The strange case known as “In re: Douglas Vogt” appears to be going down in flames in record time. If you recall this was the case filed late last year by Douglas Vogt, the copier salesman, pseudoscience author, hunter of the lost Ark of the Covenant, and early self-proclaimed expert who doubted the authenticity of President’s long form birth certificate based on his flawed analysis of a PDF file instead of the actual document.
Vogt pulled a new trick out of the Birther play book on October 18th last year when he filed a petition in federal court in his home state of Washington to ask a judge to order the convening of a grand jury to look at his so called proof of forgery that he outlined in his “20 points of forgery” affidavit. Vogt also filed under seal an affidavit in which he said he “named the forger(s)”. Vogt’s entertaining nine page complaint listed his supposed 20 points of forgery and also implicated no fewer than 15 people in committing crimes against 11 federal statutes. The named parties included President Barack Obama, White House Counsel Robert Bauer, Director of Communications Dan Pfeiffer, Personal Counsel to the President Judith Corley, former Director of the Department of Health in Hawaii Dr. Chiyome Fukino, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, then current Director of the Department of Health Loretta Fuddy, MSNBC reporter Savannah Guthrie, and eight John and Jane Does who were apparently named in Vogt’s secret sealed affidavit.
The case in the Western District of Washington was assigned to Judge James L. Robert. Vogt of course is trying to live out every Birther’s wet dream of initiating a federal prosecution of Barack Obama. Just read comments any day at the crazy Birther Report blog by the likes of Falcon and others who believe that any day or any week President Obama is going to be led away in chains from the White House door. Vogt takes the fantasy a step further and dreams of testifying before a grand jury on the matters of layers, kerning, and out of sequence certificate numbers.
Judge Robart took a mere 13 days to issue an Order to Show Cause on November 5th asking Vogt to explain why the case should not be dismissed for lack of subject matter. In the order Judge Robart explained that a private citizen cannot enforce criminal statutes through a civil action in an Article III court. If Vogt thought a crime had been committed his proper course of action was to bring it to the attention of the law enforcement authorities like the FBI and the US Attorney’s office. Of course Vogt had already done that. He said so in his complaint and on different blogs. They rightly ignored him as a kook. Vogt has said he believes this author, Kevin Davidson (Dr. Conspiracy), and Bill Bryan (owner of the Fogbow Forum) are guilty of “Misprision of Treason” and warned us we could be hanged. Apparently, supporting President Obama and pointing out that Birthers like Vogt are nuts is a federal capital crime. I assume he has also reported us to the FBI. I am awaiting an interview any day now.
Vogt filed his response to Judge Robart’s order on November 12th. The response merely repeated Vogt’s earlier misconceptions and contained no case citations to support his claim that the court had jurisdiction. One funny item in the response was that Vogt asked for his filing fee to be returned since the court insulted him by changing his “Notice of Commission” to a “Complaint”. Judge Robart was obviously not impressed with Vogt’s response and moved quickly. He dismissed the action two days later on November 14th.
At some point during the time the case was in district court we learned that Vogt had received legal assistance in preparing his motions. Attorney Montgomery Blair Sibley, disbarred in some juridictions and not admitted to practice in Washington State and who had dabbled in Birtherism previously, revealed that he had been writing for Vogt. Sibley would continue on the case as Vogt carried an appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
Vogt filed an appeal of sorts on November 28th. It was in the form of a request of a Writ of Mandamus. Vogt wanted the Ninth Circuit to tell district court Judge Robart to get off his can and send Vogt’s masterpiece to a grand jury. Sibley posted a link to the appeal on his Amo Probos blog on November 30th and included this dire warning to the court in his article:
First, Doug petitions the Ninth Circuit that in so much as Judge Robart, along with the Clerk of his Court, clearly misrepresented the name and nature of Doug’s filing in the public docket, that the Ninth Circuit order Judge Robart to correct the docket to accurately reflect what was filed. Note that it is a felony to so “falsify” a court record. 18 U.S.C. §2071(b) – “Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally” states in pertinent part: “Whoever, having the custody of any such [Court] record . . . willfully and unlawfully . . . falsifies . . . the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.” Obviously, a pretty heavy consequence for Judge Robart if the Ninth Circuit orders him to fix the record of proceedings in his Court. Hobson’s Choice #1 because if the Ninth Circuit refuses to order the docket corrected, they are arguable accessories-after-the-fact, another felony found at 18 USC § 3: “Whoever, knowing that an offense against the United States has been committed, receives, relieves, comforts or assists the offender in order to hinder or prevent his apprehension, trial or punishment, is an accessory after the fact.”
The arrogance in this paragraph is astounding. Sibley and Vogt are accusing Judge Robart and his clerk of a falsifying a court record and putting the Ninth Circuit on notice that they better rule in Vogt’s favor or they are criminals too.
In early January Vogt lost patience with the Ninth Circuit (the busiest of all the appellate circuits) and on January 14th he filed a “Motion to Expedite Consideration of Petition for Writs of Mandamus“. In a rare “win” for a Birther the Ninth Circuit acted upon Vogt’s request quickly and on the very same day denied his petition. In a rather unusual step Judges Trott, Paez, and Bea wrote “No further filings will be entertained in this closed case. DENIED.”
