Status Hearing April 30

These court notes were taken during the hearing but are not a complete record of everything said.

Defense
We filed a reply to the state’s answer to the motion to compel discovery. The reply has exhibits.

Judge
These issues aren’t resolved?

Defense
The issues that aren’t resolved are listed in it. The bulk of the issues are not resolved and need rulings. Maybe that could be ready in two weeks? Also, there are several envelops of evidence that were seized from the residences where the defendants were staying and the state has said we’ll be getting copies but we haven’t yet. Hopefully in two weeks we can set deadlines for filing all discovery motions.

Prosecution
Two bags of evidence are in our vault that need to be examined and everything that needs to be copied will be.

Defense
The reply lists the issues being discussed that could be resolved.

Judge
What about the text messages issue?

Prosecution
There are text messages between the undercovers and the defendants. The messages have been written out by the undercovers and will be submitted to the defendants.

Defense
The state hasn’t requested these text messages from the providers as far as we know, so we don’t know if anything’s been preserved. Only some of the alleged text messages were written out after a certain date. We don’t know what the state has done to secure the text messages from the providers or from the undercovers’ phones. We don’t know what written requests the state has made of investigative agencies and what their written responses are to those inquiries.

Judge
I don’t want to spend time ruling on issues that will be resolved before I issue my ruling. What about the information from federal agencies?

Defense
We requested information from federal agencies from the state and have no idea what has been requested. The search warrants in this case reflect that damage was done and planned to be done in downtown Chicago, including against Obama’s campaign headquarters. That suggests that the Secret Service would have been notified but we’re not sure what is there. Also there have been FOIA requests and the information revealed about fusion centers suggests the FBI and DHS were involved in some way.

Judge
What does the state have the ability to get?

Prosecution
We contacted the Chicago Police Department about discovery and found out that the FBI was involved but have not learned anything about the Secret Service or we would have followed up on that.

Judge
We may need interrogatories.

Defense
Asking the cops and waiting on their reply isn’t good enough. We have an understanding that the State Attorney’s office may have communicated directly with the Secret Service.

Prosecution
So we have to contact everyone? Where does it end?

Judge
Contact the whole alphabet soup. Send letters to all the agencies to see if they have anything remotely related.

Defense
It’s incumbent on the state to follow up with all those agencies to see if they have documents. If there’s a written response saying “no,” then we don’t have to fight about it anymore. Our initial discovery request listed all the agencies that could have any information across the country.

Judge
The State Attorneys are probably being diligent but the defense needs every opportunity to explore all those mole holes to find out if there’s anything there. There were various federal agencies involved but I don’t have the authority to make them produce things, so the state has to document its attempts to find them. If they’re there but the state can’t access them, then this court has to issue sanctions and debar some stuff from being admitted that the court could otherwise have compelled to be produced. I assume the exhibits in this reply show the defendants’ good faith reasons for thinking these agencies have some information.

Defense
These exhibits don’t speak to that but to the Chicago Police Department’s First Amendment investigation. But there’s a footnote about that issue in the reply.

Judge
As long as there is a footnote or something.

Defense
The footnote has a link to publicly available documents on the internet about the other agencies.

Judge
Where is the defense with going through the discovery so far?

Defense
We have gone through all the discovery except the three terabytes of computer and iPad data. We’re working diligently on that though.

Judge
Anything else?

Prosecution
We have requested fingerprint evidence in this case from Church.

Defense
No objection to the motion as long as there is no interrogation of Church in any way.

Judge
Motion granted with no interrogation.

Defense
We may want to be there for that.

Prosecution
We wanted to do that at the same time as the handwriting analysis.

Judge
Ok.

Prosecution
Ok, so we’ve agreed to contact the Secret Service and DHS concerning the fusion centers. Anyone else?

Defense
The Miami Police and Florida State Police. If it’s just a matter of making a phone call, they should contact everyone in our initial discovery request and the reply.

Judge
These will be formal written requests. They’ll be sending letters so we can have it on the record.

Prosecution
We’ve narrowed the timeline in the Bill of Particulars so contacting a lot of other agencies doesn’t make sense.

Defense
They’ve narrowed the scope but that’s about what’s admissible, not discoverable.

Judge
The defense needs leeway to investigate and explore the case.

Defense
It’s in everyone’s interests for the state to send a form letter to all those agencies and get written responses for the record. If they respond in writing that they don’t have information then this will end the inquiry process.

Prosecution
If the defense has any offer of proof about CIA involvement then we’d be happy to send a letter.

Judge
So I have to rule on all these issues and on motions in limine in July.

Defense
I suggest we set a two-week date for ruling on discovery and hopefully all the discovery issues can be resolved by then and we can set a date for motions in limine at that time.

Judge
The next hearing will be Tuesday, May 14 at 2pm for a status hearing, by agreement.

Defense
If we’re able to work out some of these matters within a week we’ll send a letter with these updates.

Judge
Do that sooner rather than later. I may send a ruling ex parte in advance of the next hearing so it can be reviewed in advance and any issues addressed at the hearing. I’ll shoot for having that 10 days out but no promises

Defense
Our reply lists the issues we expect to be addressed.

Prosecution
We wrote a letter to the defense about our stance on the un-indicted co-conspirators issue.

Defense
We acknowledge receipt of that email letter.

–end of hearing–

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