Brennan on cross-examination managed to show Jeremiah O’Sullivan was the head of the Strike Force who did organized crime prosecution who would have a say in whether Brian Halloran got admitted into the witness protection program. Those close to these matters have probably heard the story how ASAC Fitzpatrick went to O’Sullivan and then to William Weld, the then US attorney in Boston, to get Halloran into the witness protection program. Montinari said that Halloran never committed to going into that program. He was interested one day and the next he didn’t care. He was a Boston boy who didn’t want to go too far from home.
Brennan also tried to show that the FBI office in Boston was a mess but couldn’t get Montinari to agree. He worked at having Montinari say he didn’t trust Connolly but Montinari wouldn’t bite. He said that this was happening in 1982 and “it was beyond comprehension an FBI guy would compromise his own.” That was how the FBI worked at one time, total openness among the agents which each one believing the other was as honest as himself. Robert Hanssen pretty much blew that theory out of the water; and for some, I guess you could say so did John Connolly.
No one could ever conceive there was fox in the penthouse where the FBI lived.
Brennan also showed that much of Halloran’s information was not right. He had Montinari tell how he met with Whitey and Whitey answered his questions.
He started off by asking Montinari what type of work he did to confirm what Halloran was telling him (very little) and did he notify local authorities of what Halloran said about murders (no) and after Jimmy Flynn was indicted for the Halloran murder did he communicate to Suffolk authorities there were other suspects (may have).
He brought up Halloran being out on $10,000 bail on a first degree murder charge for killing Pappas which was unusual but didn’t chase after that line of questioning. Montinari said Halloran denied doing it but he didn’t do any investigation into whether he did or not. Brennan brought out Jackie Salemme brother of Mafia big wig Frank was involved with Halloran.
He showed Halloran had lots of other people after him and admitted being involved in murders with other people (winter hill but not as trigger man – didn’t implicate Whitey in them – I thought that would be followed up more). He talked about the great discretion FBI agent have in deciding whether to tell local authorities about what they know about murders.
He tried to get in that Flemmi (Benji Ditchman) denied there was a meeting at Callahan’s house that Callahan told Halloran about. Brennan showed that little of what Halloran told the FBI was corroborated and some of the stuff, like his information on a murder, was rejected by the Suffolk DA.
Brennan played around with the idea that they told Morris about what Halloran was saying and that it probably was not consistent with Montinari saying he wanted to keep things close to the vest. Montinari explained “close to the vest” didn’t mean not talking to other FBI agents and he had implicit trust in them
There was other stuff but the question is what’s the point. Was Montinari damaged in any way? I can’t say that he was. Best I can say is that the O’Sullivan immunity issue will come up with the defense.
It is still unclear if Whitey is going to deny being involved in some murders or not. Defense seems to lean more toward the O’Sullivan defense.
FBI not shown to be sinister. Halloran shown to be untrustworthy. When we hear FBI not talking to Suffolk during the Jimmy Flynn murder trial what comes to mind is the Deegan murder but the jury knows nothing about that.