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At the Sentencing of Edgar Steele:
Statements of ďVictimĒ and Defendant
excerpted from the transcript of proceedings
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff
EDGAR J. STEELE, Defendant
Case No. 10-00148-N-BLW
Before B. Lynn Winmill, Chief District Judge
United States Courts, District of Idaho
November 9, 2011
FOR UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
D. Marc Haws
Traci Jo Whelan
US Attorneyís Office
Wesley Winfield Hoyt
FOR CYNDI STEELE
David Patrick Claiborne
The Victim ó Ms. Cyndi Steele
The Defendant ó Mr. Edgar Steele
The Court ó Mr. Lynn Winmill
STATEMENT BY THE VICTIM
THE VICTIM: Your Honor, the truth and justice are whatís at stake here today. It was my motherís life, my life that were at stake, but also our childrenís lives. However, what is at stake is my husband and how this affects my mother and our children and me, also how it affects my husband.
Ed and I first met on March 13th, 1984, and we were married on April 27th, 1985. To summarize our 26 years of marriage, I have to say we have a great marriage. We worked as a team in work, raising our children, helping out our other
family members, whether it was his side or it was my familyís side, and in our dreams, whether they were our individual dreams or combined dreams as a couple.
Perfect? No. But Ed and I have done very well and had only one blip in our marriage 11 years ago. It was a rough time for so many reasons, and we both made mistakes, which the counselor we saw was amazed that the financial situations and work and illness that we were going through, that we were still together.
It was the strength of our love that kept us together as well as improve our communications between each other. Without going into details, Iím just going to refer to the Pina Colada song by Jimmy Buffett which describes this blip in our marriage to a tee. It was our problems, but we ended up coming back together.
During the first ten years for me, it was supporting my husband building his own law practice, where I worked alongside him as a receptionist, file clerk, paralegal, secretary, and wherever he needed help in building his practice. It supported us financially. It supported our desire to have and raise a family.
At the same time, Ed supported my dancing, whether it was dancing with the Civic Light Opera or teaching or taking classes to continue my training, always giving me the time and space to pursue my dancing. And though these were really our individual dreams, they became our dream. His dreams became mine, and my dreams became his. Because, for both of us, the happiness of the other was a dream in itself.
We had our common dream of us and raising a family, which was our most valued dream in our hearts.
By 1990, we had three beautiful children. Our eldest daughter, who biologically was from my disastrous first marriage, Ed, of his own decision, asked and willingly adopted Nicole to raise, support, and love her as his own, an unselfish act that I never asked of him, for she was not his responsibility, nor did he have a moral obligation to do so.
However, out of his love for me and her, he chose to officially become her father, to raise, support, and love her, though, through all the good times and rough times of raising a child as if she was his very own.
As we added a son and a daughter ó another daughter to our family, most only knew Ed and I as the father and mother of three children.
Ed and I strived together as a team to treat our children equally and fairly, to raise them as strong, moral, independent individuals who would have the ability to successfully live happy, productive lives in whatever direction that their dreams would take them.
I stand here equally proud of the three children Ed and I have raised. Though they are still at different stages and are on different paths, they have become wonderful young adults and will be a credit to this world as they follow their own unique path. Our childrenís accomplishments are their own, but Ed and I can humbly take full credit for our teamwork in raising, supporting, and loving them.
We are an excellent team in raising our children. Raising our children was easy when we agreed. But when we didnít agree, we communicated and decided the best approach to each issue together and then supported our mutual decisions.
It was together that we left California in search of a better environment to raise our
children, and we moved to the beautiful state of Idaho. It was to be a place that was closer to the wholesome country that both Ed and I were raised in instead of the city, where there seemed to be so many more issues and potentially bad influences upon our children.
This was a choice that Ed initiated because our family and our childrenís welfare and best interests were far more important than any financial benefits to staying in California.
We together built a beautiful ranch and a place that we came to call home. As we had with our other homes, we worked together to make improvements, additions, and this time to build a place for horses, cows, pigs, chickens, dogs, and cats.
And I should say that Ed did the work as I worked alongside him, learning how to do many things he already knew how to do. Ed performed the tiling, plumbing, drywall installation, taping, sanding, and mudding, building walls, clearing fields, building fences, and anything else that a ranch requires. He hayed, he fed, ran a tractor and a backhoe, shoveled and mowed and moved manure. He handled all aspects of horses
and so many other jobs to list here.
He was also involved with the cows, pigs, and chickens we raised for a time. And, true, the cows, pigs, and chickens were more Edís dream than mine, but we worked together as a team.
So Mr. Haws lied about my husband when he stated Ed was, quote, ďnot much interested in nor very adept at taking care of the chores on a rural ranch property, a ranchette. He was not a rancher or a farmer.Ē He could and did do chores and more around our place than Haws probably even thought of doing.
Well, you know, Iíll take that statement back about Mr. Haws, because I have not been witness to his life. That statement is just as unfair as his was about my husband because he was not a witness to who my husband is. It just served his purpose of making him look like a lesser of a person. Though I know many that have never ranched and farmed, and that certainly doesnít make any them any less worthy.
In fact, my grandfather, who owned and ran a prestigious dairy farm in Oregon, would have been proud to have my husband work by his side and would have accepted him as his grandson-in-law
because of his good character, whether he was a farmer or not.
But, no, you have the word of Larry Fairfax, the lying pipe bomber who was more than willing to provide you with the anticipated testimony you expected at my husbandís trial in exchange for not being charged with attempted murder in a soft plea deal.
And, yes, Ms. Whelan, it was together our ranch was developed, not just because it was my dream. The ranch and all it is was, by far, more my husbandís idea than mine. He wanted to find a place for me to be able to have horses because he got as much joy at supporting my dream as I appreciated and enjoyed the dream that we built together.
The barn and inside arena was his idea and of his making. The horses were just as much him as me as he looked, found, and purchased some of the herd himself. And when it became more than we could continue to support, we mutually agreed to disperse most of the herd. That is why, on the day of his arrest, there was only four horses instead of the 20 to 30 horses we were managing in the previous years.
Yes, he once questioned whether the farm was his ó was his, but that was back 11 years ago, and he chose to come back to the farm, and it was his choice.
At the same time, Ed had my support as he came active in defending our freedom of speech and our rights, which led him to representing many clients pro bono, speaking out about injustices, writing a book and many articles.
And those topics were considered politically incorrect in todayís society because so many viewed it as being racist. I can say that they havenít really listened and donít truly know him. If they did, they would know at the core of his belief is justice for all, and itís just special rights for none. They would know that even though he believes this country is in serious trouble and fears the day will come that this country will be up in arms, he always advocated change through his speech and through legal avenues. He spoke against violence, and he has never been violent. Shame on the system for doing that to him.
He has been put on hate lists and had
many negative labels thrown at him. But I can tell you that the hate I have witnessed is from those very groups, one of those groups being the ADL, who this court used in official court paperwork as one of its basis to deny my husband bail, among other reasons, being his writings, his book, and his Internet presence.
That means the government denied my husband bail because of the way he exercised his constitutional right of freedom of speech. Shame on the system for doing that to him.
Agent Sotka told me he knew nothing about my husband; and yet he had all this false information that was fed to him by hate groups, such as the ADL. Did he lie to me to try to get me to testify on his side? Where are the criminal charges against him for tampering?
