A criminal defense lawyer in Washington who is charged with trying to illegally dupe jurors in a criminal case to benefit a client is quarreling with prosecutors over when he can get his hands on key pieces of evidence.
The attorney, Charles Daum, who was indicted with two private defense investigators earlier this year, said he should see any inconsistent statements among the government’s cooperating witnesses no later than 60 days before the start of trial.
Prosecutors contend that Daum and the investigators, Iman Pasha and Daaiyah Pasha, participated in a scheme that included the presentation of staged photographs to jurors and the use of perjured testimony.
At the time, Daum was representing a man named Delante White on drug charges in Washington’s federal trial court. The jury deadlocked. White and three others, including two of his brothers, later cooperated with prosecutors in blaming Daum and the Pashas for the misconduct that occurred at trial in September 2008.
Daum’s lawyer, David Schertler of Washington’s Schertler & Onorato, said in court papers filed yesterday that the credibility of White and three other cooperators will be tested at trial.
Schertler and the attorneys for the Pashas, including Cozen O’Connor partner Bernard Grimm for Daaiyah Pasha, said in the joint filing that the government should not be allowed to cling to favorable documents and other evidence until just days before a crucial witness is set to testify.
Daum’s lawyers said the prosecution is built on witnesses “with acknowledged histories of fabricating evidence” and who were “given substantial incentives to assist the government with this high-profile and unusual prosecution.”
“Against this backdrop, credibility issues and the role that government-sponsored incentives have played in eliciting—and possibly shaping—the testimony that the government intends to present at trial dominate this case,” Schertler said.
The indictment, Daum’s attorneys said, offers no motive “for why Mr. Daum or the Pashas would engage in the charged conduct and risk their livelihoods and liberty for the sake of Mr. White. Nor does the indictment allege that Mr. Daum or the Pashas personally benefited, monetarily or otherwise, from the charged conduct.”
Prosecutors in the Justice Department’s narcotics section said the defense attorneys for Daum and the Pashas already have a “substantial” amount of discovery, including more than 1,300 recorded jail calls of Delante White.
Also, a judge recently unsealed court documents in White’s drug case, providing Daum and his legal team access to plea agreements, factual statements and transcripts from court hearings.
Prosecutors, including Donnell Turner and Tritia Yuen, said there is “nothing unusual” in the case against Daum to justify the government turning over any favorable information two months before trial. Daum’s trial is scheduled for May.