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Nico LaHood, Former Bexar County Criminal District Attorney

Nico LaHood was the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney for one term. During his time, the District Attorney’s office was changed in many ways with the inclusion of new programs. Outside of his time in elected office, he is a well-known criminal defense trial attorney and now hosts a podcast called R-Rated Christianity. We had a great talk on a broad range of topics.

Transcript:

[music]

Justin Hill: Hello and Bienvenido San Antonio. Welcome to the Alamo Hour discussing the people, places and passion that make our city. My name is Justin Hill, a local attorney, a proud San Antonian and a keeper of chickens and bees. On the Alamo Hour, you’ll get to hear from the people that make San Antonio great and unique and the best-kept secret in Texas. We’re glad that you’re here.

All right, welcome to the Alamo Hour. Today’s guest is Nico LaHood. Nico’s the former criminal district attorney of Bexar County, criminal defense lawyer. He’s got his own podcast, R-Rated Christianity. He’s a public persona. he’s very vocal about his faith, being a father and a husband.

Nico LaHood: Thanks for having me [unintelligible 00:00:53]. How are you doing?

Justin: Nico, thanks for joining us. I’m doing great man. I’m doing great. Are you hanging in there?

Nico: [crosstalk] no complaints. I was shocked to hear that you’re a keeper of chickens and bees.

Justin: I do. I have two beehives. Well, I’ve got to keep my hands busy, I think. It’s idle time, right?

Nico: I’d like to– we’re talking about a garden, God Willing in this next season, especially with all this craziness, you can’t find toilet paper or food during these last months. I’m not going to do anything about the toilet paper but the chickens has been an idea and people have suggested the bees because we have some land that it might be beneficial.

Justin: The chickens are really easy, and they’re funny and they’re social animals and the bees are set it and forget it.

Nico: We have foxes and coyotes in my area though. We have to be really thoughtful.

Justin: You’ve to have a good coop that you close at night. That’s the key. Nico, I start all these with usually about 10 questions. If there’s any way you can speak up a little louder or get closer to your mic, I want to make sure that I don’t sound completely overpowering. I’m going to do fewer questions with you because I want to get into some stuff. First, I always ask people, what are your favorite hidden gems of the city? You’re born and raised here, so what are some of the kept secrets you think of the city?

Nico: Being around my family. [chuckles] I love my kids, [unintelligible 00:02:11] my wife is too good for my stupid ass. Oh, I’m sorry, [unintelligible 00:02:15] podcast. [crosstalk].

Justin: Go for it.

Nico: I married up. I’m really kind of a, it’s either church, workout and I work out in my garage now. I’ve been doing that for years since I’ve been in public office. I started working out at the house to save time. I just enjoy my family now. Now that I’m not out speaking six, seven days a week in this meeting or that meeting, I have rediscovered weekends. We just have occasional dinners, invite a lot of friends and fellowship. We’re just really simple.

Justin: What about visitors who come in? I always tell them go check out the Japanese Tea Garden. I think that’s a great [crosstalk] thing in the town.

Nico: I send people to the missions. I love history, now. I think I got a D when I was in history, younger.

Justin: There you go.

Nico: I can’t get enough of history now. I’ve gone back and started setting the Constitution and the Articles of Confederation, the federalist papers and Bill of Rights and all that declaration and constant. I just love it now, I can’t get enough of it. I like to send them to historical places. Of course, they already know about the Riverwalk. That’s it.

Justin: That’s a good one. I think the other missions– I was here three years before I finally saw them and was disappointed it took me so long. Next question. Have you caught up with Chasnoff lately?

Nico: I have nothing for him anymore because [unintelligible 00:03:34].

Justin: You all had such a public spat. I didn’t know if I have to get [crosstalk].

Nico: If Brian reached out to me and he wanted to talk, if he ever needed prayer, if he ever needed counsel, if he was ever accused of a crime, I would fight for him like I fight for all my clients and I would minister to him like I minister to anybody with I’m doing prison ministry or somebody in our Bible study. I also tell him when he’s wrong, and I’ll tell him the truth and I’ll tell it harshly or softly. However he wants.

I have to admit that he is irritating because I don’t believe and this is my opinion that he’s an honest person. I can prove that if he ever would ever talk to me, but he hasn’t. Even though I’m called in my faith, Justin, as you know, to forgive, and it’s a choice, it’s not a feeling. I’ve chosen to do that with a lot of people and I forgive him. If he ever needs help or if you ever need anything, I’m here for him.

Justin: That was really just messed up.

Nico: That’s an honest answer.

Justin: No, no I appreciate it. I didn’t know if after it was all said and done there was like a call of, “Hey man.” How would you describe R-Rated Christianity? I’ve listened to a few episodes.

Nico: The R-Rated catches people’s attention. It stands for real raw and redemption. The real is we talk about real topics. We’re not very Christianese language, obviously. We don’t talk about the typical Kumbaya topics in a church to feel good. We talk about real topics. We do it in a raw way. I use some slang that that pisses off some church people. I never use the Lord’s name in vain. I don’t drop any f-bombs on that podcast because I consider my audience and my faith and Ephesians 4:29 tells me to consider my audience. [crosstalk].

Justin: [unintelligible 00:05:14]

Nico: I didn’t get close on some of these, but it’s an apologetic style podcast. What that means it comes from the Greek word of Apollo Gaea to give an answer. When you look at the Greek Apollo Gaea, it’s to give a defense almost like a defense attorney defending your client. I always tell people my number one client is a first-century Jew named Jesus. He went by Joshua, but as they translated it to Jesus.

I give a defense for why are you a Christian? What does that mean? Tell me about this topic. I think the church has done a crappy job answering some really good questions that people have and especially our young people. I think that sucks and they don’t honor God, [unintelligible 00:05:48]. Did you say I could use slang every once in a while? Is that okay?

Justin: Do whatever you want.

Nico: It drives the shit out of me when people, they falsely accuse and convict my faith and God for something He didn’t do. Bill Maher’s really good at it. I would love to talk to him someday. He just has a misunderstanding of the faith. I went through a deep dive, Justin, as you’ve heard probably in some of my talks. After my brother was murdered, I was pissed off at God. I asked a bunch of questions. Questions that the typical Christian or the typical church person doesn’t ask and there’s answers to that.

It was a hard road. It was a rough road, I lived in the prism of anger and unforgiveness for years. I was released from that and I’m forever grateful to God for that. I had answers for why I’m a Christian. This podcast in a raw way, not fake Kumbaya way talks about a real guy, who I believe was the Messiah and God incarnate. Then there’s answers to all these questions people have, and so we try to address the real questions.

Justin: I was the editor of the law review at Baylor and one of the articles we published was a analysis of the criminal prosecution of Jesus. That Professor then went on to write a book about it. That was [crosstalk].

