Judge demands ex-Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn get papers in order, appear in court after request for two-month delay – CNBC

Former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn leaves the Prettyman Federal Courthouse following a sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court December 18, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., on Friday cracked the whip in the criminal case of President Donald Trump‘s first national security advisor Michael Flynn, hours after Flynn’s new lawyer and prosecutors asked the judge to delay setting a new date for his criminal sentencing by at least another 60 days.

Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered Flynn by Monday to tell his new lawyer, the pro-Trump Sidney Powell, to enter an appearance in the case by Monday.

The judge also ordered the Texas-based Powell to comply by that same day with a court rule requiring lawyers not admitted to practice in a District of Columbia court to have a local lawyer participate in a case with them.

Powell had yet filed that paperwork, despite Flynn’s former criminal defense lawyers successfully asking to be removed from the case last week, and despite Powell signing a status report with prosecutors on Friday asking for a delay in the case.

Sullivan pointedly noted in his order that Powell signed that report as “Attorney for the Defendant,” despite not entering a formal appearance in Flynn’s case.

Sullivan also ordered the case’s parties to show up for a status conference in court next Wednesday.

Powell, who has been critical of the prosecution of Flynn, did not return a request for comment from CNBC on Friday.

In the status report filed earlier Friday by prosecutors and Powell asking for the delay in the case, the parties said that the retired Army lieutenant general’s cooperation with prosecutors is largely complete.

But they also noted Flynn may be called by prosecutors testify at the trial of a former lobbying business partners next month.

Those men, Bijan Rafiekian and Kamil Alptekin, have denied charges pending in federal court in Virginia that they unlawfully lobbied on behalf of Turkey.

The filing also suggests that Flynn’s new legal team needs time to familiarize itself with the “voluminous” amount of information in their client’s case.

It was revealed last week that Flynn had fired his previous lawyers.

He since has hired the pro-Trump former federal prosecutor Powell to represent him, along with attorneys from Virginia and Florida.

Those new attorneys have all filed documents in the Virginia federal case indicating their reprsentation of Flynn in the case involving Rafiekian and Alptekin.

But they had not as of Friday afternoon filed similar paperwork in Flynn’s own criminal case, in which he had pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with a Russian diplomat in the weeks before Trump took office.

Sullivan was scheduled to sentence Flynn last December.

But that proceeding was suspended after Sullivan suggested to Flynn that he would have a better chance of avoiding any jail time by waiting to be sentenced until after he had finished cooperating.

Former federal prosecutor David Weinstein told CNBC that ot “appears that Flynn is continuing to pursue the path of cooperation,” and that he is “willing and able to testify” at the trial inVirginia.

Weinstein added that it “doesn’t appear, at least not in this filing, that they’d be looking to withdraw [Flynn’s] plea” — a question that arose after Flynn hired Powell, who had previously urged him to withdraw his guilty plea.

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Robert Corry, lawyer for suspect charged in deadly I-70 crash, arrested in domestic violence case – The Denver Post

The attorney for the truck driver at the center of the deadly crash on Interstate 70 in April has been arrested in a domestic violence case, Denver police said.

Robert Corry, a noted marijuana lawyer and advocate, was arrested Friday on investigation of criminal mischief, first-degree kidnapping, aggravated motor vehicle theft and reckless endangerment, according to Denver County jail records. He remains in jail with no bail, records show, and has not been formally charged.

All the charges are related to an alleged domestic violence incident that occurred Wednesday, police spokesman Kurt Barnes said.

Corry, 51, represents Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, the Texas truck driver charged with 36 felonies for crashing his runaway semitrailer into stopped traffic April 25.

Corry, who helped draft Amendment 64 and has argued numerous marijuana cases in the state, previously has been arrested for smoking marijuana during a Rockies game in 2013.

He also was arrested the same year for allegedly smashing the window of a recreational vehicle. Previously, he faced a sexual assault charge in Jefferson County that he later pleaded down to third-degree assault.

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Amanda Knox, Tearful and Angry, Speaks in Italy, Years After Murder Acquittal – The New York Times

MODENA, Italy — When Amanda Knox, the American whose murder trial had riveted the world, landed at Linate Airport in Milan on Thursday, she immediately engaged in a familiar and uneasy tango with the news media.