He told me he knew absolutely nothing of my husband, that my husband was just a local person who was not very important. So how is it that Agent Sotka could tell me that my husband was a liar? Was that his attempt to dispel my knowledge of my husband being honest ó actually, brutally honest? Or was he just taking the word of the likes of the ADL, who cheered the demise of
my husband because they donít like the way he exercises his free speech?
And what about those death threats that the FBI investigated but now denies any knowledge of, the likes of which death threats came to our young children and I and my husband? The terrified look on my daughter when she was nine years old is still etched in my brain.
From the beginning, this case was a case in search of a motive. Well, there was none.
First, when I was contacted by the government agents, they were claiming Edís motive involved life insurance. There was no life insurance. I knew this was wrong. The claim was also proved wrong.
Then they accused me of having an affair. And to get me to believe their made-up plot, the government agents lied to me and said they had photographs of me that would support the specious claim. I knew that was a lie, too. But it still hurts to know that they would make up a lie about me and tell that to me.
So I am a victim, but only a victim of the slander by the government agents and the pipe bomb of the government informant that was attached
to my car. I am not a victim of my husband because my husband did nothing wrong.
The recordings were an elaborate fabrication. When that all failed, they latched onto information and selectively utilized Edís book research to manufacture a motive. The Russian bride claim is so bogus, as four witnesses testified.
I knew that Ed was using these communications as his research and saw confirmation of the consistency between many different Russian women who are being exploited as part of a human-trafficking scam. Of course, it suited the governmentís needs to single out only one of these women, and then McAllister failed to put into evidence the many other women my husband was investigating as part of this scam.
I am not as shallow as Ms. Whelan enjoys portraying, for if it was anything else than an investigation that I knew it to be, I would have freed Ed, and I would have moved on.
But this was the background work for his next book to show how they preyed on older men in America, how every one of the 25 or so women he contacted made the same requests in order, using the same
language. ďSend me candy for 25.Ē ďSend me flowers for 50.Ē ďSend me English lessons for 500,Ē and thousands to pay for a trip for the women to come to America.
It was a repeated pattern, like a broken record, and he was getting the goods on this scam. He had tracked it to a Florida company that was making huge profit out of this and had talked to one of the translators and sufficient to be able to expose the fraud; that is, until his arrest.
And, oh, yes, Agent Sotka. There was also his claim that my husband was cashing in silver without my knowledge. That was another lie, for it was for the purpose of paying down our debt which Ed and I had agreed upon from our many discussions.
Then Agent Sotka and Ms. Whelan claimed the silver we sold was the same 45,000 of silver that Mr. Fairfax had stolen. They knew better because I had accounted for the silver the FBI had confiscated, and I accounted for the silver that we sold, which matched my theft report.
What was still missing was the $45,000 stolen by Fairfax. My husband had sold 55-plus
thousand dollars of silver. He paid about $15,000 in bills. And by the time he was arrested, the remaining 35- was still in our account, which I thank God because thatís what I was ó had to survive on.
But Ms. Whelan presented this to the jury and made it appear that the 45,000 Fairfax stole was somehow the same 50,000 my husband sold, when they knew it wasnít.
The timing of when the government first claimed this plot began does not add up. They initially claimed it began on December 9th, 2009, the very day my husband was checking out of the hospital from surviving the aortic aneurysm that almost killed him. He was still not thinking clear and was in such poor physical condition that he was brought home in a wheelchair.
Unfortunately, this was two weeks before he was expected to be released, and I was in Oregon taking care of my mom, who was also in the hospital. So our son came home from college, and then we got a live-in nurse to be with him until I could get back home.
Then, during trial, they claimed it began in January. And that doesnít add up,
either. I was home all of January. Fairfax was not around. And the phone records show there were no conversations between Fairfax and my husband at that time.
My husband had three more procedures, with the last one on May 5th, which was another life-threatening aneurysm, nasal cavity, and required emergency surgery. I, again, was in Oregon taking care of my momís medical needs following surgery when Ed called to tell me that he was headed to the hospital for his emergency surgery.
So I got someone to take care of my mom and immediately flew home. I managed to get there as he was being taken to the operating room. And Iím going to tell you the big smile and tears of relief streaming down his face when he saw me walk in was priceless. He couldnít have been any happier seeing me and knowing that I was going to be there when he woke up. This was not a reaction from a person who was supposedly trying to plot to have me killed.
During his recovery, about the only thing he was able to do was sit and work at his computer, as he suffered major headaches from his
last surgery. It was only that last week in May that he was starting to be more mobile but was still on a lot of medications to help with pain and sleeping, including the day of his arrest.
Unfortunately, he was unable to follow through with the proper follow-up care and, to this day, suffers from headaches from the titanium clips that were put in his head. Just another piece of evidence McAllister never did present up for evidence.
Then, before, during, and after I listened to the recordings in June 2010, I was continually pressured by Agent Sotka as to what I was to believe, think, and say, no matter what I knew. I felt like I was being pressured to buy into the governmentís story whether I agreed or not or before I was provided any proof.
It was evident from his tampering that he wanted me to fall in line with what the government was trying to get me to believe, that my husband intended to kill me. There was only one thing I was interested in, and that was the truth. And I was not making any decision on the authenticity of those recordings one way or the other until I could hear them. I knew what I
believed, but I also knew that belief wasnít necessarily true.
I just thank God that he gave me the excellent upbringing, that I have strong morals and the strength to stand up for what is morally right in spite of the pressure being put on me by the government to do otherwise.
I can enumerate a long list of the lies that were told by [sic] me by one government official or another and continues to this day, but this moment Iím going to go directly and address the recordings, recordings that I was to eventually learn were pure fabrications and were not true, continuous conversations between my husband and Larry Fairfax. And though I have been accused differently, I took what the FBI told me seriously, and I did not align myself with my husband or anybody else until after I listened to the recordings and learned for myself and made the determination and ó that those recordings were not trustworthy because they were highly suspicious and unreliable.
Of course, it was ten days before I was allowed to hear those recordings ó well, that is two of the recordings, since I was repeatedly told
by Agent Sotka that a third recording wasnít ready yet. That is the recording from the day of my husbandís arrest. And apparently, that third recording has never been ready, because to this day I have not heard it. The recording is a recording. Once recorded, there is nothing to get ready other than push the ďplayĒ button. I was repeatedly denied the opportunity to listen to it.
Since the official transcript of that third recording showed that one whole hour had been lost, it is apparent to me that the government was again covering up evidence that could harm its case. Either they were not able to remake the third recording into incriminating discussion, the way the recordings of June 9th and 10th were manipulated, or there was actually proof of my husbandís innocence.
There was only testimony by Agent Sotka and Officer Spike about this; however, Agent Sotka lied on the stand about me, so no reason to believe he didnít lie about my husband.
When I finally was allowed to hearó
MS. WHELAN: Your Honoró
THE VICTIM: I get to make my statement.
THE COURT: Just a moment, Ms. Steele.
MS. WHELAN: Your Honor, as the court knows, itís not the typical relationship between the United States and the victim in the case. And I am hesitant to say anything. But at some point, this goes from being a victimís statement to a form of reiterating. And Iím going to ask that the comments ó you know, we have professionals here who have been maligned over and over again.
And at some point, Iím going to ask her ó or ask the court to advise the witness to make her comments.
THE COURT: Ms. Steele, Iím going to tell you that you are on a very short leash. You just stated just moments ago ó and I jotted it down ó ďI am not a victim of my husband.Ē
THE VICTIM: I am not a victim of my husband.
