Bernie Kerik Expects Indictment Around Nov. 15

ABC News reports Bernie Kerik is telling friends and his legal team he expects to be indicted on tax and bribery charges by November 15, at the latest.

The statute of limitations expires on Nov. 15. Months ago, his lawyers and DOJ agreed to extend the statute until then.

I thought there might be another extension, but it looks now like there won't be.

Rather than rehash what I've already written, here are some good Village Voice artices from 2005 and 2006 summing up Rudy's Bernie troubles and explaining Bernie' s state guilty pleas last year.

Russ Buettner for the Daily News has been following the case from the beginning. Here's his article on Bernie's 9/11 "Love Nest" (woven into a great post by the late Steve Gilliard, and a compilation of articles at Citizens for Judicial Accountability.

My 48 posts (to date) on Kerik are accessible at this link.

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    Is this the way it's usually done? (none / 0) (#1)
    by CMike on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 11:24:24 AM EST
    Why would the government hold off on getting an indictment until the last days of statute of limitations jeopardy? As I understand it, Bernie Kerik has categorically rejected a plea. Any chance someone at Justice will, not so inadvertently, cause a snafu that will end up allowing Kerik to skate? (What's taking so long with the Sen. Ted Stevens case do you think?)

    Two different issues: (none / 0) (#2)
    by scribe on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 12:16:46 PM EST
    1.  As to Kerik's SoL, people lose their jobs over blowing the statute.  The statute was extended by agreement so as to facilitate negotiating a plea.  If Kerik has categorically rejected one (a contention I've seen only in your comment), it takes little time for an AUSA to go downstairs to the Grand jury room and ask for an indictment.  

    All he'll have to do (in short) is say to the grand jurors:  "You remember the case against Bernie Kerik, where the following people testified back a couple months ago?"

    Jurors' heads will nod, particularly because this is a prominent defendant.

    AUSA:  "The government asks that the grand jury charge the following offenses: [list offenses].  Does anyone need any of the statutes read?  [by this time, the jurors know bribery, mail fraud and wire fraud by heart]  Does anyone need to hear (or see) any of the testimony or evidence previously brought before you?"

    Once all that is done, the jurors would deliberate.

    The indictments could be returned within an hour or less, depending on whether and how much they need read back.

    And that assumes that the government doesn't have an indictment already returned and filed under seal.

    2.  As to Ted Stevens, from what I've seen over at TPM (which is doing a great job following that mess) it would appear an issue may have arisen over whether the investigation has intruded upon the Speech and Debate Clause "immunity" of Senators, given the recent decision in the Rep. Jefferson bribe case (Mr. 90k in the Freezer) which seems to have expanded what falls within that Clause.  In Jefferson, the government raided the member's House offices, and a lot (if not all) of the material seized will likely be out of the case because of the government's violating the Speech and Debate clause.  I'd suspect they are currently reviewing all the evidence they have on Stevens to proof it against a Speech and Debate clause challenge.

    Neither of these explanations involves the possibility of political string-pulling going on.  In both cases, that possibility does exist.


    Thank you for addressing my questions (none / 0) (#4)
    by CMike on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 03:49:51 PM EST
    This is what I've read in the matter of whether or not Bernie Kerik has rejected a plea deal:
    Mr. Kerik's lawyer, Kenneth M. Breen, of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, said in a statement yesterday that he would have meetings this month with federal prosecutors from New York and Washington to discuss the accusations against Mr. Kerik.

    "The prosecutors have advised me that no charging decisions have been made," Mr. Breen said, adding that "we expect to convince the Department of Justice that there is no case here."

    "If the prosecutors in any event make the fateful decision to charge Bernie Kerik," he said, "we will fight it in court, and he will win."

    Earlier this year, Mr. Kerik turned down a plea deal under which he would have admitted to tax fraud and eavesdropping conspiracy and been sentenced to as much as two years in prison.

    After that, the inquiry seemed to expand, delving more deeply into Mr. Kerik's finances and more closely reviewing a broad range of other accusations.

    kerik is pretty small potatos, (none / 0) (#5)
    by cpinva on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 08:57:18 PM EST
    in the grand scheme of things. he'll end up as a minor footnote, certainly glossed over by such as russert, matthews, hannity, et al, in their rush to annoint rudy the second coming of george bush.