The morning testimony of Flemmi was anti-climatic after yesterdays beating. A lot of time was spent on what went on in front of Judge Wolf back in 1997 and 1998. Brennan went back over some of the things he filed in his affidavit. Flemmi said he had to lie back then before Judge Wolf because if he told the truth that the FBI was corrupt he would not get the FBI’s help.
Flemmi is a difficult witness because he keeps repeating the same answer over and over even thought he questions vary a bit. But there was little excitement this morning for the basic reason that Brennan is trying to have the jury wonder at the government’s actions and he is setting up the idea of extensive FBI corruption.
He got into the time FBI Agent Paul Rico sent him up to meet with his brother Jimmy who was in Walpole prison. Flemmi kept insisting that the only reason Rico wanted him to go up there was to tell his brother to mind his own business. Joe Barbozo who killed Teddy Deegan with Flemmi’s brother, had begun to cooperate with the FBI and Rico want Jimmy Flemmi to stay out of it. Brennan was trying to get from him that Rico knew his brother was one of the murderers and that Barboza planned to name other people who were not part of it. This is part of showing the corruption in the FBI.
He got into Rico calling him to tell him to flee because the indictments in the bombing of Lawyer Fitzgerald’s were coming down. Then he got into the area when Flemmi and Salemme were in New York together. Flemmi said that Salemme was demeaning him or trying to boss him around and he wasn’t going to let that happen so he left. When Brennan pressed him on it to show that he was not someone who could be bossed around as he indicated was happening with Whitey, Flemmi kept repeating over and over that they got into an argument.
Brennan tried to show Flemmi was brought back and had his murder, assault to murder, and fugitive from justices dismissed because Rico and Condon were helping him but it didn’t come across that well. He then tried to show that it was Flemmi who was providing the FBI information by showing him three charts that he had drawn for the FBI agents. He got into the area that Flemmi also had other cops giving him information like Schneiderhan which he was paying for and he did not give them any information, again going along with the defense that Whitey only paid for the information
He also tried to show that Flemmi met with other FBI agents or talked to them but Flemmi was able to minimize his involvement with them by saying, “it was only once.” Brennan and Flemmi did an Abbot and Costello routine of “who’s on first” when it came to whether Mercurio had “advance notice” to flee when an indictment was coming down against him.
Brennan: “Where did he get the advance notice?”
Flemmi, “I said he had advanced notice.”
Brennan: “Who gave him the advanced notice?”
Flemmi, “That’s what I said, he had advanced notice.”
Brennan: “How did he get the advanced notice?”
Flemmi: “He did. He got advanced notice.”
It went something like that but it was not in only in that area there were others where Flemmi just kept repeating the same answer. He is deaf in his right ear (he keeps saying it is a military injury – wonder if he’s getting a disability on it from the government) and that may account for some of the constant repetitions.
Brennan got into the time when he was in Plymouth and how he and the others thought they would beat the case because he was an informant. He talked about how his hopes vanished when Connolly came in and took the Fifth. Then he knew he was in trouble when John Martorano disappeared from the pod in Plymouth. He’d later say that if he’d know they would turn on him he would have gone first.
Brennan is laying the foundation for an argument that Flemmi lied in his testimony to get great benefits from the government. The only spark of life that came about this morning was when they talked about the death penalty. Flemmi said the death penalty made no difference to him because he had a life sentence and thirty years after that so he didn’t expect to be around for them to execute him. He repeated that it made no difference to him that there was a death penalty. Brennan fired back, “if it made no difference why didn’t you just go to Florida or Oklahoma and plead guilty.” Flemmi came back saying it was part of the global agreement and he didn’t want to inconvenience people. Brennan jumped on that and said, “you didn’t plea guilty to the death penalty so you wouldn’t inconvenience people, is that what you’re saying.” The point was made that it did have a lot to do with him agreeing to cooperate.
A little humor was added when Flemmi said “I don’t think I would survive the death penalty.” It was probably one of the true few things he said.