Nico: I would love to read that. Let me tell you, because that is the most famous murder scene in the history of mankind, Jesus Christ. You should describe it. In this first-century, he was murdered by the Romans and they were really damn good at murdering people. He did not get the due process as you know from doing that review, there was a Jewish law in place that due process they tried Him at nighttime.

Caiaphas and Pontius Pilate and Herod, nobody could find anything wrong with Him. They just gave into the mob mentality, kind of what we’re seeing today, ironically. Pilate just said, screw it, man, give them Jesus. I don’t know what the hell you want Him for. We’ll give you Barabus, kill this guy. He couldn’t find anything wrong with him. There was no due process. He didn’t confront His witnesses. He didn’t have effective assistance of counsel. He wasn’t tried by his peers, and it was done in a very expedient way and in the night. It was a murder scene. It was not done justly. It’s interesting you did that article. I didn’t know about that.

Justin: I didn’t write it. I published it though. I will send it to you. That Professor went on to write a whole book on it and it’s been redone. I think they did a video of it too. You’re an attorney, you’re a trial lawyer, I have heard people that even have said, “Well, I’m not a big Nico fan but man that guy’s good in trial.” Some of these prosecutors that you ruffled their feathers back in the day. I’ve heard many people say how good you are in trail. What are your thoughts on Zoom trials?

Nico: None at all. [unintelligible 00:08:24] There’s no way. You’ve got someone cross-examination, your read body language, walking, and talking evidencing, objecting. How do you approach the bench? How do you know that if you’re not or in a jury box right now, how do I know that [unintelligible 00:08:39] my uncle was in the back watching too, and he gives me history’s damn sense and nobody asked for. It’s a horrible idea. I have a lot of opinions about what’s going on right now. Zoom trials it’s not constitutional and I would never support it or advise it for a client.

Justin: Yes, there’s an ABA article and there was some jurors, one of them was on a peloton working out for another one cuddled up in their bed with her cat. I want to talk to you a little bit about your run as DA. I think, to some extent it unfairly got clouded in some of the controversies that happened, but you actually did a lot and changed a lot of the processes within the DA’s office that I don’t think got enough attention at the time. You did pre-trial diversion. You changed the Public Integrity unit. Maybe I said that wrong, how you titled it, but talk to me about some of your accomplishments in the DAs office.

Nico: We went from [unintelligible 00:09:30] public integrity unit. We started a law enforcement integrity unit that of course, pissed off some of the union at first. They realized damn, if I’m in the right Nico is going to stand in front of us. If I’m in the wrong, I got some problems. That’s the way it should be, by the way. We started a conviction integrity unit because it was like only the ninth in the country, third in the state only at the time, because we should have honest and good convictions.

Our oath was to ensure justice was done not to secure convictions. That means did we get it right? And people are, why are you starting to conviction integrity unit? Because I’m the DA and my responsibility is to protect the community from itself, but also from the government. I’m not a big government guy, I’m a libertarian leaning Republican now but I’ve always been the same.

Even when I ran as a Democrat, I was a blue dog Democrat. I was proud to be a Democrat back then and a blue dog Democrat but I believed in small government [unintelligible 00:10:23] take care of my roads, make sure we don’t get foreign invaders, make sure we can do business and protect us from each other, and that includes a good justice system, and I was honored to serve as District attorney. I never thought I could. Justin, as you know, I was arrested for selling drugs when I was younger. My brother was murdered in my driveway. People thought I was going to go straight to prosecution and I ended up being a defense attorney for almost a little over 13 years and I did it passionately, as you mentioned earlier, and I was honored to serve as DA and I think I did a different perspective.

What I am not good at, brother, is I am a shitty politician because I don’t tell people what they want to hear. I tell them the truth. My no is a no my yes is a yes, I’ll give you my answer. I won’t try a case in the court of public opinion and I’ll meet with anybody. I never–you can ask anybody that worked with me at the time. Anybody would–I never said no to a meeting. I’ve been in the toughest meetings, Justin, you can ever imagine in meetings where the prosecutor’s like, damn, Nico, why’d you do that to their family? Because I either chose against the death penalty or something.

Everyone thought I was going to be this pro death, which I am. I’m a responsible supporter of the death penalty. Responsible, that’s the keyword. Many times I chose against it because of the facts or law or the way juries were moving in that season and I met with every family. I never told a family no Justin, and because that wasn’t given the respect to us by Governor Perry at the time, I made sure that I didn’t– I wasn’t a hypocrite.

Justin: Talk to me about the pretrial diversion because Susan Reed was very staunchly against any type of pretrial diversion program. What is a pretrial diversion program and then how did you Institute it or what did you bring to pass as you [crosstalk] with the DA?

Nico: Yes. We did a couple of things. We did the first adjudication on obstruction of highway, which is different on DWI cases. Before they changed the laws, we were ahead of the curve on that because people were forced, their lives are being substantially altered and rightfully so, they’ve taken responsibility, but come on, man, they had a conviction on their record. So we started there and then pretrial diversion, think about pretrial, diverting the adjudication of any type of adjudication of guilt or even deferred adjudication and the key to pretrial diversion is you can get it expunged.

That’s the key so it’s a special type of supervision. It doesn’t–we ran it through the probation office. I worked very well with the probation department. It’s just a no brainer. It’s in the statute. We allow it. Why would we want to do it for certain nonviolent crimes? You know, I had a huge advocacy and I think we instilled a restorative justice model because I think I’m a product of restorative justice from what I went through with the justice system when I was young and very foolish, but yet I was harsh on violent crimes.

Genene Jones, no one said could be prosecuted and we prosecuted Genene Jones because of the hard work that one of my law partners, Jason Gossan and Jay and other people and myself, we worked on together, she’s going to meet the Lord from prison where she belongs and that’s justice, that’s the right result.

Pretrial diversion, you get back to that answer, it’s a wonderful opportunity for a first time offender or for whenever a prosecutor used their discretion and feels that it’s appropriate for someone to expunge a case if they fulfill all the stat, the requirements of their agreement with the state and with the government and the judge, so it doesn’t go on their record and it can be expunged. So we implemented that and I think it was the right thing to do.

Justin: What would you say were your biggest accomplishments at the DA’s office?

Nico: The culture change. I think people enjoyed– there was a lot of things and you’ll never hear me say, and I never did when I was in office, me or my or I, it was always we, us and our. I was the leader of that organization for a period of time, the buck stopped with me. I never passed on, threw people under the bus. I took responsibility. I stood in front of the folks that worked with me, but the culture, I think people even now are saying that the culture was very different. I like to think that people enjoyed coming to work and took pride in being prosecutors. There was– it’s right here on my where’s it at?

