Wednesday, January 19, 2005

We Said What About Martha? Perish the Thought!

According to the government's reply to Martha Stewart's appeal brief, apparently no one ever said she'd done anything wrong in selling her ImClone stock on December 27, 2001.

Walter Dellinger has them for lunch:

The Government now suggests that its allegations [regarding insider trading, made numerous times to the jury] could be understood to mean only that Stewart feared “harm to her reputation” from disclosure of a legal stock sale. ... But that is not what the Government told the District Court,... or—more importantly—the jury. Instead, it argued that Stewart “cheated investors” by trading on a “secret tip.”

Similarly, the government is now trying to disavow the testimony from its own witnesses at the trial. Specifically that of its star, stockbroker assistant Doug Fanuell, who said to the court that he'd committed a crime by telling Martha Stewart what another client (Sam Waksal) was doing and he lied to cover that up.

Remarkably, the trial judge did not allow Martha's defense lawyers to contest that assertion, because she wasn't being accused of illegal insider trading. Nor did she explain to the jury that it was not a case of insider trading, as--very clearly, in a post verdict press conference--one juror said he thought it was.

The government is now also claiming that the perjurious testimony of its ink expert was no big deal. Why exactly isn't made clear. Something to the effect, it seems, that since his office was in another federal building from the one occupied by the prosecution, he shouldn't count as part of the government's case.

Nor that the four other Secret Service agents (who knew the ink expert had committed perjury) were either! One of whom only knew the expert had lied because he attended the same meetings as the prosecutors themselves.

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