America’s Frontline Doctors Founder Dr. Simone Gold before entering prison revealed that the judge who gave her the extraordinary sentence of two months jail time, asked her to date him - an offer she refused. After accompanying Dr. Gold to a couple of meals at Stanford Law School, U.S. District Judge Christopher “Casey” Cooper, an Obama-appointee, attempted to take the friendship to a different level with an invitation to an off-campus date.
Two decades later, when Dr. Gold faced Judge Cooper as a defendant having pled guilty to a misdemeanor of being in a restricted space, she took his failure to recuse himself as a sign that he did not hold any grudge against her for declining his proposition. Punishing someone for refusing such an offer was the stuff of Harvey Weinstein, not a judge … she hoped. Judge Cooper appears to have gone out of his way to prove the baselessness of such hope.
When recusal is not a choice
In truth, it was not Judge Cooper’s prerogative to decline recusal. Title 29 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Section 2200.68 (b), governing the mandatory recusal of federal judges, provides:
A Judge shall recuse themself under circumstances that would require disqualification of a Federal judge under Canon 3(C) of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges.
The referenced canon of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges provides:
A judge shall disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned, including but not limited to instances in which: (a) the judge has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party …
It would certainly be reasonable for Judge Cooper’s impartiality to be questioned when he is judging whether or not there will be prison time for a woman who declined his advances, even before he handed down a completely aberrant sentence of jail time for trespass, as he scolded Dr. Gold from the bench for not showing remorse for deaths that didn't happen, blamed her for not helping an officer who fell down after he was shown a video in which Dr. Gold clearly had no way to reach the officer, due to the dense crowd between them, and who, in any case, was helped to his feet by other protestors.
Judge Cooper did not help dispel doubts about his impartiality by applauding anti-free speech socialists disrupting SCOTUS while blasting January 6 protestors because some disrupted Congress.
Financial conflict of interest
The same canon of the Code of Conduct, in section 3(C)(1)(c), also makes disqualification mandatory when,
the judge knows that … the judge’s spouse … has a financial interest in the subject matter in controversy … or any other interest that could be affected substantially by the outcome of the proceeding;
Judge Cooper’s wife, Amy Jeffress, also a lawyer, boasts a client list including Lisa Page who, along with paramour Peter Strzok, became the faces of the FBI’s anti-Trump sting operation culture.
Judge Cooper knows of his wife’s financial compensation by clients like Page who are diametrically opposed to the protest of January 6 but did not recuse himself from any January 6 case assigned to him.
Taking it personally
Judge Cooper expressed the opposite concern, though, for Dr. Gold’s finances. Cooper was personally offended, “that millions of American citizens freely chose to financially support her political positions in defending medical choice and freedom of speech.”
Harsher than the rest
In fact, Cooper handed Dr. Gold a harsher sentence than even other January 6 protestors, sentencing one defendant to no jail time despite his being filmed smoking marijuana in the Capitol rotunda that day, giving rise to the question whether Dr. Gold is the newest #metoo victim.
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