I learned the formula for success the hard way. During the summer of my senior year in high school, I missed two short putts on the final holes of club championship at my parents golf club. Staring down over the golf ball at the time, I lost concentration while thinking what it would be like to lose the championship in front of my then-former girlfriend and first infatuation. She was watching from a golf cart off the greens. At the time she had been dating an “older guy,” the ultimate winner of the championship who was playing in my foursome that fateful day. He had invited her to watch in an obvious effort to unnerve me.
Just a few weeks later my parents drove me to Durham, North Carolina so I could begin studies at Duke University. For months on end, after having choked on the 17th and 18th greens, I lay in bed at night thinking why I – as a scratch golfer – could have thrown away winning the club championship, particularly in such a humiliating way. I did not find an answer during my freshman year.
Later, when I graduated from Emory Law School and entered private practice as a trial attorney with the leading Miami litigation firm, it finally hit me after a crucial court hearing. There I had again “missed the ball” while thinking about the consequences of not winning a case – a case my supervising partner, Paul Larkin (a truly great litigator), had assigned to me.
The epiphany that finally came to me was I needed to concentrate on the task at hand, enjoy it, and stop worrying about winning or losing. This realization heightened as time went on in my legal career. It came into even sharper focus after I founded Judicial Watch in 1994.
Having experienced corruption during my later years as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Judicial Watch was, in effect, a “justice department” for the people. I conceived it as a fearless and uncompromising advocate for ethics and honesty in government and the legal profession. It was a vigilante public-interest group that would risk all to restore and preserve the Rule of Law.
As a former idealistic federal prosecutor, at my newly conceived organization I would turn the legal system and the courts upside down by becoming a no-holds-barred anti-corruption lawyer. I would be someone who would bring creatively fashioned cases that were legally sound but – given the politics inherent on the federal bench – might be long shots.
I began to realize it was not winning or losing that really counted. It was the steadfast resolve to take calculated legal risks that no one else would dare take for fear of losing. I was never one to play it safe!
And, during the 10 years I ran Judicial Watch as its chairman and general counsel, building it into the most prominent and powerful government watchdog ever created, I lost some cases that I should have won because of politics. But because I had learned not to fear “legal death” – and cheap shots by detractors in the liberal mainstream media – I also achieved major successes with cases before non-partisan judges that conventional lawyers would never have filed.
Observers of my work would often ask me why I filed so many cases, many of which were dismissed by politically biased federal judges. My response was Judicial Watch’s numerous cases were like a multi-warhead “MIRV” nuclear missile: if only 1 in 10 warheads got through the enemy’s anti-missile defenses, this would be enough to effect significant positive change.
And my successes proved numerous and great. At Judicial Watch, our cases exposed and prosecuted the famous Chinagate campaign-finance scandal which involved bribery and graft, the illegal use of FBI files to smear adversaries and a myriad of other Clinton crimes too numerous to list in this column. Along the way, thanks to the courageous federal judge Royce C. Lamberth – who by the grace of God was randomly assigned to several of my cases – I was able to depose nearly the entire Clinton White House and Ron Brown’s Commerce Department, revealing their rank criminality.
When I ran Judicial Watch, the watchdog I conceived of and founded did not just bring Freedom of Information Act cases (which is mostly what my former group does today) but also hard-hitting civil litigation that would sometimes even give rise to criminal contempt proceedings. Indeed I am the only lawyer in American history to have a court rule that a sitting president committed a crime. This felony was perpetrated by Bill Clinton when he illegally smeared a woman he had sexually assaulted in the Oval Office.
After I left Judicial Watch in 2003 to run for the U.S. Senate and lost, I founded Freedom Watch. Freedom Watch now files the hard-hitting lawsuits I used to bring at my former group. I lost several cases during the Obama years, thanks to politicized Clinton and Obama appointed judges. But I also broke through with major successes, twice enjoining illegal mass surveillance by Obama’s intelligence agencies, as well as helping kill Obama’s illegal executive order granting amnesty to over 5 million illegal aliens. And then there was my role in the successful criminal defense of Cliven Bundy and his sons, who stood down federal tyranny at their ranch in Bunkerville, Nevada.
Now with our new great president, Donald Trump, at Freedom Watch I continue to soldier on to reap success, without any fear of losing! The threat posed to the nation by the “witch hunt” of special counsel Robert Mueller to what is perhaps our last chance to “Make America Great Again” is daunting. But as I attempt to legally slay this modern-day Goliath before he is able to take out our “fearless leader,” I think back to the last two holes of the club championship during the summer of 1969. Now I simply focus, with laser-like precision, on getting the job done.
We live in treacherous and dire times and must not be driven by superficial won/lost tallies. What we now need is the resolve to land one major knockout punch to rid the nation of this corrupt, dangerous and out-of-control tyrant of an “unspecial” counsel. Go to Freedom Watch to learn about and support my cases to remove Mueller … before it’s too late.