Oh, it’s up there, everybody that left my office, it’s right behind me said, do what’s right not what’s easy. Everybody knew that. Do what’s right not what’s easy is whatever– here’s where the only rules in the office don’t do anything illegal. Obviously it’s a DA’s office. Don’t do anything unethical. Obviously that’s fine but do what’s right. Do what’s right. Not what’s easy. I might not agree with you. You might get spoken to about it and learn from it, but you’re never going to lose your job if you did what was ethical and what was legal.

For me, I always add in their moral, but I don’t impose on anybody else, but so that was it. I think people enjoyed coming to work and appreciated the environment. Around 200-500 employees roughly.

Justin: Okay. We’re a little different than some cities because our DA’s office is also our County attorney, in which other counties have a County attorney and a DA. In our County, the district attorneys is in charge of both of those functions, right?

Nico: It’s called the criminal district attorney, so in Travis County, they have a district attorney and to have a County attorney. The County attorney is the county’s civil firm and they’re also the misdemeanor prosecutors and then the district attorney handles all felony. For us in Harris County, I believe Tarrant County, there might be one other one. I can’t think, I think there’s one other one, but they’re criminal district attorneys. That means that they handle all the felonies, child protective services, all the civil work and all the misdemeanors, so it’s a big operation to overlook.

Justin: Yes. You would always say you were the criminal district attorney, even though you all had the civil function in house. I never really understood why. Your time in the DA’s office and to be fair, I helped out with your first campaign where you were unsuccessful, your second campaign where you were successful. Your first campaign, those meetings at Panchito’s I made friends that I still stay in touch with.

Your time in office, there was some controversy. There was the vaccine issues and there was the people that you would kind of engage with on social media or in the comments section of the San Antonio express. Do you think those took away from the good work that you all did in terms of your attention?

Nico: I don’t know. I guess the jury’s out on that, but I can’t not be myself. I don’t think there’s a vaccine controversy. It’s controversial just because people want to make it controversial. I have an opinion. I have an experience, I’ve looked at the data and the research, people want to call names, but then they don’t know why they’re calling people names. I don’t live in the soundbite world. It’s no different than someone coming up and say, hey, Mr. DA– this is a law enforcement agency– hey, Justin Hill is guilty.

Okay, cool. He’s guilty. Why? Just because I said so. That doesn’t fly Mr. Law enforcement officer and so, I look at the data, I research things like I’ve done with my faith as I shared with you, I do it with everything I do. I’ve vaccinated two of my kids from head to toe and one of them is vaccine injured. I have no doubt about it. I can talk about it. I can talk about the science or lack of science and the problem that I have with the whole vaccine issue is last time I checked, we still live in America. I know that’s dwindling away as we speak, but free speech and freedom of thought, freedom of expression, why can’t we agree to disagree and let’s hash out and share good?

If my idea sucks, I should be able to share it without you calling me names. I can’t walk into court or you can’t walk into court and us call each other names, we have to present evidence. We make a claim, we back it up with evidence and then the jury comes back with a verdict. But in this world, vaccines has become a religion. You want to talk about faith? There’s a religion of vaccines.

All I tell people is, why are we putting so much faith in big pharma? We’re not trying to be mean to doctors, but opioid problem, whose problem was that? You know about the opioid problem, right? We’ve talked about that. It was big pharma. They’re bamboozled doctors. Let’s just cut to the chase. They bamboozled doctors and we have an opioid epidemic. Not because people are selling opioids on the corner. Hey, Justin, you want to buy some opioids? It’s because pharma misled people including doctors to say that they were not as addictive as they were. We know that from Virginia to us.

When I was DA, we filed a lawsuit as the County, and you know that, against pharma for, for the opioid epidemic here and what it’s cost our County and rehabilitation and things of that nature. We know what they did with Vioxx. We know we’ve done with other companies. We know what those notes said during that lawsuit, so I don’t understand why that mentality cannot be applied if the evidence supports it to vaccines.

There’s no double blind placebo studies. They’re not considered a drug. They’re considered a biologics. That’s why you don’t have to go through the phase four studies. Phase one, animal detox. Phase two, safety. Phase three, efficacy. Then post-marketing studies. That’s phase four. They don’t go through that. That’s a problem for someone like me. I won’t get into the vaccine discussion, but I didn’t think it was controversial. I was just sharing my opinion. I can divorce the fact from the fact that I’m the DA at the time that we were sharing it.

President Obama shared his opinion about vaccines when he was the president, governor Perry shared his opinions about vaccine, the Gardasil vaccine, when he was the governor, I happened to be the DA. It’s just what I did it. Wasn’t who I was. I’m a daddy before I am the DA and I have a vaccine injured child. To me, it was no big deal, I’m not going to be a fake ass person just because I’m the DA.

Justin: Yes. I think what I saw in some of the media coverage was less of the opinion and more about the fact [crosstalk] this was a documentary, right?

Nico: I gave an opinion. I’m on the second documentary, my wife and I. On the first one, they’d come into [unintelligible 00:19:36], called Vaxxed, V-A-X-X-E-D and so I wasn’t on it, but I gave an opinion about vaccines, and so people went ape shit over that, which is okay, I guess. I don’t care. I really don’t care. When I’m holding my son, because he’s having a meltdown and I see him trapped in his own body and he can’t speak well and he can’t share with me his thoughts and nobody’s there and there’s no Brian [unintelligible 00:19:57] or Gilbert Garcias or anybody else that thinks they have an opinion because they don’t really have an opinion, they have a bunch of sound bites they bought into.

I have to give an answer to God and to my son someday and I’ve told him, I’m never going to let your voice be unheard just because you can’t speak, I’m going to speak for you. I know what I saw. My son was not born that way. We have video and pictures, it’s not in our history and our family, and then I did some research, I finally became a good defense attorney for my son. I started asking tough questions and people didn’t have answers as pots of scientists from Merck that actually worked on the bench as they say, in the actual laboratory, people that don’t vaccinate their own kids.

Look, you want to vaccinate, vaccinate. Just don’t call me names if you can’t back it up and I don’t think that’s a way to start a discussion by name-calling. We don’t run our justice system that way so I don’t think we should run the court of public opinion that way either if we’re going to be good neighbors.

Justin: Towards the end of your tenure, you had a very public spat with another lawyer, he is now the district attorney. That became a public grievance issue and all those types of things. You hit the ground running coming back into the private sector. Your partners with well, I guess all of–they all left the DA’s office, right?

Nico: Yes, we all plus there’s five of us here in the firm now. I’m blessed that they’re just–I learn from them everyday. They’re some of the best lawyers I’ve ever worked with when I was the DA and even now as a defense attorney. Ironically, during that grievance I was exonerated from the actual thing that got all the media attention. The whole threatening, that was not found to be true in a grievance and you know the standard’s low. That was found not to be true.

