BREAKING NEWS: New Evidence Shows Judge Reade Unlawfully Presided Over Rubashkin Trial, Participated In Raid Planning(Thursday, August 5th, 2010) New documents produced in response to a Freedom of Information Act request show that U.S. District Court Chief Judge Linda Reade met frequently with the law-enforcement team that was actively engaged in the planning of the May 2008 raid on the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant and participated in preparations for the raid. On this account, Judge Reade should have been legally disqualified from presiding at the federal trial of Sholom Rubashkin.
Judge Reade was required to disclose these meetings and her participation to defense lawyers, but the judge did not make any such disclosures before presiding over the trial last year. The evidence shows Reade was not only provided with regular briefings on the raid preparations for more than six months before it occurred, but that she expressed her “support” for the raid, and directed that she be briefed on how it was to be carried out.
“The government’s own memoranda show that more than six months before the raid, Judge Linda Reade began a series of meetings in which she collaborated with the law-enforcement team that prosecuted the case against Sholom Rubashkin,” said Nathan Lewin, lead appellate counsel for Sholom Rubashkin. “Without disclosing to defense counsel her meetings with the U.S. attorney and the support she expressed for the raid, she presided at Mr. Rubashkin’s trial, and then immediately had him imprisoned, and sentenced him to two years more in prison than the prosecution requested.”
“Under federal law, as authoritatively interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Reade was required to disqualify herself from serving as the judge in Mr. Rubashkin’s trial or, at least, to make a full disclosure to the defense lawyers so they could decide whether to file a motion for recusal,” Lewin said. “The jury’s verdict must, on this account, be vacated, as well as Judge Reade’s decision to deny release on bail to Mr. Rubashkin.”
The government documents and e-mails were provided to Rubashkin’s counsel after the trial concluded, although their Freedom of Information Act request was filed in February 2009, more than eight months before his trial began. The government did not initially respond to repeated letters and calls from Rubashkin’s counsel seeking the FOIA documents, and Rubashkin’s attorneys eventually sued the Department of Homeland Security to procure the information.
The documents reveal that Reade began meeting with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in October 2007, and advised law enforcement officials of her vacation schedule so that the raid would meet her “scheduling needs.” She also said in January 2008 she was “willing to support the operation in any way possible.” In March 2008, Reade participated in a meeting that discussed “an overview of charging strategies, numbers of anticipated arrests and prosecutions, logistics, the movement of detainees, and other issues related to the [Agriprocessors] investigation and operation.”
According to one e-mail, Reade made specific requests for a “final gameplan” to be submitted to her about one month before the raid took place. She also “requested a briefing on how the operation will be conducted.”
“What can be learned from the redacted memoranda about Judge Reade’s participation in the planning of the raid on Agriprocessors may be only the tip of the iceberg,” Lewin said. “But even this tip is sufficient for an objective observer to doubt the perception of impartiality.”
The documents also show Sholom Rubashkin was the primary focus of the investigation before the raid. In a PowerPoint presentation describing the planned raid – which may well have been displayed to Judge Reade during one of her “briefings” – ICE identified Mr. Rubashkin as the “Vice-President of the company,” and noted its belief “that one or more company officials may have knowledge of criminal conduct on the part of the company and may even be culpable themselves.” In a separate memorandum written in advance of the raid, ICE explained that on the day of the raid, it would “execute a criminal arrest warrant” against a “corporate official.” Mr. Rubashkin was not ultimately arrested on the day of the raid, but he is the only “corporate official” arrested, and therefore was probably the subject of that memorandum and discussions with Judge Reade. Under federal standards, those ex-parte conversations would be grounds for recusal of a judge.
Rather than disclosing her attendance at, and active participation in, planning meetings, either to the defendant or his attorneys, Reade rejected a related defendant’s recusal request and claimed she had only been engaged in “logistical cooperation” with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who planned the May 2008 raid on Agriprocessors.
“Judge Reade’s apparent attempts to minimize her participation in the raid raise new suspicions and bolster doubts about Judge Reade’s impartiality in circumstances that are particularly worrisome,” said Lewin. “Under federal law a judge is disqualified, whether or not actually biased, if the average person on the street, knowing all the facts, would question the judge’s impartiality.”
