This is from Radio Free Northwest, May 5, 2011.
Right, it’s time for the Edgar Steele trial update.
To begin with, I should report that both Cyndi Steele and Ed’s 20 year-old daughter Kelsey have taken the stand and they have testified quite clearly to the jury of 11 women and one man that neither of them believes Ed to be guilty of attempting to hire Larry Fairfax as a hit man. Both of them have stated flat out that they were aware of Edgar’s internet contacts with a number of women in the Ukraine as part of his research for a book he was writing on the sex slave trade, which is run largely be Israeli Jews, as have several of Edgar’s friends and acquaintances and sometimes watched over his shoulder as he conducted online chats with these women.
That right there should blow the whole idea of motive out the window if there were any common sense applicable to these entire proceedings, but I think we all know that’s not the case. You may recall that the U.S. government originally claimed that Ed’s motive was to collect a large life insurance settlement on the lives of his wife and his mother-in-law, but they had to scramble to re-arrange that theory when they found out that Steele had canceled all his policies and there was no insurance.
The U.S. Attorney then confronted Cyndi with the phone call Ed made from the jail wherein he allegedly tried to tamper with her testimony, and Cyndi stated that she understood that her husband was trying to tell her that he was innocent, which is entirely consistent with the brief snippets of the conversation that I have heard played on the media.
I might add that the whole question of how a vital piece of evidence in a court proceeding ended up in the hands of the media in the first place, who then broadcast the tape publicly in a clear effort to poison the jury pool, is a subject which has been pointedly avoided by the government during the trial. One interesting section which was not played beforehand by the media indicated that Ed was under the impression that his conversation with his wife was covered by the legal doctrine of spousal privilege, which explains to me why he did such a seemingly reckless thing as to talk about the case with her. Needless to say, the court simply ignored the privilege, which federal courts do whenever they feel like it.
Larry Fairfax’s story is that although he accepted money from Steele, he never intended to kill anyone and told the FBI about the plot because he was afraid Steele would kill him if he didn’t agree. So, let me get this straight: Fairfax was afraid of a tiny little old man who had just come out of open heart surgery and who was as weak as a kitten. Yeah. Sure, Larry. That bit reminds me of the cartoon “Courage, the Cowardly Dog.”
What I still don’t get is why Fairfax allegedly went straight to the FBI and not the local police, which would seem to be the more logical place to go to report a crime in Idaho, but that’s another question that never seems to have been asked, at least according to the media reports.
The defense was at least able to touch on one key point, – that Fairfax had stolen silver from the Steeles and set up the murder plot to cover up the theft.
One weird development is that the federal judge is reviewing Larry Fairfax's handwritten notes to determine if the defense lawyers are entitled to the material. Now, you would think this would be obvious; it’s called discovery, and these should have been made available to the defense from the get-go, but apparently the defense didn’t even know they existed until Fairfax referred to them in court. The prosecution should have disclosed the existence of the notes and handed them over as a matter of pre-trial routine, but as one can imagine, in a political trial like this, the usual procedures are being largely ignored.
Winmill, the judge, said that he'll review the notes and give the defense relevant material. In other words, he gets to decide what’s relevant and what isn’t. Jesus.
There is one item of very good news indeed, and that is that the Judge has reversed himself and agreed to let at least one of the defense audio experts, George Papcun, testify that the tapes have been altered. Winmill ruled that testimony provided by Cyndi Steele and her daughter, Kelsey Steele, opened the door for testimony from Papcun about whether the recordings have been altered by the federal government. Sounds to me like that defense attorney McAllister the Steele family hired is earning his fee; he clearly used Cyndi and Kelsey to get around the judge’s outrageous ruling of last week that because the defense had not produced any evidence that the tapes had been altered, they would not be allowed to introduce any evidence that the tapes had been altered.
According to the media, it’s possible that the case may have gone to the jury by the time you folks out there are hearing this podcast, and so you may already know the verdict, so I’ll hold off on any more comments at this time, although I suspect that one way or other I’ll be letting loose with a real blast next week.