Of course, that didn’t get any of the attention except for Yami [unintelligible 00:21:40]. I have to give her credit. She gave me an audience, you can go back and look at it. She posted the whole interview, I thought that was very honorable of her. I have a very high opinion of Yami. I have a high opinion about Yami-

Justin: I like Yami a lot, we’re good friends.

Nico: -for a reason, I can give reasons why. Everybody else, it wasn’t sexy. They dinged me because in the middle of a trial, I said I’m not going to let them lie and that he’s not a killer. Every DA in the history of Texas has said, Susan, we’re going to string them up and they’re guilty. Just by the fact that I indict somebody, I’m saying they’re guilty or else I’m unethical for not indicting them.

There’s a little technicality that nobody really focused on because we’re worried about the serious character allegations that were unfounded and false and deceptively made. We were exonerated on those and I’m honored and it was a big deal. Of course, it didn’t get the attention, but so be it. That’s the way it goes.

Justin: Okay. I want to talk a little bit about attention. Since you’ve been gone, you’ve been associated with some high profile or high publicity cases. Most recently, the Judge Wolff guy slapping the thing out of his hand and then our constable Michelle Barrientos, you’re involved with those. Are you seeking out some of the more high profile stuff or is it just kind of stumbled into your life?

Nico: You know, I don’t seek anything out. Lawyers don’t seek things out and I know you can advertise, but I don’t seek anything out. I’m humbled that these people come to us as a team, that they trust their life. We take it serious. It’s not about the attention, we just want to do great work for people. We are more seasoned on handling high profile cases, I think people know that.

Anybody that comes to this firm knows we’re not afraid to fight, we’re not going to lay down. We’re set up in a way that we don’t have to try to put people through the system, we want to make sure we get the right result for them. We give them the attention they deserve and for clients of ours, Justin, as you know with your clients, they don’t give a crap about any other clients you have. To them, their case is the biggest case and so we treat it that way.

Thank God that Jay and I and Jason, all of us, we put together a culture here where since there’s five lawyers, two people can be out trying a case in a hearing and there’s three more lawyers back here that are handling everything so people don’t fall through the crack. So, the answer is no, we don’t seek out those things. When we meet with people we just talk to them, we don’t try to sell them on anything. We’re just going to inform them about us and about the legal process, talk about our experience and then they can make a decision from there.

Justin: I guess seek out was the improper term. I will get calls sometimes and it will be like, “Hey, would you be interested in this case? There’s some profile to it.” People know I’m happy to take those cases because I’m not worried about it and I think that’s probably your reputation as well, not worried about publicity.

Nico: Yes, I know and even the lowest public case we treat the same way. You can talk to our client, we treat the same way. We don’t turn away from a high public case.

Justin: I had a case with Jane Norton on the other side of me and we butted heads about 10 years ago and then Balentine was a neighbor of mine for years. What are you all mostly focusing on at your firm now?

Nico: Some on defense, we got federal and state, is it our focal point. We work with other lawyers whether it’s PI, we don’t do them directly, we’re litigators or family of things of this nature. We have some wills and some civil lawyers that we can refer cases to and work with. We litigate any case, we’re trial lawyers as you know and you’ve been prosecutors as long collectively as you all have. We all have a lot of trial experience and so that’s really our selling point because as you know, in the justice system, when two sides can’t come to an agreement, on the civil side or the criminal side, our arena is the courtroom.

We have to persuade 12 strangers for federal cases or felony cases or six people in misdemeanor cases, that our position is correct and we want them to vote our way. I think people trust our trial experience on both sides, that is prosecutors and former prosecutors and defense attorneys.

Justin: Are you all doing all types of criminal work, white collar, everything?

Nico: [crosstalk] my case is federal, state, both.

Justin: I’m just curious, what are some of the common stuff a defense firm see or a criminal defense firm, is it on drugs?

Nico: It depends, drugs is highly– when I was DA I always met with the grand jury after they were done with their service, once they were finished, everybody said the same thing. I am shocked how many drug cases we have in Bear county, from small to big ones. That’s shocking. A lot of drug cases, because I did the pre-trial diversion and then some of the other programs were justice [unintelligible 00:26:06] when I was DA, I don’t know if people saw those– some lawyers focused on the ABIs, some people focus on certain cases.

I think with our wide range of experience and I say this humbly and I’m honored because of all the experience of all the guys have, we can really handle a wide– like Patrick was in the white collar division, he was in Appellate. He’s board certified in appellate law and criminal law. He’s one of our brainiacs. I’m the mouthpiece, he’s the brains. Jason is board certified in criminal law. He’s the one that led up our prosecution on Genene Jones. Jay has been practicing law for 35 years, he’s experienced in the law of hard knock in he’s old school from the old. In all of our I think our CV speak for themselves. Gary was a misdemeanor prosecutor, he’s a great guy.

Justin: You talk to [crosstalk]

Nico: As much as I can tolerate–I talked to him this morning, I miss him. I didn’t want to interrupt Ted but he partnered up with somebody, Roman Ramos and him. They’re great lawyers and great friend. Andrew is more of a brother, the kind of cousin that you never wanted but closer to a brother.

Justin: That everyone picks on just a little bit.

Nico: [crosstalk] Let me tell you about Andrew, he never bitched once. Every time I ran and we were doing well, he’s like, “Are you sure Nico, you want to run?” And I said, “No, I’m not Andrew but I believe this is what I’m called to do. I believe this is what the Lord is asking me to do.” He says, “Okay” and then he was all in. We took a lot of shit. After it didn’t work out against Susan, whatever you want to call that, we just sucked it up and worked hard and then [chuckles] when I told him I want to run again, he said, “What?” He’s a brother.

Justin: [chuckles] When you were elected, it’s a good point to sort of pivot into this, you were elected by a broad group of independent but also progressive groups. I’ve been listening to your R Rated Christianity podcast scenes from of your interviews, you’ve taken a turn where you align politically at least based on where the group’s were that supported you and sort of the positions you take now on your show. Has there been something that’s kind of caused you to make it right turn and your politics were sort of beliefs?

Nico: No, they’re the same. You talk to anybody, it’s been the same. We just were in a–The Democrat party was a [inaudible 00:28:15]. I have friends that are gay, I have friends that are transgender, transexual and you name it. They know I love them. My faith says one thing, my heart and the way I’m going to treat them as someone that I believe is an image bearer of God and that I love them and I see their value, regardless. I have friends that commit adultery, I’m a broken ass vessel myself, I’m just hopefully a little less broken than I was yesterday.

