I missed this yesterday not being able to get to the court. None of the local papers reported it in their first reports on the case. Carney is J.W. Carney Bulger’s defense lawyer who is quite skillful.
USA Today reported: “Carney said in court that it was not the FBI who gave Bulger immunity, but he would not identify who within the Department of Justice allegedly made him such a promise.”
Carney knows the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, as I mentioned yesterday, has said that FBI agents can’t give immunity. It did that in overturning Judge Wolf’s decision where he left that question open. It also later upheld FBI Agent John Connolly’s conviction.
Flemmi before Judge Wolf said Connolly gave him immunity. As I just said, that didn’t fly. The First Circuit said only an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) could give immunity. I thought Carney was going to take another bite out of the same apple saying Connolly gave Whitey immunity just to keep the pressure on the FBI. I was wrong. I should know by now not to underestimate Carney. I’m mad at myself for doing this because I had seen it coming and missed it.
When did I see it coming? It was when I read T.E. English giving another take on the case. There was something new in what Connolly was saying that I read with interest but then went on to other things. I remember thinking, “Wow, That is something I never heard before!”
I should have put it together with what I had heard before which is also in the T.E. English article. Connolly said, “My lawyers have information that [Whitey Bulger] . . . told [FBI agents] I had nothing to do with tipping him off. . . .” Aside from the context of the article, what does that tell me. There’s contact going on between Whitey and Connolly whether through lawyers or some other people. I’m sure it’s two-way. Right now each man is joined together, like perhaps they’ve been since the early ’70s, in a death struggle against everyone else. They have to keep their lines of communications open, they have to keep their dance in step.
They have learned from the past mistakes of the others like Flemmi. They’re now going to say that an AUSA who has the power to immunize people was the one who gave not only Whitey, but also Connolly, immunity for all that they did. Connolly has a tougher row to hoe on this since he never brought it up during all the prior times he could have done so.
Before identifying the AUSA you should know one more thing. Flemmi identified a dead person as the one who was leaking things to him from the state police at the hearings before Judge Wolf. It’s best to identify a dead person as the one who did something. It’s difficult for the court to subpoena him or her in to testify to contradict your claim. So the AUSA who gave immunity to Whitey must have died since that time.
T.E. English set it out in his article. Rereading it I see that the defense strategy of Whitey is developing with an assist from Connolly. Here’s what Connolly said that is totally new:
As early as 1977, agent Connolly informed O’Sullivan that he had “turned” someone who could help them make major cases against the Mafia. When O’Sullivan heard it was Bulger, he wanted to meet him. Remembers Connolly, “I asked him, ‘Are you sure? You don’t have to.’” It was highly unusual for an assistant U.S. Attorney to meet face to face with a top informant while an investigation was still ongoing. O’Sullivan insisted. Connolly set up a meeting between the city’s top mobster and its top organized crime prosecutor in a hotel room on a rainy afternoon around Christmas. “I was there,” says Connolly. “Jimmy met Jerry. As I remember it, they were both quite impressed with one another.”
There you have it. Whitey’s immunity claim in a nutshell and the AUSA who gave him the immunity is O’Sullivan who has passed away.
The only problem with that is that 12 of the 19 murders Whitey is accused of committing happened after that 1977 meeting. If I know AUSA Freddie Wyshak he might just do away with this claim by trying those earlier murders first.