Federal prosecutors in New York admitted to telling a “flat lie” about evidence in order to win a case against a businessman accused of violating U.S. sanctions on Iran, according to reports.
Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) attempted to block the release of evidence following a ruling last week by the U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan. Judge Nathan urged the Justice Department to open an internal probe into possible misconduct by prosecutors in the terrorism and international narcotics unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the SDNY.
Judge Nathan said the prosecutors made a “deliberate attempt to obscure” the truth and attempted to “bury” a key document that might have helped the defense.
Nathan’s push for a probe granted the Associated Press access to unsealed documents. At the request of the AP, dozens of private text messages, transcripts and correspondences were unsealed Monday and prosecutors were ordered to explain themselves.
The newly disclosed records showed prosecutors discussing turning over records to the defense team for Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad, who was charged in 2018 with money laundering, bank fraud and violating U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran by funneling $115 million through Venezuelan front companies.
Sadr was found guilty by jurors and was convicted in March 2020, facing a maximum of 125 years in prison. However, prosecutors in the SDNY filed a motion to withdraw the conviction, citing prosecutorial misconduct, and all charges were dropped.
According to the AP, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Kim, wanted to introduce a bank record as evidence, but realized the document had not been shared with Sadr’s attorneys.
Kim suggested turning it over immediately to the defense, however, Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Lake, recommended they “wait until tomorrow and bury it in some other documents.”
After Sadr’s lawyers discovered the document, they complained to prosecutors.
The prosecutors came up with an excuse, saying they believed the document had already been turned over in a previous batch of records.
The prosecutors’ supervisors, Emil Bove and Shawn Crowley, then got involved, according to court records, and in an exchange of text messages, Bove admitted the prosecutors’ excuse was a “flat lie.”
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
You may like
Historic House Vote Expels Rep. George Santos Amidst Scandal
In a turn of events, the House of Representatives made history on Friday with a vote to expel Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), marking the first such expulsion in over two decades. A moment fraught with gravity unfolded as Speaker Mike Johnson wielded his gavel to formalize Santos’ removal, setting a precedent in congressional annals.
Santos, indicted on 23 counts related to wire fraud, identity theft, and other charges, has not faced conviction but stands accused of misusing campaign funds for opulent purchases. The bipartisan vote, tallying 311 to 114, signaled robust support for expulsion, with a marginally higher number of Republicans opting to retain Santos.
Questions loomed as Speaker Johnson left the chamber, his silence leaving the fate of the ongoing government spending battle uncertain. According to reports from Fox News, Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer emphasized the non-partisan nature of the decision, asserting that members concluded Santos had tarnished the House’s reputation and was unfit for representation.
Within the GOP, conflicting opinions emerged, with Rep. Darrell Issa arguing against expulsion, citing the presumption of innocence. The tight-lipped stance of the House Ethics Committee played a pivotal role in the deliberations.
Conversely, members of the New York Republican delegation, led by Rep. Marc Molinaro, asserted Santos’ commission of crimes, justifying expulsion based on a comprehensive investigation.
Santos himself predicted the outcome in an exclusive morning interview on “FOX & Friends.” This vote not only underlines the House’s rare use of expulsion powers but also sets a critical precedent in handling members facing severe legal challenges.
You may like
Media7 days ago
Robert De Niro anti-Trump speech mysteriously replaced in teleprompter at Awards Show
Israel6 days ago
Israeli Military says Hamas violated ceasefire agreement by firing at IDF troops
education5 days ago
Department of Education Office of Civil Rights opens investigation into Harvard University
Nation7 days ago
Political Gambit or Defense Strategy? Hunter Biden’s Aggressive Testimony Plans Stir Democratic Intrigue