April 25, 2008

You're doin' a heckuva job, Saunders: Allison Hope Weiner lets the Federal Government have it with both barrels for its handling of the Pellicano Trial, here. Apparently, no one in the Bush Justice Department ever deigned to figure out whether one of the defendants had really filed bankruptcy (a copy of the forged petition can be found here), or if their star impeachment witness might herself be a scam artist:
And so, on Monday, the court noted that the witness will return and she will consider whether to declare a mistrial. It's really incredible that after six years of investigation, the government managed to call a witness to impeach a defendant's testimony without checking that witness' criminal history. Mr. Hummel has said repeatedly that his client denied having filed a fraudulent bankruptcy application. He said it five years ago when Mr. Arneson first spoke with the government and he said it before Mr. Saunders proceeded to seriously delve into the issue on cross-examination in his effort to prove to the jury that Mr. Arneson was a liar. And, despite all the times that Mr. Arneson insisted that the signature on the document was forged, the government refused to investigate his claims. Frankly, it makes one wonder what else they forgot or didn't bother to investigate.

Is it possible that there is all kinds of other evidence that the government overlooked in their desire to prosecute these few, rather insignificant Pellicano associates who were so down on the ladder that they scored truly pathetic financial benefits from their alleged criminal activity? Is it possible that in questioning Mr. Pellicano's clients, the government didn't bother to really ask them really hard questions because the government was focused on charging this truly bottom rung of Pellicano associates and not any of Mr. Pellicano's powerful and influential clients? And given what's happened with this prosecution, can you blame them? Did the government really even want to charge Mr. Pellicano's wealthy clients given their deep pockets and endless resources? Did they go after people like Mr. Arneson and Mr. Kachikian and even Mr. Turner because it was easier? And if so, can you even imagine what's going to happen in the courtroom when Mr. Saunders and Mr. Lally finally prosecute Mr. Christensen and they face off against a defendant with not only deep pockets, but an arsenal of attorneys ready and able to research any legal issue at a moment's notice? Even with over thirty tapes of Mr. Christensen chatting away with Mr. Pellicano about wiretapping Lisa Bonder Kerkorian, you've still got to wonder how that one is going to play out given what happened today.
Read the whole thing, and while you're at it, read some of Ms. Weiner's prior posts from the courtroom about the trial, which really should be placed in a time capsule for the way they account for the entire above-the-law mentality that exists in Hollywood.

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