‘Morn­ing Joe’ of­fers a jolt of le­gal anal­y­sis from Aron­berg

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Local - By An­thony Man [email protected]­sen­tinel.com, 954-356-4550 or Twit­ter @broward­pol­i­tics

View­ers of the MSNBC “Morn­ing Joe” pro­gram have been get­ting doses of le­gal anal­y­sis from Palm Beach County State At­tor­ney Dave Aron­berg.

He’s ap­peared on the early morn­ing show about a half-dozen times this year, mostly from a stu­dio in West Palm Beach.

Aron­berg has opined on a range of top­ics, in­clud­ing the Chi­nese na­tional and pos­si­ble spy ap­pre­hended at Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club and the Na­tional En­quirer’s threat to pub­lish pri­vate pic­tures of Amazon founder Jeff Be­zos.

On Wed­nes­day, Aron­berg weighed in on the col­lege ad­mis­sions scan­dal that has snared ac­tress Felic­ity Huff­man, who has agreed to plead guilty, and ac­tress Lori Lough­lin, who is charged with her hus­band, fash­ion de­signer Mos­simo Gian­nulli, with pay­ing bribes to get their daugh­ters into the Univer­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

A snip­pet of what Aron­berg of­fered: “There’s also a thing called ‘first in, first to win.’ And the first de­fen­dants who take the deal would get the best deal like Felic­ity Huff­man. That’s why it doesn’t bode well for Lori Lough­lin. She has shown no re­morse so far. She has not taken any deal. And so I think there are rough times ahead for her.”

The Har­vard Col­lege and Har­vard Law school grad­u­ate was elected state at­tor­ney in 2012 and re-elected in 2016. Pre­vi­ously, he served in the Florida Se­nate and ran un­suc­cess­fully for the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion for state at­tor­ney gen­eral. Early in his ca­reer, he was an as­sis­tant Florida at­tor­ney gen­eral who spe­cial­ized in fight­ing eco­nomic crimes.

He made news in­ves­ti­gat­ing Miss Cleo, the self-pro­claimed psy­chic and Ja­maican shaman — who turned out to be nei­ther Ja­maican nor a shaman.

When Aron­berg gets a “Morn­ing Joe” in­vi­ta­tion, he typ­i­cally gets a text the day be­fore with sub­ject ar­eas. He said he runs the top­ics by his ethics coun­sel to make sure there isn’t any prob­lem talk­ing about a pro­posed sub­ject. He said he’s de­clined all me­dia re­quests for com­ment on the crack­down on pros­ti­tu­tion at Asian mas­sage par­lors. (Among the 25 peo­ple charged af­ter a sting at a Jupiter mas­sage par­lor is New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots owner Robert Kraft, so there’s a lot of in­ter­est in the sub­ject.)

Wed­nes­day was typ­i­cal. His alarm was set for 4:50 a.m. He drove from his West Palm Beach home to a stu­dio, also in West Palm Beach. He was on the air start­ing at 6:30 a.m.

There’s no money, but he said he did get some “Morn­ing Joe” swag: a cof­fee mug, a shirt and a jacket.

Aron­berg said he’s been “Morn­ing Joe” viewer for years. The ap­pear­ances came about af­ter he was part of a week­long De­fense De­part­ment civil­ian ori­en­ta­tion pro­gram last sum­mer. One of the other busi­ness and po­lit­i­cal lead­ers was an MSNBC ex­ec­u­tive.

They be­came friends and she in­tro­duced Aron­berg to the “Morn­ing Joe” pro­duc­ers and hosts Joe Scar­bor­ough and Mika Brzezin­ski. “They’re true pro­fes­sion­als. They re­ally care about the is­sues and they are able to craft a high-level po­lit­i­cal and le­gal dis­cus­sion with­out it ever be­ing bor­ing.”

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