The extremely interesting question that I will cover in a separate blog is that Sol Wachtler was never charged for any crimes under New York State law in New York state courts - even though federal charges made against him, and his conviction on one of them on a plea bargain, do not present a double jeopardy against state prosecution.
I also wrote in yesterday's blog that, after serving his prison term, the disbarred Sol Wachtler was somehow reinstated as an attorney (without disclosure of reasons for such a stark clemency to such a serious criminal), and that he is now fully embraced by the legal, academic and business establishment of New York.
Actually, even the New York State Court of Appeals judge Michael Garcia invited Sol Wachtler to his swearing-in ceremony in April of 2016 and proudly posed for public pictures of himself with Sol Wachtler.
From how enthusiastic Judge Garcia is in discussing something with Sol Wachtler in his picture, one may reasonably infer that Michael Garcia and Sol Wachtler have known each other for a long time, and that Judge Garcia enjoys Sol Wachtler's company.
I've started my blog series about Sol Wachtler because of the relentless campaign of his well-connected friends to white-wash him and portray him as an entirely good man, with a lifetime of entirely good deeds who, for the unfortunate reason of a mental illness, made one "slip" - for which he should be entirely forgiven.
Actually, when Wachtler was just charged and arraigned, the then-substitute Chief Judge of New York State Court of Appeals has reportedly told the press that not only he has forgiven Wachtler for all he did "to the court system", but that he cannot think of anybody who "wouldn't have forgiven" Wachtler:
"'He asked us to forgive him for what he had done to the court's reputation,' says [Judge Richard Simons, acting Chief Judge of New York State Court of Appeals at the time, yet another judicial "luminary" who thought nothing of the scheme of extortion, threats to kidnap a child, criminal impersonation, forgery, unlawful surveillance, false allegations of crimes pinned on other people that Wachtler did for more than a year - T.N.].
'I said of course I forgave him. I don't think there is a man alive who could've listened to him and not forgiven him.' For the woman who for months was a blackmailer's uneasy target, forgiveness may take longer".
Wachtler, of course, while obtaining a lenient prison sentence by claiming that he only blames himself and not anybody else for his "downfall", before the sentencing made public statements blaming his victim and the prosecutor for not stopping him until charges could actually stick - a claim that he repeated in his book he published after his release from prison.
That, in itself, gives an insight of just how untruthful Wachtler is - and that is not a "one slip", that is a character trait and flaw that had to have shown itself from early on and throughout his life and career.
I have read numerous accounts in the press describing Sol Wachtler's, his friends', his family member's and his attorneys' behavior - as well accounts of what was going on in his criminal case.
I have so far read several books about the "Sol Wachtler story".
In this blog, I will compare what I perceived as appearance of untruths in comparison of two books:
1) After the Madness - published under claimed Sol Wachtler's own authorship after his release from prison; and
2) "Double Life: The Shattering Affair Between Chief Judge Sol Wachtler and Sociality Joy Silverman" by journalist Linda Wolfe - first published before Sol Wachtler's release from prison, moreover Sol Wachtler acknowledges in his book "After the Madness" that the "Double Life" book was sent to him to prison before his release, that he read it thoroughly, that Sol Wachtler and his wife sat for interviews with Linda Wolfe for purposes of writing that book, and Sol Wachtler does not state in his "After the Madness" book that the "Double Life" book made any false statements or claims or untruthfully described any facts or circumstances of the case.
"When I returned to my cell, I opened the envelope. It was not from Joe. It was from a book publisher and it was a book. The title: Double Life. On the jacket was a picture of me and Joy separated by a judge's gavel, and the subtitle: “The Shattering Affair Between Chief Judge Sol Wachtler and Socialite Joy Silverman.” The author: Linda Wolfe.
I read the book in one gulp. I had finished it by the nine p.m. count. I have not been able to sleep, and so I find myself writing this journal entry immediately after the three a.m., July 16, count (yes, counts continue through the night).
I knew the book was being written. Joan and I had met with the author and had been interviewed. But that seemed so long ago. So long ago that I had almost forgotten the details of my aberrational conduct. The book brought it all back."
Wachtler, Sol. After the Madness: A Judge's Own Prison Memoir (p. 324). Open Road Media. Kindle Edition.
Thus, Wachtler acknowledges in his book "After the Madness" that facts and circumstances described by Linda Wolfe in "Double Life" are as they were, and no claims can be made at this time by anybody that my conclusions and inferences from comparison of these two books - both of which I have read with thorough attention - are made upon false premises.
Despite Wachtler's claims in his "After the Madness" book that his "one slip" was the result of mental illness - the story put together by paid experts, psychiatrists from the hospital where Wachtler sat on the board for 25 years - the story contradicted by prosecution's psychiatrists who also evaluated him before sentencing, comparison of Linda Wolfe's and Sol Wachtler's books shows a string of misdeeds, questionable and openly unethical and criminal behavior by Wachtler that happened throughout the years, from early on in his life, and which Wachtler prefers not to mention in his book.
