American Scandal

Every scandal begins with a lie. But the truth will come out. And then comes the fallout and the outrage.

Scandals have shaped America since its founding. From business and politics to sports and society, we look on aghast as corruption, deceit and ambition bring down heroes and celebrities, politicians and moguls. And when the dust finally settles, we’re left to wonder: how did this happen? Where did they trip up, and who is to blame? From the creators of American History Tellers, Business Wars and Tides of History comes American Scandal, where we take you deep into the heart of America’s dark side to look at what drives someone to break the rules and what happens when they’re caught. Hosted by Lindsay Graham.

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The Chicago Seven | Closing Statement | 3

The Chicago Seven | Closing Statement | 3

Tue, 02 May 2023 07:01

The Chicago Seven secure a star witness. The jury returns with a verdict.

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Hey, prime members, you can listen to American Scandal add-free on Amazon Music, download the app today. It's November 5, 1969, and the trial of the Chicago 8 is about to return from recess. The federal courtroom in Chicago is mostly quiet as both the defense and prosecution sit waiting for the judge to return from chambers. And today, the political activists on trial seem to be on good behavior. But one of the co-defendants Bobby Seale isn't planning to keep up the act for much longer. Seale is a leader of the Black Panthers, a political group fighting for racial justice. And he was one of several speakers who came to Chicago last summer, where demonstrators were planning to protest at the Democratic National Convention. Seale wasn't involved in planning the protest. He only agreed at the last minute to come give a few speeches. But now Seale is being charged with conspiracy to incite a right, charges stemming from clashes that broke out between protesters and the Chicago police. Seale believes the charges are nothing more than a political stunt, orchestrated by the administration of President Richard Nixon. And at first, Seale wanted to believe the trial would at least follow basic procedure. But he was quickly proven wrong. Seale's attorney had to miss the trial because of health issue. So Seale took a risky step and decided to represent himself in court. But judge Julius Hoffman didn't respond well. The two men got into several heated arguments and Hoffman took the drastic step of ordering federal marshals to punish Seale for speaking out. A skirmish broke out in court and a member of law enforcement ended up kicking Seale in the groin. Seale was then carried away to a back room where he was shackled to a chair. One of the marshals wrapped duct tape around his mouth, leaving him gasping for breath. When Seale was bound and gagged, he was returned to court where he sat immobile and silenced. Press images of Seale bound and gagged in the courtroom prompted an immediate public backlash. And after three days, Judge Hoffman relented and allowed Seale to return to court without restraints. It was a small concession to Seale's basic constitutional rights. But even though they removed the duct tape from his mouth and the chains from his ankles, Seale knows the judge still wants him to stay quiet. But that's not going to happen. Seale has a legal right to represent himself in court, and he's not going to let the judge scare him into silence. Once court is back in session, Seale rises to address the newest witness, a sheriff from California. But Seale doesn't even get out a single word before Judge Hoffman launches into another heated exchange. Mr. Seale, I'll have to ask you to sit down, please. Seale glances at the sheriff who's sitting in the witness box. He's been planning to question the sheriff about his politics and views on race, points that Seale believes are relevant to the case. Your Honor, I think I have a right to know if this guy has a problem with the Black Panthers. Now, Officer, have you ever killed a Black Panther party member? Officer, do not answer that. Baylif, I'd like you to excuse the jury, please. Your Honor, where are they going? They should hear this. I would like to note for the record that Defended Bobby Seale has been guilty of disobedient conduct throughout the trial. He has disrupted the orderly administration of justice, and that's a lie. I stood up and spoke on my own behalf. I demonstrated that I wanted to cross examine a witness. Why do you insist on making things difficult for me, Mr. Seale? You're making things pretty difficult for me. I will also note that the record cannot reflect the true intensity and extent of Mr. Seale's ongoing disruptions, which in some instances were accompanied by physical violence. That is another lie. I never attacked anyone, and you know it. I never hit anyone. I was the one who got hit. I was the one who got chained and gagged. That's enough, Mr. Seale. No, no, I'm not done. Mr. Seale, the court can no longer tolerate your interruptions. It's now clear that further disciplinary measures won't be sufficient. Seale shoots a look over his shoulders, waiting to see whether the federal marshals are going to return for another brawl. But instead, Judge Hoffman announces he's declaring a mistrial, but only for Bobby Seale, who will no longer be involved in the case. Seale almost begins to celebrate when the judge makes his next announcement. He's sentencing Seale to four years in prison for contempt of court. He then orders the marshals to seize and remove Seale. The courtroom breaks out into a frenzy, and Seale looks around panicked, waiting for someone to intervene. The injustice is staggering. First, Seale was denied his right to represent himself in court, and now he's being sentenced to prison in a unilateral decision by a judge who clearly hates him. Seale begins to protest when a pair