Michelle Malkin said about what happened to Rachel Alexander:
“Make no mistake: This is just another nasty battle in the Left’s long war to marginalize, demonize, and criminalize conservative dissent. The selective protection of free speech is unconscionable. The freedom to blog is under assault on so many fronts. It has to stop.”
Rachel Alexander, a conservative lawyer, writer and former editor of a gun magazine, was targeted simply because she is a well-spoken conservative attorney who writes political articles and briefly represented former Sheriff Joe Arpaio as one of his attorneys in 2010.
This could happen to any of us on the right. State Bars and the judiciary are almost monolithically controlled by the left, as many of you know, even in red states like Arizona where Rachel lives. The legal system was abused to terrorize her and destroy her life, in one of the most egregious witch hunts ever. She went through nine years of being targeted with endless legal costs and defamatory media articles, until she finally appealed pro se to the U.S. Supreme Court and they declined to hear her case, only accepting a tiny amount of cases each year, usually more high-profile cases. The corrupt county government would not pay for an attorney, so she was forced to come up with the money herself and represent herself much of the way — even though the actions they accused her of were taken in her official capacity working for the Maricopa County Attorney. Rachel could have caved in and ran, but she’s not stopping until the corruption is cleaned out of Maricopa County, the Arizona State Bar and judiciary.
Rachel has started using her writing for Townhall, WND, The Christian Post and other well-read publications to expose the horrendous abuses against conservatives – both lawyers and nonlawyers – around the country through misusing the legal system: Dinesh D’Souza, Rick Perry, Bob McDonnell, Tom DeLay, Ted Stevens, Sheriff Arpaio, Steve Stockman, Rick Renzi, Texas DA Charles Sebesta and conservative bloggers to name a few she's written about.
Although her license to practice law was supposed to be automatically reinstated after an unfair six month suspension, the Arizona State Bar will not reinstate her.
Rachel Alexander is one of the most outspoken conservatives today. She started Intellectual Conservative in 2002, then progressed to writing for websites like Townhall, The Christian Post and Right Wing News. Even left-wing sites like the UK Guardian reached out to her and offered her paid writing gigs.
In 2005, she was offered a job in Arizona as a deputy county attorney and adviser to newly elected Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, a conservative activist and Harvard educated lawyer. She accepted the position, and continued to expand her writing and websites, starting IC Arizona, a subsidiary of her main website, where she would post press releases from Thomas.
She wrote many groundbreaking articles while working for Thomas, including one for Fox News that explained why the prosecutor’s office was attempting to prosecute someone for child pornography (she has a background in tech), and another article exposing the unfair, race-based DUI courts that the Arizona Superior Court in Maricopa County had set up.
She was awarded the Right Online (Americans for Prosperity) activist of the year award in 2009 for her efforts. From 2011-2018, Right Wing News ranked her among the top 50 conservative columnists in the country.
But ironically, at the same time, for her courageousness in exposing left-wing abuses, she began to be viciously targeted in 2009 by the left, from both the Arizona State Bar and the left-leaning Arizona judiciary. Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin has written the most comprehensive summary of what happened to Rachel here.
It is astounding in so many ways, where to start to explain it all? Rachel’s former boss Thomas, along with Sheriff Joe Arpaio, attempted to prosecute corrupt county supervisors and complicit judges (the supervisors controlled the judges’ budgets so they were untouchable – oops!), for things like spending campaign money on thousands upon thousands of dollars on luxury personal items. Rachel had a very minor role in it all; her name was briefly put on a racketeering (RICO) complaint AFTER it had been filed, and almost none of her research was included on anything that was filed. She was briefly assigned to only that one complaint, as a lesser attorney, supervised under the “RICO” expert in the office. The complaint was withdrawn two and half months later, so nothing ever happened. But based on this, powerful left-wing attorneys connected to the county supervisors and judges who control the State Bar came after her too along with her boss and one of his senior prosecutors. Notably, they did not come after her immediate supervisor, the apolitical RICO expert who had a much larger role in the RICO complaint, drafting and finalizing some of the pleadings, unlike her.
At one point, the Bar prosecutors demanded to know everything she had ever written online — including anonymously — in the last five years, a gross violation of free speech. Halfway through the bar trial against her – which was livestreamed for over two months for everyone to see, at a cost of over $500,000 for everything including bringing in pricey attorneys from out of state – the Bar’s attorneys realized how weak their case was against her, and offered her settlements. At first, they offered her two years probation. She refused, based on principle, since she hadn’t done anything wrong. Then, they offered her one year of probation. She refused again. Finally, when the trial was almost over, and they realized how ridiculous their case was, they offered her a settlement of just taking a few extra continuing legal education courses. Again, she refused based on principle – she had done nothing wrong. Many people would have caved at this point. Not Rachel. She stuck it out to the bitter end, in order to make sure this kind of abuse can’t happen to others, and will do what she can to make it happen, which includes converting the Bar to a voluntary association, as it is in about half the states. She helped with bills in the Arizona legislature to accomplish this, but so far has had no success going up against the Bar's powerful lobbyists. The Arizona Bar charges very high annual dues to attorneys so they have deep pockets.
With a complicit State Bar disciplinary judge, who was reportedly put in the position since he would do the bidding of the State Bar – who has his own history of corruption – they disbarred Rachel’s former boss, one of his lead prosecutors, and suspended Rachel from practicing law for six months.
The corrupt Maricopa County Supervisors quit paying for her defense, and so she was forced to appeal her suspension to the Arizona Supreme Court pro se, spending hours researching and writing a 30+ page appeal herself. She was able to get her sentence reduced slightly in the appeal, but not by much. The left-wing Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rubberstamped the lower court's decision and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to accept certiorati.
