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Discredited “Terrorism Expert” Steve Emerson Tries To Convict Holy Land Defendants Again On FOX News

Reported by Ellen - December 21, 2007 -

Discredited "terrorism expert" Steve Emerson was back on Hannity & Colmes last night (12/20/07) for at least his second attempt to publicly convict the five leaders of a Muslim charity, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, of terrorism financing charges despite their mistrial and partial acquittals last October. Since then, Emerson has dug up some juror who claims to have been bullied by another juror. The mistrial (based on three jurors’ recantation of their acquittal) is already old news but Emerson, aided and abetted by the FOX News producers who thought this worth discussing, tried to spin the bullying report into a conviction in the court of public opinion. Unfortunately for Emerson, Alan Colmes easily won the hearing. With video

As I have previously posted, Emerson has a history of peddling misinformation in his zeal to attack Muslims. He did it again last night. Was it just a coincidence that the substitute co-host, Mark Steyn, was a fellow Islamophobe?

Steyn amicably said that based on Emerson’s reporting, it looked as though one juror (the bully) had changed the course of the trial. He meant that were it not for the bully’s push for acquittal, the five defendants would have been found guilty.

Emerson agreed. “The one juror who spoke out… he said the government’s case was full of macaroni.” And after a swipe at the New York Times (for desiring to “trash the government”) Emerson said, “There were jurors who wanted to convict on all accounts. Others who were much more sympathetic to the prosecution. Ultimately, that one juror bullied everyone into believing or into intimidating them and ultimately getting them to agree to vote on an acquittal, even though at the time of the jury announcement, they stated to the judge that they disagreed with the jury foreman’s announcement.”

Actually, it was only three of the twelve jurors who recanted.

In an attempt at balance, Steyn suggested that if the government had made a better case, one juror wouldn’t have been able to sway eleven others.

Emerson insisted otherwise. He said the case was a difficult one because there were “financial transactions, there were lots of Arabic names, lots of different committees over in the West Bank and Gaza that were hard to remember but when the jurors tried to see information and look at the video tapes again, look at documents again, that one juror dissuaded everyone from looking at them.”

Then Alan Colmes stepped in. Their confrontation was something of a grudge match; their last several discussions have turned contentious. “You’re going to blame this on one juror,” Colmes asserted. “As Jonathan Turley has said, you know the famous law professor, this trial shows the government’s allegations in the first place were highly suspect and should probably never have brought them in the first place.”

Colmes correctly summarized Turley’s remarks, at least as far as they were reported in the LA Times. But Emerson dismissed them. “What are you talking about, Alan?” Emerson said derisively.

Colmes sarcastically quipped, “You want me to talk slower?”

“Maybe you shouldn’t talk,” Emerson said snidely. “Because Turley represents…”

Colmes continued, talking over the end of Emerson’s last sentence. “That the government shouldn’t have brought this case, that’s what the issue is… You get very insulting and you ought to stop doing that.”

Colmes went on to cite more of the LA Times article which included a statement from one other juror who felt the government’s case was weak.

Emerson dropped his pretense of impartiality. “They violated the law. They were providing money to Hamas! …You’re willing to defend the behavior of one juror who basically harassed, bullied, intimidated other jurors.”

Colmes cut him off. “No, Steve, I’m willing to defend the judicial system in this country. I’m willing to defend the process. And you don’t like the process when it doesn’t favor the result you want.”

“No, I’m not saying that at all,” Emerson contended. “I’m saying, let’s look at what the juror said. And the jurors, themselves, said that this one juror who sought out the limelight, he was the only one to speak (Emerson conveniently forgot about the second juror quoted in the LA Times as being critical of the government’s case), he fit in perfectly with the LA Times profile which is that it’s racial profiling. That’s absolutely not the case. It was a good case to bring (Emerson is not a lawyer) and we’ll see the re-match in April.”

Colmes said sarcastically, “Can’t wait.”