Straight-faced and stiff-lipped, Ms. Knox dodged flashbulbs as a coterie of bodyguards kept the press at bay. She had returned to Italy to speak about wrongful convictions in her first trip to the country since 2011, when an appeals court in Perugia acquitted her of the murder of her roommate, the British student Meredith Kercher.

But even as Ms. Knox shunned reporters this past week, a videographer on her team was tracking her every move. And on Saturday, when Ms. Knox finally broke a self-imposed three-day silence at the Festival on Criminal Justice in Modena, in central Italy, she wept.

Ms. Knox told the packed audience that she was afraid “that I will be molested, derided, framed, that new accusations will be directed against me for telling my truth.”

“I know that despite my acquittal I remain a controversial figure for the public opinion, especially in Italy,” she added. “I know that many people think I am bad, that I don’t belong here. It shows how a false narrative can be powerful and undermine justice, especially when amplified by the media.”

Ms. Knox had been introduced by Guido Sola, a lawyer and one of the conference organizers, as an example of someone facing trial by news media, a victim of a “mass media lynching” whose guilt had been decided in the court of public opinion long before she appeared in an actual courtroom.

Her trial was a perfect case study for the conference. She had been accused with her Italian boyfriend at the time, Raffaele Sollecito, and an Ivorian-born acquaintance, Rudy Guede, of murdering Ms. Kercher on Nov. 1, 2007. The case ping-ponged around various Italian courts for years, until the country’s highest court definitively acquitted Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito in 2015. Mr. Guede is still serving a 16-year sentence.

At times tearful, at times defiant on Saturday, Ms. Knox recounted her odyssey for nearly an hour, occasionally breaking down, such as while recalling an injustice or a kindness received. She blamed the news media, local and international, for not having dug deeper to reveal the flaws in the prosecution’s case — instead, she said, fueling the frenzy with stories about her purportedly salacious past.

“I was never a defendant, innocent until proven guilty,” she said of the public’s perception. “I was sly, a psychopath, dirty, a slut, guilty until proven otherwise.”

This warped version of her entered into the courtroom, compromising the result of the trial, she said.

The most important lesson she had learned, she said, was that it was easy for the public to distort defendants into monsters. “It’s easy to see what we want to see,” Ms. Knox added, reducing criminal cases to “black and white stories populated by demons and saints.”

The three-day festival was organized by Italy’s Innocence Project and the Criminal Bar Association in Modena to discuss “complicated themes” on criminal justice, said Luca Lupária Donati, a law professor at Tre University in Rome and the founder and director of the Italian Innocence Project. Judges and prosecutors were invited to attend.

Mr. Lupária said in an interview in Rome that the issue of wrongful conviction and miscarriages of justice was especially important “in a moment of populism, where the theme of the death penalty was rearing its head in Europe,” where it does not exist.

“It can take 100 to 200 years to achieve some legal rights but a day to lose them,” he said.

Ms. Knox’s case was particularly divisive, stirring passionate debate on her innocence in Italy and the United States. Hordes of news cameras and journalists followed the case as it bounced from court to court. Benedetto Lattanzi and Valentino Maimone, the co-founders of Errorigiudiziari.com, an archive that tracks judicial errors in Italy, said that whenever they posted something about Ms. Knox, she was immediately attacked on social media by Italian haters.

“We’re still stunned that so many years later there’s still this hatred, this loathing,” Mr. Maimone said.

Since her return to the United States, Ms. Knox has been involved with the Innocence Project and has hosted a Facebook series and a podcast on true crime for Sundance on justice issues. At a seminar on Friday in Modena, she hugged fellow exonerees Peter Pringle, who was wrongfully imprisoned on a murder charge in Ireland for 15 years, and Angelo Massaro, who was wrongly imprisoned for 21 years in Italy on a murder charge.

From the dais in a conference center, Mr. Pringle recalled the moment he was released from prison and saw the news media mosh-pit waiting outside “like a bunch of locusts.”

“Amanda, am I right?” he called out to her in the dark auditorium. Her response, if any, was unknown.

In the afternoon, Ms. Knox watched a 2016 documentary, “Non Voltarti Indietro,” about five Italians who were wrongfully detained, and the devastating impact it had on their lives. In the discussion afterward, speaking in slightly accented but very good Italian, Ms. Knox joked with one of the five exonerees, Lucia Fiumberti, about jailhouse superstitions.

