Jon Woods raises more issues in appeal of bribery conviction | Arkansas Blog

Monday, February 18, 2019

Jon Woods raises more issues in appeal of bribery conviction

Posted By on Mon, Feb 18, 2019 at 5:28 PM

click to enlarge JEREMY HUTCHINSON: Jon Woods wants to know what he talked to the FBI about.
  • JEREMY HUTCHINSON: Jon Woods wants to know what he talked to the FBI about.
Still more legal paperwork today from Jon Woods, the former Arkansas senator doing 18 years in federal prison for bribery. The government has indicated, incidentally, that what he wants to see from the Jeremy Hutchinson files  might implicate some unindicted people.

His latest is a request for more time to prepare his appeal brief because he thinks recent filings in the felony case against former Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson might help him. Hutchinson has been implicated but not charged in bribery allegations related to one of the parties Wood worked with. He's charged with dodging taxes on personal spending of campaign money.

Hutchinson has contended the FBI got information from him improperly when he was cooperating with them in providing information about others, such as Woods. Hutchinson, like Woods, has claimed improprieties by FBI in handling evidence, particularly using a laptop they obtained from a former girlfriend. Woods tried without success to get off on account of an FBI agent wiping Woods' computer after the agent used it for personal purposes.

We reported earlier on Woods' request (joined by co-defendant Randell Shelton) to review sealed documents in his case. Now, his attorneys say, they believe filings in Hutchinson's case could be relevant to the appeal.

Defense counsel has reason to believe that some of the privileged information that Mr. Hutchinson provided to the FBI included exculpatory information as to Mr. Woods that was either not included or was later removed from Hutchinson’s witness interview report.

The government's earlier response provides background. It says items under seal pertain generally to two things: the Government's discussions with Woods' former attorney W.H. Taylor and materials related to a "confidential human source." In the first case, the government said it generally didn't object to release of materials, except:

because certain of the attachments to DCD 253 suggest that certain named individuals are suspected of involvement in criminal activity; however, those individuals have not been charged with any crimes. Additionally, the district court in a subsequent order (DCD 297), which was filed publicly, described in detail the issues resolved in DCD 253, without having to identify any of the named but uncharged individuals referenced in the attachments to DCD 253
Sounds interesting.

Now as to Document 207, which Wood says relates to Hutchinson's work as a source. The court, said the government, has already reviewed this document, which dates to November 2017, and determined it should not be made available to Woods. But it said:

For purposes of the instant appeal, the Government has no objection to the attorneys of record for Woods and Shelton obtaining unredacted access to DCD 207, subject to the protective order (DCD 14) the district court entered in the proceedings below.

Although recent public filings by a defendant [presumably Hutchinson] in a separate case pertain to the majority of the material outlined in DCD 207, there are certain confidential and sensitive matters discussed in DCD 207 that should presently remain under seal, as disclosure of those specific matters could interfere with ongoing investigations or could impact the rights of certain individuals. 
Again. Interesting.

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