So, no. If you listen to what I told Justin, my faith I’m really the same. I’m actually the same. Obviously because I’m talking on a Christian apologetics podcast, I am actually teaching on and defending the Christian world view, but the way I treat people and the way I am and think and what I believed is the same. It’s exactly the same.

Justin: Who’s your co-host in that?

Nico: [crosstalk] Which one Salvo, or [unintelligible 00:29:08]?

Justin: Your talking like one. [chuckles] The one who gets it going and bounces things off of you.

Nico: Salvo is not on every time. The hispanic guy Salvo? The one that has accent?

Justin: Yes.

Nico: Okay, that’s Salvo. George is the brainiac guy that’s just insanely intelligent and him and I do a lot of teaching together. George is the other guy, Salvo is the one that’s the good mediator.

Justin: Okay. I have seen Broadcast make appearances.

Nico: Broadcast and podcast are in the same building before me. If he’s hanging out I think– he’s only stuck his head in one time. He hasn’t been on regular, which I would have him on if it was relevant to a Christian discussion, but he’s not our regular person on there.

Justin: Okay, you talk about it in terms of Christian discussion. The one that I watched most recently was about hate speech and it seemed a little belabored how he was mixing the two and then Brock Al shows up and he’s talking about the Chinese flu and it seemed a mix of politics and then you would get back to really dense political teachings and Bible verses. It was a strange mix of politics that then almost didn’t match up with the teaching. Did that one, just get off the rails or [inaudible 00:30:21]

Nico: I know, we just go where the conversation goes. I don’t think Brock House was not planned for him to stick his nose in [inaudible 00:30:27] I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but Salvo brought him in because they were talking about it earlier I was talking about free speech and being able to talk. We’ve talked many times on politics and faith. Politics gets confused with platform. Politics in the Greek, the politica, it means advocacy. You are a politician just when you’re advocating for something. Another definition of politics where is very interesting is advocating for- listen to this, the affairs of the city. That’s politics.

I believe that politics and your faith should go hand in hand. If someone is Islamic, they’re going to advocate politics for their worldview in their platform. If someone believes in the LGBT movement, then they’re going to advocate or politic their worldview in their platform or a feminist or a taoist or a Hindu or Buddhist or whatever, agnostic or atheist. Politics to me just means advocacy.

Platform is a platform. Your platform is going to reflect your politics, your advocacy points. What you believe about pro-choice or pro-life? What you believe about marriage, what do you believe about gender? What do you believe about sin and redemption? What do you believe about value in life and what God holds sacred and sex and sexual stuff? Those are political issues today, but they’re advocacy points for any worldview you’re coming from. The church has made a huge mistake not talking about issues that happen to be political, but they’re just issues. Does that make sense?

Justin: It does, but then you get into tax consequences if they started advocating political positions as one thing, how do you view the separate- you agree, there is a constitutional separation of church and state, I assume.

Nico: No, there’s no constitutional separation. That comes from a letter in 1801 from then President Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist. If you look at the article confederation, the constitution, the declaration, the federalist papers, your bill of rights, there is no separation of church and state. Matter of fact, it was the opposite and I will bore you because we teach on this by the way.

There was a letter written to the Danbury Baptist where President Jefferson was thanking them for their support and their prayers. You can Google the letter, forget about what I’m saying that he he’s talking about context, we need to separate church and state. We don’t need the state imposing on our right to express our views and it’s been bastardized because it got into case law. It comes from case law, it doesn’t come from our constitution.

Justin: Okay. John Adams was famous for saying that we were not founded on a Christian religion. There’s a famous quote where he says our country is not founded on the Christian religion. That was John Adams and Thomas Jefferson is famous for mocking religion like Christianity and saying that he thinks later in life, it will be considered just another fable that people talk about. Our founding fathers have a mix of all of that. What is your background belief in the way they helped frame things in light of the fact that some of them weren’t devout, some were devout and really, I don’t think that the constitution ever said the word God or Christian anywhere in it.

Nico: Declaration of Independence mentions God the creator nature and nature’s God four different times and talks about the separation of powers, which comes from Isaiah 33:22, God is the King, executive branch. God is the lawmaker, legislative branch and God is the judge, the judicial branch. They got that framework. My opinion doesn’t matter it’s what the history calls for. Right?

I look at the letters. John Adams is also famous for writing Abigail, his wife, and before the first continental Congress, they prayed for two hours. They fasted and they studied four chapters of the Bible one of them was Psalm 35 and he says, Abigail, we have the letters, Abigail read Psalm 35, tell your dad to study it. We can fight the British now, now that we’re done with the French Indian Moreno 1763, we can fight and can separate the 13 colonies, blah, blah.

We had these wonderful letters that they actually did a Bible study before the first continental Congress. We know that 29, Justin of the 56 signers of the declaration of independence from Benjamin Russ to Charles Carroll and all these people that people don’t know their names because we only mention two or three of them, had the equivalent today of a Bible degree. 29 of the 56 founders.

There was some DS in there and there was some people that were lukewarm but they all agreed that this framework had to come under some ideology. There’s some fascinating quotes that I won’t bore you with right now from Congress and they’re in the minutes, the house of representatives in 1853 and 1856 that are pretty bold that no house– Congress won’t mention and these things today, but at some point, I’ll share them with you and I think your listeners will be fascinated whether they agree or not to hear it. It was very open. We were very open in our case law and in our declarations from government of our ideology.

Justin: Clearly you’ve read a lot into this, what is the thinking behind why Christianity and God were excluded from our constitution? Because it explicitly allows freedom of religion, therefore accepting the idea that everybody is free to practice any type of religion. It excludes things from the declaration of independence, which was the declaration was clearly a different function and meaning. What is your research showing or your reading to why it was excluded?

Nico: My research and my understanding is the declaration was the philosophy behind the law and the constitution is the law, but the declaration was the philosophy. The Federalist papers was an apologetics to the constitution and why we get to set up this thing as a constitutional republic and not a true democracy and that was that first element of protecting ourselves from ourselves. George Washington has nominal statements like, it’s impossible to run a nation without God and the Bible. He declared that he only survived the French-Indian war because of the divine intervention because the Indians had snipers on him and his jacket had holes in them. There was no reason that he should have survived.

George Washington’s farewell speech was more of a sermon if you go back and read it and he warned about moral compass and our founding fathers wanted a virtuous people, like how are we going to treat each other? What’s our definition of right and wrong? They wanted an educated populace. When you look at the declaration, it mentions God or creator nature, and nature’s God, four times, inalienable rights endowed, very specific words by our creator not by us. It wasn’t by government. Government can’t take them away because they didn’t give them.

Our founding fathers believed that the government role, one of them was to protect you from you, someone infringing on your inalienable rights or inalienable rights from the creator. That was very clear. The constitution is a legal document. It encompasses that philosophy. They have two different roles. What I learned is that you have to understand them for their specific roles in our government.