THE COURT: Having established that, there is a very serious question whether you have any right to address the court as a victim, since you are self-proclaiming that you are notó
THE VICTIM: Iím a victim of the government.
THE COURT: Well, thatís not ó the statutory right to participate in the proceedings
is as a victim of the defendantís crime, which you claim that you are not a victim of. And you are free to make that claim.
Iím going to give you about five minutes to conclude your statement. Iím going to direct you not to make any personal attacks on any of the court personnel or the attorneys involved in this case. Because at that point, clearly, your statementsó
THE VICTIM: Can I readó
THE COURT: Just a moment, Ms. Steele. At that point, your statements clearly are not the statements of a victim. It is a statement of someone who is a supporter of Mr. Steele. And generally, there is no statutory right for such a person to address the court.
I think Iím extending a right to you which is more than what youíre probably statutorily entitled to. But, again, in an abundance of caution, Iím going to allow you to ó I think youíve been going for 20, 25 or 30 minutes. Iím going to give you five minutes to conclude your statement, and then weíre going to proceed with the sentencing. All right?
THE VICTIM: When I finally was allowed to
hear the recordings, I went in with an open mind, because it was the only thing I wanted was truth.
I listened carefully, and I was horrified.
Iím going to try to make the highlights. Agent Sotka and them said they listened to the recording five times, and I was told they never heard the word ďbomb.Ē So when did the word ďbombĒ go on the recording? Or was it on the recording on June 9th when they heard it, and they didnít warn me? And thatís why a U.S. Marshal said that they wouldnít provide me protection before Fairfax was followed ó you know, was brought up for confession.
How can anybody miss the word ďbombĒ thatís highly ó thatís highly supposed to be investigated? That means I was left knowingly to have a bomb on my car, and I will go to my very end.
So a year and a half has brought us to this day, where Iím supposed to stand here as a victim, a victim of my husband. How do I do that when he is not the one that has victimized? How do I do that when the only ones that victimized me is Fairfax, government agents, overly aggressive women prosecutors? And, yes, Your Honor, even
this court system, with its own has victimized me.
Of course, this means my husband is a victim, as well; yet no matter what I have said here today, there is only one thing that matters. Today there is a great injustice being done.
As the alleged victim and the wife of the falsely accused, I have to ask you, Your Honor, that you stop and put this injustice and the court to a stop and free my husband so he can come home, where he belongs, and so our family can be whole again. Otherwise, at least grant him a new trial so he gets a trial that is fair.
He is innocent and has wrongly been convicted of crimes he did not commit. Otherwise, the court is condemning an innocent man and destroying his family. The court will not only be sentencing an innocent man to what is a death sentence, but it will wrongly be sentencing his children to live without his [sic] father, wrongly sentencing me to live ó his wife to live without her husband. And I am supposed to see justice in that?
It has been the lies, misconduct, violations of my statutory crime rights, violations of the constitution, unfair trial, and
ineffective assistance of counsel by McAllister, and the false conviction that is causing my family to be destroyed, my finances, including retirement savings, to deplete such that I declare bankruptcy and a host of other issues too long to list here.
It is because of all these injustices that has made me a victim. And, Your Honor, I understand that this court does not honestly know me, and what little is known of me has been under what I consider to be the worst circumstances ever. However, Agent Sotka well knows I will go out of my way to always do the morally right thing, as he witnessed when I went out of my way and expense to return an expensive pair of reading glasses that I forgot to return after they were loaned to me. But he wouldnít let that be known because that would portray my good moral character.
No. He had to lie about me. Well, fine, because I know who I am, and I can hold my head up high because I know the only thing that I have stood up for is the truth. And if the truth was as the government claims, I wouldnít be standing up for my husband here today because I have said and I ó that I will not put my life at
risk for anyone. That is a line that nobody crosses with me.
I am standing here today because I know my husband is innocent and he rightfully should be at home. For, after all the misconduct, he, at the very least, deserves a new trial with counsel who represent his case.
STATEMENT BY THE DEFENDANT
THE DEFENDANT: ...
Left to my own devices, this will be lengthy, and it will violate the very things that you refuse to allow my wife to continue with. So, at the outset, I think I would like to ask what the rules are.
This case is about government misconduct; and yet we have been prevented at every stop from putting on evidence about it, from making allegations about it. And now here today, my wife canít recount to the court her personal experiences where she has been lied to by the government and manipulated by it.
Is that going to bear with me, too, or do I finally get a chance to have my say in this case? I have never had it.
THE COURT: Mr. Steele, you have your right to allocute to the court. You can say anything you want to. The only reason I limited Mrs. Steele is because she was making her statement to the court as a victim while, at the same time, simultaneously arguing to the court that she was not a victim. It was simply
inconsistent, and I did not stop her. I just put a time limit after about 30 minutes and suggested that she should wrap up in five minutes with whatever she had to say.
THE DEFENDANT: Well, I, too, am a victim.
My entire family is a victim. In fact, all of American society is a victim in this case. And I have seen this operate before, though I have never seen it so brazenly presented. I have never seen them pull out all the stops.
Sixty years they want me to serve.
Letís see. I get out when Iím 135, then, I guess.
Five years would be a death sentence, Judge. Five years, given my physical condition ó I almost died twice just in the last two years, and Iím certainly not getting any medical attention in jail.
So anything over five years is irrelevant except as a statement made by this court. You know, 5 years, 15, 20, 50, 60 ó 60 years. Give me a thousand. Put me in the Guinness Book of World Records.
I become very angry about a lot of things in this case, and itís because of that anger that I have bowed to the counsel of others
to not represent myself, to not take the stand at trial. My lawyer was adamant that I wouldnít take the stand; thatís why I didnít. I should have. I should have fired him and represented myself from the beginning. That was then. This is now.
All the post-trial motions have been denied summarily. Yes, I have read your memorandum, and I beg to disagree with your findings, with your conclusions. Thatís just an introduction to what I have to say.
Fifty years ó sixty years, if you listen to the prosecutor. Sixty years. Nobody was hurt. Nobody was killed. There is a substantial dispute as to who the perp is in this case. We all agree that Larry Fairfax is a perp, if not the perp. And he is serving his soft ball sentence of two years right now. He is going to get out to a halfway house in a month or two, and then he will be free. Served up his sentence in exchange for coming into this court and testifying against me, further lying in exchange for saying, ďYeah, I put the pipe bomb on Mrs. Steeleís car, but Mr. Steele told me to do it.Ē Outright lies.
And I have never been allowed to say that. I have never been allowed to point out when the
government has lied. And it has lied extensively.
And I have heard a couple of those lies repeated here today.
And I want to tell you that during this statement, I am in no way, shape, or form going to pussyfoot around. The government has lied repeatedly. I have been framed. I am innocent, Judge, absolutely completely innocent. I have been framed from start to finish.
But it wasnít enough that I get framed with serious allegations, serious evidence thatís been fabricated, as we have proven, but that proof wasnít allowed into trial. Thatís not enough.
Youíve got to have this show trial. Youíve got to have this massive publicity. Youíve got to have her holding a press conference every other week in the run-up to trial. Youíve got to have the jury pool in Coeur díAlene and around Coeur díAlene so tainted that you had to move the trial away to Boise, the other end of the state. Of course, the news reaches there, too.
Right from the beginning, nobody has cared what Iíve had to say. Nobody has cared what my intent is or was. Nobody has bothered to ask me. Anything I said has been rejected as false.
And somehow, rather, this perp, this Larry Fairfax, the self-admitted liar, the self-admitted pipe-bomber, everything he says gets believed.
