DETROIT (WXYZ) - Earlier today, 7 Action News Investigator Ross Jones blogged from federal court as testimony continued in the Kilpatrick corruption case. Follow along below:
1:10--Finished for the day: We started late, so it's only fair that we finish late. Thanks for joining us at WXYZ.com. We'll be back tomorrow morning at 9. Continue to send in your questions or comments, my e-mail is email@example.com.
1:05--Only part of the message: A text message doesn't convey the author's inflection or other moods, Naughton suggested. Oshinsky agreed. Perhaps the defense will argue that some of the messages that will become evidence could be open to interpretation, and shouldn't be taken at face value.
1:01--Challenging texts' authenticity? It seems that attorney Michael Naughton may be laying the ground work to question the authenticity of the text messages that may enter this case, or at least raise some doubt about them. Judge Edmunds said this issue was already addressed in an earlier ruling, where she sided with the government, but Naughton wants to explore it further. She's giving him some slack.
12:48--Cross-examination: Asst. US Attorney Chutkow sat down without quoting from any text messages. It's likely he was just laying the foundation for how messages are stored and the fact that they can't be altered once they're provided to an agency, like the FBI, in case the defense tried to argue they're doctored.
Lawyer Mike Naughton, who also represents Kilpatrick but has yet to be heard from in this trial, is now cross-examing Oshinsky.
12:43--Archiving procedures: So far, Oshinsky is just talking about how Skytel archived text messages for customers, and how it went about supplying them later on if they received a request from that client, or a subpoena.
Assistant US Attorney Mark Chutkow said that the feds subpoenaed messages from Kwame Kilpatrick, Bobby Ferguson, Christine Beatty, Bernard Kilpatrick, Derrick Miller and Michael Tardif, a political consultant. The subpoenaes started in April 2008.
12:28--Skytel witness: Stephen Oshinsky, who used to be an employee of Skytel, is now on the stand. Skytel was the text message provider whose texts sunk the political careers of Kwame Kilpatrick and Christine Beatty in 2008, documenting that they lied under oath. The both spent time in jail for perjury.
We know Skytel messages play a key role in this case.
A side note: Oshinsky is being taken out of order because he needs to have surgery tomorrow. Bartlett's cross-examination will resume later.
12:18--Another brief break: We're on a short "comfort break," but should resume testimony shortly.
12:12--Bartlett still on the stand: Mr. Bartlett has been on the stand for more than two hours. Thomas pointed out to him that the state was alright with Vanguard performing renovations (presumably at their offices). If the state was fine with Vanguard's renovations, he asks, wouldn't the renovations by Detroit 3D be okay, too?
Sorry again for the delay in blogging. Had to run out for my daily Noon live shot for our 7 Action News viewers.
11:25--Only lawmaker who called: Bartlett says the only lawmaker who called with concerns about grant money after it had been awarded was Kilpatrick.
11:15--Defense strategy: It looks like we're seeing Jim Thomas weave a potential defense strategy before our eyes. He is asking Bartlett how common it is for legislators to add certain items to the state's annual budget in order to get it passed (some of that "sausage making" that Thomas talked about earlier). Bartlett acknowledged that it happens.
My guess? Thomas will argue that Kilpatrick was taking a bullet for the state by getting this grant money put into the budget to appease other state lawmakers, and get them to pass the budget. That will be a tough argument to make, though, since no lawmaker seems to have benefited more from these grants than Kilpatrick.
11:05--We're back: Break's over and Bartlett is still on the stand. Kilpatrick lawyer Jim Thomas is questioning him about his earlier statement that he was concerned Carlita Kilpatrick might use state grant money to funnel to her husband's campaign. Thomas asked Bartlett whether he ever found a connection between that grant money and Kilpatrick's campaign war chest. Bartlett said he did not.
10:35--Brief break: We're on a 15 minute break here in court. A quick note on the replacement juror: the white woman has been replaced by an older white man.
10:31--Concerns over Carlita: Bartlett says once he learned that Kwame Kilpatrick was running for Detroit Mayor, and that his wife had received some of the state grant money, he became concerned that she would use it to make donations to Kilpatrick's mayoral campaign.
"We had never been advised that Mrs. Kilpatrick would be an ultimate recipient of these funds," he said.
Bartlett said he wrote a letter to the attorney general's office outlining his concerns, but it was never sent.
10:22--Derrick Miller enters: