July 23, 2010

By Jim Frazier

An organization called the “American Grand” has convened a Grand Jury and indicted President Obama for the crime of treason. Will their indictment be acknowledged in a U.S. District court of law? Are common citizens able to indict an elected official?

“Yes,” says Hal Von Luebbert,” author of “Citizen Power Now.” “The US government has no power to bring anyone to trial. The government can NOT find any person guilty of anything. Both of those powers belong to The People through use of a jury.”

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Colorado does not agree.  “I don’t think any citizen- convened Grand Jury has power to be enforced in a court of law,” said Jeff Dorschnor, spokesperson for the U.S. Attorneys office in Denver.

Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck echoed the same idea. “I’ve never heard of a Grand Jury called by citizens,” he said.

Mike Saccone, the Colorado Department of Law’s spokesperson, said, “There are no provisions for formation of citizen grand juries in Colorado. That is the way the statues stand now.”

Von Lubbuert disagrees. “Our elected officials have lost the vision of our forefathers. The Bill of Rights is still the supreme law of our land, and that law provides for indictment only by a Grand Jury composed of common people. That law provides for conviction only by a Petit Jury, a jury of your peers. Think about it,” he said. “When you go to a trial, the charges are brought by “The People.”  The jury decides whether you are innocent or guilty – not the judge. The jury does not have to follow the law. In fact, the jury can ignore the law and set free an obviously guilty person if they want. The jury is the final word, not the judge, not the prosecutors. The power to create freedom belongs to the jury.”

But the power to convene a Grand Jury is not recognized today in America by most judges. Leo Donofrio, a New Jersey attorney explains. “The constitutional power of ‘we the people’ sitting as grand jurors has been subverted by a deceptive play on words since 1946 when the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure were enacted. Regardless, the power still exists in the Constitution and has been upheld by the United States Supreme Court.”
Donofrio says the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides the power for a Grand Jury of the people without reliance upon a U.S. Attorney to concur in such criminal charges.

The issue has been discussed often in legal journals. Roger Roots, writing in the “Creighton Law Review,” stated: “In theory, the grand jury is a body of independent citizens that can investigate any crime or government misdeed that comes to its attention. In practice, however, the grand jury is dependent upon the prosecutor to bring cases and gather evidence.

Thus, while the grand jury still exists as an institution -- in a sterile, watered-down, and impotent form -- its decisions are the mere reflection of the United States Justice Department.

The powers for citizen grand juries have been affirmed by several Supreme Court decisions. Justice Powell, in United States v. Calandra, 414 U.S. 338, 343 (1974), stated:
"The grand jury's historic functions survive to this day.
Its responsibilities continue to include both the determination of whether there is probable cause to believe a crime has been committed and the protection of citizens against unfounded criminal prosecutions. Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665, 686-687 (1972)."

In United States v. Williams, 504 U.S. 36 at 48 (1992), Justice Scalia, delivering the opinion of the court, laid down the law of the land:

“'[R]ooted in long centuries of Anglo-American history,… the grand jury is mentioned in the Bill of Rights, but not in the body of the Constitution. It has not been textually assigned, therefore, to any of the branches described in the first three Articles. It "'is a constitutional fixture in its own right.'"

Robert Campbell, founder of the American Grand Jury, says that this passage sets the stage for a revolutionary new FOURTH BRANCH of the Government in the United States. “Besides, the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches, I submit that there is a fourth branch, THE GRAND JURY, and "we the people” when sitting as grand jurors, are, as Scalia quoted in US v. Williams, “a constitutional fixture in its own right."

He quotes more of Scalia’s opinion regarding the Grand Jury:

In fact, the whole theory of its function is that it belongs to no branch of the institutional Government, serving as a kind of buffer or referee between the Government and the people.

“The law is on our side,” Campbell says. “We the People have the right and power under the 5th Amendment of the Constitution to charge this government with crimes whether the US Attorneys or the federal judges agree with us. As the Supreme Court has so brilliantly stated, we are the "buffer between the Government and the people."

Campbell’s American Grand Jury team is actively pursuing decisions in a number of United States District Courts located in multiple jurisdictions including: the District of Columbia, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Kansas, New York, Texas, California, Arizona, Connecticut, and others.
Campbell says that a federal judge, Royce Lamberth, U.S. District Court in Washington, DC, has issued two opinions in response to the filings including the statement that the presentments are constitutionally permitted…”

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