I have no criminal history. I have never been arrested, not even for the mandatory DUIs that it seems so many of us go through in life. I have a pristine record; and yet Iím the one that youíre told is the liar here. Iím the one that shouldnít be listened to. Iím an officer, literally, of this court; and yet nobody wants to hear me, and nobody wants to believe anything that I have to say. Everybody just assumes that Iím a liar, that Iím a bad guy. And that ainít right.
I have led a good life, and Iím proud of it. Iím proud of my behavior during this case.
Certainly deserves otherwise.
Let me tell you a little about myself, first of all. I grew up in a small town in north central Washington, just west of here. I have a college degree, a BA from the University of Washington in Seattle. I spent four years in the military, Vietnam era. I was decorated more than once, discharged honorably. I spent two years at Cal Berkeley, University of California at
Berkeley, getting an MBA. Did well there, was awarded scholarships. I worked then for several years as a financial analyst, as a controller for a couple of companies. Always spotless work, well thought of, all my life.
I went to law school because law ó life just wasnít satisfying enough to me. I wanted more out of it. And I spent three years at UCLA getting my JD degree, after which I returned to the San Francisco Bay area, where I had worked after the MBA, and took a job with a small law firm there for two years. They liked me a lot.
Afterwards, after those two years, I went on my own because I just had to. And I have never looked back. I have been a success as a lawyer every step of the way. I have been able to employ 18 to 20 people in a law firm, and we have been proud of the work that we have done.
In the last 10 or 12 years, I have taken to handling cases pro bono, primarily cases with a First Amendment aspect to them, and I have been proud of that work.
That means, Judge, that I have been having to represent the politically incorrect, because itís the politically incorrect whose First
Amendment rights get violated in this country.
Make no mistake. Theyíre the only ones, because we have become a country of men, not of laws, and so laws get selectively enforced. And I knew that throughout my career from watching other cases, watching clients. But I never knew it like I have learned it during my own case.
I have been married for 27 years. Just a couple years more than that Iíve been a lawyer.
Iíve got three of the best children anybody could want. I love them dearly. Theyíre good, solid, intelligent, honorable, respecting people, and I proudly bequeath them to this world. They are part of my legacy.
Cyndi. There is so much to say about Cyndi. Anybody ó anybody ought to be able to sit here and just watch what she just did and know why I love her like I do, and I always have.
I remember the moment I met her. I recall her standing up and smiling that impish little grin that I love so much, casting her eyes down. I fell in love with her at first sight, and I have loved her ever since then, even during that little speed bump nine or ten years ago that she spoke about. She is my soul mate, if you will.
And I bring this up because a lot has been made about motive. And you need to understand, as my friends understand, as people who know me understand, that my relationship with my wife has been such that it would be impossible for me to do what I have been falsely charged and falsely convicted of doing in this case, which is to harm her.
Iíd lay down my life for her in a moment, always would have; I will today. It was love at first sight, and my heart jumps up now every time I catch sight of her. She is my partner. She is my lover, my wife, my helpmate.
She is my best friend. She always has been, since the day we met. She is my anchor in life, always.
She stood beside me, just as she stood beside me throughout this ordeal.
Who wouldnít love a woman like that?
Every man in here should wish that he had a woman like that. I have got one. And Iím proud of her.
I love her dearly.
I canít imagine life without her, but Iím going to have to get used to it, apparently.
She cared for me through the six months and four life-threatening surgeries just prior to my
arrest. ... [Digression omitted on elective liposuction operation to address problem caused by earlier prostrate cancer.]
And then I had two more surgeries after that, one for an emergency hernia repair, which can be life-threatening. There was no suggestion that I was about to die, but I know the doctor puts me into the emergency room ó or the surgery room the day after I appeared in his office with it.
And the nasal aneurysm, the head aneurysm certainly was life-threatening. I could have bled to death in the time I was trying to drive to the emergency room. And I have symptoms and problems from that to this day. Iíve had them throughout the pendency of this case. I have
massive headaches. I have nosebleeds. And this all is because I was denied follow-up treatment and care once I was arrested.
There has been a history in every jail my complaining about headaches that they havenít been able to handle, my complaining about nosebleeds that they havenít been able to stop.
But you donít get medical treatment to speak of in jail. Once youíre arrested, you become part of the garbage and refuse of life. I have certainly learned that.
My side of this case hasnít been told yet. Iím not going to be able to entirely tell it here today, even if you allow it, Judge, because there just isnít enough time today. I realize that.
I had no defense presented at trial because of my lawyerís personal problems. I had no proper representation before that lawyer because of that lawyerís personal problems.
Finally I have got a lawyer that I think a lot of, somebody who is telling things the way they ought to have been told; and yet he is being slapped down with ďno merit,Ē ďdenied,Ē repeatedly. Well, we have got an appeal left.
And Iíll tell you, weíre going to make the most of that. I finally am going to tell my story. If I finally have to fire every lawyer in the country and handle this case myself, I will do it.
And donít tell me about how lawyers who have themselves as clients are fools because anybody who wants to become a lawyer is a fool anyway.
I was held and kept incommunicado in the run-up to trial. That was intentional. I was denied the right to even call a lawyer of any sort during the first month that I was held in Spokane County Jail in solitary confinement, maximum security.
And I have repeatedly been held under those conditions since then. Of the 18 months since I was arrested, probably 15 or 16 of those months I have been under those conditions.
I wasnít allowed to put on a defense at the trial, and you know why that was. My lawyer was told ďThou shalt not criticize the government.
You will not say bad things about the FBI.Ē
But the bad guys here, Judge, are the government, are the FBI, are the prosecution. And when Iím denied the right to speak out about their
conduct and what they have done, then Iím denied the right to present my case, as I was at trial.
I was denied the right to present any sort of defense.
You let them come in with a videotaped deposition of a witness from halfway around the world, apparently finding that the government has a constitutional right to confrontation. ... I have read the Constitution. I donít see it in there. I do, however, see in it my right to confrontation. They shouldnít have been allowed to have her testify that way.
And then you turned around and sided with them. You flip-flop flipped in a very strange way. You said my sound experts couldnít testify. Remember I said I had evidence that proved that wasnít me on the tapes? You heard it.
You heard it in the Daubert hearing, two daysí worth prior to the trial.
You heard one expert, Dr. Papcun, a world renowned ó the guy who literally wrote the book, who generally works for the government and the FBI, testify that there were extensive electronic signatures and irregularities in the tapes and that the tapes could not be relied upon.
And you heard the other sound expert, a guy that had worked in this field before it was even a field, a guy with over 20 yearsí experience working for the New York Police Department analyzing recordings; and he said not only are there over 350 anomalies indicative of dubbing, turning on and off equipment, and the like, he said it wasnít even my voice. He said that based upon the analysis that he did with computer programs and wave analysis, that he could see where some of it was my voice; but then at other places, it was somebody elseís voice who had been morphed to sound like mine. Iíve got to admit, when I first heard the tapes, I was devastated, because it sounded like me. And there were things in it I recalled having discussed with Fairfax but certainly not at the time and place that was alleged.
And my only conclusion was that they had made recordings and spliced them together.
Not so farfetched. It happens. And it happens by this government. And it happens by international governments, repeatedly.
These are not the lunatic ravings of a madman. I have said this from the beginning, and
I say it here today.
And about that phone call to my wife and my son, you know, I didnít tell her to lie.
