosecutor and lead assistant in the Twin Peaks prosecutions of 177 persons charged with the offense of engaging in organized criminal activity for their presence at a political meeting focussing on pending handgun legislation that turned deadly when Waco Police gunned down 9 persons and wounded an additional 20, called out Dallas lawyer F. Clinton Broden.
“You’ve violated every protective order out there. Scheduled press conferences, made releases to the media. What’s next?” he asked.
Broden snorted, asked if he had any other complaints to air.
Jarrett laced into his adversary, citing the perceived impropriety of Broden making statements such as his client was apparently charged for being a witness to something he did not see, since he was hiding inside the restaurant, hoping he would not be shot.
They continued their acrimonious discussion, both wearing dead malicious smiles, in the rotunda following the hearing. That was five months ago.
The dispute continues, leading observers to wonder if the floggings will not continue until morale improves in the wake of a Grand Jury returning 106 indictments against persons arrested and held on $1 million bond in order to “send a message,” according to Judge Peterson.
For the second time, Broden filed a motion in the state’s highest court of criminal appeal, seeking relief from the prosecution’s “unclean hands” in continuing to speak of the case while all other lawyers and their clients are enjoined to keep their mouths shut under the terms of a gag order imposed by the District Judge, Matt Johnson.
When an unknown party released video to CNN’s Ed Lavandera that was made at Twin Peaks “breastaurant” of waitresses running for their lives, Cossacks firing their pistols in their haste to flee the fight on the parking lot, and bikers doing the low crawl to safety, Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna speculated it must have been one of the defense lawyers who did so.
Hence, Broden’s “Second Emergent Motion By Real-Party-In-Interest Matthew Alan Clendennen To Vacate Stay Based On Relator’s Unclean Hands.”
Because the Court previously ignored a similar petition complaining of “Relator’s (Reyna’s) and other state actors engaged in an unrelenting campaign using world wide media outlets which was designed to scare the pubic with pictures of roving ‘biker gangs,’” Broden filed another missive complaining that Reyna “violated the very gag order he is asking this Court to uphold in a written statement to KWTX News in Waco.
In the previous entreaty, the Court “declined to act,” and suggested that Clendennen and Broden file for an Order to Show Cause with the District Judge, Matt Johnson, Reyna’s former law partner.
“Unfortunately, that creates a perverse situation because Mr. Clendennen believes that the gag order sought by Relator is unconstitutional and so he is hardly in a position to turn around and argue for its enforcement against Relator in the District Court.”
He further notes that “This was not the first time Relator Reyna has violated the gag order. On or about July 8, 2015, Mr. Reyna gave a press interview discussing the selection of the grand jury foreperson for the grand jury that could possibly consider Mr. Clendennen’s case.”
Broden suggests that Reyna is emboldened by the Court “declining to act” in the past.
“Relator has now moved on to giving press conferences about the case.”
Noting that after his client and others were indicted earlier this week, “Relator held a press conference to announce the indictments, a result of his team’s “seeing that justice is done in all those cases,” said Broden.
Ironically, the attorney concluded, the gag order was drafted by Relator, and he says it was “based on the trial court’s finding that a gag order was necessary because of ‘counsels’ willingness to give interviews to the media.’”
In his parting shot, Broden asks, rhetorically, “So what does Relator do, he holds a press conference to equate the indictment of Mr Clendennen with ‘justice?’”
So mote it be.