of rough hands grip him by the shoulders. A marshal begins leading Seale out of the courtroom, and as he's marched away, Seale takes one last look at his seven former co-defendants. Who appear equal parts shocked and hopeless. Seale knows this turn of events does not bode well for the other activists. America's legal system has proven not to be interested in delivering justice, and unless they find some way to fight back against Judge Julius Hoffman, the verdict in this case is nothing but a foregone conclusion. You want to know what's going on in the world. You want to have smart conversations. You also have a lot going on. I can help. My name's Jeff Pierre, and I host a podcast called The Seven From The Washington Post. Get the seven most important stories every weekday morning and just minutes. Follow now wherever you're listening. In a four-part series, The Generation Y podcast unravels the story of Khalif Browder, a young boy falsely accused of stealing a backpack and held it records island for three years without trial. This is a story about a young life caught in the middle of the justice system. Listen to Generation Y on Amazon Music, or wherever you get your podcasts. From Wondery, I'm Lindsey Graham, and this is American Scandal. In August of 1968, thousands of protesters demonstrated at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The goal was to pressure the Democratic Party to end its support for the Vietnam War, but while the demonstrations were initially peaceful, the events soon grew violent as protesters clashed with Chicago police. The following year, eight of the activists involved in the protests were charged with federal crimes, including conspiring to incite a riot. The co-defense believed the charges were politically motivated, and that the Nixon administration was trying to silence critics of the war. And as the group went to trial, they grew increasingly convinced that America's criminal justice system had been rigged in an effort to punish social activists. Judge Julius Hoffman ruled repeatedly in favor of the prosecution using court procedure to handicap the defense. But the Chicago Seven and their attorneys did not stop fighting, and in the final weeks of the trial, they managed to secure a star witness, one who had the potential to upend the entire case. This is Episode 3, Closing Statement. It's late November 1969, and the mood is somber in a small apartment in Chicago. In a living room, political activists Abbey Hoffman is sitting with his head resting between his hands. Beside Hoffman are his six co-defendants, the activists now being called the Chicago Seven, now that Bobby Seale has been severed from the case. Hoffman can see the men are weary and emotionally deflated. Some of them almost look ready to throw in the towel. And Hoffman knows that's exactly what the government has been aiming for. The trial is about to enter its third month, and every step of the way Hoffman and his co-defendants have faced bullying and potentially illegal maneuvers from America's criminal justice system. The troubles began before the trial even started. Judge Julius Hoffman denied the defendants their choice of legal counsel, refusing to postpone the trial when their lead attorney had to deal with a medical emergency. Since then, the prosecution offered what appeared to be false evidence and managed to remove a member of the jury who could have been sympathetic to the defendants. The defense team has tried to counter these attacks, but they haven't had much success, as Judge Hoffman has openly supported the prosecution at every turn. He sustained nearly all of their objections and blocked the defense from calling key witnesses. The judge even ejected several of the defendants' black supporters from the courtroom spectator section without offering any explanation. It's all begun to add up, and Hoffman knows that he and the other members of the Chicago 7 have reason to be pessimistic, but Hoffman refuses to give in. Today, the group has gathered to review their upcoming strategy for the trial. Some of Hoffman's co-defendants may want to move forward with a more measured approach, aiming to win over one or two of the jurors with a calm, rational argument. But Hoffman believes it's cowardly, or even dishonest to take such a safe approach. Hoffman is the co-founder of the Yippies, a radical organization fighting for social change. And if he's learned anything from America's counter-culture, it's that being quiet and polite is not how you win the battle. Hoffman is about to begin the conversation, but his fellow activist and co-defendant, Tom Hayden, beats him to it. Alright guys, it's our turn to call witnesses. Start laying out our case. I've got some ideas, and I'm sure you do too, but I thought I'd go first if you don't mind. Hoffman shakes his head, grinning. He's not surprised to see Hayden trying to assert his dominance. Hayden is a prominent activist with a new left, and this isn't the first time he's positioned himself as the group's leader. Well Tom, we all know there's not much to figure out. The trial's not being held in a courtroom. It's a big stage. And it's about to be showtime. Happy? Come on. We went over this. The trial is not some joke. I'm sorry, are we talking about the same trial? The one where the judge had Bobby Seale wrapped up in duct tape? I'm not saying it's been fair. But we owe it to ourselves to play by the rules unless you want to spend a decade in prison. Playing by the rules? Not serious. Has the prosecution once, even once, followed the rules governing a fair trial? No. Judge Hoffman sure isn't following the rules. Look, Abby, I'm not denying that they're stacking the odds against us. Well then if you admit it's not a fair trial, then you can't act like we stand a chance by playing by the rules. Yeah? What's your idea? You want to sing a song? Maybe we should take turns reading a poem by Alan Ginsburg. Well, but