Why did he allow people to testify in front of the grand jury in which he knew their information was either flat-out wrong, or flat-out lying, or just weren’t telling the truth? He said “Well, early on, I decided that anyone who claimed to have witnessed anything was going to be presented to the grand jury. And I knew that no matter how I handled it, there would be criticism of it. So if I didn’t put those witnesses on, then we’d be discussing now why I didn’t put those witnesses on. Even though their statements were not accurate. “So my determination was to put everybody on and let the grand jurors
assess their credibility, which they did. This grand jury poured their hearts and souls into this. It was a very emotional few months for them. It took a lot of them. I wanted to put everything on there. I thought it was much more important to present everything and everybody, and some that, yes, clearly were not telling the truth. No question about it.”
This really offends my sense of fair play. Lawyers, especially prosecutors, have an obligation not to put on false testimony. He knew it and he put them up anyway. He said he would be criticized anyway.
So why didn’t he do what was right? As a defense lawyer, it becomes more complicated. The defendant decides whether he testifies or not.
When I represent someone, I am really careful when we are about to discuss the facts of the case. I ask “Why do you think you are being charged with this crime?” It gives them some wiggle room. I specifically do NOT ask what happened. I then tell them that they have an obligation to tell the truth. Whatever they tell me, I will believe. But if they tell me something different later, I have a problem. I can’t put them on the stand.
However, it is their decision. If they insist on testifying, there are a couple of things that I must do. First, try to withdraw. On the eve of trial, it will not happen. The court may ask why. I will say that I can’t reveal why. This informs the judge that the client is going to perjure himself on the stand. Then if the client testifies, I cannot ask individual questions. I have the client do a narrative (which is normally not allowed). Finally, I can’t refer to anything that I
believe is false in my final argument.
Later in the interview, McCulloch said he would not charge any of the witnesses he said “absolutely lied under oath” with perjury. Is there anybody you’re thinking about charging with perjury? For going in front of the grand jury, calling you up, giving you false information…
McCulloch: That issue has been raised, and it’s a legitimate issue.
But, in the situation again, in the manner in which we did it, we’re not going to file perjury charges against anyone. There were people who came in and, yes, absolutely lied under oath. Some lied to the FBI. Even though they’re not under oath, that’s another potential offense — a federal offense (a felony, ask Martha Stewart!).
He said “I thought it was much more important to present the entire
picture.” Even if it was distorted?
There’s talk of one witness now, and some of the media is doing exactly what I said they would do; they pull out one witness and just latch on to that, and this lady clearly wasn’t present when this occurred. She recounted a statement that was right out of the newspaper about Wilson’s actions, and right down the line with Wilson’s actions. Even though I’m sure she was nowhere near the place.
McCulloch’s description of the woman who “clearly wasn’t present” and parroted Wilson’s statement from a newspaper aligns with the account of “Witness 40,” Sandra McElroy. The Smoking Gun (a website that publishes controversial stories) reported that McElroy lied to the grand jury, telling them she watched while smoking a cigarette on the
sidewalk as Brown got shot and he never had his hands up. McElroy’s version matched Wilson’s account, which had already been reported by the time she spoke to investigators on Sept. 11, four weeks after the
Well, there is not much the public can do. The DA controls the grand jury and this is how it happened. The bottom line is this .if the DA does not want to indict someone, it doesn’t happen.