Ms. Knox nodded her head knowingly when another exoneree, Antonio Lattanzi, remembered putting all his belongings in the plain garbage bags provided by the prison when he was set free.

The festival touched on a number of legal and forensic questions, but focused on the chilling leitmotif: This could happen to you.

“Immediately, we’re like brothers; you are part of a worldwide fellowship of exonerees,” Mr. Pringle said.

The media plays a fundamental role in forging public opinion about such cases, experts say. A white paper for the Italian criminal lawyer’s association found that 82 percent of news coverage of criminal cases “favor the prosecution thesis,” Mr. Maimone said. Television mock-ups of high-profile cases and true-crime shows “pass the idea that anyone can judge a trial,” even if they do not have the facts of the case, he added.

In the United States, audience-pleasers like the podcast “Serial” and the Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer” have shined a light on the issue. Time magazine published a special edition on wrongful convictions, placing it “at the checkout counter, as though it were a Marylin Monroe cover,” said a conference participant, Mark A. Godsey, a professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law and an authority on wrongful convictions, who directs the Ohio Innocence Project.

In her prepared speech, Ms. Knox said that she was grateful that her innocence had been ultimately acknowledged.

“This does not absolve the state of having tried me for eight long years, with no real proof and on the basis of an absurd theory, and it does not absolve the media who profited from selling a scandalous story,” she said.

But she added that she hoped to one day meet Giuliano Mignini, the prosecutor who had put her behind bars, so that he could see her as a person and not a defendant.

“I hope he will see that I am not a monster, simply Amanda,” she said.

At the end, the audience gave her a standing ovation.

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Fla. judge declines to hold Robert Kraft's attorneys in criminal contempt – The Boston Globe

A Florida judge Friday rejected prosecutors’ request to hold Robert Kraft’s top defense lawyers in criminal contempt for their interactions with law enforcement witnesses during a hearing in which Kraft won a major legal victory.

In a four-page order issued Friday, Palm Beach County Court Judge Leonard Hanser wrote that he had reviewed the allegations made by State Attorney Dave Aronberg, considered existing case law on the issue of contempt, and concluded that the actions by attorneys William Burck and Alex Spiro were not crimes.

Kraft, the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots, is facing charges that he paid for sex during two visits to a Florida spa in January. His attorneys have mounted a fierce defense.

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“The Court concludes that the issues raised in the State’s Motion and the factual patterns cited by the State in support of its Motion, if true, are more appropriately addressed by any party feeling itself aggrieved” taking their case to lawyer disciplinary panels, Hanser wrote.

Mike Edmonson, spokesman for Aronberg, said prosecutors are currently reviewing Hanser’s decision.

In May, Aronberg’s office alleged that Burck and Spiro offered false evidence when the defense questioned Jupiter Police Officer Scott Kimbark during a May 1 hearing on Kraft’s motion to suppress secretly recorded surveillance video allegedly showing Kraft twice paying for sex.

At the hearing, Spiro repeatedly challenged Kimbark with accusations that his body camera had recorded him during a vehicle stop telling another officer that the lack of probable cause for the stop did not matter because he would just “make some [expletive] up.”

Police made traffic stops on the cars of spa patrons to identify who the patrons were.

Prosecutors said that a review of the radio transmissions and the body camera video found that Kimbark never made the inflammatory remark, according to the motion.

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In court papers, Burck and Spiro fired back at Aronberg’s office. “Unable to justify a lawless, indefensible prosecution on its merits, the State has resorted to trying to smear defense counsel,’’ the lawyers wrote.

Hanser, who presided over the hearing, ruled in Kraft’s favor and barred Aronberg’s office from using the videos to prosecute the 77-year-old Kraft on two misdemeanor counts of soliciting another into prostitution while at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa on Jan. 19 and Jan. 20.

Kraft has denied engaging in criminal activity, pleaded not guilty, and requested a jury trial.

Prosecutors and Kraft have appealed Hanser’s decision to the Fourth District Court of Appeal as both sides agree the use of secretly installed video cameras to investigate prostitution raises constitutional questions about privacy rights that no court has previously addressed.

The appellate court is currently deciding whether to take the case.


John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.

