CHICAGO, IL – (http://family-of-hal-turner.blogspot.com/) The pending THIRD trial of radio host and blogger Hal Turner is shaping up to be a super-slugfest as more “dirt” about the prosecutor in Turner’s case surfaces.
As previously reported Turner was arrested in June, 2009 after publishing an Editorial on his web site which was critical of three federal judges in Chicago. Turner was arrested by the FBI on June 24, twenty days after posting on his blog that three federal judges on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals were "traitors" to the United States. Turner went on to write they "deserve to be killed" for violating the US Constitution and for intentionally ignoring a recent ruling by the US Supreme Court.
The government charged Turner with "threatening to assault and murder" the three judges! The government contends that saying the Judges "deserve to be killed" is a threat to actually kill them. Turner's lawyers argued that saying someone "deserves" anything is merely an opinion. Opinions, be they oral or written, are protected free speech.
The main stream media quickly latched onto the case. Headlines across the country screamed “Blogger Busted for Threatening Judges” and “Radio Host jailed over Editorial.” The tenor of the media coverage changed dramatically when “The Los Angeles Times” ran a lead Editorial supporting Turner! (Link: http://articles.latimes.com/2009/aug/22/opinion/ed-incitement22 ) The LA Times understood Turner’s case posed serious implications for freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
SURPRISE! TURNER WORKED FOR THE FBI
At a Bail Hearing in Chicago, Turner’s attorney made a staggering revelation: Hal Turner was paid by the FBI for what he did on radio and on the internet. At that Hearing, Assistant US Attorney (AUSA) William R. Hogan admitted in open court that Turner did work for the FBI. Upon this admission, the media exploded with coverage of the case .
It quickly became clear that the FBI paid Turner “tens-of-thousands” of dollars to go on radio with racist, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant and homophobic opinions. The goal was to “flush out radicals” before they committed acts of violence.
The idea that the FBI paid a talk-radio host to do these things outraged the main stream press which immediately began to probe the relationship between Turner and FBI.
Turner was held in federal prison for 119 days without Bail before being released in October on $500,000 cash.
In November, 2009, the largest evening newspaper in Turner’s home state of New Jersey, published a major investigative report. Citing more than 20 hours of jailhouse interviews with Turner “The Record” newspaper claimed it was able to review actual FBI documents and confirmed Turner’s side of the story! (Link to investigative report: http://www.northjersey.com/news/Records_show_feds_used_ultra-right_radio_host_for_years.html)
The investigative report proved that the FBI operation with Turner was highly successful. The newspaper cited Turner’s statistical accomplishments including “over 100 federal subjects identified, more than ten acts of violence averted and numerous subjects arrested.”
PROSECUTOR GOES DIRTY
Turner went on trial in December 2009. With all the media attention about Turner’s role with the FBI undermining the case, AUSA Hogan knew he had to do something dramatic to turn things in his favor. So . . . . . he lied. During his opening statement, Hogan described the trial as “a case of Domestic Terrorism perpetrated by that man, Hal Turner, a Domestic Terrorist.” The trial turned ugly from that moment on.
Shocked by such a gross misrepresentation and furious that he was being betrayed by the very government who paid him, Turner launched a blistering defense. It began with the sworn testimony of the third highest ranking official in the New York City Division of the FBI, Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) Amy Pickett.
Pickett testified that Turner worked with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) and that he handled “national security, terrorism and foreign counter intelligence.” Pickett went on to testify that what Turner did “was really so important that it had to go up to the Department of Justice.”
Scanned images of the official court transcript containing Pickett’s testimony appear below. (Click links to view images)
National Security Intel Operative JPG 1
National Security Intel Operative JPG 2
So flustered was AUSA Hogan by the devastating Defense that he slipped-up in his summation and publicly admitted that Hal Turner was, in fact, an “FBI Agent!” Click the link below for scanned image of court transcript containing Hogan’s remark)
Hogan admits Turner was FBI Agent
By the end of Trial #1, Defense attorneys had shredded the government’s case so badly that Turner himself did not testify. It worked, sort of. The jury voted 9 to 3 in favor of acquittal. Without a unanimous verdict, a mistrial was declared.
With the government now on the Defensive, AUSA Hogan got desperate. In Trial #1, Hogan did not call the three judges mentioned in Turner’s editorial and argued to the court that he didn’t have to. Hogan argued that even though Turner never contacted any of the judges in any manner whatsoever, merely saying they “deserve to be killed” was “communicating a threat” and the jury did not have to consider that Turner never contacted the Judges. With Hogan now desperate, he changed his tune for Trial #2.
Turner was put on trial a second time in March, 2010. This time, Hogan called the three judges to testify. It was the first time in US History that three sitting judges took the witness stand against a defendant. It backfired. The judges came off as arrogant and belligerent.
