GOVERNMENT DENIED TWICE, TOSSES HAIL MARY IN PHILLY MOB CASE
Updated: Apr 5
Denied, Denied. This seems to be the case in federal court between the federal prosecutors in Philadelphia, and the defense attorneys representing some 14 defendants in the mob case I have dubbed "Operation Propaganda." The back and forth between the government and the attorneys has been enlightening to say the least. After a blistering motion rammed down the government's throat, by John "Johnny Motions" Meringolo, I was wondering what the response would be. Let's put it this way, Meringolo 2 Team Fed 0. Twice the government has lost arguments and motions related to the "all encompassing protection of Giglio and Jenks Act materials.
Loosely put, the government wanted to put a strangle hold on the defendants who were essentially "blind to the charges they were facing, and blind to the evidence in the government's possession.", according to a motion submitted by Meringolo. While most people probably don't understand legalese, it comes down to the government not handing over evidence in a timely manner, albeit it transcripts, and wiretaps. The argument from the government has been that they do NOT WANT the defendants in this case to have their hands on any hard copies of evidence. They don't want copies, notes, nothing that is hard print because the assertion is, that someone will hand this information over to a third party, and that those documents will be blasted all over social media, somehow, (try not to laugh) this will make life harder for the informants in this case, and somehow(laugh again) put their lives in more danger. Their motion was denied a second time, much to my happiness, because I've always felt, if your going to have the audacity to accuse me, or anyone, you should at least be fully transparent, and they haven't been. They had zero problem using that evidence to suggest that defendants in this case be remanded, but when it came time to sharing the information, fuggadaboutit.
We have talked at length about this, but the government it's the 4th quarter, 4th down, home team ahead by 7, and the government just tossed the ball up in the air. While the government was wide in the scope of their wish list, what they submitted today, is more of the same, with more winding roads. "With this filing, the government files a revised request for a narrowly tailored protective order addressing Jencks Act materials only. The government no longer seeks to prevent the defendants’ possession of all discovery materials in this matter. Instead, the government seeks to prohibit the defendants from possessing any Jencks Act materials. As explained in earlier filings, the government seeks this order out of a concern that allowing defendants to possess the materials, which clearly identify cooperating witnesses and third-party victims of crimes could endanger the safety of the government’s witnesses, and the government’s ongoing investigations. As is set forth in the superseding indictment and earlier filings, the government will call several cooperating witnesses and civilians to testify about the crimes alleged in the indictment. Courts frequently issue protective orders covering various disclosed materials and prohibiting defendants from possessing certain types of information. In his objection to the government’s second request for a protective order, counsel for (NAME REDACTED)dismissed the severity of the nature of the charges in this case and strength of the government’s evidence and thereby alleged that a protective order is not necessary.
"The Court is well aware, Jencks Act material, by its nature, explicitly identifies witnesses and their statements and is the most likely to result in harm and intimidation to witnesses. For these reasons, and those previously provided to the Court, a protective order addressing the Jencks Act material is appropriate in this case. The government reiterates that this request will not adversely affect the defendants in their legitimate preparation for trial. First, the government proposes no limit to the defendants’ access to the Jencks Act materials in the presence (physical, telephonic or virtual) of counsel or investigators. The defendants may extensively review and discuss every document the government provides in person, by telephone or on a video conversation with each other. Counsel may spend as much time as needed with the defendants with these documents. We propose no limitation on the defendants’ use of these documents in the presence of counsel. Counsel must, however, maintain sole possession of the Jencks Act materials."
The government is asking, essentially that any materials that are handed over, are not to be made available to 3rd parties. While I could honestly care less about that, there is another issue. It's their argument as to why. It's not a valid argument to me. The argument that once these files and or documents are available, it will let "defendants know, who the informants are." To me that's laughable. I've said it before, street guys don't need a term paper to prove to them whose talking and who isn't. It's not rocket science here. Obviously we know from just what the government has already let loose, what events they have discussed, that those who were alleged to have been at said events, fully know who was there and who wasn't, so how is it, a piece of paper is going to verify what is already known? It's the same argument. In fact, if the informants in this case are so in danger then why in the hell has the government spilled that "civilians, associates, made guys, and some guys locked up jail are now cooperating with the government, on this case, and ongoing investigations." Isn't that putting informant in danger? It's the simple form of, what's good for the government is good for the government, and everyone else, can just "deal with it,"
The government is asking for the same exact thing, for the most part. They only changed their wording, but use the same excuses. I have a question, how many cases, have we had, where government paperwork was given to 3rd parties and the said "witnesses" were harmed as a result? I'd like to see those stats. I also might add, in particular cases, where there is murder charges and violence attached, then I might be less apt to roll my eyes, but the fact is, this indictment contains NO VIOLENT ACTS. NONE. Fearing for the safety of informants is NOT a good enough reason to handicap the defense or the defendants in this case. To my knowledge, and per the latest feed from the government they have begun the process of sending over materials, but requesting that no paperwork be sent to 3rd parties, to me is laughable. As if word of mouth isn't going to travel down stream and upstream. Once again, it's like saying well anyone can suppose or assume, but without our papers their is no proof. Sorry folks, the streets are always the pecking ground for truth, especially in cases like this. You can stifle the paperwork till the cows come home, but reality is, it's still gonna get out regardless. Informants are ALWAYS outed as they should be. Defendants have a right to face their accusers. That's the bottom line, and if you're going to use a character assimilation tactic against defendants, the same should be used for your corrupt agents and informants. That's judicial fairness. Be transparent and stop stacking the deck. It will be interesting to see, how the judge overseeing this case reacts, and I'm not expecting a clean sweep here, but for once, I feel like the courts aren't allowing the government to do what they always do.