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Archive for July 16th, 2009

Ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh Testifies That Sotomayor is Going to Be “An Outstanding Judge”

Louis Freeh

Louis Freeh

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Former FBI director Louis Freeh testified Thursday at the hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, saying he mentored her as as a fellow U.S. District judge in New York in the early 1990s and found her to be the kind of “judge that I think we would all be proud of.”

Freeh, 59,  went on to speak of Sotomayor, 55,  in laudatory terms. The following includes some of his remarks.

“My association with her began in 1992. She was a new judge on the Southern District, and we had this tradition where the second newest judge would mentor the new judge.”

“Some of us didn’t think it was the wisest rule to have, since I had about nine months on the bench when she was entrusted to my care, so to speak.”

“And I actually sat with her in court. I sat with her during trials. I helped review opinions that she asked me to look at. My law clerks were encamped with her law clerks.”

“And I guess what I want to communicate to you in a very short period remaining is, you know, the enormous judicial integrity and commitment to finding the facts, to being open-minded, to being fair.

“She struggled and deliberated in making sure she had the facts, making sure she had the right law, following the law, and being the kind of judge that I think we would all be proud of.”

“You know, speeches are important, and it’s great the way you all have considered that so carefully. But, you know, when you enter the courtroom and you put the bench on, just as you assume the authority when you take your commitment, there’s a whole different set of influences and immense power and influence that takes over.”

“And when she’s been on the bench, when she’s written, when she’s argued, the way she’s conducted herself, I think we can very safely predict this is going to be an outstanding judge, with all the qualities I know that you would want. So I urge you all to support her.”

5 New Jersey Cops Shot and Wounded; 2 Suspects Killed

FBI Arrests White Va. Man for Threatening “To Start Killing Off White Judges”

U.S. District Judge Matthew Perry

U.S. District Judge Matthew Perry

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – The FBI arrested a Virginia man Wednesday for threatening to “start killing off white judges” and trying to intimidate a South Carolina federal judge hearing his civil case alleging wrongful arrest and malicious prosecution.

Stephen H. Rosenberg, 51, who is white, was arrested without incident at his home in Alexandria, Va., the FBI said. He was indicted on July 7.

According to a three-page indictment filed in Columbia, S.C., Rosenberg sent a rambling email on April 6, 2009 to Judge  Matthew Perry Jr., South Carolina’s first African American U.S. District Judge,  that included these excerpts:

“As you know, my father Col. (U.S. Army) Kermit H. Rosenberg will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery today…..I strongly urge you to immediately do your job as a U.S. District Court Judge and immediately provide me with Justice. I hope you don’t agree with the advice I received from many of my former fellow inmates who are of the same race as you that the “ONLY WAY” I am going to be able to achieve justice is “TO START KILLING OFF WHITE JUDGES.”.

An FBI press release said Rosenberg appeared before Judge Perry on his civil suit earlier this year and had sent him a number of emails including the threatening one on April 6.

According to federal court records, Rosenberg filed a lawsuit in 2006 against the state of South Carolina and the Beaufort Co. Sheriff’s Department and its members alleging false arrest and malicious prosecution.

Read Indictment

Woman Sentenced in Ill. to 10 Years for Traveling Interstate to Have Sex With Female Teen

illinois-map1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It has become all too common for federal authorities to arrest a man for traveling to another state to have sex with a minor.

But what’s unusual is for the feds to bust a woman for this crime.

Catharine L. Miller, 33, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., was sentenced earlier this week in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis, Ill. to 10 years in prison for traveling from Ohio to Wayne County, Ill. to have sex with a 14-year-old girl she met on the Internet.

According to an FBI affidavit, Miller met the teen on an Internet forum in July 2008. They subsequently communicated by email and cellphone.

Miller let the teen know she was interested in sex and on Nov. 11, 2008, sent her a text message saying she had reserved a hotel room in Flora, Ill., the FBI affidavit said.

A few days later, Miller traveled form Cincinnati to Flora, Ill. and met with the teen and “proposed marriage and “provided a diamond ring” and a baby bottle “because the juvenile would be Miller’s ‘baby’.”

The next few days, the two had sex. At one point, the teen’s stepfather and mother found out the two were in a car at Johnsonville Park and caught them kissing, according to the FBI affidavit.

“The juvenile’s step-father pulled Miller out of the vehicle and contacted law enforcement”, the affidavit said.  Miller was arrested and later pleaded guilty to interstate travel to have sex with a minor.

Read FBI Criminal Complaint

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


Ex-Penn. Sate Senator Fumo’s Sentence Was Better than the Plea the Feds Offered

Ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo

Ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Sometimes it pays to gamble with the feds.

That’s what legendary ex-Pennsylvania state Sen. Vincent J.  Fumo learned.

The wily politician was apparently offered a plea agreement before trial which called for him to plead guilty to one count of fraud and get no more than 5 years, according to a story in the  Philadelphia Daily News.

Fumo passed on that, went to trial and was convicted. The other day, U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter gave him 55 months in prison, less than what he could have gotten under the plea.

The sentence triggered a lot of griping from a number of people including ex-U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan, who was in office when the case began. Meehan thought the sentence was far too light.

“I was in the courtroom. I have yet to hear him acknowledge that he stole money,” Meehan said, according to the Associated Press.

The Philadelphia Daily News also reported that the 5 year offer was taken off the table in February 2008 and later replaced with a 10 year maximum sentence.

Oilman Testifies That Jefferson Wanted Money for His Brother Up Front

The theme throughout this case has been that then-Rep. William Jefferson tried to make sure his family got a slice of pie. In this case, he tried to make sure his brother Mose got plenty of money.

The Jefferson trial/courtesy of Art Lien/NBC News

The Jefferson trial/courtesy of Art Lien/NBC News

By Jonathan Tilove and Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune
ALEXANDRIA, VA. — In January 2002, Louisiana oil entrepreneur John Melton presented then-Rep. William Jefferson with an agreement promising to give Jefferson’s brother, Mose, 3 percent of any profits from oil, fertilizer and other deals Melton was pursuing with the congressman’s help in Nigeria, according to testimony Wednesday.

“He looked at it and dropped it on his desk (and said), ‘This won’t do,’ ” Melton said at the nine-term Democrat’s corruption trial. Jefferson wanted money for his brother up front, Melton said. After a tense discussion, Jefferson asked Melton to walk him back from the meeting at Melton’s office on Poydras Street to Jefferson’s office, a block away in the Hale Boggs Building.

On the way, Melton said he sought to reassure Jefferson.

“You have my word I will maintain your brother’s interest in these projects,” Melton said he told Jefferson. “As the words came out, I thought to myself, ‘I wonder if the FBI could have any kind of listening device?’ ”

With that, Judge T.S. Ellis III cut Melton short, telling the jury to disregard what it had just heard.

The FBI was not listening, though Melton’s concern was not misplaced. As the jurors know, Lori Mody, a cooperating witness for the FBI, taped her conversations with Jefferson from March to August 2005, and those tapes have formed the core of the government’s corruption charges against Jefferson.

For Full Story