The call to strip professional licenses has spread not only to Trump officials and attorneys, but also to his former doctors. Democrats stated that positive public reports of Trump’s mental or physical health from doctors such as former White House Doctor Dr. Ronny Jackson and Dr. Sean Conley, be unethical. Conway outraged many liberals by downplaying dire reports of Trump’s Covid-19 condition and was denounced as “unethical, dishonest and shameful” and activists demanded “consequences” for his behavior from the medical panels.
That’s not another doctor’s reply on the news. Dr. Bandy Lee, a former professor at the School of Medicine and Yale Law School, made bizarre and unprofessional statements about the mental fitness of not only Trump but his supporters for four years. Lee, a favorite MSNBC expert, declared Trump to be mentally incapable and dangerous. I was one of the first to call Lee for violating the “Goldwater Rule” – an ethical rule that precludes diagnosing public figures without a personal evaluation session or basis. Even so, Painter, Norm Eisen, George Conway, and others ignored the ethical issue and used Lee’s diagnosis to declare Trump mentally incapable.
Big networks and newspapers couldn’t get enough as Lee, who was critical to keep the narrative going that Trump had to be removed as mentally ill after the 25th Amendment to the Constitution. It didn’t stop there, however (including declaring that Trump was worse than Hitler). She also declared Trump supporters to be mentally ill. Lee warned that Trump would effectively brainwash people and that characters like Alan Dershowitz were distorted by a “shared psychosis,” including sexual delusions like Dershowitz, which stated that he had a “perfect sex life.” This led to a complaint from Dershowitz to the Yale faculty that did not publicly denounce Lee for four years. It was not Lee’s outrageous statements about Trump, but her statement about Dershowitz that seemed to spur the Yale faculty into action. Head of Department Dr. John Krystal told Lee that she “violated psychiatric ethics remotely by“ diagnosing ”Dershowitz and that her“ recklessness of your comments makes it appear that they are selfish about your personal political beliefs and other possible personal pursuits. “
However, figures like Painter have dismissed not only the basis for the termination, but also allegations of unethical behavior. The painter admits that “there was no nuclear war, so our worst fears never arose,” but insists that the problem is the gold water rule, not Lee. While I’ve been one of Lee’s most vocal critics, I’ve raised concerns about Lee’s resignation, but unlike Painter, I believe she acted unethically. But even Yale doesn’t seem to care about the years of the Trump declarations, unlike those directed at Dershowitz. Likewise, many who have joined the press calls for proposals are no longer so righteously silent.
One of the loudest voices calling for lockdowns was former Clinton attorney (and Perkins Coie partner) Marc Elias, who called for lockdowns for “saying and doing so many things to undermine our democracy.” The irony has not been lost with many, as Elias not only fought inappropriate elections after his inauguration, but also formed a new group to initiate electoral challenges and litigation. However, the thousands of attorneys who have called for the banning of various Republican attorneys (as well as the banning of Republican senators) have been blatantly silent about calling for an ethical review of Elias’ past conduct.
Elias, who was sanctioned by a court (with fellow Perkins lawyers) last year, is accused of playing a key role in making false statements to the media and Congress about the Steele dossier. It was only after the election that the media pushed the campaign for clear evidence that Clinton was funding the dossier. (It was later announced that Obama was informed of Clinton’s alleged efforts to instigate a Russian collusion conspiracy against Trump.) Journalists confronted Elias and others that the Clinton campaign was making payments to Fusion as “legal fees” among the 5.6 Hid millions of dollars paid to the law firm.
Ken Vogel, a reporter for the New York Times, said Elias had “vigorously” denied involvement in the anti-Trump dossier. When Vogel attempted to tell the story, he said Elias “pushed back vigorously and said, ‘You (or your sources) are wrong. ‘”The Times reporter Maggie Haberman also wrote,” The people who were involved in the funding lied about it, and with holiness, for a year. “Even as the Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta, of Congress on this one When asked, he denied any contractual agreement with Fusion GPS, seated next to Elias, who allegedly said nothing to correct the false information given to Congress, and the question is whether Elias was trying to get his client to do it to correct the record and disclose the contract. Elias was known as the legal advisor for the campaign. If Podesta had refused such a contract or funding, Elias’ presence (and silence) would have added further support to the false claim.
Clinton and her campaign eventually admitted that the dossier was a campaign-funded document that Steele and others leaked to the media.
None of the thousands of debarment supporters have called for Elias to be investigated or even disfellowshipped for his alleged role in lying to the public and Congress. While many Trump attorneys have cited “spreading false information” in public, Elias’ alleged role in the false rejections on the Steele dossier did not even warrant a segment on MSNBC or CNN. By the same standard that applies to the Republican attorney, shouldn’t Elias be faced with the same investigation and clarification requirements? He might very well have an explanation, but few in the media seem inclined to demand one.
Instead, Elias created a new group, On the Docket, to raise funds to challenge elections. While Perkins is noted on some records, it is not clear whether Elias is placing orders with the company or whether the company is doing such work for the Democratic Party on a pro bono basis. The Lincoln Project recently came under fire after founding partners were accused of making a profit by giving up their own companies. (Elias’ group did not respond to a question whether his own company would receive such funding).
Let’s call it situation ethics. Lee and Elias are not unethical because they are not unpopular. Her alleged wrongdoing was necessary to fulfill narratives against Trump, who remains some kind of overarching ethical imperative. There will be no petitions with thousands of signatures for board reviews. No dramatic denunciations about behavior that does not interfere with a profession. Just keep silent if the situation calls for it.