Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

Bio

August 20, 2014 - 8:17 am

Tuesday night the Houston Chronicle published a story about the grand jury that indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Those grand jurors who spoke with the Chronicle broke the law to do so, and they knew that they were breaking the law. They claimed that they were speaking to the newspaper to counter Gov. Perry’s “spin” on the case.

That’s not the job of a grand jury, by the way.

One of them is a woman named Rho Chalmers. Chalmers tried to get around her lawbreaking by attempting to build this wall of implausible deniability.

Rho Chalmers, who name matches that of a grand juror but would only confirm her service on a jury that ended last week, said grand juries involve careful consideration of facts.

“For me, it’s not a political decision,” Chalmers said. “That’s what a grand jury is about – take the emotion out of it and look at the facts and make your best decision based on your life experience.”

As I asked in the original post about this, how many “Rho Chalmers” can there be out there?

The answer is “not many,” as it’s an unusual name.

So let’s meet Rho Chalmers, Perry grand juror, and active delegate to the Texas Democratic Party’s state convention.

Mediatrackers picks up that story.

More troubling, however, is the fact that Chalmers attended, photographed, and commented on an event with Democratic state Sen. Kirk Watson while grand jury proceedings were ongoing. Watson was a witness in front of the grand jury. On June 27, 2014, Chalmers shared a photo of the Watson event on a community Facebook page she started called Developer’s Dungeon. “Senator Kirk Watson telling the story of the Wendy Davis fillibuster (sic),” she wrote in a comment accompanying the picture.

Who goes to a state party convention? Party grassroots activists. Convention delegates are not your run-of-the-mill low-information voters. They’re true activists. Chalmers participated in the convention’s rules committee as well, which is about as arcane a party function as a person can possibly endure.

She posts pics of her convention credentials online, as if to brag about her participation in it.

Rho-Chalmers-TDPC-Credentials

There’s nothing wrong with being a party activist, of course. But Rho Chalmers was a very partisan Democrat activist from sharply partisan Travis County at the same time she was weighing whether to indict Gov. Rick Perry, Republican.

That stinks.

The grand jury was selected in April of 2014 and its proceedings did not conclude until it returned two indictments of Perry last week. While grand jurors are not generally prohibited from engaging in political activity, Chalmers apparent giddiness at attending an event for a grand jury witness calls into question her ability to objectively scrutinize his testimony. Watson had testified before Chalmers and the rest of her colleagues on the grand jury just one month before Chalmers attended his event. Knowingly seeking out participation in an event featuring a grand jury witness while grand jury proceedings were ongoing also seems highly questionable.

Indeed. And then, after Chalmers helped indict a governor she clearly opposes politically, she participated in a story to counter the governor’s “spin.” That “spin” is otherwise known as his defense, which is something that the grand jury never heard from the prosecutor or the likes of Kirk Watson.

Chalmers has indicated support for Democrat Wendy Davis’ run for governor as well, on her social media. That’s over at the Mediatrackers site.

The indictment of Gov. Perry is a partisan operation from top to bottom. It’s backfiring on the Democrats now. A friend observed that it’s making Perry, who has been governor for 14 years and picked up his share of critics along the way, about as popular leaving office as he was when he first arrived in it.

But Rho Chalmers shows why the legal jeopardy to him is real.

Related: 

Surprise! There’s an ‘Outlaw’ on the Perry Grand Jury

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.
Top Rated Comments   
If I remember correctly, this all started because she took a fifth... or couple of them.

3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
Especiallly when the D.A. goes out and hand-selects her Grand Jury from an organization of anti-ham-sandwich activists.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is starting to sound like we need a RICO charge against Travis County.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (19)
All Comments   (19)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
"Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!"
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've both served on a Grand jury, and been in front of one. While on the Grand Jury we were told, by the DA that we were the toughest Grand Jury he has ever had to present cases to. In one year of duty(first monday every month) we returned 3 no bills for lack of evidence. There were HUNDREDS more we sent to trial. Apparently the DA is used to a 100% indictment rate.

While in front of a Grand Jury, for an Assault charge, the DA could have hung me out to dry but he knew it was self defense and tossed me an easy question. "did you feel your life was in danger?" Hell, YEAH. Thought the guy was going to beat me to death, only he's the one who ended up in critical condition. Thankfully there were plenty of witnesses that testified for me and called it clear cut self defense. I was no-billed.

Point is , having seen both sides, a DA can convince a Grand Jury to indict anybody if he really wants to.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
Name the other grand jurors. All of them.