The strain of trying to support her then-husband and his four children with a fulltime job and extra part-time jobs, combined with the neverending legal work, destroyed her health, and she developed a hernia, had her gallbladder removed, became chronically fatigued and suffered all kinds of health problems.
She was supposed to be automatically readmitted to the Bar after six months, but the Bar continues to do everything it can to keep her from being readmitted. They will not readmit her unless she pays $101,500 for prosecuting her AND her boss and his chief prosecutor! This is no joke. She is being held liable for the actions of her superiors! The Bar's outside attorney who prosecuted them told them in an email that they would not be held accountable for the costs of bringing him and his team in from another state, but the Bar did not uphold this assurance and charged Rachel and the other two all the costs of their meals, hotels, plane tickets, etc.
Years later, this corrupt cabal continues to do everything it can to keep Rachel from clearing her name and getting her license reinstated. It has cost her thousands of dollars for out of pocket expenses to attorneys to try and fight it. Most of the rest of the legal work she was forced to do herself along with her ex-boss’s senior prosecutor who was also targeted. Rachel sued the county supervisors to recover the $101,500 – she fortunately found an attorney who was so incensed by the injustice that he represented her on contingency fee, requiring costs only – but the supervisors spent taxpayer dollars galore to fight back, and the Bar has unlimited resources, having just increased membership dues for attorneys, no doubt as a result of this expensive disciplinary case and show trial. The Bar eventually went after the kind attorney who was helping her and disbarred him.
This is unheard of in the case of a deputy county prosecutor – even a former risk management chief for the county has privately admitted that it’s unheard of for a deputy county attorney not to get their bar disciplinary costs reimbursed. The expensive Bar prosecutor they brought in from out of state reputedly has ties to the Mafia and doesn’t even have a law degree. The story is that he was put in that position in order to protect powerful homebuilder and real estate interests in Colorado and Arizona, and since Thomas tried to prosecute county supervisor Stapley’s former business partner Wolfswinkel, a convicted felon….
In contrast, her former supervisor, who was not targeted by the Bar, finally had the Bar conduct disciplinary proceedings against him when the Bar realized it would have egg on its face for not going after him too. He entered into a settlement agreement, admitting to have willfully committed ethical violations, and was only sentenced to probation, allowed to continue working at his job with the county. Amazingly, the county picked up the entire tab for his prosecution! Rachel was never found to have “willfully” done anything unethical, yet the county will not pay for the cost of prosecuting her. Rachel counted 13 times he lied – perjury – during the trial against her.
Rachel believes she was also targeted by a powerful left-wing attorney who sits on the Bar’s Board of Governors and was Bar president at the time the complaint started against her, Ed Novak. The article she wrote for Fox News destroyed work he had done defending a young man accused of downloading nine images of child porn. In her article, Alexander explained how there was no way a virus could have downloaded the child porn, then burned it to a CD that was sitting on his shelf. The young man’s family hired a PR firm to put up a website defending him and attacking her former boss Thomas, and made an appearance on the TV show 20/20 to further attack Thomas. Five years later, the young man’s father filed a lengthy bar complaint against Rachel over the article, that was very well-written going over all the ethical rules. Rachel believes Novak ghostwrote it for him — can’t stop tormenting her years later.
What happened to Rachel could happen to any of us. Rachel supported her ex-husband’s four teenagers (no child support) for much of the six years they were together, and the stress finally destroyed her marriage. She has over $75,000 in student loans she cannot make payments on currently. She had been making payments of $700/mth on her student loans and would have paid them all off by 2013 if this hadn’t destroyed her finances, reputation and ability to make a living. She lost her home to foreclosure in 2012. She now continues to write about other conservatives targeted through the legal system, becoming a specialist on the subject.
Read more about Rachel’s case
Michelle Malkin: Bloggers under fire: Arizona conservative lawyer/activist targeted by left-wing Arizona State Bar
John Hawkins: Liberal State Bar Spends Three Years Going After Lawyer For Being Conservative Blogger
John Hawkins: Is The State Bar of Arizona Targeting Conservatives For Blogging And Fighting Illegal Immigration?
Andrew Thomas explains the story of how the State Bar and judiciary came after him, Alexander and Aubuchon
Arizona Republic: Arizona Republican Party denounces ethics investigation of Alexander, Thomas and Aubuchon
Prominent Arizona blogger espressopundit denounces ethics investigation of Alexander
Prominent attorneys – including a Democrat – take out full-page ad in Arizona Bar magazine denouncing investigation of Alexander, Thomas and Aubuchon
Video interview with Lisa Aubuchon explaining what happened her, Alexander and Thomas
What Andrew Thomas attempted to prosecute Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley for (contrast this with what happened to Jesse Jackson, Mr., for doing the same exact thing)
Former Congressman and prosecutor Bob Barr’s legal opinion: State Bar proceedings were illegally initiated
Bob Barr legal opinion: State Bar president illegally prohibited Democrat and former State Bar president from representing Andrew Thomas in Bar proceedings
Bob Barr legal opinion: There is no written complaint by the State Bar against Andrew Thomas, others
Arizona Bar disciplinary judge has ethics issues
Overreaching interrogatories served by AZ State Bar on Alexander demanding to know everything she had ever blogged over 5 years
Digital Journal author Chris Wager: Maricopa County, AZ Seat to Unprecedented Judicial Corruption
Arizona blogger David Roney: Charges Against Rachel Alexander Are Bogus & Embarrass Arizona Legal Community
Arizona blogger Barbara Espinosa: Conservative Writer Rachel Alexander, Prosecution is Grossly Overreached by Arizona State Bar Judiciary Panel
Author Selwyn Duke: Political persecution in Maricopa County