Late Nite FDL: Have You Heard the One About….
While we bide our time waiting for the frogmarch, on occasion we are treated to moments of that rare Fitzgerald wit that neither Scooter Libby nor Karl Rove are probably quite so appreciative of at the moment. Leslie in CA brings up this bit of amusement from the Hollinger case regarding defendant John Boultbee:
Mr. Boultbee, who lives in Victoria, recently asked to be excused from a court hearing in Chicago in order to attend a Canada Day barbecue and dance at the Victoria Golf Club, where he is a member.
The hearing, slated for June 30, is a "status hearing" in the criminal case involving Mr. Boultbee and other former executives of Chicago-based Hollinger International Inc. They face several fraud charges over allegations they stole more than $80-million (U.S.) from the company. Mr. Boultbee and the others have pleaded not guilty and none of the allegations have been proved.
Canada Day "is a time when people enjoy the camaraderie of friends and family," Mr. Boultbee’s lawyers said in a court filing. "As July 1st is a Saturday, Canada Day is celebrated this year on June 30th, the day of the hearing. A party at the defendant’s club [the Victoria Golf Club], for which he has paid in advance, is scheduled for June 30th."
Fitzgerald was remarkably unmoved by Boultbee’s pressing need to barbecue, as he was the crying about undue financial hardship:
In a court filing, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said defendants are often required to attend these types of hearings to ensure they "appreciate the seriousness of the charges." Mr. Boultbee’s request, Mr. Fitzgerald said, "demonstrates a gross lack of appreciation by this defendant of the gravity of these proceedings."
In the filing, Mr. Fitzgerald also called Mr. Boultbee’s complaints about the trip’s cost "frivolous."
"Obviously, the government did not select the Chicago-based location of the company [Hollinger International] that defendant chose to defraud," the filing alleges.
QUESTION: Given the risk to Mr. Laski’s career and his reputation, his sense of honesty here, it doesn’t seem like a whole heck of a lot of money.
FITZGERALD: I’m not going to disagree with you. If what we allege is true, it’s wrong for people to take bribes — it may also be stupid, but we’re in the business of what’s prosecuting what’s wrong.
I’m always happy when the call goes out across the Plame-o-sphere of "new Fitz filing." He’s always good for a caustic jab or two.