This court allowed Mr. Haws to tell the jury that ďHe told her to lie.Ē And that was a lie. What I told her to do was to stand her ground, because I knew how cases like this could go. Iíve seen the FBI in action before. I had seen it, a win at any cost.
And I told her, ďYou have to stand like a rhinoceros in the road and tell them what I know to be true, that that isnít me on the tapes,Ē because I never did it. I never conspired. And this was before I heard the tapes but after I had been told essentially what was on them. I told her, ďStand like a rhinoceros in the road. Do not be deterred by them because they will pull out all the stops.Ē And they did.
I told her to tell the truth, and the truth was that itís not me on those tapes. Where it is me, itís snippets from other recordings.
Those tapes are false. 350 anomalies. One would be enough.
You decided that Mr. Walsh wouldnít be allowed to testify because he wasnít qualified.
Twenty plus years in New York Police Department doing this field before it was a field. I call him a world-class expert, and certainly Dr. Papcun. And you said he couldnít come in because he wasnít relevant because the authenticity of the tapes hadnít been put into dispute; and yet in these recordings that they used to support yet another charge in my 60-year total, I said to my wife that the recordings were false.
They were played in the courtroom; and yet you said that it hadnít been put in dispute.
There was a letter attached to the deposition transcript of that lady from Ukraine. I wrote the letter. Nobody ever asked me if I did, if Iíd authenticate it. I would have. I did. And I had reasons for doing it that didnít have anything to do with running off with a near teenager to dump my wife.
In that letter I told her that they had recordings that were falsified. That was before the court; and yet you said it was irrelevant because nobody had brought it into dispute. My wife had testified that it wasnít my voice on those recordings, but you said that Dr. Papcun
couldnít testify because nobody had put the authenticity of the recordings into dispute. Time and again, it was put into dispute, Judge.
And then, just before the defense was to be allowed to start to present its case ó it wasnít going to be much of a case, near as I could tell, because I had left that to McAllister. I trusted in him. I had forgotten about how the fact is that all lawyers are fools.
I know I couldnít trust myself because of the anger that I felt, because of the irrationality I felt. I sat in that chair in more trials than I can recount.
But I want to tell you, shifting over three feet into the other chair provides a perspective so different that itís almost indescribable. Itís like someone who has children trying to explain to someone who has never had children the value of having children, something that canít be done until youíve been there.
The view from that chair is very different from this chair, and I had enough sense to realize that I couldnít trust my point of view.
Thatís why I didnít take the stand, because the guy that was sitting in this chair absolutely
prohibited me from doing it, among other things.
Never prepared me, just like he didnít prepare any other witnesses.
THE COURT: ... [The judge interrupts for a ten-minute recess.]
THE COURT: Mr. Steele, you may resume your allocution. As you do so, I might remind you the purpose of the allocution is not to reargue the case or to reargue questions of innocence or to reargue a motion for new trial. The purpose of allocution is to suggest matters in mitigation that the court should consider.
Now, Iím not going to impose time limits, but I would caution you to focus in on the purpose of the allocution rather than raising issues which have already been decided by the
court and are not subject to being revisited at this time.
... [Judge says court is pressed for time.]
So, for all of those reasons, I would ask you to focus in on the purpose of the allocution, which is to offer statements and points of view with regard to mitigation.
Go ahead, Mr. Steele.
THE DEFENDANT: Judge, if innocence isnít in mitigation, I donít know what is.
THE COURT: Well, the point ó and your position on that is well established, and there is probably not much purpose in restating it here, since Iím completely aware of your position that
you are innocent of all charges.
THE DEFENDANT: Itís not well established because the evidence hasnít been heard. The reasons for it hasnít been heard. The reasons I believe and others believe that Iím innocent hasnít been heard.
I sat here just ten minutes ago, and I watched U.S. Marshals Service Deputy Glenn Morgan sharing a laugh with somebody else in the audience when I said that the tape recordings were fabricated. Obviously, that was too farfetched to believe. Well, thatís what I have encountered right down the line with every government official in this case.
I have never been allowed to have my say about this. It hasnít been put on for me by my lawyers until the one Iíve got now, and he is only on board after trial.
Itís high time I was heard. I deserve to be heard. I have an absolute right to be heard in allocution at this point in the proceedings.
You havenít allowed it. This is deja vu all over again. It feels like the trial, when you were constantly pounding on my lawyer to wrap things up, to stop doing this, to stop making these
questions. And now youíve suggested that I limit myself to the next 15 minutes and hinted that maybe you will push that other matter over.
Nobody ever asked me. Nobody ever asked my lawyer, because I told him I was going to take well over an hour in my statement. This is just like the trial. Move, move, move.
And then in less than one day, my case was presented. And before I knew it, the guy that I had hired and paid a lot of money to, paid my life savings to, to represent me rested. I couldnít believe what was going on. And now itís happening here again today. Whatís wrong with this picture, Judge?
I have a right, and itís high time that I was heard. I havenít been allowed to be heard.
Nobody believes me, even though Iím an officer of this court. And the only one who proves that Iím a liar about anything is this oafish, northern Idaho handyman, self-confessed liar, self-confessed pipe-bomber.
But I, law degree, officer of this court as well as courts all up and down the west coast, I am not to be believed, I am to be rushed along, I am not to be heard. Thatís the way itís
been right from the beginning.
Yes, the recordings are false. This case is about denial to me of my rights right down the line up to and including today.
I was denied bail. Why? I donít know why. Murderers get bail all the time, but I have never been allowed it. I was slapped into maximum security isolation for a month at the very beginning and kept in that condition most of the time.
I have been held incommunicado by the government of this country. I am a political prisoner. I havenít heard that word used in this court yet. Itís high time it was. I am a political prisoner being persecuted for my views, for having dared to speak out about believing that every citizen of the United States of America should have rights, that nobody should have special rights. And thatís the extent of it.
But everybody wants to accuse me of being a racist for saying that much, for representing the people that I have represented whose First Amendment rights have been destroyed because they were politically incorrect.
I understand there was some white
powder received at this court and in other federal office buildings ó I donít know how extensive it was ó the first day that I was brought to court for an appearance. And thatís why that hearing was canceled.
I had nothing to do with that. I have no idea what it was. But, clearly, now in retrospect, thatís why I was dealt with so heavy-handedly by Magistrate Candy Dale. The assumption was that it was me or my supporters sending anthrax to the federal system. Thatís ridiculous. No evidence of it.
In fact, I think it was my enemies who did it. Why? Well, to make it look like I did it, to have exactly the effect that was had, where I was denied bail, to further poison the jury pool that was sitting out there against me.
And I was denied bail in a very heavy-handed manner. Murderers get bail.
Murderers get six to eight years. Nobody was hurt in this case, and Iím getting 60. Whatís wrong with this picture?
I was denied a lawyer for the first month that I was in custody, a very difficult month for me while I went through withdrawal from
all of the prescription drugs that I was on from those four surgeries that I had just had, all of those prescription drugs, the shock of being arrested for the first time in my life, being held in maximum security, full lockdown, isolation.
I was denied my wife for a year. I wasnít allowed to talk to her. I was accused of witness tampering because I told her to tell the truth. And the truth was it wasnít me on those tapes.
I believe at one point she testified thatís the way she took it, too. And what youíve seen of her today, I think you can probably agree with me that that is not a woman who is going to be told what to do. And I knew that after 27 years with her, certainly.
The no-contact order was merely used as an artifice to further isolate me. For example, I didnít know that she had listened to these tapes ó these recordings, excuse me ó the first time and pronounced them to be false. I was unaware of that for several months.
