We often say that you should never speak unless the words are better than the silence. As a lawyer, this is advice I often give to my clients. Nicolas Sarkozy should heed that warning.
I will not be discussing the merits of the numerous assertions of corruption against Sarkozy. I do not know what proof the police and the judges have collected and thus I am not capable of judging his protestations of innocence. Nor do I know how these dramas play out in France. I am,however, familiar with the peculiar dance of public corruption investigations in America and my experience is that these counter-attacks are generally a reliable indicator that the government probably a death-grip on the testicles of the politician who squeaks. I suppose that it is the same thing in France, which would seem to portend nothing good for Sarkozy.
The counter-attack of Nicolas Sarkozy gives me an impression of despair, as if he is not sure of how much information they have but he knows he too much said about too many things on the telephone and he knows that it could be devastating if the police were recording everything. For me, I think that attacking the judges and the government at this stage is a bad bet.
I do not think he’s likely to frighten away the judges and police who apparently have him by his testicles, but he may very make them just that much more highly motivated to take his scalp, because from this point forward, failing to bring him down makes them look like cowards or crooks. They will be much more likely to pull the trigger on a prosecution that they might have otherwise walked away from. Which, I suppose, is another way of saying that it is never wise to stick a finger in the eye of the one who decides on your fate.
Here is some free legal advise: Sarkozy should keep his closed mouth.