Wachtler's book was already characterized by a professional book reviewer as a book with an agenda rather than a prison memoir, noting that Wachtler makes the prosecutor Michael Chertoff the main villain of his book.
Contrary to that book reviewer, I do not think that the way Michael Chertoff handled investigation, arrest, prosecution and publicity of the case is an "overkill".
Wachtler had such powerful connections and wielded such power that, unless every step of his misconduct was meticulously documented, Wachtler would have escaped accountability and would have buried numerous innocent people in his stead - he already tried that,
- first, by claiming that he was arrested "too soon" (after claiming that Michael Chertoff pushed the investigation "too far"), that he did not pick up yet the extortion money, and thus he is not chargeable for extortion, and
- second, by entering the plea of "not guilty by insanity" and trying, before and after the sentencing (but not at the sentencing) to pull the mental illness and "just one slip in the otherwise lifetime of good deeds" card.
Without close surveillance, proof that telephone calls came from him (he used a voice changing device, and was tied to the threatening phone call only by his fingerprint obtained from a pay phone on a dark street corner, right after the phone call was made), that money demands came from him, Wachtler could easily claim it was done by somebody else in his office - and could have pinned it on any of his staff (those people who allegedly pined for him after his downfall), as he already tried to do by sending false allegations that two other named people did what he was doing.
The proof that Michael Chertoff did everything right can be found also in the fact that:
- Wachtler was prosecuted in a New Jersey federal court and not in New York, that
- Wachtler was never charged for crimes committed in New York, despite the fact that double jeopardy did not apply, that
- His victim Joy Silverman, a personal friend of George and Barbara Bushes, at the time George Bush was the President of the United Sates, with vast wealth and connections of her own, considered it futile to complain against Wachtler to available state authorities:
- attorney grievance authorities;
- judicial misconduct authorities;
- New York State police - Linda Wolfe describes Wachtler's reaction when a mutual friend of his and Joy's and his therapist mentioned the threatening letters to him, and that Joy wondered whether that "somebody in his office" may be involved harassing and threatening her:
- there was no opposition for his reinstatement as an attorney (the curt and mysterious order of reinstatement only mentions the "Committee's reports and exhibits" in support of his reinstatement, and no papers submitted in opposition).
I will add that, throughout the book, while Wachtler profusely expressed how sorry he was for his behavior that got him in prison to his own family and to the court system, only once, grudgingly, at the end of the book, does he say that he does not blame Joy Silverman and that he has only himself to blame - even though earlier in the same book, in many places, Wachtler does blame Joy Silverman for not stopping him before he was arrested, charged, convicted and sentenced.
And even that, judging by Linda Wolfe's book, was a lie - Joy Silverman repeatedly tried, through her attorney, to stop Wachtler, but Wachtler denied his involvement, claimed Joy Silverman was crazy, and even sent fraudulent anonymous allegations to prosecutors putting the blame on two other people who did not participate in his scheme.
"In the hotel’s cool and comfortable lounge, they chatted about this and that for a while, and then Sheresky came to the point. “Those letters Joy’s been getting,” he said to Sol, “she knows they’re from you.” “She’s crazy,” Sol said, just as he’d said months ago when Sheresky had said Joy suspected him of making hang-up calls to her."
Wolfe, Linda. Double Life: The Shattering Affair between Chief Judge Sol Wachtler and Socialite Joy Silverman (Kindle Locations 2918-2921). Open Road Media. Kindle Edition.
"Pretending to be this new character, he wrote first to the U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey, whose office was handling the Seale case. “Arthur and Irene Seale were in the process of a blackmail scheme effecting [sic] Mr. David Samson of 7 Robbins La., Short Hills, N.J.,” he wrote, “and Mrs. Joy Silverman of 983 Park Avenue, New York City.”
"When he was finished with that letter, he copied it and sent the same missive to the office of the prosecutor for Morris County, New Jersey."
Wolfe, Linda. Double Life: The Shattering Affair between Chief Judge Sol Wachtler and Socialite Joy Silverman (Kindle Locations 2881-2884; 2892-2893). Open Road Media. Kindle Edition.
So, in the view of Sol Wachtler, a lawyer, a military veteran (he capitalizes on "serving in the military" a lot, even though he managed to escape being sent to combat during the Korean War) and the then-Chief Judge of New York State Court system, the person in charge of maintaining the law for the entire huge state of New York, it was entirely lawful and ethical to pin his own crimes upon two people, Arthur and Irene Seale, charged at that time for other crimes that they committed without any connection to him or his crimes.