Come on Marty, be tough! You are being murdered by the Globe and the U.S. Attorney and are hiding. Where is your courage when you are being walked over and they are doing it in an illegal manner. Stand up for your rights and those of the public.
Here is what we know for sure. There was a federal wiretap back in 2012. By law that wiretap was done pursuant to Title III which permits the interception of individual conversations. That wiretap could only be done under the direction of U.S. Attorney Ortiz and members of her prosecution team. They control what is done with the contents of communications intercepted. These can only be disclosed under specific circumstances. A newspaper is not authorized to have those conversations.
The law sets out the circumstances under which intercepted conversations may be disclosed. The federal prosecutor’s manual states: “Briefly, section 2517(1) authorizes an investigative or law enforcement officer to disclose, without prior court approval, the contents of intercepted communications to another law enforcement or investigative officer, as defined by 18 U.S.C. § 2510(7), to the extent that such disclosure is appropriate to the proper performance of the official duties of the officer making or receiving the information.” (my emphasis)
It goes on to state: “When disclosing and using electronic surveillance information, the government must ensure that the disclosure of the electronic surveillance information does not abridge the privacy rights of parties not charged with any crime, or jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation.” (my emphasis)
The disclosure of these materials is serious. It is both a criminal and civil offense. In a legal memorandum discussing the disclosure of Title III material to our intelligence community, the writer says: “disclosure or use of information under these two sections must be “appropriate to the proper performance of the official duties” of the investigative or law enforcement officers involved. A number of courts have stated that, under Title III, any electronic surveillance or subsequent disclosure of Title III information is prohibited unless expressly permitted.” (my emphasis)
These communications must be handled with the utmost care. Prosecutors were given the right to intrude upon the privacy of others electronically only under strict conditions concerning the manner in which those conversations may be disclosed. If they cannot follow the law, they should not have the right.
Think of it in personal terms. US attorney Ortiz intercepts Max’s telephone. You call Max. You discuss something personal with him. She leaks the conversation to the paper. You pick up the newspaper and see your conversation printed there.
That is not supposed to happen yet we see that Ortiz has allowed it. She has allowed an unauthorized party the Boston Globe to receive the contents of these interceptions. There is no way to hide that these have come from her office.
It is fair to ask where is U.S. attorney Ortiz in all of this. Is it all right with her that conversations which she was supposed to safeguard have been leaked to the press? Is it her intent to conduct an investigation into who in her office either a prosecutor or someone operating under the direction of her office released these conversations to the media? Does her failure to do this force the belief that she had a hand in their release?
Or is it that Ortiz and her federal prosecutors’ in their last hurrah are so used to violating the law that they have begun to think that they are above the law? Do they believe they can violate the law with impunity because they are the ones who are supposed to enforce the law? Hopefully at a minimum Ortiz’s replacement to be appointed by president-elect Trump will take the oath of office seriously and investigate who in the U.S. attorney’s office over the last half-dozen years has been funneling information to the Boston Globe and remove whoever is involved in it from their positions.
In the meantime this violation of the law is so blatant that it demands a strong response by Mayor Walsh. He should first of all demand an investigation by Ortiz. He should demand that Ortiz seek criminal penalties against those reporters who are wrongfully disclosing the contents of the intercepted communications. Next, he should institute a suit for civil damages against those involved in the release of the information. That suit should involve taking depositions of the reporters to determine how it was they received these conversations and seeking civil damages from them for violating Title III and harming his reputation.
The newspaper suggests this information came from defense counsel. Anyone with a smidgen of knowledge about wiretap investigations knows that defense counsel would not be privy to the information the paper is disclosing at this time unless the prosecutors wrongfully disclosed it.
Take a minute or two to read the latest article on the union investigation being conducted by Ortiz’s office as her swan song. It clearly indicates a close connection between her office and the newspaper. It tells things that only should be known to the prosecutors like: “prosecutors are nearing the conclusion of a sweeping federal investigation;” “according to people familiar with the inquiry;” “key focus of prosecutors.”
Buck up mayor. Your reputation is at stake. Your career is at stake. Remember God helps those who help themselves.