We hear our own voice on a recording.
Itís hard to tell, because we donít often hear that. Same was true for me. But she is the
worldís foremost leading expert on how my voice sounds and the way I talk. It only took one hearing for her to hear that they were false.
But then we had sound experts who analyzed them extensively, hundreds of hours; and they proclaimed them false, too. Of course, they werenít allowed to testify. Of course, she wasnít allowed to testify about that, either.
My defense was not allowed in this courtroom, before this court, before the jury. We were not allowed to say anything bad about the government or its agents. We werenít allowed to talk about the lies or to bring out even the lies that were in the record said by Agent Sotka, said by Mr. Haws, said by Prosecutor Whelan. You prevented that.
That was my case, government misconduct. That was my case, and you prevented us from putting it on. My defense against these tapes was that they were false, and you prevented that evidence from coming in. You heard it yourself, but you wouldnít let the jury hear it.
What were they supposed to conclude?
All they knew was that here are these tapes, and nobody has challenged them. Steele isnít taking
the stand and saying, ďThatís not me.Ē Of course, they had to find me guilty. They had no alternative.
You donít get to say much in a defense that youíre allowed to only put on in less than one day, however. I look at these TV cases ó the Michael Jackson doctor case, the Spokane detective case, case after case after case where these trials drag on for weeks; and yet we were forced to compress ourselves into less than one day and denied the ability to present the defense, the truth that really had occurred, denied the ability to defend myself with the experts, with the woman who knows my voice to tell the jury that that wasnít my voice on the tape, that they were false, and there is something else going on here.
I was denied attorney-client privilege, as you know. The prosecutors had the Marshals Service listening in on my phone calls to lawyers.
The prosecutors had the Marshals Service opening my legal mail to lawyers. And as you well know, the Marshals Service was listening in on my private in-booth conferences with my lawyers, my lawyers of record ó not just not of record, but of record ó more than once.
And we came up with the proof for it.
Itís in the record of that secret hearing I wasnít allowed to attend near the end of the trial. Itís in the record of that hearing that you held ex parte with my lawyer. It was in the record where you revealed that the Marshals Service had brought to you what they had overheard me talking to my lawyer about in the privacy of an attorney-client setting. And you let them tell you, and then you used it, Judge. You used it to intimidate my lawyer, and it wasnít the first time, either.
I understand fully well now why he stood down, now that I know about his bankruptcy before trial that he was still surging through during the trial, that I know that he was about to be disbarred after trial. And he was disbarred.
Last I heard, he was driving a taxi in Denver.
But nobody told me about that, least of all him.
All those secret hearings. Twenty-nine sidebars were held during that trial that I was not allowed to attend. Twenty-nine. Secret hearing after secret hearing, closed hearings, sealed documents, secret, secret, secret.
And you know, I looked into the stuff
thatís all secret, all those hearings and all those documents. There is a common thread. You know what they got in common? They show that the government is up to no good. The secrecy is there to protect the government ó has been and is now.
I had a right to attend that hearing during trial, but you didnít bring me in. I had a right to have my conversation with my attorney not listened to, but you authenticated that right.
And you had them tell you what it was that I had said, and then you used it against me, Sixth Amendment, Fifth Amendment be damned. Certainly, no First Amendment in my case.
They seized my life savings, which I had in the form of silver at my home. And they held it until just about the eve of trial. Thatís why I had to have the public defender. I couldnít afford to hire a lawyer. And they released that silver just a couple of weeks before trial was scheduled to start, and thatís when I was able to have McAllister sign on as my attorney of record, because that was when I was able to pay him.
Well, it wasnít even me, by the way, because it was my wifeís silver at that point. I had signed everything over to her. My alleged
victim, I gave her everything in my life. And if anything comes to me in whatís left to me of my life, I will give it to her.
I was denied investigation that I demanded into the Russian Mafia, which I maintain had a hand in this case, into this Russian bride scam. They brought in a very selected body of evidence about that. They brought in letters that I had exchanged with one of these Ukraine girls, when there had been upwards of a hundred of them that I had had contact with, certainly, 30 to 50 with whom I had had extensive correspondence exchanged. You could see it just on the evidence that was admitted without my knowledge by my lawyer in collusion with the prosecutor. I saw it after the trial.
You take a look at the governmentís Bates number stamps down at the bottom of the pages. There is big gaps. Where are all those letters, Judge?
Just in the packs that they put into evidence, there had been evidence removed. It had been screened and sanitized to make it look that I had an affair going on with one woman that I was going to run away with from my wife.
Well, if I wanted to run away, why didnít I just run away? I mean, you have got to ask yourself: ďWhy does my wife have to die if Iím going to run away with a near teenager?Ē And the spectacle of that is beyond imagination for me, anyway.
You know, there was that much admitted in documents of that investigation I was conducting for that book, about an inch in height.
If they had brought in all the real documents, it would have been easily a foot or better. Thatís how much wasnít brought in. Thatís how much was selected to not be presented in this biased case.
The government had access to information that the bomb wasnít a bomb even.
They kept deferring Larry Fairfaxís sentencing.
Every time my trial continued, they continued that because they didnít want him sentenced until after my trial because they had to have that hammer hanging on him. Because you could have just disregarded it and given him a lot more than two years, of course. And the day after I was convicted, the word came out, and his sentencing was held. And the major witness there was a guy who had tested
the bomb and looked at it. And he testified it wasnít even a bomb, would never have gone off.
But that wasnít allowed to be presented at my trial. And like so many things, that was withheld from me, like Larry Fairfaxís book was withheld from me. There are plenty of Brady violations in this case, Judge.
When I was arrested, I was stunned when Agent Sotka told me that Cyndi had been killed.
And then later on, when he then told me that my mother-in-law had just been shot, I did smell something, and it wasnít the odor of defecation, one of the many lies told by Sotka to the jury, allowed over my objection. ďOh, he defecated himself there while we were arresting him.Ē
Didnít bring in the booking report, which would have shown that, and it doesnít.
I have the underwear I was wearing that day. Itís been held in property in jail all along. I have it. It hasnít been washed. I couldnít get McAllister to bring it in and show Sotka was a liar for that one thing as well as so many other things.
I was in shock. I was grief-stricken.
And then when I was told my mother-in-law had been
shot, I suddenly began to figure out that there was something very wrong going on. And thatís when they arrested me. And they didnít Mirandize me, but they were perfectly willing to bring in things like odors and whatnot or the way I acted or Strike ó Officer Strike, who testified that I was trying to cry.
What I was trying to do was to not cry.
Here I am, all these men around me. My wife has just been killed. I was struggling mightily not to cry, but I was crying at that. Anybody would.
They told me during the arrest of the recorded plot, that they had recordings, and thatís when I knew that it was false. I didnít know who had made the false recordings. I didnít know what was going on then, but I knew it was false right then; and yet the government went on to testify, and Mr. Haws repeated in his closing argument and more than once at trial that I didnít know about the recordings until my family told me about them; that, somehow or other, that makes me look more culpable.
What that would do, I suppose, is make me look guilty of witness tampering. But the fact is I had been told about the recordings at the
moment I was arrested, and I knew they couldnít exist. And so I told my wife to stand like a rhinoceros in the road and be not dissuaded. Tell the truth. Tell them thatís not my voice on the tapes, because it wasnít, and it isnít. Of course, we werenít able to put that testimony on for the jury. You heard it, though.
Who would do this? The government?