Justin: You agree that there were Unitarians, there were deists, there were Christians so God encompasses all of that as well.

Nico: They clearly meant that [inaudible 00:37:19] was very clear about that and like I said, on a different show or maybe offline, we can talk about, I’m fascinated by their letters, their letters are like the emails today. Their letters say a lot, their speeches say a lot. I can read to you or what John Jay said. John Jay is our first Supreme court justice. He was number one of a huge movement in the abolitionist movement but he believed that our country should prefer Christians as their leaders just because of that true godly nature of our leaders.

That we can humble ourselves and not think that we have that DA syndrome or that president syndrome or that Senator syndrome or that supreme court justice syndrome. That we all have to answer to something greater than ourselves. He advised that we should pray over our juries as John J thought that I think that’s fascinating. There’s so many letters and statements from our government officials– nobody learns any more. I didn’t know about it, Justin, when I went into this deep dive I was like, holy shit, are you serious? This is real. I never knew this stuff and now I’m in my thirties and forties learning this stuff. I’m 47 now, I’ve been at it for a little while.

Justin: There’s a series of letters between Thomas Jefferson and his nephew I believe that I remember reading in college and Dershowitz wrote a book all about it, discussing where some people were very devout– Thomas Jefferson was very, almost mocking of people that had blind faith in a way. There was a mix of founding fathers where they fleshed out on things. I found it very interesting when I was in college to start reading some of that. I found the already Christianity really interesting, and that you would get into these very deep discussions about Christianity and then come back to politics as well. Is the show training in a political angle?

Nico: It’s Training in the discussion of real issues. The church has really fallen on their ass as a whole, not every church because they don’t talk about issues that people have questions about. People have questions, young people have questions, older people have questions, parishioners have questions, and I’ve literally heard pastors in churches say, Oh, we don’t address that issue here. Well, man, you expect these people to walk out of this room and live a Christian life and not know how that applies with this issue or that issue or whatever it is? What’s the biblical lens on this deal?

Justin: Are there any churches in San Antonio you think made good a job of addressing those issues?

Nico: If I say that, then I’m going to talk about other people by default, that aren’t doing a good job. I’m going to refrain from saying that just because I really don’t want to embarrass or overly pump anybody up.

Justin: How about any authors, any authors you think do a really good job of [crosstalk]?

Nico: Biblical authors, I read a lot of colleges, Ravi Zacharias just went to the Lord recently. He was a trailblazer. Josh McDowell was an atheist. He is a lawyer and I like his work. The Evidence That Demands a Verdict is a really good book and I love that he was an atheist. He wasn’t drinking the Kool-Aid, singing Kumbaya in some church revival, he was an atheist. Lee Strobel, as you know, was an atheist and was antagonistic to the Christian worldview. Jim Warner Wallace used to be a cold-case detective, he was an atheist.

The people like that think like I do. I think like them, I’m that kind of analytical. My opinion doesn’t matter, what is the evidence show me? I believe there’s strong evidence for this worldview, the Christian worldview, and so that’s why Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, these are all good legal minds. Then Jim Warner Wallace were intriguing to me. There’s other people too but those three pop out.

Justin: Do you teach? Do you teach at Sunday School– [crosstalk]

Nico: I do, I teach. I do a men’s Bible study. Justin, I’ve been doing for coming up on eleven years, every Wednesday. Then George and I, the other guy, not Salvo, but the other guy, him and I teach quarterly on some of these apologetic issues in the churches and in our church and our pastor allows it.

Justin: Your R-Rated Christianity and look, you’ve got a political past and you still talk a lot about local politics and the city as a whole and how we’re doing. You recently popped up discussing Ron Nuremberg’s language that he used that you disapproved of. I saw you even mention you might run again. What are some of the issues that you think are facing San Antonio at this time– [crosstalk]

Nico: It just seems like our leaders are pushing an agenda that maybe is antithetical to our traditional values that we have here. I’m just talking about an idea of shutting down discussion, of getting away from a biblical understanding of society. That’s it. Let’s be clear because what Ron did and I know Ron, I like Ron as a person, I have no issue with Ron as a person that I know, at least, what I think I know if. I had an issue with him–

Look, I use the F word. I use slang. Christians freak out, whatever. I never use the Lord’s name in vain, it matters to someone that believes what I believe. People try to put that word in the same line as a slang word, I don’t think that’s true. He used GDN in discussion, I have a right to express that. People will try to attack me and whatever, and that’s fine.

They have a right to do that.

I’m just telling you that you can’t even draw a picture of Muhammad without the Islamic community coming at you. Good for them. They want to defend their faith and their religion and the way they believe but Christians don’t defend our worldview the same way. All I’m encouraging people is to know what you stand for, draw a line in the sand and have discussions.

I was not happy about Chick-fil-A being kicked out of the airport. Chick-fil-A is a great business, period, end of story, you know that. The initial reasons that were given for it, Justin, really attacked, if you will since– we use that word a lot these days, a Christian worldview. The reason is why they did it, they adjust it in audible that the end but that’s all. I just share my opinion.

I invited Ron on the show, as you know, he’s welcome to come on anytime. He can politic from the show and give his case why he should stay in there. I’ll give them that platform. I’ll ask him some questions. Just like when he goes to the Islamic community, they ask him tough questions, I’m sure. I’ve been there. LGBT asked you some tough questions as they should. Other people ask questions. The Christian worldview and groups should do the same thing and Ron is welcome anytime. He has my number, he’s welcome on the show anytime.

Justin: You mentioned on one of your shows I was watching that you like Ron a lot. You think a lot of his policies are trash. I guess what I was trying to figure out is other Chick-fil-A, what are some of the things that you think directionally or from a policy standpoint that you think we’re getting on the right path?

Nico: This called defunding the police, if we’re going that route, man, that’s really dangerous. Let me tell you why. Obviously, this is probably my real house is there’s no data that backs that up. There’s just no data that backs that up. I’ve never given into the mob mentality, Justin, you know that. My yes is a yes, my no is a no. I’m transparent, I meet with people. I made myself available. I never told people what they wanted to hear, I told him what I believe with the truth.

I was always open to being corrected if I was mistaken or wrong. You have to. How can you do that? Just because you hold the title or you’re a public servant, that doesn’t mean that you’re right. I don’t know. I’m going to keep learning till the day I leave this earth. I hope so. [inaudible 00:44:33]

Justin: I think that’s a great point because so many times people are lambasted if they change their mind. Facts change, they learn more, they go, “Oh, now, I think this” and they’re considered flip flopping.

