Fitzpatrick was on the stand all day. The best that can be said is he stood up pretty well on cross-examination, not backing down from any of his assertions even though Kelly kept hammering away at him accusing him of making things up and reinventing reality.
I’m not sure how the jury is understanding this. Kelly seems to have information showing that he is not telling the truth, FBI reports saying something totally opposite, and he says in effect: “I didn’t write the report. I was there. I know what happened no matter what some report says.”
We started off with the arrest of Gerry Angiulo. Fitzpatrick claims that he was the one who did it; Kelly shows that the 302 says Agent Quinn and another one did it. Fitzpatrick suggests Quinn wrote the 302 and it is wrong (something we’ve heard before which should not give us a great deal of confidence in the FBI reports) and repeats that he was there and he made the arrest. Kelly reminds him that Agent Quinn is still alive (remember you are testifying under oath) and thus available to come in and contradict him. It doesn’t affect Fitzpatrick.
We move over to who found the rifle used by James Earl Ray who killed M.L. King. Kelly had reports suggesting it was the Memphis police; he refers to a 200 page FBI documentary telling about the killing and there’s no mention of the FBI recovering it. Fitzpatrick repeats: I was the first FBI agent on the scene. I found it, took custody of it, took it to Washington, DC.
Next as to his reason for leaving the FBI. Apparently he was supposed to investigate a shooting down on the Cape which he did and filed a report. But we know from his direct testimony that he’s becoming a little bit out of step with the “get along, go along” FBI mentality. He’s complaining bitterly about Whitey being carried as an informant.
He goes to DC to meet with the top brass. They tell him that’s the way it is going to be. Not only that, they want him and the people investigating the Wheeler/Halloran murders to coordinate their investigation with the targets’ handler, Connolly. He being the good soldier – he keeps reminding us the FBI is a semi-military group and you must do what you are told – tells everyone they have to do that, even though he doesn’t like it.
He then gets rock solid proof that the SAC Greenleaf has leaked grand jury minutes to a defense lawyer (not sure how this will be handled in cross-examination because the Boston US Attorney’s office has done the same thing to the Globe). He goes to O’Sullivan with his complaint. Anytime O’Sullivan’s name is brought up the prosecutors object to us finding out anything he said. After that, he writes up a complaint against Greenleaf and sends it to FBI headquarters. He speaks with one of the top dogs down there, a guy named Glover. Glover tells him to shut up and keep it to himself. Nothing is ever done about his report.
He meets Greenleaf sometime later and he can tell Greenleaf knows about his report. Little things start happening. He can sense he’s become persona no grata in the Bureau. This messes with his mind that he can be doing the right thing and yet evil things start happening to him.
Back to the shooting down the Cape, he writes a report saying he interviewed all involve. The FBI gets one or two agents who say he didn’t interview them. One of these agents will later admit that he lied when he denied being interviewed, he said he was forced by other FBI agents to say that. (Our wonderful FBI.) He gets a letter from the FBI Director saying nasty things about him. Fitzpatrick says he made a settlement that had as part of it the deal that the letter was not supposed to be disclosed at a public hearing but Kelly is doing it anyway. Fitzpatrick seems mad. It seems he feels he is being betrayed again, like he gave as the reason he named his book.
Fitzpatrick figures he can’t stay in Boston so he volunteers to take a pay grade adjustment and a drop in rank and go off to the Rhode Island office. He’s got too many family ties in the area to leave. In Rhode Island he learns another FBI agent is being fingered as a bad agent. He files a report with Greenleaf and Greenleaf tells the agent he reported on. That was it, he quit.
Kelly tried to have him admit he quit was because of the FBI director’s letter. Fitzpatrick say the reason why he did leave the FBI was because it had become corrupt.
He said he went to the Connolly trial in Florida where he was interviewed by Agent Marra who has been working with the prosecution. He told Marra that Connolly should not have been on trial since it was his opinion Morris was the one who was doing the leaking. He was not called as a witness. (I wonder if this was disclosed to defense counsel in Florida? Certainly is exculpatory.)
When the day ended I must admit I was getting to become a lot more willing to see things through Fitzpatrick’s eyes. I expected the cross-examination of him would have been more telling. Fitzpatrick’s book really turned me off; but seeing him in person gives me a better feeling for what he is about. I’m going to have to think about this. Maybe listen to the rest of his cross-examination more. But perhaps he is getting a bad rap because he is on the level which we’ve seen happen before.