Oh, my government wouldnít do that to me. Iíve had to fight that for years now. I had to fight it with my own wife until this case. She now finally believes it, as so many other people do.
Itís kind of like, Judge, how a woman who gets raped will suddenly become a supporter of the Second Amendment.
You know, and when I showed up at trial after it had been continued for that week, the week that they needed to hang the bomb on my wifeís car, by the way, which never left the state ó and it was defective; it wasnít a bomb.
And I think thatís probably why this powder was sent out, because they knew that you had continued the hearing for a week. And it was at the end of that week that that bomb was discovered.
And all youíve heard is testimony that
there wasnít any bomb until then. So when was it put on, Judge? There is absolutely no proof, no evidence that it was put on before that car left the state. There is no evidence that it or anybody traveled in interstate commerce for the purpose of committing a crime.
And, you know, I was handed this document here that I have got in my hands at that first hearing. Itís called a pretrial services report. And right in it ó and this is the one that was prepared just after I was arrested. And right in it, it quotes the ADL about me as offering evidence why I shouldnít be given bail, because Iím a bad guy, because I say things that are politically incorrect. Accused me of writing a number of books; that was false. I have written one book, called ďDefense of Racism.Ē And if you measure it by its title, you could be offended.
Nobody who has read it has been offended.
So there we were at my first hearing, where I asked for bail. Youíre not supposed to ask for it at that hearing, but I did anyway. And I see in the document the ADL is being relied upon to give reasons why I shouldnít be given bail.
Right at the outset. And I understand that they
were ready with press releases and spokesmen appearing the day I was arrested.
Funny they were able to do that. Itís not like Iím important. They said it themselves.
ďHe is not important.Ē Iím not important. Itís not like Iím a guy that youíve got to have a biography in the can for in case he dies unexpectedly. The news organizations have those for people. Why would they suddenly have this canned dog-and-pony show about me trying to have my wife killed? Whatís wrong with that picture?
And I was given no bail. And several months later, when we asked for it again, I saw Magistrate Candy Dale shock through with malice, dripping with venom, taking on my lawyer for daring to come to court and once again asking for bail.
My friends, my family had gotten together, and they were putting up a million dollars bail for me, but that was rejected out of hand. No bail.
Whatís wrong with this picture?
Murderers get bail. That cop in Spokane is getting bail. He is out even after he has been convicted. And thatís true throughout the
But I get special treatment. Youíve got to ask yourself why, Judge. Why do I get special treatment? Why am I charged the way I am so that Iím going to be hit with 50 to 60 yearsí imprisonment in a few minutes? Whatís that all about?
You said yourself you had never seen anything this size. Why me? Why am I that important? Nobody was hurt in this case. My wife has testified repeatedly that she believes Iím innocent. You have got the perp, the admitted perp, in jail; and yet the system is still pulling out the stops on me. Fifty to sixty ó make it a thousand years, Judge. Here, let me ask this in my allocution: Give me a thousand years. I think that will put me in Guinness Book of World Records. You might as well, because Iím going to be dead in five years wherever I am, chances are.
And statistically, even without my medical history, I would be dead in ten years.
So this hoo-ha about the length of the sentence is just window dressing. And why do they need to dress the window in this case? Whatís the point of it if Iím not important and this is just
a case of murder for hire that went awry?
Well, I must be important, actually; otherwise, you wouldnít be about to bang me with 50 to 60 years. I must be important because we wouldnít have all this media here thatís here right now. I must be important because I wouldnít be getting the attention in the media. I wouldnít be getting the condemnation of NGOs that I believe are complicit in my prosecution.
I donít know who fabricated those tapes. It took somebody with know-how and money, somebody a heck of a lot smarter than Larry Fairfax; thatís for sure. I donít know who it was. But I see the ADL appearing right from day one. Day one, ADL. I have never seen them quoted in court papers in 30 years of legal practice; and yet, in my case, the ADL has given reasons why I shouldnít get bail, and theyíre being listened to.
And theyíre out with press statements the same day.
Thatís real efficient. We ought to turn the running of government over to them. Oh, excuse me, I forgot. We did.
Now, I have a number of topics I want to cover yet. Remember, I havenít been heard. I
wasnít allowed to put on my case, wasnít allowed to present even on the miserable defense that McAllister had prepared for me. Nobody has heard me talk until now.
I have given two interviews. Amazing, all the publicity thatís gone on about what I say and think, but these reporters havenít even come and asked me. KXLY did two weeks ago. And a movement paper, the American Free Press, interviewed me a few months ago, all post-trial, of course. But I have really got to talk about these tapes a little bit. Cyndi heard it at once.
She knew they were false. My experts came in and said they were false, that they were fabricated.
It wasnít even my voice. Of course, that evidence wasnít heard by the jury.
There is a third tape that my wife was told isnít ready yet. And as she pointed out, it probably still isnít ready because she still hasnít heard it. And why isnít it ready? Because itís a tape that the government has admitted had a defective recorder on it. And there is an hour of the recording missing, a critical hour.
Well, funny thing. You know those
other two recordings that Larry Fairfax participated in? Funny thing, there is a defective recorder there, too. FBI said so.
Because the local office sent it back to Quantico for examination. And they said, ďWe canít do anything with this. Itís defective.Ē So they sent it back. What did the FBI do? They sent them another one. Itís just like this one.
So we have recordings made by defective recorders, and that was presented at trial. And that, too, was a Brady violation because it wasnít disclosed to us, just like the fact that the original recording was destroyed by Agent Sotka, destroyed before he ever even listened to the copy, certainly never listened to the two of them so that he could verify that somehow or other it got from one to the other correctly.
He delayed ten days before he let my wife hear the first two recordings. My wife has heard them several times since then. My lawyers have heard them. And they have all told me how they have changed in one way or another each time they have heard them. These tape ó or these recordings have been a work in progress. And this third recording we have never even heard.
And I see some more laughter and smiling over here. Man, this guy is a lunatic.
This canít be true. Well, this is American justice today.
The American public has been so hoodwinked, so buffaloed. Iím not delusional.
Iím a well-educated professional with a long track record of honesty, a long track record representing the politically incorrect wherein I have seen what the government will do. I have never seen it do what itís done to me, though, but I have seen them do it before; and yet we have government agents sitting over here laughing at it during the hearing. Whatís wrong with this picture, Judge?
You bootstrapped the opinions of my experts into the reason for your denial of their being able to be my experts at trial. That ainít the way itís supposed to work. You are supposed to hear about their qualifications, and then youíre supposed to decide if theyíre qualified.
Instead, you went ahead and heard all their conclusions, all their research, two days of testimony, and then you ruled that one was not qualified and the other was irrelevant. You did
wrong, Judge. You shouldnít have done that.
Tic-Tac sound, remember that? We heard about that during the trial for the first time.
And why was it important for Mr. Haws to come in and present that evidence? Well, it was important because we had presented during the Daubert
hearing evidence of 351 anomalies, 351 occurrences, electronic signatures of the type that occur when you dub, splice, cut recordings.
351. One would be enough. One would be enough to disauthenticate them.
And how did you authenticate them?
With Larry Fairfax. Thatís what you ruled from the bench. The self-confessed perp, the liar, the pipe-bomber, the oafish north Idaho handyman. He is the one who you believed that the tapes were correct.
Sotka couldnít be believed because he lied to us going into the trial, and he lied during the trial. Remember how many times he refused to call that original the original because he had destroyed it? He insisted on using a second- or third-generation copy and calling that the original.
