Supreme Court denies hearing Mark Witaschek's case
'D.C. had a man in search of a crime' - From shotgun shell to muzzleloader bullets to warrantless tax convictions
The Supreme Court announced today that it will not hear the case Mark Witaschek v District of Columbia. It’s a big disappointment for everyone involved in this decade-long search for justice.
Witaschek told me this morning that he is conferring with his lawyers about his options. I agreed to keep our discussion off the record until he is ready to go public.
Ten days ago, Witaschek flew to D.C. from his home in New Hampshire so I could do this video report on his case. He hadn’t been to the Supreme Court since a high school trip. I hope you’ll watch it and hear his story. It’s a terrible abuse of government power to punish one man. Here:
There was a lot of video from our interviews at his former rented house in Georgetown, the Supreme Court and a final sitdown that didn’t make the final cut of the video due to time constraints. But I think this is all still an important part of his story, so I’m sharing that below.
Emily: How does it feel to be here at the Supreme Court?
Witaschek: I’m on pins and needles. I feel that one way or another. This 10-year nightmare is going to come come to an end.
Obviously, I hope and pray that they hear my case — I think they will hear my case. I think they're going to rule in my favor. I hope and pray that they have the wisdom and foresight to take this case and consider it.
One way or another I'm going to move on— my family is going to move on— after this.
Emily: I've been worried that you had all your eggs in this basket not prepared for any other alternative.
Mark: This thing has been hanging over my head for the last 10 years. And I definitely want justice. I think I deserve justice. But if it doesn't, it doesn't happen, it’s let go and let God. Whatever happens, you know, I'll obviously accept it.
Emily: You the only man in America who has been criminally charged for a dud shotgun shell, the only man convicted of a muzzleloader “bullet” but no gun and the only man who briefly lived in D.C. who was criminally prosecuted— instead of audited — for underpaying taxes by a small amount. Why you?
Witaschek: Going back to the ammunition charge — I think they put a target on me. They understood that I was conservative. I wasn’t of the same political bent that they were. They were going to find something to charge me with — no matter what.
Withaschek: They knew from my ex-wife that I was an avid hunter, so I think they took that to mean I'm a pro-Second Amendment guy - I'm conservative. And, you know, I think if my politics were different, I don't think this would have ever happened.
Emily: What would our Founding Fathers think of this?
Witaschek: I think they’d be absolutely appalled. Given where we came from at the time, that we were British subjects, they understood a tyrannical government and they wanted American citizens to be able to protect and defend themselves.
The Supreme Court orders on Tuesday show two cases under “certiorari granted” and a long list of cases that were denied. Witaschek’s name is unfortunately on that long list. The order is attached below.
Read all the stories I’ve written on this case since 2013 at the link below:
Please read: Investigative reporting takes a lot of time for digging, talking to sources and finding the facts. This work is behind the scenes and takes weeks, months, and, in this case, years.
You only see the final results of investigative reports — which are about three minutes on video or TV or maybe 700 words in a paper or online.
So if you value the work I do to get you these stories that are not being reported by any other news outlet, please consider becoming a paid subscriber.
If you are already a paid subscriber, thank you for supporting me so I can do stories like these. Leave a comment below and tell me (and Mark Witaschek) what you think about the way the government has treated him and his family.
Emily, The situation that ensnared Mr. Witaschek reminds me of another type of government overreach; civil asset forfeiture. How does this happen to a private citizen in America? I also read today (or yesterday) that Canada is happily expanding its further reach into the lives of people in the name of security. It can’t be just me who really sees similarities to European Cold War state security tactics?
Hard to understand a lot of what goes on with this Supreme Court. God Bless and guide Mark in his decisions with this going forward.