It is revelatory that Dan Webb, chief defense counsel for George Ryan, is planning to use as partial defense the pressuring that the feds have applied to Scott Fawell to dump a load of incriminating evidence against Ryan. Indeed, Fawell himself testified yesterday that the feds have my head in a vise. To hear Webb, who has the boy-lawyer look of an under-aged cabbage patch doll, scream about Patrick Fitzgerald one would imagine that pressure against such witnesses have never been applied before. Oh?
Not only has it been regular treatment for prosecutors, it was perfected by Webbs old boss Jim Thompson and brought to a high form of art by Webb as Thompsons willing assistant. The book The Thompson Indictment by Jan Bone [Public Interest Press: 1978] describes the fearsome squeeze applied by Webb to Alderman Paul Wigoda. Webb had a perfect conviction rate in 28 cases, many involving political and police corruption.
Bone: Webbs cases involved flagrantly excessive use of immunized witnesses even by the Thompson office standardmore than 100 by conservative estimate; and the directly related deduction that this promiscuous use of highly questionable legal tool could not help but relieve Webb of at least some of the prosecutors rightful burden or proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
I think what gets me is the horror that defense attorneys reserve against prosecutors when earlier these same defense attorneys have utilized the same weapon. This reflects the common idea that courtroom law practice is at bottom a game.
This is the same Webb who was appointed U.S. Attorney by Ronald Reagan, who used it to gain fame--and, after leaving federal employ, a munificent life as a highly paid lawyer, all attributable to his appointment by Reagan, Webb later volunteered while in private practice to be a special prosecuting counsel on Iran Contra, and who delightedly cross-examined ex-president Reagan when he was coming down with Alzheimers, applying hot light tactics which caused a jury to gasp and who basked in the favor of the liberal media for his work in humiliating the nations 40th president.. Which is why, were he to unaccountably fall into the shark tank at the Shedd Aquarium, Webb would emerge unscathed due to the sharks professional courtesy for one of their profession.