Here is why I find the government’s case against Flaherty to be one that has been constructed going backwards. It is the reason that Flaherty’s lawyer must be allowed to explore the background of it fully. It also presents another question that is interesting to explore.
The federal prosecutors argue that Flaherty’s communications with the “victim” on December 23 and 24, 2015, and subsequent dates were an attempt to “hinder, delay and prevent” the “victim” from communicating with a law enforcement officer of the United States. It says that the law enforcement officer of the United States was a state cop who became one because of a telephone conversation he had with a federal prosecutor.
If that is the case then the crime back in December and other dates between then and May is when he talked to the victim and told him not to bother to stay in contact with the Middlesex DA or the Cambridge cops. There is plenty of evidence at that point to show such interference.
Why then do the federal prosecutors go through the act of adding to the indictment an incident where they have the “victim” tell Flaherty on May 6, 2015, that an employee of the U.S. attorney’s office called him and that the employee was working for the “civil rights” division. If as they assert Flaherty was dealing with a federal agent all along, this call seems somewhat unnecessary.
Even then, it appeared to the federal prosecutors that may not be enough. They went back to the grand jury again with more evidence. Between the two grand jury sittings they arranged another call from the victim to Flaherty. This call was on May 21, 2015. This time the victim is more specific. He tells Flaherty someone from the FBI had called him and left a message to call him back. The only reason this call seemed to have been made is to ensure that a federal law enforcement officer was put into the scheme of things. Why is that necessary if from the git go they believed the state cop was one.
The answer seems obvious to me. The federal prosecutors were not sure Flaherty had committed any crime prior to the May calls because he had no involvement with a “law enforcement officer of the United States.” Even after the May 6 call they were not sure so they made sure to have the “victim” tell Flaherty the “FBI” called to make it clear a federal law enforcement officer was involved. In the scheme of things it seems compelling to believe if the December incidents made out the crime then the May happenings make no sense. I remain convinced that back in December there was no “hate crime” investigation going on and there was no way that Flaherty was in any way interfering with a communication to a law enforcement officer of the United States.
Look at it this way. The local Boston cop comes up to Mike and asks him about an incident he was involved in. Ike says to Mike you don’t have to tell him anything. The Boston cop leaves, goes down the street and calls the federal prosecutor. The federal prosecutor tells him he is now a law enforcement officer of the United States. The Boston cop goes back to Mike. The same thing happens. Ike finds himself indicted by the federal prosecutors for hindering, delaying and preventing the communication to a United States officer. If you wonder why people are arming themselves against the federal government you may want to consider happenings like that as being one of the reasons.
The Flaherty situation is even more basic than this. The “victim” had been in constant communication with the state cops from early in December 2014 and thereafter working with the FBI. I suppose in theory one could attempt to interfere with such a relationship; but in reality when the relationship is such that it has been established in such a manner that it was impossible for the person to do anything to interfere with it then how can someone be charged with trying to do something that all know is impossible.
The “victim” and the cops were working as a team. Their goal was to get Flaherty to do something so that they could bring criminal charges against him. How do you attempt to hinder, delay or prevent something in a situation like that?