Friday, December 30, 2016

Anti-Paxton special prosecutor: Unindicted Co-Conspiritor in Federal Racketeering Case

"For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life."
Galatians 6:8

From yesterday's Houston Chronicle:
Federal prosecutors are fighting to have two Houston lawyers banned from representing the former head of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, saying the lawyers are "unindicted co-conspirators" in the racketeering case involving murder, drug dealing and other crimes.

In federal court papers filed recently, prosecutors ask that prominent Houston lawyer Kent Schaffer and his law partner, James Kennedy, be disqualified from the case.

The filings accuse Schaffer of furthering Bandidos' operations by reviewing court papers for all members charged in any criminal case, to root out who might be cooperating with the government in exchange for leniency.
It gets better:
An indictment naming former organization President Jeff Pike and others contends the Bandidos is a criminal enterprise engaged in murder, attempted murder, robbery, extortion and drug trafficking, among other crimes. The outlaw motorcycle gang began in the Houston area in the 1960s.

Bemporad left the door open for prosecutors to show him more evidence against Schaffer, which appears to be included in a 20-page document recently filed in court. The judge has since set a Jan. 6 hearing on the matter.

In the document, prosecutors contend they have recordings of conversations in which Bandidos discuss Schaffer's alleged work for the organization, including reviewing all legal paperwork to look for snitches.

Reviewed paperwork

Prosecutors said that multiple Bandidos will testify at trial that members were required to turn in legal paperwork, when they were arrested, to higher-ranking members so that it could be reviewed for signs of cooperation.

"Several members will testify that Mr. Schaffer was one of the attorneys that paperwork was taken to," according to the documents. "Two witnesses will testify that the Bandidos (organization) maintained a retainer with Mr. Schaffer for future work in defending its leadership from criminal charges."

Prosecutors further contend that Schaffer is so intertwined in Bandidos business that he can't be permitted to represent the ex-Bandidos leader Pike at trial. Schaffer previously has represented at least two Bandidos who are expected to be called to the witness stand to testify against Pike.

That would put Schaffer in the position of perhaps not only trying to defend his own reputation while representing Pike, but questioning people whom he had previously represented. As Kennedy is at the same firm, he would face a similar conflict, prosecutors contend.
Now who, pray tell, is Kent Schaeffer?!?
Two special prosecutors have been appointed to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's case. Here's a look at who they are:

Kent A. Schaffer

One of two special prosecutors appointed in the Paxton case, Kent Schaffer, 60, is a partner in Bires Schaffer & DeBorde of Houston. The 17-year-old law firm specializes in criminal defense matters, including business fraud and other white-collar crimes.
Read the whole thing here and here.

Bottom Line: Yes, you read that correctly.  The 'special prosecutor' maliciously prosecuting Ken Paxton has actually been named an unindicted co-conspirator in a major federal racketeering case.  We suppose the cliche about truth being stranger than fiction applies....

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