No Mandamus Yet

Truth is elusive. In utmost secrecy, a Special Grand Jury may be investigating evidence of federal crimes involving the use of pre-planted explosives and incendiaries in the destruction of three World Trade Center skyscrapers on Sept. 11, 2001.

However, it’s possible that the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey S. Berman, has not presented to any grand jury evidence the Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry supplied to him on behalf of family members of murdered victims.

The U.S. Attorney’s office has been extremely guarded on the status of the 54-page Petition submitted to it in April 2018, an amended petition submitted in July 2018, and a supplement to the petitions submitted in March 2019.*

In a brief letter last November, Attorney Michael Ferrera, chief of the office’s terrorism unit, said only that the U.S. Attorney was complying with the statute, 18 U.S.C. §3332, the Lawyers’ Committee had cited.

A telephone conversation two representatives of the Lawyers’ Committee (LC) had last month with Ferrera shed little more light on the matter. Ferrera cited the portion of Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure** dealing with necessary secrecy.

What to do about it? For months the LC has contemplated a “mandamus” lawsuit asking a federal judge in the Southern District of New York to order the U.S. Attorney to comply with what the LC contends is his nondiscretionary duty to present the LC’s evidence to a special grand jury.

But as Attorney Mick Harrison of the LC put it this month to Andy Steele of 9/11 Free Fall Radio, “We’re in the awkward position of trying to go the federal court and asking a judge to order compliance when in fact compliance may be occurring.”

So the LC could next ask the federal court for some limited disclosure of the status of any grand jury proceedings regarding the LC’s evidence relating to the World Trade Center destruction on 9/11.

“And the court,” Harrison said, “would have the authority and discretion to determine how much would be disclosed, to whom it would be disclosed, and in what manner it would be disclosed.”

Audio of the full interview Steele had with Harrison and David Meiswinkle of the Lawyers’ Committee is HERE.

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* Details of the three submissions are HERE in paragraphs numbered 1, 2, and 4.

** Details of Rule 6 are HERE.

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