Thursday there is a new hearing in the Alex Sanchez case. I’ll tell you a lot more about it once the hearing is over. But here are the broadstrokes.
Judge Manuel Real will preside over a hearing to hear a series of motions submitted by the defense. The motions include:
1. A motion to have Alex Sanchez’ case severed from that of the other RICO defendants.
2. A motion to unseal the Grand Jury transcripts. The defense says it needs to see these transcripts in order to see if Alex Sanchez was depicted in any misleading way or if there was any important information omitted to the grand jury. (I’m guessing this one’s going to be a NO. But, I’d certainly ask if I were Alex’s attorney. Grand Juries are a prosecutor-friendly legal instrument in which, unlike other legal proceedings, the defendant doesn’t necessarily get access to what evidence is presented.)
3. A motion to suppress the Fed’s wiretaps. There have been questions in regards to the legality of the wiretaps. (Tom Hayden wrote an interesting article for the Nation that outlines some of the reasoning for this motion. )
There are some other, smaller motions, but these are the main areas of contention.
TRIAL DELAYED ANOTHER FOUR MONTHS
For reasons that he did not spell out, Judge Real recently delayed Sanchez’s trial from its scheduled start date of October 15 to February 14, 2011.
If the trial does indeed start on Valentines Day, this means that, had Alex not gotten bail, he would be sitting in jail for a minimum of 19 months—not because he’s been convicted of anything, but because that’s the norm in criminal cases.
AND IN COMPLETELY UNRELATED NEWS: ELIZABETH WARREN
The Wa-Po reported the very welcome news that Elizabeth Warren is going to be the head of the newly-created consumer financial protection bureau. Here’s a clip from the story.
President Obama this week plans to name Harvard law Professor Elizabeth Warren as a special adviser so that she can oversee a new consumer financial protection bureau while avoiding a potentially vicious Senate confirmation fight, according to people with direct knowledge of the decision.
The appointment would place Warren - adored by liberals and consumer advocates, viewed with suspicion by many bankers and congressional Republicans – in charge of the new regulator that she proposed three years ago to protect Americans against lending abuses…
UPDATE: All but two parts of the motions were denied. Two were continued. More as it unfolds.