No Comment — December 18, 2009, 4:25 pm

Broadcom Prosecution Collapses as Judge Finds Sweeping Misconduct by Federal Prosecutors

On Tuesday, Federal Judge Cormac Carney (an All Pac-10 wide receiver for UCLA before George W. Bush appointed him to the bench) dropped a bombshell in the Broadcom case pending in a federal court in Orange County, California. Prosecutors had built a case against Broadcom founder Henry T. Nicholas III and CFO William Ruehle based on options backdating. The judge dismissed the charges against them, unleashing a torrent of attacks on the prosecutors who brought the case for potentially criminal wrongdoing. Carney’s choicest words had to do with the prosecutors’ bogus case against an engineer, Dr. Henry Samueli:

The uncontroverted evidence at trial established that Dr. Samueli was a brilliant engineer and a man of incredible integrity. There was no evidence at trial to suggest that Dr. Samueli did anything wrong, let alone criminal. Yet, the government embarked on a campaign of intimidation and other misconduct to embarrass him and bring him down.

Among other wrongful acts the government,

One, unreasonably demanded that Dr. Samueli submit to as many as 30 grueling interrogations by the lead prosecutor.

Two, falsely stated and improperly leaked to the media that Dr. Samueli was not cooperating in the government’s investigation.

Three, improperly pressured Broadcom to terminate Dr. Samueli’s employment and remove him from the board.

Four, misled Dr. Samueli into believing that the lead prosecutor would be replaced because of misconduct.

Five, obtained an inflammatory indictment that referred to Dr. Samueli 72 times and accused him of being an unindicted coconspirator when the government knew, or should have known, that he did nothing wrong.

And seven, [sic] crafted an unconscionable plea agreement pursuant to which Dr. Samueli would plead guilty to a crime he did not commit and pay a ridiculous sum of $12 million to the United States Treasury.

One must conclude that the government engaged in this misconduct to pressure Dr. Samueli to falsely admit guilt and incriminate Mr. Ruehle or, if he was unwilling to make such a false admission and incrimination, to destroy Dr. Samueli’s credibility as a witness for Mr. Ruehle. Needless to say, the government’s treatment of Dr. Samueli was shameful and contrary to American values of decency and justice.

The judge also notes that prosecutors stooped so low as to engage in a campaign of intimidation targeting one defendant’s thirteen-year-old son, whom they wanted to force to give evidence against his father. What the judge catalogues here is a laundry list of the tactics of Bush-era prosecutors who handled high-profile cases, especially cases which targeted political adversaries. The U.S. Attorney responsible for the case, and who ostensibly supervised the prosecutors involved, Bush holdover George S. Cardona, informed the judge he “respectfully disagreed with the decision.”

With the case against Broadcom disposed of, the question becomes what to do with the misbehaving prosecutors. If they are not disciplined–which has been the norm for the past eight years–that will furnish further evidence that their outrageous conduct is fully supported by those in charge at the Justice Department.

Share
Single Page

More from Scott Horton:

Context, No Comment August 28, 2015, 12:16 pm

Beltway Secrecy

In five easy lessons

From the April 2015 issue

Company Men

Torture, treachery, and the CIA

Six Questions October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm

The APA Grapples with Its Torture Demons: Six Questions for Nathaniel Raymond

Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

September 2015

A Goose in a Dress

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Genealogy of Orals

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Neoliberal Arts

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Gangs of Karachi

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Romancing Kano·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:

The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.

leadership
service
integrity
creativity

Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.

Article
The Prisoner of Sex·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“It is disappointing that parts of Purity read as though Franzen urgently wanted to telegraph a message to anyone who would defend his fiction from charges of chauvinism: ‘No, you’ve got me wrong. I really am sexist.’”
Illustration by Shonagh Rae
Article
Gangs of Karachi·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“In Karachi, sometimes only the thinnest of polite fictions separates the politicians from the men who kill and extort on their behalf.”
Photograph © Asim Rafiqui/NOOR Images
Article
Weed Whackers·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Defining 'native' and 'invasive' in an ever-shifting natural world poses some problems. The camel, after all, is native to North America, though it went extinct here 8,000 years ago, while the sacrosanct redwood tree is invasive, having snuck in at some point in the past 65 million years.”
Photograph by Chad Ress
Article
The Neoliberal Arts·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“College is seldom about thinking or learning anymore. Everyone is running around trying to figure out what it is about. So far, they have come up with buzzwords, mainly those three.”
Artwork by Julie Cockburn

Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:

65

An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.

A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Subways Are for Sleeping

By

“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”

Subscribe Today