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August 30, 2007


Well, my mind is now mush after glancing through all that. I will have to let this thread go uncritiqued.

: )

Thanks for not critiquing with a mushy mind. ;)

Great Job EW - you and TPM have been the go-tos on this. It is pretty funny that Gov is digging so deep as to try to get the brief kicked for failure to request leave to file brief longer than the standard limit.


I should think there are creative ways for Michael to get the info out without directly incriminating himself. I would alos think that the government already knows of Michael's uncharged crimes in this regard, so it is not like he particularly needs to be worried about tipping them off. As to the length of the brief argument, Michael should have submitted a pro forma motion to exceed presumptive length, but this is not a big deal. Defendant are entitled to present their defenses; this argument by the government is spurious. Exhibits are not generally considered pages for purposes of such a limitation on brief length. I don't know EW, I still like Michael's motion a little better than you do. I don't think it stands much chance of resulting in dismissal on it's own, but it is designed to wreak havoc that could lead to dismissal or huge problems for the government down the road; and this is still possible. The government has a problem with Kontagiannis; they are, form appearances, aiding and abetting an ongoing pattern and artifice to defraud. There is, undoubtedly, much more behind the government's relationship with Kontogiannis. They have a problem here. The official record of a Federal Grand Jury has disappeared? WTF? That is very problematic if there are no copies, transcriptions, or the like; and would constitute actual prejudice to his ability to defend himself. I would like to hear more about that....

Head-turning, their actions, not your explanation.

While it turned, three things flashed before my eyes that could benefit from EWing clarification.

IG Fine's letter to Sen. Leahy, just out

Bloch (sp?)--the one in which Inglesis had so much faith as a good guy-inspection. Cause there are so many IGs at work, one gets confused. He's White House, yes?

Inglesis, didn't he sue someone for impeding his meeting his obligation to the reserve? Could you remind us of what that was about?

Looking forward to your thoughts.

Bmaz. great as usual. Thanks

I was about to make a comment on the odd way that the Cunningham statement ends, but then I noticed this. The government says that the SDUT document is "is a copy of the first 11 pages of the original". The SDUT version ends with this paragraph:

When asked if he was aware of any wrongdoing by other
members of Congress, Cunningham said that Wilkes had hosted fund
raisers for Tom Delay and Jerry Lewis. Cunningham also stated that
he had observed Wade and Katherine Harris having meals together.

Every time Kontogiannis got caught, he continued to bribe and steal. Nevertheless, he always gets a break. When he was on probation for bribing an embassy employee, he bribed the Queens school district supervisor for fraudulent contracts. Before he entered the guilty plea on that, he bribed Duke using fraudulent mortgages to launder the funds. OK, he had to pay back the Queens school district, which he probably did with the fraudulent mortgage money. Now he has to pay back the mortgage money. The "paybacks" are getting larger and larger. He is going to have to pull off one huge massive swindle to get the money to pay them back at no cost to himself. What do you think it will be- a hedge fund going down- or maybe after Cheney bombs Iran to smithereens , they are planning on handing out bags of money again?
The DA that prosecuted Kontogiannis in NY issued a press release indicating that Kontogiannis would be barred from accepting contracts with New York State, New York City or school districts in New York State. Nevertheless, Kontogiannis continues to lease space in a building owned by his wife to the Queens school district and to the federal government. In fact, the building was once an unfinished junior high school owned by the Queens school district.

It is hard to imagine why someone who has shown such little regard for our laws is allowed to continue to commit crimes over and over without any real consequences.

I would also like to point out a connection with someone else in the news this week. The largest receipient of Wilkes and Wilkes associate money in the Senate was Larry Craig.

OT - Center for American Progress Discussion on FISA Amendments

AM Session
The Center for American Progress examines recent amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The morning panel, "Bloggers and Online Activists," included Spencer Ackerman, TPMmuckraker.com; Nita Chaudhary, MoveOn.org Political Action; Caroline Fredrickson, Director, Washington Legislative Office of the ACLU; and others. 01:21. video

PM Session
The Center for American Progress examines recent amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Panelists on the "Restoring Checks and Balances" discussion included: Mary DeRosa, Chief Counsel for National Security, Senate Judiciary Committee ; Former Rep. Mickey Edwards (R-OK); and others. 1:32. video

ChrisC - I don't think there is any question but that at least one Federal Agency is "running" Kontogiannis, and maybe more than one. Really, the evidence is crystal clear in that regard. The only question is who, why, how long and how deep? The answers, should we be fortunate enough to ever truly know them, will be very ugly for the government. I would not be surprised if Kontogiannis "retired" somewhere from which he is un-attachable.


I watched a big chunk of the PM session last night. It was great.

"Finally, the government uses Michael's own words to make Kontogiannis' boasts--which were no doubt intended to serve the purpose of making his testimony unusable--themselves unusable.

The only evidence defendant Michael points to that amounts to even a whiff of a hint of a suggestion of something untoward about Kontogiannis’s guilty plea is Kontogiannis’s own boast to Defendant that he had a connection with AUSA Halpern. Def.’s Mot. p. 15. Of course, Kontogiannis is the same individual whom Defendant calls a “remorseless and manipulative sociopath” who is “unworthy of belief.”

I get the feeling this is not the last time we'll be hearing these words in this trial."

I think,it is pertinent to note that government does not challenges that Mr Kontogiannis does in fact made that statement.
The following question arises:Is there independent confirmation for this statement?


You're the lawyer, not me. But my feeling that the motion isn't going far is that they're trying to make something of the Uncle-Daughter connection, which I think is barely worthy of mention. Do I think Michael's lawyer will be arguing, repeatedly, that KOntogiannis' plea deal is improper? Yup. But Michael still ahs to dance around that to avoid admitting that he knows the proof of K's crimes directly.

And remember--my note from the last post on this. Michael notes that K told him more than just that he had a connection with Halpern. it's that others stuff that Michael plans to drop during the trial, I'd wager.


I saw a little of it on the late night rerun. I haven't watched the video yet but it's a topic near and dear to our hearts.

I like to compare the discourse on these panels with EW postings and thoughful comments here. Sometimes, I learn something new by listening to the folks on the panels. At the very least, one hears a few more pov's.

Whatever happened to Mitchell Wade- why isn't he testifying at this trial?
Maybe he is- but shouldn't there be a deposition from him or something like that?

Michael's wife comments.
As do some other insiders.
As curious George says, it's like the Jerry Spring show- eh, Greek version

Have you all seen this:


It is a slightly redacted transcript of hearing about the Kontogiannis plea. It is very interesting...

One way some of these figures in the news could finance projects would be if they had access to a few bricks, though one shrinkwrapped bundle of US foreign aid currency would finance only a simple endeavor; there was a congressional hearing about trying to account for missing bricks; evidently several thousand bricks were absent from the tabulation, according to congress' information. See this February 2007 18pp document by Rep. Waxman's oversight committee. A brick=$400,000. USD.

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