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Archive for October, 2008

Exchanges In Steven’s Trial Heating Up

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — The exchanges between opposing sides in the Sen. Ted Stevens  federal trial continued to heat up yesterday with the government calling the defense’s attacks “baseless.”
“In their third attack on the government in one week, the defense continues to engage in baseless speculation regarding the government’s motives and conduct,” the prosecution wrote in a motion. “Their motion is factually and legally groundless…”
The defense shot back with a motion filed early this morning saying: “The government’s Opposition brief is notable for its utter lack of contrition…The government’s conduct in this case is highly prejudicial to the administration of justice and should not be tolerated.  The indictment should be dismissed.”
The defense attorneys have accused the prosecution of intentionally withholding key information it should have turned over  to them. Trial resumed today.
UPDATE — (2:20 p.m. Tues.) U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said he would hear arguments on the  defense motion to dismiss Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.
Read Government Motion Defending Its Actions -Oct. 6

Read Defense Attack On Govt-Oct 7

See All Government Trial Exhibits

FBI Documents Show A Flip Side Of Evel Knievel

The Associated Press has obtained FBI records of Evel Knievel, which show that the agency was investigating him in connection with a crime syndicate. Nothing came of it.

By Sarah Larimer
Associated Press Writer
MIAMI — Evel Knievel never denied his scrapes with the law – the late motorcycle daredevil often reveled in them. But even he objected to a 1970s FBI investigation of whether he was involved in a string of beatings.
According to documents obtained by The Associated Press, the federal government came close to charging Knievel, who in turn threatened to sue the FBI for alleging he was connected to a crime syndicate. Neither followed through.
For Full Story

 

JCC case

Sentencing Delay Could Save Obama Unwanted Attention

Sentencing has been delayed for Tony Rezko, whose name has popped up in connection with Presidential candidate Barack Obama. The delay could save Obama  embarrassing attention before the Nov. 4 election.

By Jeff Coen
Chicago Tribune reporter
CHICAGO — In the first official sign that Antoin “Tony” Rezko and his lawyers are talking with federal prosecutors about his cooperation in corruption probes, the judge in his federal fraud case has been asked to delay his sentencing this month.
In a motion filed late Monday by prosecutors, the two sides ask that the Oct. 28 sentencing date for the former fundraiser and adviser to Gov. Rod Blagojevich be delayed indefinitely.
“The parties agree that the [sentencing date], as well as dates related to sentencing filings, should be stricken while the parties engage in discussions that could affect their sentencing postures,” says the motion written by Assistant U.S. Atty. Reid Schar.
For Full Story

Read Original U.S. Atty. Press Release

Read Superseding Indictment

Steven’s Buddy Taped Chats For FBI

Sen. Stevens buddy may have been chatting him up, but the senator had no idea his friend was working with the FBI, recording the conversations.

Sen. Stevens/official photo

Sen. Stevens/official photo

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Jurors heard secretly recorded telephone conversations yesterday in which Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) told a chief prosecution witness that the two men had done nothing wrong and that the worst punishment they could expect was a fine and a little jail time.
The tapes, recorded with the consent of the witness, former Veco chief executive Bill Allen, did not appear to be the smoking guns in Stevens’s trial on charges that he lied on financial disclosure forms to hide gifts that included renovations to his Alaska home.
They did reveal, however, that Stevens was aware the FBI was closely scrutinizing the remodeling project. On the calls, Stevens expressed defiance at the federal investigation and told Allen that he would stick by him. He seemed unaware that Allen, a close friend, was helping federal agents.
For Full Story

Listen To Tapes

FBI Finds Dog Bones In N.Y. Hunt For Mob Bodies

The thing about digs, once you start you can’t stop. So far, FBI agents hunting for mob bodies have come up with dog bones. The search continues today.

By Robert E. Kessler and Zachary R. Dowdy
Newsday
EAST FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — FBI agents unearthed yesterday what first appeared to be human bones at a location in East Farmingdale where an informant has told authorities that the bodies of three people – all victims of mob-related violence over the years – are buried, sources said.
But after further examination by the New York City medical examiner’s office, it was determined that the bones were canine, not human, and the digging shut down for the day at sundown. It will resume today.
An FBI agent on the scene declined to comment on yesterday’s findings.
For days, agents wearing plastic suits and gloves have been sifting through mounds of dirt as a backhoe bores through the ground at Del Drive and Baiting Place Road, one of three sites where Joseph Competiello told police the bodies of three people killed by members of the Colombo crime family are buried.
For Full Story

Uniformed Secret Service Officer Injured Near White House

The thing about living in a house called the White House is that you never know who’s going to stop by.

By Elissa Silverman and Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writers
WASHINGTON — An officer in the uniformed division of the Secret Service was injured yesterday in a scuffle with an apparent intruder at the edge of the White House complex, a Secret Service spokesman said.
An unarmed man, identified as a 37-year-old Prince George’s County resident, was taken into custody, and he and the officer were taken to the hospital for treatment of what appeared to be minor injuries, according to the Secret Service.

For Full Story

Steven’s Atty. Accuses Feds of “Intentional” Misconduct

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Attorneys for Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens filed a stinging motion Sunday in federal court accusing the government of “intentional”  and “shocking”  misconduct, and asked that the public corruption case be dismissed.
The motion, filed by defense attorney Brendan V. Sullivan Jr., accused the government of intentionally withholding key evidence favorable to Stevens that was supposed to be turned over to the defense. The Senator is accused of failing to report about $250,000 in gifts and free labor.
Last week, the Senator’s attorneys  asked U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan for  a mistrial for withholding certain information from the defense. The judge rejected the request,  but reprimanded the government.
In Sunday’s motion, the defense said it decided to ask for a dismissal  after reviewing material the government turned over this week.
“Until today, defense counsel have refrained from alleging intentional misconduct by the government. We can no longer do so in good conscience,” the motion said.
The motion continued to state: “Here, the government’s repeated, flagrant and intentional misconduct requires the sternest possible remedy of dismissal…. If the court denies Senator Steven’s motion for dismissal, the Court should– at a minimum — grant a mistrial to remedy the government’s flagrant and repeated misconduct, and order an evidentiary hearing to consider dismissal and other sanctions. The trial is broken…”
The Justice Department filed a motion late Sunday that the government has acted in “good faith” and “contrary to all the theatrics and hyperbole from the defense, no one has attempted to hide evidence or hold back any discoverable items.”
Read Defense Motion Oct. 5
Read Government Motion- Oct. 5

UPDATE: The Associated Press reported this morning that the judge has ordered the government to respond to the defense’s allegations by the end of the day. Meanwhile, the trial resumed today.
READ: Stevens Caught On Tape Talking About FBI (AP)

Kiddie Porn Defendant In Pa. Wants Clinical Words Banned

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
In one of the more unusual motions to be filed in a federal court, a lawyer representing a man accused of dealing in kiddie porn has asked that the words “vagina” and “genitalia” be banned from trial.
Attorney Ashish S. Joshi filed the motion last week in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia on behalf of his client Patrick Bunty, who is accused of “transporting in foreign commerce six visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct”, according to court documents.
Joshi insisted in the motion that making reference to certain parts of the anatomy would “prejudice the jury, inflame their passions and violate the Defendant’s right to a trial by an impartial jury…”
In his six-page motion, he also referred to a certain segment of the population as “every owner of a vagina and any person who has ever visited a vagina”.
Federal prosecutors have yet to file a response to the Oct. 1 motion.
Read Unusual Brief