hey, you know what? I like that. So why don't we practice? I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness starving hysterical. Look, enough. I make a ridiculous suggestion and I can't even tell if you're taking it seriously. Abby, when are you going to drop the act and start thinking about actually winning this case? Hoffman turns from Hayden and strikes a more solemn tone as he addresses the other members of the Chicago Seven. Look guys, I know Tom here thinks I'm a clown. But sometimes if you want to change people's hearts and their minds, you got to put on a bit of theater. Show them the truth about how things really work. Now I say if we want to win, we got to disrupt this trial. Every chance we get will show the country this whole thing isn't fair. It's not justice. It is a joke. It's a joke, a sham version of democracy. And we're the ones who can wake people up to show them that truth. Yeah, even if showing them the truth means going to prison, Tom, you and I both know history. A lot of important people sacrifice themselves trying to do the right thing. It's our turn. Hayden shakes his head. You're implying I'm some kind of coward. I'm not committed to the cause. Now all I'm saying is the world is watching. Remember that. They've been watching from the beginning. They were watching the streets of Chicago. They're watching the courtroom now. So what do you want them to see? Hayden spends a moment wrestling with the question before turning back to Hoffman and asking whether he's willing to compromise. They can make some noise, even call out Judge Hoffman directly. But Hayden still wants to present a strong case, one that could earn them a hung jury. There's no reason they can't take a moral stance and make this about something more than just the trial, while also doing everything in their power to remain free men. Hoffman stands and wraps Hayden in a big theatrical hug and says it's a plan. The Chicago Seven are going to make a scene, but along the way, they'll make sure to put up a good fight too and try and stay out of jail. It's early December 1969. In a federal court house in Chicago, attorney William Cunsellor rises from the defense table and begins making his way over to the jury. Sitting in the jury box are 10 women and 2 men. A group that Constellard believes is capable of rendering an impartial verdict for the Chicago Seven. In while it's been a grueling few months for the defense, Cunsellor knows the fight is far from over. In just a few moments, Cunsellor is going to begin presenting the defense's case. They've managed to line up over 100 witnesses, and the defense's goal is to show how Chicago City officials and local police were the ones responsible for the violence at the DNC, not the defense. Cunsellor is well aware that his clients want to turn this trial into an act of political theater, and he understands the strategy. They want to call out America's criminal justice system, showing how this trial has been unfair on every meaningful level, and in part, they're hoping the emotional appeal will sway some of the members of the jury. But Cunsellor is a skilled lawyer, and for now, he's planning to take a more straightforward approach, with thoughtically building a case with witness testimony and heart evidence. Cunsellor is a former court evidence. So Cunsellor steps to the center of the courtroom, and begins presenting his case for the defense. He tells the court he'd like to call his first witness, Dr. Edward James Sparling. Sparling is the president emeritus of Roosevelt University in Chicago. He recently led an independent commission that studied another conflict between Chicago police and activists, months before the convention. His group published a report on the incident titled Descent and Disorder, and found that Chicago police had been guilty of using brutal tactics. So Cunsellor tells the court that Dr. Sparling can provide key testimony for the defense. His report revealed a pattern of violence in the Chicago PD, and the co-defendants had read that documented history. It is why the defendants decided to come to Chicago, prepared with protective gear, including helmets. Cunsellor reminds the court that of course the prosecution came to a different conclusion about the helmets. The government believes that by showing up prepared for violence, it's some sort of proof that the activists were preparing to attack the police, that the gear was evidence of an offensive maneuver. But Dr. Sparling can show that the government's interpretation is far from the truth. So Cunsellor would like to begin by introducing the report authored by Sparling's commission, looking at the previous clashes in Chicago four months before the DNC. Cunsellor pauses, waiting for Judge Julius Hoffman to allow this routine admission of evidence, but instead Hoffman shakes his head and denies the request. Cunsellor shoots the judge in a credulous look. He says, Your Honor, we are not going to be permitted to have this witness introduce the report, and Judge Hoffman shakes his head again and says, that's my ruling, before ordering Cunsellor to move on. Cunsellor stands frozen in shock. Admitting this kind of evidence is nothing more than a routine matter at trial. And this specific report offers proof from an independent commission that the Chicago Seven had no intention of inciting violence. Cunsellor thought he might finally have a chance to begin building a strong case, but this rejection makes it abundantly clear. Judge Hoffman is still dead set on undermining the defense, and it's not going to get any easier from here. About a week later, William Cunsellor takes a seat at the defense table and gets ready for the prosecution to begin a cross examination. Cunsellor just finished questioning one of his witnesses, a woman named Linda Morse, who works as an anti-war activist. Morse did a good job on the stand, recapping some of the weeks leading up