In yet another legal victory for radio host and blogger Hal Turner, a federal judge has ruled Turner's role as a national security intelligence operative for the FBI can be admitted at trial.
The government is prosecuting Turner over an editorial he published last June which criticized three federal judges who violated the US Constitution and who ignored a recent US Supreme Court ruling. The editorial called the Judges "traitors" and said they "deserve to be killed."
The government claims that "deserve to be killed" is a threat to actually go kill them. Hal Turner says "deserve" is an opinion; protected free speech.
Last December, Turner went on trial in Brooklyn. The government's case began to fall apart almost immediately when government witnesses confirmed Turner was a national security intelligence operative for the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force from 2003 through 2008. Turner's attorneys pointed out that the FBI itself "counseled" Turner on the lawful use of violent rhetoric so he could flush out radicals before they committed acts of terrorism.
Government witnesses confirmed Turner dealt with national security, terrorism and foreign counter-intelligence. He was recruited by the FBI to use his status as a celebrity to infiltrate violent groups. To accomplish that task, the FBI repeatedly "counseled" Turner on the lawful use of violent rhetoric so he would know exactly what was legal to say.
When the government rested their case, the Defense did the same without presenting any witnesses or evidence. Despite offering absolutely no defense, a majority of the jury sided with Turner. The case ended in a hung jury that voted 9 to 3 in favor of acquittal.
The upcoming trial will be different. This time, Turner will mount an aggressive defense. Subpoenas have already been issued for a variety of witnesses and a number of FBI Documents, e-mails and material from the Joint Terrorism Task Force will be placed into evidence by the defense.
The government, realizing they were likely to lose the second trial, asked the trial Judge to forbid the Defense from revealing Turner's role with the FBI. In a motion filed two weeks ago, the government claimed jurors would be confused" if they found out about Turner's role with the FBI. Judge Donald Walter disagreed and DENIED the government's motion; Turner’s role with the FBI can come in as evidence.
The government also asked the Judge to allow them to introduce certain e-mails and web site content which was totally irrelevant to the present case. Judge Walter DENIED that Motion as well, sending the government's high-flying case into a tail spin.
The slow-motion collapse of the government's case can be watched as it unfolds this week at the Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn, located at 225 Cadman Plaza East. Jury selection begins at 9:00 AM on Monday, March 1. Opening statements will take place after jury selection and trial will begin on Tuesday, March 2. The trial is open to the public.
Much more information – including actual FBI documents from the Joint Terrorism Task Force – will be posted to http://family-of-hal-turner.blogspot.com/ over the weekend before the start of the trial. You’ll be able to see the actual evidence yourself!
Spread the word and check back often.