Nico: Justin, I changed death penalty decisions at the last minute. People should want that. There was a person in the office that was going to get released and terminated on an issue that came– Then he goes, “Can I speak? Can I just say one more thing?” We had already made up our mind at the council and then I’d made up my mind as the DA at the time but I said, “Yes, you can.”

He told me something and the people joked with me the whole time I was in the office, I said, “Niko, we knew, we saw your face, you changed your mind.” Because he told me something that was truthful and it made sense to me. Even though it would have looked whatever because I change my mind because we were going to let him go and I didn’t, it was one of the best decisions I made.

It blessed him, his family blessed me. It blessed all of us. We had a great relationship up to that point. I’m just glad that I was humble enough to be open to truth and that I was persuaded to respond to truth the right way. I just don’t think that happens. I think that we get so nervous because we want to appease everybody, a lot of politicians. What’s wrong with disagreeing?

I’ve had tough conversations, Justin, and we disagreed. Leaving the conversation, we had a tremendous respect for each other. We actually shook hands meaningful, many of us hugged and that was it but we disagreed. That’s life. That’s our society.

Justin: Back to the defund police thing, I think the city passed an $8 million increase in the police budget in the middle of all of this. When you say you’re critical of the defund the police, just generally the movement or do you think San Antonio is failing on that?

Nico: I hope is not going to come here. I think we’re a family, society, culture. We’re really a very traditional culture with heavy Hispanic and Mexican influence. A very faith influence with Catholic denominations and faith and things of this nature, very close knit. I just hate division, Justin, I do. Just because you disagree with someone, it doesn’t mean you have to be divided from that person. I really hope people can let that sink in.

You can disagree with someone and not have to be divided. The problem today, Justin is to disagree with each other politically, you have to hate each other. I have friends [unintelligible 00:46:39], that’s insane.

Justin: Oh, yes, it’s crazy.

Nico: What are you talking about? No, I will never buy into that dialogue. I disagree with some dear friends of mine passionately and then we have our debates and we work it out like we– just kind of this passionate discussion, never disrespectful and then we go back to loving each other and doing life together. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? I don’t want it to be so tribal. Right now, what I see is so much tribalism.

Like I said, I was called homophobic. You can ask [unintelligible 00:47:10] I have close friends that live the gay lifestyle and they’ll tell you, there’s nothing homophobic about Nico LaHood. They’ll tell you that, not me, they will say that. They know it. I love on them, I love them, they’re welcome in my home. I’m going to protect them and if anybody tries to hurt them, they’ll have to go through–

It’s that type of relationship but I have an idea and a worldview that I believe is biblical and they have a different one, and that’s okay. We still live together and do life together. I just don’t think it’s that, I think it’s easy, maybe difficult to live out because people get influenced by this mob mentality or what they think they need to do. I just don’t, I don’t understand it, Justin, to be honest with you.

Justin: It’s like everybody has to fit into two buckets now. Either you buy into all of this junk or you buy into all of this– [crosstalk]

Nico: I was critical of Governor Abbott of one of our podcasts. I don’t give a crap. I think he handled a lot of the things, he backtracked on what he said about the masks and people’s rights and all this other crap. I’m going to call him out lovingly. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong, that’s cool but I don’t agree with someone. I speak truth to the Christian worldview, to myself. I humble myself and if I’m wrong, Justin, I apologize. That’s all you can do and then get better.

Justin: You mentioned division, and the most divisive thing in my entire time living in San Antonio was the city fight over the union contracts. Brock House was really in the middle of a lot of that, the unions and then they started running ads about our city manager. What was your take on that because you were in the district attorney’s office at that time?

Nico: I’ll say it brother, because I want to be consistent. I’m not a fan of Mike Helle. I’ll say it to his face but he’d never given me the opportunity because he always walked the other way when I walk into a room when I was DA. He lied about me. To me, he was a notch better, the same as some of these other journalists that I think were [inaudible 00:48:57] Currently, I think– [crosstalk]

Justin: He is the police union president.

Nico: I don’t wish harm on him. Again, I would talk with him if you ever wanted to but he lied about me. I’m not a fan of Mike Helle’s. The union never endorsed me, which I could care less. I supported law enforcement when it was appropriate to support them and I prosecuted law enforcement officers when they did wrong. That’s just the way you want a DA to do. Like you said, don’t buy into one camp.

I’m in the camp of justice when I was DA in truth. I really didn’t get as involved in that as you think. It wasn’t a county issue. I don’t stick my nose in people’s business. I’ll stick my heart in their problem if they ask but I don’t stick my nose in people’s business. I didn’t have all the details so I didn’t want to give an opinion because I don’t know all the history of the negotiations. I think there’s some valid point that I heard on both ends, but I didn’t have enough information to formulate my own opinion.

Oh, no, I don’t like the division, I really don’t.

Justin: The division, you must don’t like. [crosstalk] all around.

Nico: I disagreed with [unintelligible 00:49:56] on a lot of things, but then I just can’t stand that, that’s wrong. We got to fight fair. It’s almost like the coyote and the sheepdog on bugs bunny. Hey, Ralph. Hey Fred, you check-in, you go out each other, you check out, you had lunch together, you check back in, you go at each other and they walked home together. That’s not politics today, man. It gets ugly and personal and how do you– I just think it’s wrong. It’s immoral, to be honest with you. Now, if it’s truthful, what you’re saying, and the truth is the truth. Let the chips fall where they man, they just got real personal and I just don’t like that stuff.

Justin: Are you involved politically now at all? Are you involved in any campaigns? Do you have any advocacy issues you’re involved in?

Nico: [crosstalk] I’m running after my kids, I’m enjoying my time with my children. Do I believe that I will get into politics or platforms or run for office again at some point? I probably will, to the dismay of my wife, but I won’t do it without her permission. I say it that way because although I lead our family, she runs our home and I adore my wife and she’s way too good. She put up with a bunch of shit. She had to see the commercials, the name-calling, the lies, she laid low.

We have a special needs son and so she ran the house with four kids. I was speaking and going to meetings and doing appearances and doing things that a DA should do as a public servant. I was gone six, seven days a week, sometimes, always on call, she never complained once, Justin. If anybody ever has any, “Hey, thanks, Nico for your service.” Then thank my wife. She really sacrificed, and my kids and I didn’t know what to do the first couple of months on weekends. I didn’t know what a weekend was.

It took a little more than a couple of months, but I’m enjoying our time, we’re in a different season right now. I’m very grateful to God for it. At some point, I believe I feel that I will. I can’t say it’s now I have not gone on any campaigns because I don’t want to be that guy. I got phone calls to run for County commissioner when [inaudible 00:51:48].