to the protests. She explained how she and co-defendant Dave Dellinger tried to get permits and how city officials refused, setting in motion a clash between law enforcement and protesters. Morse also did a good job painting a picture of the house size response from Chicago police, who turned the protest into a war zone. Overall, Cunsellor was very happy with the testimony. He believes Linda Morse offered a compelling argument, showing why Chicago police and city officials ultimately bear the blame for the violence at the DNC. And so, as he settles back down at the defense table, Cunsellor lets down his guard, feeling satisfied. He just needs to sit and take some notes on the prosecution's cross examination, push back if there's any unfair line of questioning. Soon enough, federal prosecutor Richard Schultz rises, and from the start, his questions for Linda Morse are designed to make her sound like a violent radical. He gets her to confirm that she practices shooting rifles, and that she's trained in karate. Then Schultz pivots, and starts asking Morse about her political beliefs. He gets her to admit that she's no longer a pacifist, and that she believes the country is ready for a revolution. Schultz then gets to the crux of it, asking, the only way you can change this country is by a violent revolution. Isn't that your thought? But Morse responds that people have a right to defend themselves. And when the prosecutor repeats the question, suggesting again that Morse is a violent radical, she says no. The way we are going to change the country is by political revolution. Morse then goes on to explain why change is necessary in America, that people from marginalized groups are fighting for their liberty, and face excessive brutality from police. But in another sudden pivot, the prosecutor asks the court to strike her comments as a relevant. Constler rises from the defense table in immediate protest. The prosecution just led along and delivered inquiry into Linda Morse's politics. The questions were designed to paint her as a violent and unhinged political activist, and to get the jury to forget her useful testimony for the defense. But Morse clearly performed better than the prosecution expected. She came off as humane and sympathetic. So now the prosecution is trying to get those ideas stricken from the record. Constler won't have it. He tells the judge that the prosecution was asking intensely political questions, and that Morse was just trying to give a political answer in response. But as always, Judge Hoffman signed with the prosecution. He tells Constler that this is not a political case. This is a criminal case. I can't go into politics here in this court. Constler and the judge go back and forth a couple more times, but again, Constler is overruled. And the judge hands the prosecution another victory. Constler slums back into his chair, feeling demoralized. This may look like an American courtroom, but the ideals of a just and fair trial disappeared from here a long time ago. And Constler can't get over the judge's claim that this trial isn't about politics. But as he sits doing an anger, suddenly Constler gets an idea. The truth is, this trial has always been about politics. The charges themselves were a political stunt from the Nixon administration, and maybe that's the answer. If the defense can prove that this case is all about politics, and that it's not as the judge claims a criminal case, then the defense may be able to get passed all the underhanded maneuvers by the judge in prosecution. And they might be able to win over a couple members of the jury and set the Chicago 7 free. American scandal is sponsored by BetterHelp. Have you heard that AJR song World Smallest Violin? It's everywhere, all over TikTok. And I heard it a lot this weekend, as my daughter was in control of the tunes of the car. The song is summed up in the verse, somewhere in the universe, somewhere someone's got it worse. Wish that made it easier. Wish I didn't feel the hurt. It's a super catchy song with a super relatable subject. Maybe you don't deserve to feel the way you do, but you do. And that's a great question to discuss with a therapist, someone who's trained to listen to you blow up into smithereens and spew your tiny symphony. And if you're thinking of giving therapy a try, BetterHelp is a great option. As the world's largest therapy service, BetterHelp has matched 3 million people with professionally licensed and bedded therapists available 100% online. Plus, it's affordable. Just fill out a brief questionnaire to match with a therapist. And if things aren't clicking, you can easily switch to a new therapist any time. It really couldn't be simpler. No waiting rooms, no traffic, no endless searching for the right therapist. Find more balance with BetterHelp. Visit slash AS today to get 10% off your first month. That's slash AS. American scandal is sponsored by Audible. I love when one good thing leads to another. I recently discovered an Audible original featuring one of my favorite songwriters, Jeff Tweety. He appears on volume 35 of Audible series, Words and Music. And I enjoyed it. But even better, it led me to discovering that somehow I had missed Tweety's 2019 book, Let's Go, So We Can Get Back, A Memoir of Recording and Discoording with Wilco, etc. Rabbit holes like these can be fun. And Audible has thousands to go down, whether you're tracking a favorite author, or narrator, or subject. And like all Audible members, I get one credit every month good for any title in the entire premium selection, regardless of price to keep forever, which gives me full access to all the best sellers, new releases, and Audible originals, and more. The Audible app makes it easy to listen anytime, anywhere, while doing chores, exercising, or whenever you might need inspiration from one of your musical heroes. So get listening. New members can try Audible free for 30 days. Visit slash AS, or text AS to 500-500. It's mid-January 1970, and Tom Hayden is driving a rental car through northern Virginia, about 20 minutes outside Washington, D.C. Hayden pulls off the highway, and heads into a suburban neighborhood full of large houses and tall barren trees. After driving a few blocks, he parks the car, and kills the engine. Hayden steps out and feels the rush of cold air against the skin. As he begins making his way to a three-story house, exchanges a nervous look with the men who joined him for this trip, his co-defendant John Freundes, and their defense attorney Leonard Wineglass. It's been a long day of travel, coming all the way from Chicago. And while nothing is certain, Hayden is feeling cautiously optimistic. The three men were finally able to secure a meeting with Ramsey Clark, the former U.S. Attorney General, and a potential star witness for the defense. Clark served under former president Lyndon Johnson. And when he was in office, Clark was asked to examine the clashes at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Ultimately, he chose not to prosecute the leaders of the protest, saying they were not solely to blame for the violence that erupted. But Clark was later overruled. Lyndon Johnson left the White House at the beginning of 1969, and Richard Nixon's Attorney General, John Mitchell, came to a different conclusion. Mitchell chose to prosecute Hayden and his fellow activists. A move Hayden has always believed was political. But proving that is difficult and still won't likely be enough to sway a jury. Hayden and his co-defendants need hard evidence. So today, Hayden is going to try to convince the former Attorney General to take the stand, and explain to the jury why the Chicago Seven should never have been prosecuted in the first place. Hayden, froins, and wine glass across the yard, reach the front door of Clark's house. Hayden knocks, and when the door swings open, he finds Ramsey Clark, welcoming them with a friendly smile. Guys, come on in, it's freezing out there. Hayden and the two other men step inside and follow Clark into a study with wood-paneled walls in a large bookcase. But as Hayden glances across the room, he notices two men in suits standing by the fireplace. Hayden turns back to Clark. I'm sorry, sir, who are these two? Well, time I appreciate you coming all the way from Chicago. But we couldn't do this meeting just the four of us. These two gentlemen are with the Department of Justice. I felt it was only proper to inform them that you were coming here. So they were sent to observe and take notes, I hope you don't mind. Hayden tries not to lose his cool. These men are likely to report straight back to their boss, John Mitchell, and probably help the prosecution in Chicago. But Hayden knows he doesn't have much of a choice. If this is what Clark wants, he'll just have to go along with it. Okay, Mr. Clark, that's fine. We do appreciate you're taking the time to meet with us. And I know you don't have all day, so I'll try to make this brief. We're aware that you declined to indict us back when you were the sitting attorney general. So to start with, could you explain why you made that decision? Well, the why of it is pretty simple. My staff in Chicago told me that they spoke with your co-dependent, many Davis. They said that he was trying to get permits in the lead up to the convention. They also said that while Davis was pretty flexible, pretty reasonable, that wasn't the case for the officials in Chicago. So it's your understanding that the city officials were at least partly to blame for what happened. I think so, yeah, that's right. And I learned it wasn't just an issue with the permits. I just can't account for what sounded like some, well, pretty upsetting police brutality. Well, that's no lie. I can give you my own first-hand account. But it's one thing to hear that stuff from me or some other activists. It's almost like we're expected to accuse the police to something. It would be something else entirely if we could get the testimony of a former attorney general of the United States. Yeah, Tom. Well, I've got to admit, I've been thinking about this a lot. And I don't know if it's my place to get involved. This is a highly visible trial you've been making national headlines for months. Yeah, we have. And you, sir, could be the difference between me and six other men going to prison, just because the president doesn't like our politics. You may be right. If that's the case, please come to Chicago. Give your testimony. You don't have to pick sides or get involved in the fight, just date the facts, and then you can come home to Virginia. For a moment, Clark stares at the ground, looking troubled. Hey, knows this is a major decision for the former attorney general. He's no longer in power, but testifying in the Chicago trial would invariably thrust him back into the spotlight and subject him to withering public scrutiny. But when Clark looks back up, he gives the men a nod and says he's willing to testify, believing it's the right thing to do. But justice quickly, Clark receives pushback from one of the men from the Department of Justice standing over by the fireplace. The official steps forward and says that if Clark testifies in Chicago, he could damage his reputation. It'll seem like he's injecting politics into a federal trial, a process that isn't supposed to be about Democrats or Republicans. But Clark says this isn't about politics, and it doesn't matter that he served under a Democratic president or that the current administration is run by a Republican. All that matters is the truth, making sure the jury is equipped with the facts. Clark's decision is final. He'll be there in Chicago, prepared to take the stand. It's January 28, 1970, and federal prosecutor Richard Schultz is preparing to navigate one of the most crucial moments in the trial of the Chicago 7. Somehow, the defense got former