Representatives of the Department of Justice and ICE also concealed Judge Reade’s participation in the raid planning to members of Congress. In a hearing in July 2008 before the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Zoe Lofgren asked law enforcement officials what information was provided to the federal court in Iowa and “what measures were taken to ensure that the court’s view of the cases would not be affected and that judicial neutrality would not be compromised?” Deborah J. Rhodes, a senior associate deputy attorney general, responded that Judge Reade was only given a “heads up” for “logistical reasons.” She did not acknowledge that Judge Reade was given briefings and “updates” on various substantive matters, as well as the fact that the raid was coordinated around Judge Reade’s “scheduling needs” and that Judge Reade had expressed her willingness “to support the operation in any way possible.”
As part of its motion for a new trial, Rubashkin’s attorneys have requested that Judge Reade transfer the motion to another judge for determination, “in order to preserve public confidence in the impartiality of the judicial system.”
Members of the Rubashkin legal team will participate in a media conference call this afternoon to discuss the new information. Details are forthcoming.
Thanks to Aryeh .
You see, it doesn't only happen in Israel: U.S. courts and police are as corrupt as ours. Birds of one feather, OWLS of one feather, should I say..... time for a major shake-up everywherehttp://israeltruthtimes.
: this world is sick, sick, sick. No wonder; read the post below too:
BORN IN THE USA?
Thanks to Al.
E. Winston writes:
A lot more than meets the eye through the Mainstream Media occurred during the trial of Reb Sholom Mordecai Rubashkin, of Agriprocessors Kosher meat plant, in Postville, Iowa. The planning by the Justice Department and the FBI are exposed herein.
Abe Fortas resigned from the US Supreme Court for less. He had advised his old friend, President Johnson, on legal ramifications of policy concerning matters that were not sub-judice and were not (as in the Agriprocessors case) about to become so. Nevertheless, he resigned in order to preserve the public’s respect for the court. That’s something no one seems to care about any more.
This should be the subject of a Congressional investigation to find out who was behind this and if it happens regularly. This is not the way the criminal justice system is supposed to operate. It’s positively Stalinesque.
In my opinion, Judge Reade and the prosecuting attorneys and everyone in the Justice Department, the FBI, the Attorney General’s office, the US Attorney’s office and the Dept. of Homeland Security who participated in the matter, including the bureaucrats who withheld the documents requested, should all stand trial for obstruction of justice and criminal conspiracy. They should all be made to stand trial far from their homes and denied bail.
And (just BTW) why are the “Jewish” organizations not doing what the Muslim organizations would be doing if this were a halal slaughter house? The unJewish leadership, true to form, is cowering in a dark corner afraid of appearing disrespectful and abrasive, the sniveling toadies.
....In the United States, flash floods hit the state of Iowa Sunday night, swamping roads and causing a campground evacuation. Over 10,000 customers were reported to be without power on Monday, including nearly 5,000 in Des Moines, Iowa, and strong winds damaged buildings and a grain bin....
And here is an article by William Anderson, who has been following the case very closely - see here:
As one who often writes about courts and prosecutorial misconduct, I must admit to having no confidence anymore in American judges having any integrity at all. One of the defining moments for me came in the Tonya Craft case in North Georgia when the judge, Brian House, literally took cues from the prosecutors during the trial, as they gave him hand signals and other indications of what he needed to do in certain situations.It should surprise no one that House desperately tried to rig a conviction, and when he received the “not guilty” verdict from jurors and read it before the verdict was read to the people in the courtroom, his face turned ashen and his expression was one of utter shock. However dishonest and sordid his actions, at least House was unable to get the jurors to vote his way; Shalom Rubashkin was not so fortunate, as his judge not only was hostile to him throughout the trial, but now we find that the judge played an important role in the prosecution of the case.
In my first article on Rubashkin’s conviction, I dealt with the charges and the sentence that Judge Linda Reade imposed on him - 27 years, which is longer than many murderers receive - and was entirely out-of-kilter with what the law is supposed to do. Readers know that I have trouble with how federal criminal law is imposed and how prosecutors can take about any action, including a legal action, and roll it into the “fraud” statutes that enable prosecutors to make their careers.
However, new documents released now demonstrate that Reade was far more involved in this case than I could have imagine, and that there is no way humanly possible for her to have done what supposedly is her job: be an impartial jurist:
A federal judge conspired with the Bush Department of Justice to plan the largest immigration raid ever in the United States, and then presided over the trial of the plant’s manager, eventually sentencing him beyond even prosecutors’ recommendation.
New documents show Linda Reade, the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, was involved in the planning of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement raid on the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant at least six months before it occurred in May 2008. She asked for briefings from law enforcement and went as far as to ensure the raid was conducted around her vacation schedule.
But the judge never said a word of this to the defense lawyers for Sholom Rubashkin, the Agriprocessors manager, when she presided over his trial on bank fraud. She didn’t recuse herself from the case, either.
Indeed, all through the proceedings leading up to the trial, and then during the trial itself, it was clear that Reade has utterly hostile to the defendant. Furthermore, the very notion that she played what effectively was a “law enforcement” and prosecutorial role even before Rubashkin’s kosher meat processing plant was raided automatically should have disqualified her. Furthermore, by stepping outside of her role as a judge, she opens herself to lawsuits, as she has absolute immunity only in her role as a judge, not as a law enforcement officer.
The media and the courts have framed this as a “financial fraud” case, as though Rubashkin was the Second Coming of Bernie Madoff. However, the “financial fraud” that Rubashkin committed was not “fraud” at all in the historical sense. This is what I described in my previous article:
In the case of Agriprocessors, the loan was a revolving $35 million payout that enabled the company to keep a steady cash flow, meet payroll, and pay its bills. The firm was not arrears in payment, and all indications were that the company would be able to meet its obligations to the bank.
Because the federal courts have eviscerated the ancient doctrine of mens rea, which means that prosecutors needed to prove that a person charged intended to commit a crime, intent to defraud no longer matters. In fact, one can argue that Agriprocessors did not “defraud” First Bank at all, and there are indications that the bank knew that Agriprocessors was overstating its revenues and underestimating its costs (something the federal government does every year, but never results in anyone’s arrest), but did not care because its good customer paid its bills on time. The company was profitable, and so was the bank.
That was not all, according to the feds. Apparently, certain suppliers of cattle and other things are required by a little-known (and almost never enforced) law from the 1920s to be paid within 24 hours. No one had complained about the late payments, to my knowledge; instead, it was yet another of those “legal technicalities” that federal prosecutors use when they want to convict someone on something.
Now, the bank would not have called the loan and lost all those millions had the federal government not shut down Agriprocessors. However, the government is claiming that the business itself was a $35 million fraud, as though Rubashkin were running a Ponzi scheme. (Oh, sorry, only the government is permitted to run a Ponzi program that we know as Social Security.)
Thus, the real cause of the losses was not the business practices of Rubashkin per se, but rather the way that the federal government dealt with the situation. The Bush administration wanted to make a statement to its conservative base regarding illegal immigrants being employed in the United States and it chose to make an example of Rubashkin and Agriprocessors.
Keep in mind that the feds can do the same to any business, even those businesses that absolutely operate above board in every way. Federal agents can act on false allegations (which they do all the time), raid the place, shut it down, and then claim that the entire operation was fraudulent after the company cannot pay its bills, and don’t think they don’t do this.
Federal agents have absolutely no personal stake in the success of a business or even private enterprise in general. They are in privileged positions and can extract whatever they want from people who are not so well-placed, and they do it on a regular basis. That means that if they drive legitimate businesses into bankruptcy, that is no problem to them, and if other lives are ruined and the economy sinks a little bit lower, who cares? The prosecutors and judges get their paychecks.
If anything, the revelations that Reade was involved up to her eyeballs in the Rubashkin case from the very beginning sets a new low in federal criminal law - if it is impossible for these people to sink any lower. It absolutely is clear that from the start, Reade was trying to engineer an arrest and conviction, and if she had an ounce of integrity (honest federal official, of course, is an oxymoron), she would resign immediately.
However, I am sure that Reade will go on as though nothing happened. One hopes that the appellate courts will note the misconduct, but I will not be holding my breath.
Weiner said the punishment does not fit the crime. He urged an investigation into "allegations of impropriety and unfairness in the Sholom Rubashkin case in order to remove the cloud that is growing publicly and in judicial circles."
- ... And now I wonder: what do you think, will the CEO of this IOWA BASED egg farm also receive 25+ years in prison for infecting a significant part of the U.S. population? An easy way to find out: is the CEO a Hassidic Jew?