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Michigan attorney general dismisses all criminal charges in Flint Water Crisis – Fox 2 Detroit

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  1. Michigan attorney general dismisses all criminal charges in Flint Water Crisis  Fox 2 Detroit
  2. Flint Water Crisis: Prosecutors Drop All Criminal Charges  The New York Times
  3. All Flint water crisis criminal charges dismissed by attorney general’s office — for now  Detroit Free Press
  4. AG drops Flint Water Crisis cases, pending further investigation  WXYZ Detroit
  5. The Latest: Lawyer says ex-health chief feels ‘vindicated’  KSL.com
  6. View full coverage on Google News

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Former Theranos COO Balwani will fight criminal charges – CNBC

Former Theranos COO Sunny Balwani and his attorneys leave the San Jose federal courthouse on June 10, 2019.

Yasmin Khorram

Sunny Balwani, the former chief operating officer and president of Theranos, will fight the criminal fraud charges against him, his attorney told CNBC on Monday.

“We’re going to fight it,” Jeffrey Coopersmith said prior to a court hearing connected to the case.

Balwani is facing nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and is awaiting his criminal trial.

Asked about getting a fair trial from a San Jose jury pool who may be familiar with the case, Coopersmith told CNBC, “There’s a concern, there’s always a concern.”

Theranos, a blood-testing startup once valued at over $9 billion, was founded by Elizabeth Holmes in 2003. Holmes is also facing charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Theranos promised its technology could accurately run hundreds of tests with only one or two drops of blood. The company shut down in 2018 after a Wall Street Journal investigation exposed its unproven technology and dubious business practices.

Holmes and Balwani are both facing up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Inside the courtroom, lawyers for the U.S. Department of Justice and Balwani battled over the Securities and Exchange Commission’s case.

The government filed a motion in April to intervene in the SEC’s civil enforcement action, arguing that parties and the court should not be burdened by civil discovery while the criminal case is pending.

Prosecutors also claim Balwani is using his pending SEC case to benefit his criminal indictment.

“It’s apparent Mr. Balwani is using civil discovery to gather evidence for the reason of his criminal case,” said Robert Leach, assistant U.S. Attorney.

Balwani’s attorney argued there’s no basis to issue a stay and if prosecutors have an issue with a subpoena they can object to it.

“The government chose to bring these two cases forward and the government can simply dismiss it,” said Coopersmith.

The SEC, also present in court, supported the request for a hold in its case against Balwani.

“It’s rare that the SEC affirmatively supports a stay,” said Mark Katz, an attorney for the SEC. “This is a rare situation. We’ve seen depositions with very sensitive information and we ask that you consider this stay.”

“There’s been great attention in what the truth is and what happened here,” said Leach. “The only way to do that is through the criminal trial.”

Holmes agreed to settle her fraud charges brought on by the SEC last year.

The judge took arguments under submission and announced he wants to set a trial date at the next status hearing.

The status conference for Holmes and Balwani is set for June 28.

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Trump Lawyer's Message Was a Clue for Mueller, Who Set It Aside – The New York Times

WASHINGTON — As the special counsel’s investigators pursued the question of whether President Trump tried to impede their work, they uncovered compelling evidence — a voice mail recording and statements from a trusted witness — that might have led to him.

A lawyer for Mr. Trump, John M. Dowd, reached out to a lawyer for a key witness who had just decided to cooperate with the government, Michael T. Flynn. Mr. Dowd fished in his message for a heads-up if Mr. Flynn was telling investigators negative information about Mr. Trump — while also appearing to say that if Mr. Flynn was just cutting a deal without also flipping on the president, then he should know Mr. Trump still liked him.

But the president’s role, if any, remains a mystery. Mr. Dowd never said whether Mr. Trump directed him to make the overture. And investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, declined to question Mr. Dowd about his message, citing “attorney-client-privilege issues.”

The release of the recording last week served as a reminder that despite the considerable evidence laid out in the 448-page Mueller report, some tantalizing questions about the president’s conduct went unanswered because investigators encountered obstacles or backed off on pursuing leads.

Mr. Dowd could have told investigators whether Mr. Trump knew about his message and had directed him to convey it, and whether any such conversation included dangling a veiled suggestion of a potential pardon at Mr. Flynn. The question is whether it amounted to witness tampering.

[The special counsel played by the rules. The president made new ones.]

Legal experts were divided on whether Mr. Mueller’s team should have sought to question Mr. Dowd. The investigators compiled substantial evidence that Mr. Trump tried to obstruct justice even without Mr. Dowd’s testimony, and an attempt to interview him could have set off a lengthy court battle with an uncertain outcome.

