Thursday, June 07, 2012

Trust us!

That's the message from Deputy AG James Cole's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, in which he speaks out against Sen. Murkowski's (R-Ala) bill to require more disclosure under the federal criminal discovery rules.  Here are his comments.

In addition to the "trust us" argument (who needs changes to the rules when the internal guidelines say disclose!), the DOJ resorts to the unfortunate fear argument.  People will DIE if the discovery rules are changed.  The argument gets absurd:

Legislation requiring earlier and broader disclosures would likely lead to an increase in such tragedies.   It would also create a perverse incentive for defendants to wait to plead guilty until close to trial in order to see whether they can successfully remove identified witnesses from testifying against them.
 Really?  This is why prosecutors shouldn't be required to disclose Brady and Giglio well in advance of trial -- because defendants are going to wait to see if the witnesses are killed?

I've spoken out before about the need for discovery reform. But I never thought we'd see this sort of argument.  I hope that the Senate sees through it.


Anonymous said...

This Administration is embarrassing.

Calli said...

Cole's testimony is a low water mark by even this administration's standards.

The Holder/Breuer administration's list of botched, failed, dishonest or illegal (but we have immunity and are confident OPR will do nothing, so its ok, we win!) investigations and prosecutions grows.

The culture of "ends justifies the means," starts at the top in the Breuer DOJ, as it is not happenstance that government misconduct permeates Districts throughout the country.

Holder's arrogance and indifference to government law breaking resulting in death, under color of authority, is breathtaking.

In holder's "Fast and Furious" operation in Mexico, "Gunwalking" was a tactic whereby the ATF knowingly allowed thousands of guns to be bought by suspected arms traffickers working through straw purchasers on behalf of Mexican drug cartels.

The stated goal of allowing these purchases was to continue to track the firearms as they were transferred to higher−level traffickers and key figures in Mexican cartels, in theory leading to their arrests and the dismantling of the cartels.

As of October 2011, none of the targeted high−level cartel figures have been arrested.

Operation Fast and Furious involved about 2,000 guns in total, and agents lost track of about 1,400 of those.

When asked under oath "How many people in Mexico have been killed as a result of the U.S." engaging in the gun-walking tactic, Holder flippantly replied, "I don’t know, but I think there would be some."

Oh yeah. And how about Holder's statements under oath that lack total credibility and that federal lawmakers deemed a lie - denying that his emails which contained "Fast and Furious" refer to "Operation Fast and Furious?"

And you wonder why line prosecutors don't think twice about lying and burying evidence.

Anonymous said...

Deputy AG James Cole (formerly a private criminal defense lawyer) was Chair Elect of the ABA's Criminal Justice Section, which says alot about how that once-proud organization has whithered. It has become a haven for those intending something other than criminal justice. Cole is a perfect example of that. This may explain why the ABA can't even give away its memberships anymore.

Anonymous said...

ABA all "former" federal prosecutors who flip or plead their clients wiht no fight and then grand stand in the press that 'my client was a good person who made a bad decision and look sofrward to closing this chapter." those "former" federal prosecutors wouldnt know the first thing about criminal defense