Justin: That was my bet, I was betting, I was chatting [unintelligible 00:51:53] [crosstalk]

Nico: That’s my area and to run in that area versus a whole County and Bear County is a big ass County, by the way. It just wasn’t right time, brother, and I prayed about it. It didn’t take long before God gave me that answer, that discernment, that common sense and I couldn’t do that to my family. It wasn’t about pride. It’s easy to make it about pride into one win and do all this crap and then give the middle finger to people. That wouldn’t have been the right thing to do. That definitely wouldn’t have been the humble thing to do and so I stay focused on my family.

Justin: Most people that have political aspirations or think they’re going to run for something in the future, they typically have some issues that are very important to them or that they think they can make an improvement on. What are some of the things that you still, even though you’re outside of a public office, you think need improvement and maybe need your leadership?

Nico: Going through what I’ve gone through, the justice system, myself and seeing, dealing with the social experiment called the justice system, I think we have a moral bankruptcy issue. The problem we have today is that nobody wants to talk about morals because then you have to talk about a moral lawgiver and then we’re back at that conversation again about faith or religion or however you want to classify it but there has to be a definition right and wrong.

People don’t even see half the cases that come through the DA’s office, they just don’t. If you saw the cases that I dealt with when I was DA, you wouldn’t sleep for a month, but that’s just the way it goes. I truly want to see men and women live as good neighbors. How do we do that? That means we have to buy into some idea. I don’t like division. I don’t like strife, I don’t. We can have a disagreement. Disagreement is not strife, there’s a difference.

We can disagree all day long, but it doesn’t mean like I said earlier we are not divided and any position that will help me bring unity, not agreement, unity, there’s a difference that I’d be open-minded to doing that in a very meaningful and purposeful way but I would consider number one, my wife, first, I pray about it. Number two, my wife, number three, I would talk to my business family. I mean, look I’m not lone ranger anymore, with my wife, I have law partners. I have families that depend on me and depend on the firm and so I will not make a selfish decision. I’m not saying there’s any decision to make, by the way, don’t get them crazy. It’ll just be a timing thing and I’ll know when I know, I knew last time.

Justin: You have officially left the Democratic Party, right? [crosstalk]

Nico: [unintelligible 00:54:05] I don’t know if there’s an official way to do it.

Justin: I saw an article where you said you had left. [crosstalk]

Nico: [unintelligible 00:54:11I just said that I can. How many– in Democrat primary, I was attacked for again, to be consistent what I was saying earlier, I was attacked for many biblical positions I had that never even affected the DA’s office. No one again, when you looked at the results and thank you for bringing that up earlier on the interview, I’m proud of the results we did in three years because at the end of the last year with campaign and everything else we did a lot of work.

I say, we, because there’s no way I could have done it by myself and there’s a whole list I don’t have with me right now that of course, we put together when I was campaigning and I look at it and I marvel at it, but I take no credit for it. It was because of the people that I surrounded myself with, that my weaknesses were their strengths and that made me a better servant. I stood in the front, I’ll take all the shit downhill, but I’m going to give them all the credit.

I put our three years up against literally any district attorney that I’ve seen statewide, maybe even nationally, but I think we’re in the running. It was a wonderful time to serve. I was humbled by the trust and I’m okay with where I’m at right now. I didn’t like the way it happened. I thought it was very dishonest, but it didn’t matter. We are where we are and it’s okay.

Justin: What are your thoughts on COVID and how things are moving forward in the County, do you think we’ll be in trial ever in 2020?

Nico: In 2020, no, I don’t think we’ll be in trial in 2020. I think COVID is real. I look at data, I talk to people that are smarter than I, I look at death rates. The death rate is ridiculously low, case numbers doesn’t matter to me. Last year, and don’t hold me to this. Like something like 1.5 million people worldwide died from TB. We didn’t shut down the world economy for that. We’re at 700 and 750,000 worldwide and I know there’s some question on how they keep track of it, numbers and if you die with COVID versus from COVID Dr. Burke said they were going to be generous about how they’re going to classify that. I just didn’t mask, no mask in March mask now.

I look at the studies on masks and bacteria versus viral load and viral droplets and how big in nanometers, how big they are and what a surgical mask is for bacteria. I’ve talked to my surgeon, friends and people that work for pharma and wear the mask and how they go into a testing center. Again, I’m a small government guy, I don’t want people’s rights infringed on.

Many defense attorneys are real big on the First Amendment in Fourth Amendment, unreasonable search and seizures, and right to due process and right to effective assistance of counsel, right to– I’m for all of them. Number one is number one for a reason. I’m a second amendment guy, responsible gun ownership and I say that very passionately responsible gun ownership. I love all of our constitution, so I want to defend all of it.

That means if the government’s big, then the citizen is small and I’m for a big citizen. I’m for a citizen that can accomplish anything and I’m for equality of opportunity. Give that person the same opportunity as that person and let the chips fall where they may, work your ass off, be accountable, have a moral compass, do good work, be honest, be accountable and the sky’s the limit for you.

We have hundreds, if not thousands, and thousands of examples in this great country of rags to riches and it’s only because of a small government and a big person and I’m for the individual.

Justin: Last I know, you had a bunch of business interest. Are you really just legal focus now or do you still have your hands in a bunch of different interests?

Nico: [crosstalk] I was a part of a GM at one point. Obviously, when I was DA, I made sure I was involved in a lot of things because I wanted to be focused on being the DA. Right now, it’s just the firm, it’s family in the firm and it’s, it’s plenty and then of course, whatever the podcasts are that I do, the podcast, that’s not a business interest, it’s just more of a thing that I do. Thursday, nine to 10:30, and then Saturday morning on iHeart radio at 9:00 AM. No, not the same one. [unintelligible 00:57:53] It’s more current events deal, politics, life law, and Liberty and all that kind of stuff so it’s everything.

Justin: Are you involved with any nonprofits or charities in the city?

Nico: Yes. I’m still part of some more church stuff. Yes. Feeding the homeless things of that nature, ministry opportunities, single moms, things like that. Yes.

Justin: Well, I had Pub Theology, Gavin Rogers on, do you know him? He’s an assistant minister at Travis Park, but he also does Corazon Ministries that feed the homeless and all that. The guy’s a great dude. He does a lot for the homeless. He does a lot for our city. He’s a man of faith. Nico, thank you so much for joining us. I hope we can get you back on live maybe in six months.

Nico: You tell me wherever you want.

Justin: We have more to talk about. Tell Broadcast to come on. I had [unintelligible 00:58:52] [crosstalk] I don’t know how to get in touch with him.

Nico: c[rosstalk] [unintelligible 00:58:57] podcasts in the same building and that guy Salvo that you saw on our podcast works with him on that podcast so I can definitely get a hold of him.

Justin: Yes, that’d be great. Well, Nico, hold on real quick. All right.

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