“Given all that Mueller’s team had on their plate, it doesn’t strike me as unreasonable for them to have said, ‘This is not what we want to spend our time on,’” said David A. Sklansky, a Stanford law professor and a former criminal prosecutor.

But questioning Mr. Dowd about whether Mr. Trump wanted him to dangle pardons or other favorable treatment to witnesses might have been a worthy investigative pursuit because it would have cut to the heart of whether the president abused his power.

Joyce Vance, a professor at the University of Alabama School of Law and a former United States attorney, said she would have wanted to use all tools available to learn whether Mr. Trump told Mr. Dowd to make the call.

She noted that courts have recognized an exception to attorney-client privilege that allows investigators to compel people to testify to a grand jury about such conversations if they are involved in the commission of a crime.

“Lawyers can’t engage in criminal conduct disguised as legal representation,” she said.

Ms. Vance said that seeking to interview Mr. Dowd “seems so obvious” that there may be details that have yet to become public that shed light on the Mueller team’s decision.

Mr. Dowd did not respond to a message seeking comment. He has reacted angrily to the report’s portrayal of his messages, calling it “a baseless, political document designed to smear and damage the reputation of counsel and innocent people,” and stressing that the special counsel never even asked him about the voice mail message.

Other presidents have faced immense scrutiny for the same issue. In 1974, one of the articles of impeachment against Richard M. Nixon said he had sought to signal to defendants in the Watergate investigation that they would be treated favorably “in return for their silence or false testimony.”

A transcript of Mr. Dowd’s message for Mr. Flynn’s lawyer at the time, Robert K. Kelner, was included in the Mueller report, which was made public in April. But the audio, released after prosecutors said they no longer needed to keep it under seal, added new texture to the episode.

The report laid out a string of communications between Mr. Dowd and Mr. Flynn’s lawyers around the decision by their client, the president’s first national security adviser, to cooperate with Mr. Mueller’s prosecutors. That move effectively ended the joint defense agreement that the lawyers had operated under for months and that had allowed them to share information about the investigation.

After Mr. Kelner told Mr. Dowd that they could no longer work together, Mr. Dowd left the voice mail message that Mr. Mueller’s team later obtained, saying that if Mr. Flynn had information that could incriminate the president, he should share it because that might create a “national security issue.”

“We need some kind of heads-up” if Mr. Flynn was planning to give investigators negative information about Mr. Trump, Mr. Dowd said.

Mr. Dowd then added that “if it’s the former” — an apparent reference to an earlier part of his message, when he raised the possibility that Mr. Flynn had struck a plea deal to end his own legal troubles — then Mr. Flynn should “remember what we’ve always said about the president and his feeling toward Flynn, and that still remains.”

It is unclear what Mr. Dowd meant by a “national security issue” — or why Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, as opposed to a government lawyer, would have any role in thinking about it.

At the time, Mr. Trump’s lawyers were concerned about Mr. Mueller’s investigation into whether he was tied to Russia’s election interference. Mr. Flynn was also under investigation for his ties to Russia. And as Mr. Trump’s national security adviser for less than a month, he had access to many of the country’s most heavily guarded secrets.

Mr. Kelner returned the call the next day — on Thanksgiving — according to the report, again saying that he and his client could no longer share information.

Mr. Dowd reacted indignantly. “He interpreted what they said to him as a reflection of Flynn’s hostility toward the president” and planned to tell Mr. Trump so, the report said, citing an F.B.I. interview of Mr. Kelner.

Mr. Dowd’s call, investigators wrote, played out against the backdrop of a pattern in which Mr. Trump had “sent private and public messages to Flynn encouraging him to stay strong and conveying that the president still cared about him” before he began to cooperate with investigators.

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President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn agreed in late 2017 to cooperate with the special counsel’s investigation.CreditBrendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Yet Mr. Mueller’s investigation of that episode essentially stopped there. In addition to citing in a footnote the attorney-client-privilege issues that kept them from questioning Mr. Dowd, investigators also agreed after months of negotiations to accept written answers from Mr. Trump, who refused to address obstruction issues, rather than subpoena him for an interview.