Of course Vogt, afflicted with a chronic case of the poor reading comprehension, on January 24th filed a motion for reconsideration. The Ninth Circuit completely ignored Vogt’s motion for reconsideration in effect saying “What part of ‘case closed’ don’t you understand Mr. Vogt?”
So it was on to the Supreme Court for Messrs. Vogt and Sibley. However, before moving on to SCOTUS they first took a small digression while waiting on the Ninth Circuit to rule. In early January Vogt sent letters to 175 federal judges in carefully handpicked districts and included a copy of his affidavit. He was asking the judges to do essentially what he had requested Judge Robart in Washington to do and convene a grand jury. Apparently, Vogt decided that paying a $450 federal filing fee was less appealing than sending a bunch of letters that were to be ignored.
Sibley after being goaded by an anonymous commenter on his blog claimed that the letters had paid dividends and wrote:
In fact three (3) federal judges have acknowledge receipt of Doug’s Affidavit. Two of them have forwarded the affidavit to their respective United States Attorneys. The third wrote back stating: “I was very impressed by the letter and attachments you sent to me. I do not dismiss the allegations you make as untrue.” The letter continued with the commitment to submit Doug’s affidavit to the Grand Jury for their consideration. So like a modern-day Diogenes, perhaps we have found one honest federal district court judge.
Sibley linked to a highly redacted letter purportedly from a federal judge. With more than half of the letter redacted it was impossible to determine if Sibley’s version of the letter was accurate of if it was merely a polite brush off. What we can say is that despite Sibley’s claims Vogt has not been asked to appear before any grand jury and no investigation is underway as a result of Vogt’s contact with 175 members of the federal bench.
On March 24th Vogt filed both a Petition for Writ for Certiorari and a Motion for Expedited Consideration because in Vogt’s imagination Obama continuing to occupy office is an emergency. On April 7th Vogt and Sibley followed up with a motion to disqualify the two Obama appointee’s. This was a card birthers like Mario Apuzzo had played before. The recusal motions in both cases assume that even one of the remaining 7 justices want to hear the case. As it turned out in both Kerchner v Obama and in re Doug Vogt they didn’t. The Supreme Court follows “The Rule of Four”, i. e. four justices must vote to hear a case before it is placed on the schedule for argument. Apuzzo maintained that the number required would be reduced to three if Justices Sonya Sotomayor and Elena Kagan recused themselves. The argument is moot since Kerchner failed to garner even one vote.
The Supreme Court is in the process of methodically killing Vogt’s appeal. First it dealt with the motion for expedited consideration by dismissing that on April 24th. Just last week this entry was added to the docket for the case:
Apr 23 2014 Waiver of right of respondent United States District Court for the Western District of Washington to respond filed.
Even though Vogt probably doesn’t know it that was the death knell for the case. The waiver by a government entity to respond means the case has been “dead listed” and will be denied without discussion. Early next week it will be scheduled for a conference where it will be denied. Writes attorney Paul Lentz at the Fogbow:
If things go as they should at SCOTUS, Vogt’s case should be distributed on 4/29/2014 for the conference of 5/15/2014. And while it is already deader than Franco, the official orders list confirming death will be issued on 5/19/2014.
Lest you think this is just someone’s off the wall opinion writing at a forum let’s recall that the Fogbow has correctly predicted the outcome of over 220 Birther cases and has been wrong exactly 0 times.
[Edit: On April 29th the Supreme Court scheduled Vogt's case for conference just as predicted by Paul Lentz.]
Vogt will of course whine that the grand jury has been taken away from “We the People” and their ability to fight government corruption and that SCOTUS is now guilty of some sinister crime of his imagination. Doug Vogt, Walt Fitzpatrick and many on the lunatic fringe believe that any civilian can march into a grand jury and present evidence against anyone. This is not and has never been the case with our legal system. Only prosecutors and in some rare cases judges may bring evidence to a grand jury. The system that Vogt envisions would be completely chaotic. Anyone who imagines they have been wronged would march into a grand jury.
The courts have told these sovereign citizen types many times how our system works. They don’t listen.
What is Vogt’s next move? I have no idea. I can tell you from emails I have exchanged with him his hatred for Barack Obama runs deep. He thinks anyone who supports the President is a Marxist and a Communist. He is arrogant and has an unjustified opinion of his ability to opine on the authenticity of Barack Obama’s birth certificate. He will not listen to contrary evidence. He doesn’t understand why I don’t bow down before him even though in his one appearance in court he was not taken seriously.
I have offered him a chance to come on RC Radio to discuss his positions. I repeat that offer and also extend that to his counsel Mr. Sibley.
For a fine debunking of Vogt’s affidavit we recommend Frank Arduini’s 20 Shades of Vogt treatise.
If you dispute my claims that Vogt is a kook just listen to this recent interview with him discussing his theory on magnetic pole reversals.
Warning: This audio is over two hours of complete nuttiness with many references to his magic number 12, 068. Did you know Vogt found the exact spot where the Israelis crossed the Red Sea parted by Moses and it was exactly 12,068 yards across as measured on his GPS? The next magnetic pole reversal will occur on October 16, 2046. Just thought you would want to know so you could make plans for a pole reversal party.