One more reason Democrats shouldn’t – or maybe can’t – be trusted with power.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, ordered the arrest of a restaurant owner who challenged the state’s COVID-19 lockdown policies.
Nessel ordered this just before the business owner, Marlena Hackney, owner of Marlena’s Bistro and Pizzeria in Holland, Michigan, was scheduled to appear on Tucker Carlson’s show.
Nessel’s wishes were uncovered in an email exchange included in a public records release provided to Michigan Capitol Confidential, which reported on the issue on Friday and is an arm of the conservative Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
Nessel didn’t do this at the height of the pandemic. Michigan Capitol Confidential reported this occurred in mid-March.
On March 12, according to the website, Nessel emailed her staff, “Do we know her whereabouts? We should just have her picked up before she goes on. This is outrageous.”
It seems Nessel asked this after getting wind that Hackney was set to appear on Carlson’s show on Fox News that day to denounce Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s lockdown policies.
“Should I be prepared to respond to this?” Nessel asked in an email thread that followed her initial query, Michigan Capitol Confidential reported.
“I hope she gets the full 93 days for this. (Is that the max for civil contempt or just criminal contempt?)”
In still another email, Nessel inquired about the plans of the Michigan State Police.
“Does MSP intend to go find her? Or are they planning to wait until next week?” said Nessel, Michigan Capitol Confidential reported.
Assistant Attorney General Eileen Whipple replied that state troopers were being informed about Hackney.
“As to the length of potential imprisonment, since this is a coercive civil contempt the Court (as the Court indicated in her Order) can keep her incarcerated until she complies or it becomes impossible for her to comply,” Whipple replied.
According to Michigan Capitol Confidential, Carlson’s interview with Hackney aired on March 17. Michigan State Police arrested her two days later.
Hackney spent four days in jail before she was released.
Breitbart News, which also followed the case, reported that Hackney was an immigrant who fled communist Poland as a teenager. She had originally been charged with a misdemeanor for refusing to close her establishment, and then was cited for contempt of court.
Once she was arrested, she was transported to a jail in Ingham County, Breitbart noted. Ingham County includes Lansing, the state capital, where Nessel’s office is located. Hackney’s home in Holland, which sits just off the banks of Lake Michigan, is roughly 100 miles away.
In mid-April, Michigan Capitol Confidential reported that “Hackney’s offense does not appear to meet the court’s guidelines for arrests during a pandemic.”
“When a jail refuses to accept a suspect police have arrested, the individual is released. It seems very unlikely that the Michigan State Police would order the transport of an individual for 100 plus miles without knowing in advance whether the jail would accept the person,” the news website reported.
In other words, it seems that state troopers shopped the warrant for Hackney’s arrest in a county where they knew she’d be jailed – and not the county where the alleged offense occurred.
It seems Michigan these days is not all that different from the communist Poland that Hackney fled as a teenager.
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