Around the time Mr. Flynn decided to cooperate, Mr. Dowd told others that he told Mr. Kelner that the president was prepared to pardon his client because he had long believed that the case against Mr. Flynn was weak, a person familiar with the matter has said. That detail, reported in The New York Times in March 2018, was not in the Mueller report.

One way of interpreting the episode is that Mr. Dowd was telling Mr. Flynn not to provide the government with damaging information about Mr. Trump even if he cooperated in other ways, and suggesting that Mr. Trump might reward his loyalty with a pardon.

But the message was ambiguous. Mr. Dowd never mentioned pardons specifically. The Mueller report said only that the call and other events “could have had the potential to affect Flynn’s decision to cooperate, as well as the extent of that cooperation.”

By contrast, the report is far more explicit about Mr. Trump’s conduct toward his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. Evidence shows that Mr. Trump sought to discourage Mr. Manafort from cooperating with the government and intended to influence a jury weighing whether to convict him, according to the report.

Analyzing the episode begins with trying to make sense of what Mr. Dowd was saying in his circular, halting way, legal experts said.

His message might be interpreted “as a thinly veiled offer of a pardon conditioned on Flynn keeping his mouth shut,” Mr. Sklansky said.

If so, he said, that would amount to obstruction of justice, and any conversations between the president and Mr. Dowd about sending such a message to Mr. Flynn would no longer be protected by attorney-client privilege because they would be considered part of a crime. In that case, a judge might have ordered Mr. Dowd to comply with a subpoena to disclose the discussions.

However, Mr. Sklansky stressed, all of that depends on two things that remain unclear: whether that is the correct interpretation of Mr. Dowd’s remarks and whether Mr. Trump in fact told him to send that message with corrupt intent. And because Mr. Dowd would certainly have invoked attorney-client privilege to avoid voluntarily answering questions about those interactions, he said, it would mean a lengthy subpoena fight in court for his testimony.

It was probably not worth it for Mr. Mueller’s investigators to take on that challenge — especially if all they had to make the case to a judge were their suspicions about a difficult-to-parse statement, said Samuel W. Buell, a former federal prosecutor who now teaches criminal law at Duke University.

“It’s a little bit of a Catch-22 because the privilege is so carefully protected by the courts that the exceptions only kick in when you can show they apply,” Mr. Buell said. “How can you show they apply before you have that information? You have to have a circumstantial case already that someone and their lawyer were engaging in obstruction before you can get to the conversations between them.”

Mr. Buell also noted that it was common for defense lawyers to fish around for information that might be helpful to their client, and while Mr. Dowd’s comments may have walked “somewhat dangerously close to the line,” Mr. Buell’s assessment was that “it strikes me as veiled enough that it’s nothing a prosecutor could base a witness-tampering charge on.”

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Fotis Dulos Hires Alex Jones Lawyer to Represent Him Amid Jennifer Dulos Disappearance – Law & Crime

Connecticut man Fotis Dulos just got a new lawyer to represent him amid the May 24 disappearance of his estranged wife Jennifer Dulos. Incidentally, one of them is Norm Pattis, an attorney of Infowars founder and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

“I caution the world at large that things are rarely as they appear early on in a sensationalized investigation like this one,” Pattis said in a statement. “The rush to judgement stops now as does the conviction by innuendo. If necessary, we’ll let a jury decide what happened here.”

Fotis Dulos and his girlfriend Michelle Troconis are charged with hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence. He had been in the middle of an ugly divorce and custody dispute with his wife. Police said that he and his lover dumped garbage bags in 30 different spots in a bid to cover up that Jennifer Dulos was the victim of a violent crime. The five Dulos children are currently in the custody of their maternal grandmother.

Pattis spoke with WFSB 3 before he was hired. He acknowledged that circumstantial evidence pointed at Fotis Dulos and Troconis, but said “we have no idea what happened” or if they did it.

“It is not enough simply to have motive. It is not enough to have opportunity,” he said. “There has to be means.”

This change in legal team comes at a pivotal time for the co-defendants. Troconis is cooperating with cops. She reportedly met with cops at the law office of her attorney, and went with them to the home she shared with her boyfriendJulie Rendelman, a defense lawyer and Law&Crime Network analyst, has suggested that this means Troconis has information that could help her and possibly hurt Fotis Dulos.

Jennifer Dulos remains missing as of Sunday.

[Screengrab via WFSB 3]

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