attorney General Ramsey Clark to testify. When Clark was in office, he chose not to prosecute the activists, and by getting Clark to come take the stand, Schultz knows the defense may now have a silver bullet. A strong argument that the case is politically motivated, and the president Nixon's administration is just trying to silence his critics. Schultz believes that line of argument is specious at best. He was in Chicago during the protests. He saw activists taunting the police and inviting trouble. He doesn't believe for a second that they wanted a peaceful protest. And at the same time, the defendants have made a mockery of the courtroom. They blown kisses at the jury, performed handstands in court, even draped the defense table with the flag of the V-S. The enemy, American troops, are fighting right now in South Vietnam. Schultz has no sympathy for these political radicals, and he believes it's the job of the federal government to hold them accountable, making sure they don't do any more damage to America's democracy in the courtroom or in the streets. So Schultz is going to do everything in his power to block the former attorney General's testimony, and avoid giving the defense an easy way out. The court is about to resume session when Schultz stands and tells Judge Julius Hoffman that he'd like to make a request. He's aware Ramsey Clark has been subpoenaed to testify, but if the former attorney general is going to take the stand, the jury should not be present for his testimony. Across the aisle, lead defense attorney William Cumsler jumps up from his seat and calls the request unacceptable, saying it's a violation of the defendant's rights. The former attorney general at the United States is willing to testify before a jury, what he has to say is highly relevant to the case, and should not be turned into a private conversation. Judge Julius Hoffman looks at the two attorneys, then rules that Clark can be brought to the stand for some preliminary questioning without the jury. If the judge deems the defense's questions to be relevant, he'll allow the jury to hear the testimony later. Schultz represses a smile. This wasn't exactly the ruling he was after, but it's good enough. A minute later, Ramsey Clark steps into the courtroom looking dapper and a dark-ray suit. He takes the seat in the witness stand, and then the defense begins his preliminary questioning without the jury. William Cumsler asks Clark about his conversations with former president Lyndon Johnson. Johnson wants to know what the two men discussed around the time of the 1968 Democratic National Convention, but as soon as the question is asked, prosecutor Schultz embarks into his next plane of attack. He objects to the question, saying that these discussions involve national security and should not be made public. Judge Hoffman nods and sustains, striking down the defense's question. Cumsler looks baffled, and he makes a vain attempt to change the judge's mind, where the argument goes nowhere. And over the next hour, Schultz continues with the same line of attack, objecting to the defense's questions at every opportunity. Judge Hoffman continually sides with the prosecution, and in the end, the former attorney general is only able to provide snippets of information, nothing that could help the defense. So when Cumsler finishes his preliminary questions, Schultz decides it's time to go for the jugular. He tells the judge that he doesn't think Clark can provide any relevant or material evidence to the case. Therefore, Schultz does not believe Clark should be allowed to give public testimony in front of a jury. Again, Judge Hoffman nods agreeing with the argument. And with that, he makes a final decision, saying the former US Attorney General is barred from testifying. Neither of the legal teams can even mention to the jury that Clark was here in court. Schultz glances over at the defendants and their attorneys, and can see that they look crestfallen. And while Schultz certainly doesn't enjoy such a lot-sided victory, he's still pleased. The defense is now without their star witness. They've got nothing. So it's only a matter of time before this trial wraps up, and jury comes back with a guilty verdict. Two weeks later, Attorney William Cumsler sits down at the defense table, begins paging through a yellow legal pad full of handwritten notes. Cumsler has written down a lot of big, heady ideas, lots of impassioned arguments and high-minded thoughts about justice. But in the end, the speech only comes down to a single demand. The jury should find the defendants not guilty. Cumsler puts down the legal pad and sits back in his chair, trying to call himself. In a few minutes, he's going to give closing arguments in the trial of the Chicago 7. It's been a long journey. And while at times it's been harrowing, there have been some highlights. The defense ended up calling 104 witnesses, including poet Alan Ginsberg, folk singer Judy Collins, and comedian Dick Gregory. The defense wanted to convey the idea that this trial is not just about a set of limited criminal charges. It's about civil rights and the peace movement. Cumsler believes he's done a decent job, even though Judge Julius Hoffman has stacked the odds in the prosecution favor. And of course, things have gotten a bit out of hand from time to time. Just last week, Jerry Rubin and Abby Hoffman came to court dressed as judges themselves, wearing long black robes. Judge Hoffman ordered them to remove the garments. The co-defendants said, okay, they tossed their robes to the floor, began stomping on them. It was another one of their theatrical performances. But Cumsler believes all the acting out has been worthwhile. The jury needs an emotional reminder that this trial has been deeply unfair. So although getting dressed up in costumes is unorthodox, Cumsler believes it's had an effect. But now, all that's left is to make a strong, closing statement and wait for the verdict. Soon, Cumsler rises and approaches the jury box. He begins his speech with some history, a way to appeal to the sense of the moment. Cumsler reminds the jury that the prosecution has derided the Chicago Seven as outside agitators. But Cumsler points out that agitators and renegades have been responsible for some of the greatest reforms in world history. Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Gandhi, even Jesus. Every one of these men and women were also what the prosecution would call outside agitators. And Cumsler tells the jury that these are the public figures who give us our biggest and greatest ideas. It's not the police or prosecuting attorneys not even judges. The greatest change comes from the despised, the outcasts, the people who dare to be rebels, people like the defendants. Cumsler paces the courtroom, working himself into a fever pitch of emotion. He tells the jury that the world is facing some enormous problems, racism, poverty, war. But these existential issues won't go away by silencing political activists. And in the end, that's the main question the jury is about to deliberate. Whether Americans should have the freedom to speak boldly and without fear. That is what's at stake. That's the reason the jury should acquit the defendants of all charges. A moment later, Cumsler retakes his seat at the defense table. He's proud of what he had to say. And it seems like he got through to at least a couple members of the jury. Could have sworn he saw a few people on the verge of tears. But now all he and his clients can do is wait for the jury to render a verdict and pray that the judge and prosecutors don't have any more dirty tricks. Hello there, I'm Paul Jimati. And I'm Stephen Asma. And every week on our podcast, Chinwed, we have a nice freewheeling chat. You like monsters, ghosts and UFOs? Billy Bob Thornton shares his personal encounters with the paranormal. Dreams, consciousness and altered states well, Mr. William Shadner may or may not have hallucinated on mushrooms in a hotel room in Amsterdam. You wonder if we're living in a simulation? Pat Noswald teaches us about multiverse glitching and the Mandela effect. Or perhaps cults or more your thing. Ms. Catherine Hahn is our unofficial tour guide there. So come Chinwed with us every Wednesday about all the things on the edge of the known. On that hairy edge of what we actually think we know. Find and follow us for free on Apple podcasts and all major podcast platforms as well as on YouTube. Instagram or TikTok at Chinwag pod or on Twitter at Chinwag underscore pod. More information about Jesus Christ is so sorry to start again from the top. It's February 14, 1970. In the federal courtroom in Chicago, activist Dave Deltinger shuffles forward flanked by a pair of armed federal marshals. As he makes his way to the defense table, Dallinger gazes out at the large crowd gathered in the courtroom. It includes journalists and members of the public, a motley crew of strangers who've gathered to watch one of the most spectacular trials of the decade. But also sitting in the gallery are two very familiar faces. Dallinger's two daughters. The eldest is 22 and looks calm and poised. But his younger daughter is only a teenager, and appears to be on the verge of tears. Dallinger knows this whole ordeal has been a lot to handle for his family. So he locks eyes with his teenage girl and gives her a big smile and points his jaw and pushes it upward, motioning for her to keep her chin up. They'll get through this. When Dallinger reaches the defense table, he nods at his six-code defendants, trying to appear stoic and unbothered. But he can tell the other men are just as upset as his two girls. Dallinger is 54 and by far the oldest of the group. Well, for the last 10 days, he's been treated like a violent criminal. The problem began when Dallinger called out one of the prosecution's witnesses, accusing them of lying under oath about Dallinger's actions in Chicago. But instead of just banging his gabbling, calling the court to order, Judge Julius Hoffman revoked Dallinger's bail and ordered him to spend the remainder of the trial behind bars. Dallinger has been a lifelong pacifist. He demonstrates for issues like world peace and racial equality, and normally he avoids conflict. But he knows that might have to change. The injustices in this trial have been overwhelming. And today Dallinger is guessing he's about to face another round of vindictiveness and misconduct from the judge. In a few minutes, Judge Hoffman is going to sentence the defendants for their accounts of contempt of court, offenses they've racked up throughout the trial while defying the judge's orders. The timing is especially galling. The jury has been sent away to deliberate the main criminal charges of the case, but Judge Hoffman didn't have any patience. He was ready to dull out punishment to the Chicago Seven. And Dallinger is not sure what's going to happen when Judge Hoffman calls court back into session. But Dallinger is trying to prepare for the worst, including more violence. Judge Hoffman takes a seat at the bench. All right, we're going to begin with the sentences for contempt beginning with David Dallinger. Mr. Dallinger, please rise. Dallinger stands and stares at the judge. Mr. Dallinger, you are hereby sentence to 29 months and 16 days on 32 counts of contempt. Do you have anything to say in regards to this punishment? Yes, I do. The government wanted us to be like good Germans, supporting the evils of our decade. But we refused and came to Chicago and demonstrate. Marshal's, please have Mr. Dallinger sit back down. You want us to stay in our place like black people who are supposed to stay in their place. Like poor people who are supposed to stay in their place. Like women who are supposed to stay in their place. Like people without formal education are supposed to stay in their place. Marshal's, take