HAPPENING NOW: Trial set to get underway in NYC for Giuliani associate Lev Parnas on charges of political donations to US campaigns w/Russian businessman’s money. At moment, judge and lawyers attend to one juror who says he will have $$$ problems serving politi.co/3DGWnGD
Juror No. 11 excused. 3 alternates drops to 2…
Prosecutors have said they expect their case to last until the end of next week.
Next up: preliminary jury instructions from Judge J. Paul Oetken, Obama appointee who is also overseeing aspects of the probe into Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani (who remains uncharged)
Parnas is repped by Joseph Bondy, an attorney best known for his marijuana-related practice. Co-defendant Andrey Kukushkin is repped by famed defense lawyer Gerard Lefcourt, best known for his role in Chicago 7 trial (and movie!) (Other 2 co-defendants have pled out)
Judge tells remaining jurors that one of them has been excused. ‘Nothing for you to be concerned about,’ Oetken says

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More from @joshgerstein

12 Oct
#CapitolRiot defendant Brandon Fellows is on the stand now seeking release from pretrial detention. Compares himself to Jesus and says he plans no criticism of the government beyond that of Jesus calling the Pharisees ‘snakes'
He tried to call his own (ex-)lawyer as a witness, but Judge McFadden says no. Judge: 'The motion is denied.’ Says he’ll hear from Fellows, though. He says he thought her testimony would be worth more. Also, FWIW: 'I’m a tiny houser minimalist.'
I’m losing the thread but Fellows appears to claim a man who called himself a constitutional lawyer told him not to turn himself unless told there is a warrant. So he wrapped his phone in foil. ‘I...actually wrapped it in tinfoil because the man told me to wrap it in tinfoil.'
Read 8 tweets
6 Oct
Lawyer for Fugees member Pras Michel plans to ask a federal judge for permission to attend foreign dates on group’s upcoming tour. Includes Paris & London & maybe Nigeria & Ghana, too. Michel is defendant in federal campaign finance and foreign-agent criminal case...
Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said next time might be a good idea to ask her for permission before the tour dates are announced. ‘One thing you might want to do is check in advance, before he makes commitments, in case it doesn’t get authorized,’ she said.
Next status conference in the case is set for Jan. 10, but there may be filings on the requested travel in the meantime. Typically, DC criminal defendants can travel domestically w/permission of probation office but need judge’s permission for international travel
Read 4 tweets
28 Sep
Guilty plea hearing for Kansas resident Jennifer Parks in #CapitolRiot almost went sideways this AM over a preface to the parading-in-the-Capitol charge most defendants are pleading to. Heading to that subsection says 'Violent entry and disorderly conduct.'
Parks, who sounded like she was sobbing at one point (we can only hear not see), asked to talk to her lawyer after clerk read that heading before asking her to finalize the guilty plea. After a few minutes, the attorney came back on the line and said it had been sorted out.
Defense atty Maria Jacob said there was no evidence of Parks being violent in the Capitol. Judge Carl Nichols said that had caused some other defendants concern and also pops up in the court’s computer system sometimes.
Read 4 tweets
22 Sep
Sussmann hearing underway before Judge Christopher Cooper, who kicks it off by noting that he worked at DOJ in early 90s when Sussmann did. Says they didn’t work together or socialize, but he’d entertain a motion to recuse….
Asst Special Counsel DeFilippis says some discovery will be classified and they’re working on getting security clearances for defense counsel. May be CIPA (classified evidence) practice in case.
Def Atty Berkowitz says Sussmann 'is not working currently’ and he wants a trial as expeditiously as possible, but obviously the classified issues will lead to some delay….
Read 4 tweets
17 Sep
HAPPENING NOW: Sentencing for #CaptiolRiot defendant Valerie Ehrke, who was in Capitol for only about a minute before being pushed out by cops. Prosecutor Kevin Birney: 'It is a pretty good outcome we would say for Ms. Ehrke given how serious the total event was.'
Def atty Robert Holley: 'She is absolutely devastated by all of this she has been crying all morning..She's been punished about as much as anybody can possibly be punished….” Her bank accounts and credit cards were canceled.
Judge Friedman asks about the closures. Ehrke responds: 'They said it was merely a business deicison and they wouldn’t give me any other details.'
Read 6 tweets
14 Sep
Sens. Leahy and Kennedy just got into it at SJC, with Leahy suggesting that Kennedy is holding female nominees to a higher standard. Followed Kennedy badgering 9th Cir nominee Sung for being unwilling to say whether she thinks Kavanaugh is morally bankrupt.
'I don’t belive the senator has any evidence to show I’m somehow being misogynistic,’ Kennedy responds. ‘Let's all stop and think of what we’re doing,’ Leahy replied.
Now, Sen. Lee suggesting the letter Sung signed attacking Kavanaugh was defamatory, which it surely was not.
Read 4 tweets

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