Defense lawyers representing a group of arms industry defendants who are charged in an international bribery conspiracy are demanding access to internal Justice Department and FBI manuals that govern the planning and execution of undercover operations.
The lawyers say the reliability of the government’s undercover sting, which last year culminated in the arrest of 22 people, is central to the defense. FBI audit reports that the defense lawyers have received show certain alleged violations occurred during the course of the sting.
Among the alleged violations, according to a FBI report: a confidential source was allowed to travel internationally without approval and a source was directed to “participate in an embezzlement and wire fraud scheme with one subject without the appropriate [approval].”
BuckleySandler partner David Krakoff said today at a hearing in the case in Washington federal district court that some defendants are likely to argue entrapment.
Krakoff and Drinker, Biddle & Reath partner Charles Leeper said in court papers in May the government has refused to produce internal documents that govern the procedures the FBI was supposed to follow in planning and conducting the undercover operation. The defense lawyers also want to know how much money the government sunk into the case.
A Justice lawyer, Joey Lipton, said today in court that the government is in continued talks with the defense lawyers about the manuals. Lipton declined to comment in any detail about the classification of the manuals. He said DOJ and FBI officials were discussing the defense lawyers’ request for the information.
Krakoff and Leeper said in court papers that the requested documents include the FBI’s Field Guide for Undercover and Sensitive Operations, the Confidential Human Sources Policy Manual and the Confidential Funding Guide.