Rep. Diane Black was among the first to criticize the “outrageous statements” made by two lawyers representing the family of Syed Farook, at a bizarre press conference held in California on Friday.
The attorneys, David Steven Chesley and Mohammad Abuershaid, are both listed on the website of the Law Offices of David S. Chesley, Inc., a firm with several offices in California.
On Wednesday, the 28-year-old Farook and his 27-year-old Pakistani bride, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 innocent Americans in San Bernardino, California before being killed themselves in a shootout with law enforcement.
Rep. Black blasted this statement, which she attributed to Mr. Chesley at that press conference:
When an incident happens like this, when a Christian goes to shoot up a Planned Parenthood, or an extreme Catholic goes and bombs an abortion clinic , all the headlines don’t say ‘extremist radical Christian’ ‘Christian catholic’ … just like right now every headline is saying ‘Muslim’ and attaching Muslim to it.
According to her press release, Rep. Black said Chesley “also stated ‘We need to protect the Muslim community” and added that the attack “could be totally work related,’ despite the fact that the FBI is investigating the attack as an act of terrorism.”
“The statements made at this press conference were preposterous and offensive,” Black stated.
“Instead of defending radical Islam, offering excuses, and impugning other religious faiths that are in no way connected to this terrorist attack, the family attorney should offer a sincere apology for the evil acts of Syed Farook – and then stop speaking,” Black added.
There is simply nothing else to say. This is not a platform for Mr. [Chesley] to spout off political platitudes, it is an investigation into the most deadly terrorist attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001. While this may be uncomfortable for Mr. Chelsey, the truth is that radical, violent Islam remains the single greatest threat to the American way of life. Rather than calls to ‘protect the Muslim community,’ we need a call – and a plan from this President – to protect the American people” Black concluded.
Chesley, a graduate of the Southwestern School of Law, is the CEO and chief counsel of the Law Offices of David S. Chesley, Inc. which hired Abuershaid, a recent graduate of the Thomas. M. Cooley School of Law, in Lansing, Michigan, a troubled but ABA accredited law school that is unranked and recently closed one of its campus locations.
While it is unclear who is paying Chesley and Abuershaid. Red State reports sources tell them the attorneys are being paid by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the same group that trotted out the brother-in-law of Farook for a press conference on Wednesday.
Breitbart News contacted Mr. Chesley to confirm or deny the report that and Mr. Abuershaid are being paid by CAIR to represent Syed Farook’s family, but has not received a response.
Though ostensibly hired to protect the legal interests of Farook’s mother and siblings, the unusual public performance by Chesley and Abuershaid on Friday had little to do with the law and everything to do with public relations spin.
As the Daily Mail reported:
In a rambling press conference this afternoon lawyers for the family of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook have insisted there is ‘no evidence’ the attacks are linked to terror groups such as ISIS.
Despite FBI agents saying earlier today that they are investigating the shooting as an act of terrorism, lawyers David Chesley and Mohammed Abuershaid rebutted that analysis this evening.
Instead Chesley blamed the media and investigators for linking the attacks to terrorism, saying: ‘There hasn’t been any smoking gun evidence that they were part of a particular cell or any group.’
Chesley said it was unfair to blame the attacks on radical Muslims when attacks on Planned Parenthood facilities and abortion clinics are not blamed on extremist Christians.
However, seeking to play down the significance of that link today, both Chesley and Abuershaid said they had seen the FBI’s evidence and are not convinced the pair were linked to terror groups.
Instead they accused investigators, journalists and the public of jumping to assumptions because the couple were Muslim.
In a bizarre remark, Chesley said: ‘All there is thus far [to indicate terrorism] is this nebulous thing that somebody looked at something on Facebook.
‘I mean any one of us can look at something on Facebook, it doesn’t mean we believe in it. I’ve checked out a Britney Spears post, and I hate Britney Spears’ music.’
In the upside down world where the mainstream media eagerly reports the latest spin from CAIR, an organization whose chairman emeritus was named an unindicted co-conspirator in a terror financing trial, with the same level of reverence shown for the pronouncements of Pope Francis, it is likely we will see a number of equally bizarre press conferences in the near future.