Former Obama Admin Nat'l Security Official Helps Alleged Firebombing NYC Lawyer Get Out of Jail


Good news! We’ve managed to find our new low when it comes to liberals bailing out “protesters” who felt the need to express their anger over George Floyd’s death and systemic racism in, um, allegedly very extra-legal ways.

Lawyer Urooj Rahman, 31, is now free pursuant to a $250,000 bond after she was arrested early Saturday for allegedly throwing a lit Molotov cocktail through the window of a New York City Police Department cruiser, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

The person who helped free her? Oh, just a former Obama administration intelligence official who worked in the Departments of Defense and State. No big deal.

“The former official, Salmah Rizvi, told a judge the alleged firebomber is her ‘best friend,'” the Free Beacon reported.

“Rizvi, now an attorney at the D.C.-based law firm Ropes & Gray, helped secure the release of fellow lawyer Urooj Rahman by agreeing to be a suretor for her bail. That means Rizvi is liable for the full cost of the $250,000 bail if Rahman fails to obey the court’s orders.”

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The government objected to the release of Rahman, a graduate of Fordham Law School and a human rights lawyer.

So, obviously Rahman is innocent until found guilty in a court of law, and far be it from me to cast aspersions on her current status of being technically innocent. Let me cast aspersions on every other aspect of her case.

Rahman was one of two lawyers who were arrested by police early Saturday morning in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn. Police say she was in a minivan driven by her co-defendant, Colinford King Mattis, a Princeton-educated lawyer.

Police video surveillance shows her getting out of the vehicle and moving toward the police cruiser, according to The New York Times.

Do you think Rahman should have been released from custody?

“As she neared, she lit a fuse hanging out of a Bud Light beer bottle and threw it through an already broken window of the police vehicle, igniting its console. The complaint said she returned to the minivan and the pair fled,” The Times reported.

“The police saw Ms. Rahman throw the Molotov cocktail and followed the two lawyers as they tried to get away, officials said. A patrol car stopped them several blocks away and they were arrested.”

The van was found to be laden with materials to make more Molotov cocktails, police said.

The case drew national attention, not in the least because it was two individuals with immigrant parents — yet both privileged through education and employment — who allegedly engaged in May ’68-style street warfare.

I’m not entirely certain that having a former Obama administration official guarantee her bail will help bolster sympathy for Rahman, but there you go.

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“Urooj Rahman is my best friend and I am an associate at the law firm Ropes & Gray in Washington, D.C.,” Rizvi told the court, according to a transcript. “I earn $255,000 a year.”

According to her bio on Ropes & Gray’s website, Rizvi “is an associate in the litigation & enforcement practice group. Her focus areas include internal investigations, complex civil litigation, class action litigation, international risk assessments, antitrust due diligence, and anti-corruption and anti-money laundering compliance structuring.”

She “also maintains an active civil rights and human rights pro bono practice, focused on prison reform, LGBTQ equality, and immigration,” for whatever that’s worth.

Rizvi was a recipient of a scholarship from the Islamic Scholarship Fund, whose website notes that she “worked fulltime for the U.S. Departments of State and Defense as a lead linguist and analyst, mastering multiple foreign languages including Arabic, Urdu, Punjabi and gaining expertise in international security and diplomacy. Her high-value work would often inform the President’s Daily Briefs.”

Federal prosecutor Ian Richardson, meanwhile, argued against Rhaman’s release.

“We don’t believe that this is the time to be releasing on bond for someone like the defendant into the community,” he told the court.

Judge Steven Gold disagreed, saying that he believed home detention to be sufficient for the time being.

Rahman, who stands charged with causing damage to a police vehicle by fire and explosives, is currently under home arrest with her movements tracked by GPS. She was also forced to forfeit all travel documents.

If convicted, she could face up to 20 years behind bars

According to Gothamist, a further filing by prosecutors continued to appeal against home detention, arguing to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals that electronic monitoring was “insufficient to protect the community and to guard against the risk of flight,” civil unrest was still ongoing and, as two high-powered attorneys from prestigious schools, both Rahman and Mattis were fully aware of the severity of what they were allegedly doing.

So let me say upfront that I’m no expert in the friendship between Rahman and Rizvi, and that not being in jail beats being in jail.

That said, of all of the haphazard bail releases we’ve seen across a country in which massive funds have been amassed to spring alleged lawbreakers from jail — because, um, fight the power — this is arguably the most tone-deaf.

The likelihood that Rahman would be convicted were her case to go to trial is extraordinarily high.

Furthermore, this isn’t just looting Macy’s or spray-painting a Black Lives Matter slogan on a building. This is firebombing a police car. And an Obama administration official helped secure her release — even as the unrest continues.

That kind of logic, even if you’re trying to free your best friend, is very difficult to defend.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture