CHICAGO (SUN Times MEDIA WIRE) - Federal prosecutors insist they know nothing at all concerning the contents of the personal computer carried by former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds when he was arrested in Atlanta last spring.
Except one thing: “They contain certain sexually explicit movies involving the defendant that may constitute contraband.”
The feds manufactured that claim in a court filing on Tuesday as Reynolds continues to seek sanctions against them in his misdemeanor tax case and tries to get the situation thrown out, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
Reynolds is not facing any criminal charges above the alleged sexually explicit videos.
In 2014, although, he faced fees in Zimbabwe of possessing pornography - only to possess the fees dismissed.
Two decades earlier, between 1993 and 1995, Reynolds held the 2nd Congressional District seat. He was then convicted of having intercourse with an underage campaign worker.
When in jail for that conviction, the feds hit him with campaign-finance charges for improperly using his campaign fund. In 2001, then-President Bill Clinton commuted his sentence to time served.
In his most recent situation, Reynolds alleges that prosecutors improperly acquired entry to information and facts on his laptop, which was full of documents related to his pending trial. Reynolds was charged in 2015 with 4 counts of failing to file a federal revenue tax return.
Ever because, he is involved with one particular skirmish together with the feds just after another.
This dust-up dates back to April, when U.S. District Judge John Darrah issued a warrant for Reynolds’ arrest for the reason that Reynolds failed to comply with an buy to return from South Africa, exactly where he had been tending to his ailing daughter. Reynolds was arrested on the Atlanta airport, and he instantly complained that authorities seized his phones, digital ID cards and computer.
Reynolds claimed in Might that Homeland Safety agents discussed “the private content” of his personal computer with Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Jonas, considered one of the prosecutors assigned to Reynolds’ tax case in Chicago. Jonas later on explained that he inquired by way of a Chicago IRS agent whether Homeland Protection agents in Atlanta had discovered contraband on Reynolds’ personal computer.
Jonas explained in an August court filing that “the IRS situation agent discovered that there have been things that could constitute contraband, but that no charges can be sought.” Later, in his own filing, Reynolds named that comment “a gratuitous flagrant attempt to get the press speculating about ‘contraband’ during the content material of defendant’s laptop or computer. It is only meant to select the jury with the news media. It's also really unethical and bias.”
But Jonas also insisted that, “other than the possible contraband, at no level has any individual through the Chicago prosecution team ever discovered on the contents of the defendant’s personal computers, telephone or SIM cards.”
Darrah sided with prosecutors, denying Reynolds’ request for sanctions and writing in an purchase that “without learning of any from the contents, the government can't introduce evidence gained from privileged communications, use confidential data pertaining to defense ideas and technique, and/or take other actions created to give the prosecution an unfair advantage at trial.”
This month, Reynolds asked the judge to reconsider, arguing that the judge “takes prosecutors(‘) word at encounter value that prosecutors didn't get accessibility to or evaluation the written content of defendant’s laptop or computer. This acceptance on the prosecutor’s denial is troubling.”
Reynolds’ request prompted Tuesday’s disclosure by federal prosecutors concerning the sexually explicit video clips, which the feds in Chicago deny they’ve viewed.