Terrorism Trials & Investigations

9/11 Case Motions Hearing: June 16 Session

By Wells Bennett
Monday, June 16, 2014, 8:57 AM

At 0900, the fun resumes at Fort Meade's Smallwood Hall, where (as always) your correspondent will view, via CCTV, pre-trial proceedings in United States v. Mohammed et al.  

On the agenda for our two-day mini-hearing: filings and argument bearing on the defense's discovery, in April, that FBI investigators had questioned a member of Ramzi binalshibh's defense team---and asked the man to sign a confidentiality agreement.  This (according to the defense) posed a possible conflict of interest; it thus immediately sought the court's intervention.  At the same time, in order to ensure its independence, the prosecution asked for outside Justice Department lawyers to inquire into the matter.  The latter afterwards assured the military judge that the FBI's investigation had been completed---and, implicitly, that there was no ongoing threat of a conflict for the defense.

The military judge, however, expressed concern that the independent review did not fully address the defense's concerns, both about persons possibly contacted and about the scope of the investigation.  And the AP also today reported that, according to defense attorneys,

at least three other staffers have been questioned in two separate investigations over the past year. They want the judge to conduct a full hearing with witnesses into the issue despite government assurances that the investigations have been closed.

We'll see what develops.  Y'all know the drill: we'll have almost-live blog posts in our "Events Coverage" section, with links to the posts below.

6/16 Session #1: Meet the DOJ Lawyers 

6/16 Session #2: The Defense on FBI Investigations of ... The Defense

6/16 Session #3: The Defense and Special Government Counsel on FBI Investigations of ... The Defense

6/16 Session #4: Reply Argument on FBI Investigations