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September 25, 2007

Comments

Emptywheel,
Do you sense these prosecutors would go after higher ups in a hypothetical situation where Wilkes is cooperating?

My thought: Maybe by the Prosecutors cutting off Wilkes' argument of duress, Wilkes then has the choice to go into court with a poorer defense strategy (risking a big sentence) or he can choose to come clean, admit to false statements (Cunningham DID demand bribes from me afterall)and receive in exchange for his cooperation a lighter sentence.

That would be great, but I fear you are going to say it looks like the prosecutors are eager to keep the bigger players out of this entirely.

There may be some truth to this. Think about it.

Congresscritters: "We Repugs really want you to do some clandestine things for the Commander in Cheif. If you don't, we will ruin you. If you do, we will make you a gazillionaire."

Wilkes: "I don't want to be rich beyond my wildest dreams. I would never sell out my brothers and sisters for a mess of pottage."

Congresscritters: "Oh, but we have the videos of you in DC with 'Mistress Magenta', and she will say 'Oui, oui, oui, all the way to chez vous!' So you are fucked. You either accept our bribes, or we will destroy us."

Wilkes: "I know Jesus will judge me harshly, but I could not bear to have my wife and kids find out that I liked having a vibrating dildo shoved where the sun never shines. You got me....By the way, instead of a Cayman account as usual, can we set this one up in Switzerland? I always wanted a Swiss bank account."

Congresscritters: "Brent, you always liked a hard bargin. Now about the use of the yacht..."

EW,

On a different, but similar topic: Aren't there a few interim USAs out there who have served beyond the newly-allotted 120 days. What's their status?

Wondering

There's a great Legal Times article on it--that I lost bc of power outtage. but they suggest that some chief judges are looking forward to picking the USA--though not in DC, where Taylor will likely be reappointed by the judges.

dead last: the carrot AND the stick! I think Mr. Hatchet would be fond of your theory, because it is both the simplest and the most likely to be 100% true.

Looks like the Prosecution doesn't want Wilkes' lawyers opening with something like:

"Ladies and Gentlemen, the Contracting System has been rotten from top to bottom for years...

"My client tells a fascinating tale of a decade long run through magically opened doors, previously unknown approval routes, and funding out of nowhere. You will see as his story unfolds, that my client couldn't possibly have been the 'Mastermind' behind all of this.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, my client was 'instructed' on what to do - every step of the way. His job was Simply to show up, with a wallet full of money, and do what he was told - beginning with emptying the wallet...

"Now, we're going to call 13 witnesses with intimate knowledge of 'how the System works,' who can verify what my client has to say..."

If I were Geragos, and I was really thinking about implementing a theory of case along these lines, I would also subpoena the chief of staff for each of these congressmen, or whoever else in their office would have knowledge and involvement of the soliciting of money. There would be less (although still the chance for a thin) chance of successful privilege assertion, and you stop the congressman from being able to point the finger and say "I have no idea, my staff does all the money stuff".

bmaz

That would work if the idea is to enter this into evidence, really. But if the idea is to get the charges dismissed, you subpoena the Congresscritters.

I think the logic train is this one:

1) Invent reason to subpoena Congressmen
2) That reason is that Congressmen require bribes to get business
3) Subpoena Congressmen
4) Congressmen invoke a range of privileges, refusing to testify
5) Argue that Wilkes can't get a a fair trial unless Congressmen testify
6) Get out of jail free card

I think the prosecution may suspect this is the chain of logic, and are trying to head it off at the pass by arguing that the duress should and could only relate to Cunningham, and there's no evidence of that.

I agree; I like to give them multiple things to think about. That way they can't focus on one and you never know when you might want to shift your focus. It also makes it look less like a stunt to the court.

Judge Burns calendar for Oct 1 is up. The trial is currently scheduled for Oct2
Monday, 10/01/2007Hon. Larry Alan Burns 02:00PM
USA v.
[1] Brent Roger Wilkes(R)
MTD: 11/22/2007
[2] John Thomas Michael(R)
MTD: 11/22/2007
Motion Hearing (1,2)
IND 26 CTS Filed: 02/13/2007
18:1343 and 1346 18:2
18:1503 18:982 18:2
18:1956(a)(1)(A)(i) 18:2
18:1956(a)(1)(B)(i) 18:2
18:1957 18:982 18:2
18:201(b)(1)(A) 18:2
18:371
S IND 26 CTS Filed: 05/10/2007
18:1343 and 1346 18:2 18:982
18:1503 18:2 Obstruction of Justice Aiding and Abetting
18:1956(a)(1)(A)(i) 18:2 18:982
18:1956(a)(1)(B)(i) 18:2 18:982
18:1957 18:2 18:982
18:201(b)(1)(A) 18:2 18:982
18:371 18:982
(2) 03/19/2007 (29-1)MOTION for Discovery 'and Leave to to File Additional Pre-Trial
Motions'
04/30/2007 (44-1)MOTION to Declare Complex Case
(G) 09/24/2007 (90-1)In Limine MOTION to Admit 'Certain Evidence (No. 3)'
(91-1)MOTION to Preclude Evidence 'not produced in reciprocal
discovery'
(92-1)In Limine MOTION to Exclude Evidence 'of Alleged Govt Misconduct'
(93-1)In Limine MOTION to Exclude Evidence 'or Argument re Duress or
Necessity as a Defense to Bribery or Honest Services Fraud'
10/02/2007 09:00AM Jury Trial(1,2) - LAB

So what happened to asking Judge Burns to quash the subpeonas? Is that in there somewhere?

chris C - my guess is the 10/1 hearing will either be considered somewhat of an omnibus hearing for misc. outstanding matters and/or the motions to quash are part of the Motions in Limine.

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