WASHINGTON, D.C. – “Why did U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara prosecute Billy Walters?” Infowars.com asked attorney Sidney Powell, a former Assistant U.S. attorney and Appellate Section Chief whose 2014 book Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice, is an exposé of prosecutorial impropriety she maintains runs rampant today among Department of Justice prosecutors, including Bharara, as well as among the lawyers recruited to Special Counselor Mueller’s team.
“Because Billy Walters was a famous and hugely successful sports gambler,” Powell answered. “Because he was a multi-million-dollar investor who owned a $17 million-dollar private jet. Because Preet Bharara had suffered a series of appeals court set-backs and he valued bagging Billy Walters so he could have a new trophy to put on his wall.”
Powell explained she was not shocked at the Infowars.com exposé that Preet Bharara first convicted Walters in the press.
She noted that trial judge in Billy Walters case, U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel forced Bharara to admit FBI Special Agent David Chaves had engaged in a systematic pattern of illegally leaking grand jury information against Walters to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, starting two years before Bharara indicted Walters.
“Again, doesn’t surprise me at all that prosecutors and agents in such a high-profile case leaked information,” Powell responded. “Federal prosecutors often try to convict in the press before the indictment or trial.”
“Many top federal law enforcement officials including James Comey – and it appears Robert Mueller as well – are willing to engage in illegal acts to win convictions,” she stressed. “They convince themselves or believe that someone is guilty of something, and then the end of obtaining any kind of conviction justifies whatever needs to be done to get that conviction.”
She continued: “Bharara, Comey, and Mueller – all three are far too political and have great powers of rationalization. Some have called them ‘Dirty Cops.’”
Preet Bharara: “The Scourge of Wall Street”
As a result of FBI leaks over a four-year period between FBI Special Agent David Chaves and reporters from the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, stories began to appear in 2014 that implicated Billy Walters in what the newspapers alleged was an FBI investigation into insider trading.
On May 30, 2014, Wall Street Journal reporters Susan Pulliam and Michael Rothfeld published a story with a headline that read as follows: “FEC, SEC Probe Trading of Carl Icahn, Billy Walters, Phil Mikelson.”
The next day, May 31, 2014, the New York Times published an article by reporters Ben Protess and Matthew Goldstein, entitled “Authorities Find Insider Trading Case Tied to Phil Mikelson Is Slow to Take Shape.”
The articles boosted the reputation of Preet Bharara, then U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, increasingly known as the “scourge of Wall Street,” who had won notoriety with a February 2012 cover story in Time Magazine portraying him as the “top cop busting Wall Street.”
Since 2009, when he was first appointed by President Obama to be U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, Bharara built his career with a series of high-profile political prosecutions, including a conviction against the Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, and the Majority Leader of the State Senate, Dean Skelos, a Republican.
“While we all favor ridding government of corruption, it makes it worse when the prosecution itself is corrupt,” Powell cautioned.
On Nov. 4, 2013, the Washington Post ran a story entitled “Meet Preet Bharara, who just won the biggest insider trading case ever” that put readers who do not typically pay much attention to Wall Street legal intrigue on notice that Bharara was “worth keeping an eye on after his term expires next year”
The case involved Bharara successfully hitting Raj Rajaratnam, the billionaire founder of the Galleon Group hedge fund, with a $157 million fine, after prosecuting him on 14 counts of criminal conspiracy and fraud in a high-visibility case involving co-conspirator Rajat Gupta, the former Managing Director of management consultancy firm McKinsey & Company.
That the Clorox case did not materialize into insider-trading criminal charges did not discourage Bharara from continuing to pursue Billy Walters, even though dropping the Clorox case meant the criminal case against Walters would lack the star appeal of also being able to implicate in the case an investor as famous as Carl Icahn and a professional golfer as famous as Phil Mikelson.
But that did not discourage Bharara.
For two more years, Chaves kept the case alive in the press by continuing to leak information to the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, until finally, Bharara cobbled together a case to indict Walters for trades Walters made in Dean Foods, a leading U.S. milk distributor.
Appeals Court stalls Bharara steam-roller
Powell added that Bharara’s determination to convict Walters at any cost was likely fueled also by setbacks he had begun getting in his insider trading convictions, involving reversals from U.S. Courts of Appeal that brought into question both Bharara’s effectiveness as a prosecutor and the legality of his prosecutorial tactics.
“Bharara, Comey, and Mueller all suffer from the same problem,” Powell stressed. “There is little the three won’t do, including ignoring the law, to obtain a high-profile conviction. After Bharara suffered two insider cases overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals, he was desperate to convict somebody, and with the help of FBI Agent Chaves, Bharara managed to cook up a case by bending the rules to win against Billy Walters.”
On Dec. 10, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed two insider trading cases that Bharara had prosecuted, tarnishing his reputation as an effective federal prosecutor.
The first case involved Todd Newman, a portfolio manager at Diamondback Capital Management, and Anthony Chiasson, a portfolio manager at Level Global Investors, who Bharara had convicted for participating in an insider trading scheme allegedly trading securities on inside information obtained by a group of securities analysts.
“We agree that the jury instruction was erroneous because we conclude that, in order to sustain a conviction for insider trading, the Government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the tippee knew that an insider disclosed confidential information and that he did so in exchange for a personal benefit,” the Court of Appeals decided. The point was that Bharara had failed to provide sufficient evidence to sustain a guilty plea against Newman and Chiasson.
This appellate court decision also imperiled a milestone insider trader conviction Bharara obtained against Michael Steinberg of SAC Capital – another conviction the Court of Appeals felt need to be overturned because Bharara had steered Steinberg’s case to Judge Richard J. Sullivan, the same judge who had handled the cases of Newman and Chiasson, because Bharara believed Judge Sullivan would give the Steinberg jury the same flawed jury instruction he had given the jury at the trial of Newman and Chiasson.
Sidney Powell served in the Department of Justice for ten years in Texas and Virginia and has devoted her private practice to federal appeals for the past twenty years. She was the youngest Assistant United States Attorney in the country and the youngest elected Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, for which she also served as President. She has been lead counsel in more than 500 appeals for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, resulting in more than 180 published opinions, and was President of the Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit.
This is the fourth in a series of exclusive Infowars.com reports detailing how government impropriety in U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s Manhattan office prosecution of William T. Walters has contaminated Special Counselor Robert Mueller’s “Russia Collusion” investigation – another FBI-driven investigation plagued by a systematic pattern of illegal leaking to the press.
The first article, entitled “Why U.S. Attorney’s Criminal Leaks Threaten to Derail Mueller’s Russia Probe: FBI special agent leaked secret grand jury info to New York Times and Washington Post,” was published last on Oct. 12, 2017, and can be read here.
The second article, entitled “Obama Lawyer Hid FBI Leaking to Get Insider Trading Conviction; Under Bharara, FBI in New York systematically leaked grand jury secrets to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal,” was published Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, and can be read here.
The third article, entitled “Obama Prosecutor Used FBI Leaks to Plant ‘Fake News’ in Insider Trading Case: Mainstream media reported as true FBI leaks about Bharara’s fishing expedition,” was published Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, and can be read here.