BREAKING: Charges against Choi and Pietrangelo dropped

As I noted via updates in the post below, prosecutors dropped the charges against Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo this morning. I just got off the phone with Paul Yandura who is with Dan and Jim at the DC Superior Court.

Paul asked Prosecutor Christina Chang what the reason for the decision was and whether she was ready to trial. Chang told Yandura point blank, “I was ready.”

In fact, all the arresting officers from DC and the Secret Service were in the room. They were there to be witnesses for the government. So, it sure sounds like the government was ready for a trial until something intervened. Paul told me that Dan shook hands with the officers and said, “I hope to see you soon.”

According to Yandura:

It’s clear that they were embarrassed that we were going to expose the fiction that repeal is finished or imminent. They were embarrassed that we subpoenaed the President and were going to use his words. It’s clear that civil disobedience was the winner today.

Dan Choi asked the prosecutor if this meant the “stay away” order from the White House was no longer valid. The prosecutor said, yes.

So, this morning, the prosecutor was ready to go. But, for some reason, the case was dropped. I’m sure there will be more and we’ll monitor developments.

But, Paul is right, civil disobedience won today. And, standing on principle did, too.

And, thanks to Scott Wooledge, a.k.a. Clarknt67, here’s a photo of Dan and Jim outside of the court house with their attorneys, Ann Wilcox and Mark Goldstone:


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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