Since the Judges took the witness stand, Defense attorneys decided to put Turner on the stand too. In a brutal two-day cross examination by AUSA William Hogan, Turner absolutely shined. Time after time, as Hogan tried to paint Turner as a liar and a man who was simply wrong about the law regarding freedom of speech, Turner let loose with responses that utterly destroyed Hogan’s line of questioning.
At times, the interactions between Hogan and Turner became so intense that the Judge had to warn both men “this is not a high school debate. Everyone will keep their voices down.” Despite that admonishment, both men engaged each other with a tenacity seldom seen in any American courtroom.
At times, Hogan became so flustered by the verbal beating being dished out by Turner, that Hogan fumbled for papers at the Prosecution lectern and was even seen talking to himself! If that wasn’t embarrassing enough, Hogan repeatedly found himself being told to “shut up” or “sit down” by Judge Walter.
In one particularly amazing moment, Judge Walter told the Assistant United States Attorney “Mr. Hogan, sit down and don’t get up unless I tell you to.” The courtroom broke out in laughter as Hogan sat, slack-jawed, at the embarrassing rebuke.
In blistering responses to Hogan’s various accusations, Turner fired back with irrefutable facts, backed up by FBI documents. Turner’s memory of events from years earlier foiled absolutely every attempt by the government to twist or manipulate the facts of the case.
After two days of hammering Turner over the content of his web site, it was clear to most observers in the courtroom that the case had become little more than a Bolshevik “show trial.” One courtroom observer remarked “This looks like the kind of trial we used to hear about in the former Soviet Union where the ruling regime put dissenters on trial.” Another attendee stated bluntly “This case is cloaked in legitimacy, but what the government is doing stinks like a whorehouse at low tide.”
The government was clearly trying to prosecute Turner for the ideology espoused on his web site and its raucous racial content. In fact, every piece of the government’s “evidence” had absolutely nothing to do with the charge against Turner. None of the web postings or e-mails brought-up on cross examination, had anything to do with the three judges Turner was accused of threatening. Clearly, the jury saw through the scam and instead focused on the blog posting that initiated the charges against Turner.
After several days of deliberations, the Jury in Trial #2 reported that they were deadlocked. Another mistrial was declared.
Most legal observers questioned about the case thought the government would relent. After all, Turner had gone head-to-head with three of the top judges in the entire country and still, the government did not prevail. Surprisingly, the government announced they would put Turner on trial a THIRD time. The government was giving Turner the same meat-grinder tactics reserved for a Mafia Boss. This aggravated the Turner family and the intelligence community that Turner worked with. So, they started digging into AUSA Hogan’s background.
SKELETONS IN PROSECUTOR’S CLOSET
Before long, information came out that AUSA Hogan had quite a jaded past. He has been fired from his job with the US Attorney’s Office in 1993 and brought up on Ethics Charges by the State of Illinois. Hogan was accused of lying to juries, suppressing evidence and bribing witnesses. The Family of Hal Turner reported these facts on the family blog and provided main stream media links to verify Hogan’s past (Link: http://family-of-hal-turner.blogspot.com/2010/03/skeletons-in-closet-of-us-attorney.html )
Somehow, Hogan managed to get rehired in 1998. The Family of Hal Turner wondered what kind of sleazy, back-room deals helped achieve that? Now, we may have the answer:
While he was fighting to get his job back, Mr. Hogan was quoted in official trial transcripts from federal Case No. 96 C 4373 being tried before federal District Court Judge George M. Marovich. According to “The Skolnick Report”, Hogan allegedly said
“ . . . . the Justice Department knows full well, but takes no action, that six federal judges in Chicago are corrupt and take bribes, including Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John D. Schwartz."
(Link to Report:
It appears now that shortly after Hogan started leaking information about federal Judges taking Bribes, he magically got his job back! Gee, what a coincidence.
Even more amazing is how once Hogan got his job back, no one ever heard another word about those 6 Judges in Chicago who allegedly take bribes. Nope; not one peep.
This leads us to wonder if the 3 Judges that Hal Turner is accused of threatening are among the six federal Judges in Chicago that Mr. Hogan said were taking bribes?
In December, 2009, it was also revealed that Mr. Hogan is under Congressional Investigation for forcing witnesses to lie under Oath. The Family of Hal Turner reported that fact a few months ago and provided links to public media sources to verify that too.
(Link: http://family-of-hal-turner.blogspot.com/2010/04/congress-investigating-prosecutor-in.html )
All of which brings us to the upcoming Trial #3; It’s shaping-up to be a super-slugfest, the likes of which could resemble a three ring circus. If the government brings the three Judges back to testify, the whole corruption thing is likely to be part of cross-examination. After all, their character is a legitimate issue for the jury to consider.
AUSA Hogan being fired then revealing the Judicial Bribery to get his job back might make interesting fodder for the Jury.
The Honorable Judge Donald Walter will be presiding, perhaps more as Ringmaster than Judge.
Trial is scheduled for August 9, 2010 at the United States Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, NY. 6th Floor.