Shame them, publicly.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is why I can't stand freaking democrats!
The mafia is more honorable
If Perry would get convicted , they should burn that courthouse down
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
I would like to know when the drunk will be called into court in regards using her public position to threaten the police.... police who were doing their jobs.
.
Most people lose their jobs and are unable to apply for many others after a DUI.
Only in libland does a head lib expect to be exempt from her own rules.
Again, rules only apply to the pedestrian peons, not the libs in power.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
Already decided. She won't be. Prosecutorial discretion. They have more important cases to prosecute in Travis County . . . because Rick Perry.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
As a non-American (so I'm unfamiliar with many aspects of your judicial system), can she be arrested and charged with breaking the law by the DA in another jurisidiction outside Travis County?
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not unless she broke the law in that jurisdiction.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's easy to indict a ham sandwich when a member of the grand jury is hungry.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
If the jurors knowingly broke the law, they should be charged, prosecuted, and if convicted, sentenced in accordance with the law.

If they are not, the office of the District Attorney should explain exactly why not.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
The DA would just take the fifth...
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
If I remember correctly, this all started because she took a fifth... or couple of them.

3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well done, sir...well done.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't think grand jurors go through voir dire, Mandy, because there is no defense attorney present to challenge any of them for cause. Trial jurors are selected and must be acceptable to both the prosecution and the defense. Grand juries are assembled and jurors are chosen solely at the discreton of the district attorney. I'm sure he or she asks them questions like are you a US citizen, have you ever been convicted of a felony, what is the highest level of education you've received, where are you employed, stuff like that, to make sure a prospective juror is qualified, competent and able to serve on the grand jury, but I don't know. There may be just some form to fill out. I doubt questions regarding political affiliation or activism are asked, but in Travis County I wouldn't be surpised. Of course, in Austin asking people, are you a Democrat, would be redundant.

It is disturbing that several of the grand jurors knowingly broke the law to comment on the proceedings. (And why to the Houston Chronicle? Like the Austin American-Statesman isn't liberal enough.) I'm not sure what the penalty for breaking the secrecy of a grand jury is, probably a fine, but to my mind it should be grounds for the defense to squash the indictment.

However, then the district attorney would simply convene another grand jury and issue another indictment. Ronnie Earle had to convene six consecutive grand juries before he got an indictment on Tom Delay.

That's how Democrats role. Convene a grand jury, don't get an indictment. Convene another and another and another, as many as it takes, until you do get an indictment. Then have your butt buddies in the media plaster it all over the news. Smear your political opponents with accusations of corruption, abuse of power, official misconduct, whatever, and use those accusations for fundraising and advertisements. Force the defendant to spend enormous sums of money to clear his or her name. Even if the defendant is acquitted, or the verdict is overturned on appeal, the damage is done.

That's what drove Tom Delay out of politics. It cost him several hundred thousand dollars to clear his name in the appelate court. That's what forced Sarah Palin to resign from office. She couldn't do her job, because it was just one lawsuit or indictment after another, costing the taxpayers a lot of money.

Mr. Preston is exactly right. This whole thing is political from top to bottom, highly coordinated and preemptive. Notice the fundraising has already begun. And now grand jurors are breaking the law to comment on the prosecution's case, to counteract the defense's "spin." Already the Democrats are saying Rick Perry is costing the taxpayers $450 an hour in legal fee. Which is to say, look, you're costing the taxpayers a lot of money, why don't you just plead guilty, resign and go to jail for the next century? See how they make it sound like his defense is costing the taxpayers $450 an hour, every hour, instead of every billable hour the lawyers spend on the case?

This is why normal, decent people don't go into politics. It's too expensive to run a campaign, and once elected if you serve the public, abide by the Constitution and do your job effectively, which now is apparently a crime for a Republican, it's lawsuits, indictments, trials, legal fees, protests, propaganda, misinformation, to no end until you leave office having wished you had never run in the first place.

That is the strategy of the left, but it's going to backfire on them big time. The Democrats misplayed this one horribly, coming as it does right before the election. The whole world can now see how ugly and nasty these politics are, and how incompentent and corrupt these people are. And not just in Austin but nationwide.

If I were the head of the RNC, I would be making television and internet commercials with Lhemberg strapped to a chair with a spit bag over her head, asking a simple question. Is this who you want representing you and defending your rights? Then transpose a picture of whatever Democrat is running in each district. Short, simple, to the point. This could turn out to be a gold mine for Republicans, if they have the common sense to develop it.

Time to get down and dirt with these guys, sports fans. We have a country to save.

3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
I know it's tough to find an impartial grand jury in Austin. I suspect most of the Republicans in Austin are on the Governor's staff.

I also find it hard to believe that Perry would have taken the action he did against the drunk and disgusting harridan District Attorney of Travis County without checking it out thoroughly with legal counsel in advance. Perry insists it was fully - and legally - within his discretion to take the action he took. I suspect this situation fits the view of grand juries that says, "A prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich in front of a grand jury."
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
Especiallly when the D.A. goes out and hand-selects her Grand Jury from an organization of anti-ham-sandwich activists.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All