him out of my court. Dallinger glances over his shoulder and sees a group of federal marshals rushing through the courtroom. But do you see that people no longer will be quiet? People are going to speak up. Dallinger begins bracing for impact. It's probably only a matter of seconds before the marshals grab him and haul him back to a dark cell. But then Dallinger hears a cry from the gallery. His teenage daughter had been cheering for him. But now several marshals are grasping at her trying to pin her down. Hey, get your hands off her. Get off her. I said, take him out of my court. Dallinger sees one of the marshals now has his daughter by the throat. Leave her alone. Dallinger lunges forward trying to protect his daughter. But federal marshals hold him back to begin dragging him through the aisle. Dallinger struggles against their grip, gasping in exertion. He has to get to his daughter. But then Dallinger decides to go limp. The marshals are only restraining his daughter by her arms. And Dallinger lets out a sigh of relief, deciding that from here on out, he needs to stop resisting. Stop giving law enforcement pretext for violence. He allows himself to be dragged out of the courtroom. And as he passes by his daughter, he reaches out and briefly touches her hands just as his co-defendant, Rene Davis, shouts out above the noise, telling Judge Hoffman, you have just jailed one of the most beautiful, courageous men in the United States. But Hoffman only sneers back at Davis. And with a menacing tone tells him, OK, now we'll take care of you. On February 18, 1970, the jury returned with a verdict. All the members of the Chicago Seven were acquitted on charges of criminal conspiracy. But five of the defendants were found guilty of crossing state lines to incite a riot. Only John Freundes and Lee Winer were acquitted on all charges. Dave Dallinger, Rene Davis, Tom Hayden, Abbey Hoffman, and Jerry Rubin were each sentenced to five years in prison. But their conviction prompted an immediate public outcry. And nearly half a million Americans took to the streets in protest. Two years later, a US court of appeals revisited the case and found that Judge Julius Hoffman had demonstrated systemic bias against the defense. The appellate court went on to overturn all the criminal convictions and federal government decline to try the defendants the second time. But the appeals court did rule the defendants should have a new trial, addressing their charges of contempt of court, charges issued by Judge Hoffman. That second trial was held in 1973. And out of the defendants, 159 charges of contempt, only 13 were ruled to be valid. The judge declined to impose jail sentences for any of them. In 1971, Abbey Hoffman published a best-selling book titled Steal This Book. It was viewed by many as the definitive guide to the radical lifestyle of the 1960s. But two years later, he had another brush with America's criminal justice system and was arrested for dealing cocaine. Hoffman went into hiding, but re-emerged seven years later. Tom Hayden went on to write multiple books and was elected to California State Legislature. During his 18-year career in politics, Hayden was described by the Sacramento Bee as the conscience of the Senate. Black Panther leader Bobby Seale was ordered to stand trial in New Haven, Connecticut in connection with a murder. But the charges were eventually dropped and Seale returned to California, where he continued a career as an activist and author. Dave Dallinger remained a full-time social activist, but his co-defendants Jerry Rubin and Rene Davis transitioned into new careers as businessmen. Judge Julius Hoffman remained on the bench until his death in 1983. He defended his conduct during the Chicago trial, saying, I did nothing in that trial I'm not proud of. I presided with dignity. It's been over 50 years since the trial of the Chicago 7. But many of the issues raised in that courtroom are still relevant today. As Americans continue grappling with the issues of free speech, social activism, and police brutality. And although many Americans have grown cynical and distrustful of the government, Fendon Abbey Hoffman came away from the trial with a message of hope. Hoffman said, I grew up with the idea that democracy is not something you believe in or a place you hang your hat, but it's something you do. You participate. If you stop doing it, democracy crumbles and falls apart. Young people don't give up hope. If you participate, the future is yours. From Wondry, this is episode three of the Chicago 7 for American Scandal. In our next episode, I talk with historian and author Michael Kason about the legacy of the 1960s, an era that transformed the country, which set in motion the culture wars still dividing Americans today. Hey, prime members, you can listen to American Scandal and add free on Amazon Music, download the Amazon Music app today, or you can listen add free with Wondry Plus and Apple Podcasts. Before you go, tell us about yourself by completing a short survey at slash survey. If you'd like to learn more about the Chicago 7, we recommend the books, The Autobiography of Abbey Hoffman, Reunion by Tom Hayden, from Yale to jail by David Dellinger, seized the time by Bobby Seale. My life as a radical lawyer by William Cunstler with Sheila Eisenberg and conspiracy in the streets, edited by John Wee. This episode contains reenactments and dramatized details. And while in most cases, we can't know exactly what was said. All our geometizations are based on historical research. American Scandal is hosted, edited, and executive produced by me, Lindsey Graham for Airship. Audio editing by Molly Bogg, sound designed by Derek Barons, music by Lindsey Graham. This episode is written by Hannibal DS, edited by Christina Malsburg. Our senior producer is Gabe Riven. Executive producers are Stephanie Gens, Jenny Lauer Beckman, and Marsha Louis for Wondering.