I call that a lie, Judge. And I accuse
the government agents in this case of lying repeatedly and throughout this case. And itís been proven. Itís on the court record. Itís in the transcript.
Authenticated the tape by a proven liar who is being held hostage by a soft ball plea bargain. Thatís how you authenticated the tape.
World-renowned experts, the guy who wrote the book, thatís not good enough, but Larry Fairfax is.
My wife testified and would have testified to a great more problems with those recordings, all of which indicate that there is something wrong with them, from the fact that there is train whistles on one done in the barn where you canít hear the train, and there is no train whistles on the other one, though itís at exactly the same time. Both recordings started at exactly 6:02 p.m. What a coincidence. One of them had nine train whistles. The other one had none. Why is that?
Well, the one with none I can explain because you canít hear the train whistle in the barn, but they presented it as critical that the train whistle was on the other one. Why? Because
they had gone to the trouble of getting the railroad company to confirm that there was a train that went through there every day at that time.
Of course, they didnít explain why there was no train whistle after 6:02 the next night.
My wife said that it wasnít my voice on the tapes, that it was somebody who was mimicking my voice, every time it came to the subject of the plot. Routine stuff about feeding the animals and whatnot, she said that sounded like me. And thatís exactly what the sound experts said. Funny thing. She said it first, during the first week ó well, excuse me ó ten days after my arrest, when she was finally allowed to hear those two recordings.
She wasnít allowed ó she has never been allowed to hear the third recording, donít forget, because itís not ready yet. What does it take to get it ready, Judge? The same stuff that it took to get those two ready during those ten days that they refused to let my wife hear those recordings? What did they do to those tapes to make them ready? My experts would tell. They did tell you, but you didnít let them tell the jury.
Iím not going to reargue the business
about lack of federal jurisdiction. I think it was well put by Mr. Hoyt in his motion for new trial. I found the logic inescapable; Iím astounded to find that you didnít.
Larry Fairfax was an agent of the government when he went to Oregon. He wasnít my agent. They paid him $500 to go to Oregon and be there in case I called him so they would have a record of me making an interstate call. Why would that be important? An interstate call would be proof of federal jurisdiction.
He testified he went to Oregon one other time, too, which, of course, I knew nothing about. Said he went there to see if the bomb was still on the car. Looked at it, wasnít on the car. All weíve had is that there is no evidence ó that there is evidence that there was no bomb when that car was outside the state.
The statute calls for somebody to travel interstate in order to create a nexus with interstate commerce and thereby confer jurisdiction upon this court as opposed to state courts.
He didnít go there to commit any crimes. He didnít go ó I didnít send him. He
testified that he didnít go with the intent to commit any crimes. The second time he went, itís unclear what he went for. He just went to receive a phone call. And when he went, he was the governmentís agent.
Where is the federal jurisdiction, Judge? I donít get it. If anything, this is a state court matter. We shouldnít even be here.
You shouldnít have heard this case. This should be dismissed right now for lack of jurisdiction, which is within your power to do, but you wonít.
Why am I so important that all of this stuff is happening? I mean, why do you have to ó why didnít you just let the state prosecute me? Why did it have to be brought into a federal courtroom? Why do I face 60 years? Why do we have all of this government prevarication? Whatís going on here if this is just an ordinary case and Iím just an ordinary guy? Iím sure not being treated that way.
It looks like more than an ordinary case to me, Judge. Why would that be, do you suppose? Youíre sitting up there talking about you havenít seen a recommendation more than twice what you had seen as a high watermark in the past
until today. And you heard Prosecutor Whelan stand up here, and (clapping) I deserve it.
Whatís that all about? Iím going to be dead in five or ten years anyway. Iím amazed that I havenít had another aneurysm and died in jail.
Whatís going on here? This just ó this case doesnít add up, no matter what kind of machine you use to do the addition.
Whatís my motive? Iíve got motives laid on me. I have yet to hear one that worked.
The first one was life insurance. My wife and I canceled our life insurance policies eight or ten years ago, so it wasnít that. I wasnít going to profit by her death, thatís for sure.
Then they said she had a boyfriend, and they told her they had pictures of her with this boyfriend. She didnít have a boyfriend. I could have told them that. I know her.
You heard the way I described her. I think she would describe me the same way. Thatís not the description of somebody who has a boyfriend.
And then when she challenged them and said, ďShow me these pictures,Ē and they werenít able to. Why? Because they didnít have them.
Why? Because they lied about them.
So then they decided I had a girlfriend. That was the motive. Iím still having trouble with this one, Judge. If itís really true that Iím going to run off with an 18-year-old ó Iím 66 now ó a girl who is young enough to be my granddaughter and, theoretically, young enough to be my great-granddaughter ó if Iím going to do that, aside from how am I going to survive the honeymoon night, why didnít I just do it? Why do I have to get my wife out of the way?
That just doesnít make sense.
Guys run away with their mistresses all the time. They donít have to kill their wife. I wouldnít have to do it, either. Where is the motive there?
At trial, there was something said about uninsured motorists coverage. Iím a lawyer.
I have handled a lot of cases involving auto insurance. I well know that you donít collect insurance for intentional acts. And whether it was a bomb, a run off the road, my mother-in-law being shot by somebody, as I was told, those are all intentional acts. And Iím a lawyer, and I know better. Give me a break. There wasnít any
uninsured motorist coverage available.
What was my motive? I didnít have a motive. I donít have a motive today. I didnít have a motive then. The only motive I saw here was for the government and the NGOs, like the ADL, to get me. Yeah, theyíre out to get me, Judge.
And they have got me good. It does happen. It happens all the time.
This murder for hire is a template used by the FBI throughout this country on defendant after defendant. There are so many in jail right now under an identical prosecution that I couldnít even count. Yes, it happens. The toughest thing you got is to think that our government would do anything to us, that they would lie. We proved the lies in this case. By implication, we have proved what they have done.
I didnít have a motive. And the only evidence suggesting that I might have a motive was falsified, and it was authenticated by the liar who would say anything to escape the sentence that he deserved, which he was given by the prosecution for him to come in and lie about me. And you let him authenticate those tapes. That was the only authentication of the tapes.
Because the FBI violated its own protocols in making them. They sent Fairfax onto my property, allegedly, with these recorders ó with this recorder. There was no simultaneous microphone monitoring, as there is supposed to be.
There was no second agent ó just Agent Sotka ó as there is supposed to be. There was never anyó
THE COURT: Mr. Steele, let me interrupt you for just a moment. You have been going about an hour.
And let me point out, Mr. Hoyt, I did check, and we sent an email to counsel on October 12, copies to you and to the government, indicating that we needed to have a time frame for the sentencing. We typically, in a garden-variety sentencing, take about an hour, but we needed to know how much more time to allot.
Based upon what the government responded to, we set this for a two-hour sentencing. We didnít hear from Mr. Hoyt; therefore, we had nothing else to go on. If we had known there was going to be more requested, we would have allotted more time.
I have still been, I think, quite
generous in allowing you to reargue the case, which is not the purpose of the allocution. You have repeated yourself ó weíre probably going on two or three times on most of your statements have been said time and again.
So Iím going to give you 15 more minutes to conclude your statement, and then weíre going to move on with the rest of the sentencing.
And I would, again, remind you that the purpose of allocution is to argue mitigation and reasons why the sentence that the court imposes should be more or less than what the government has recommended or the probation office has recommended or to offer anything else by way of leniency.
But in terms of rearguing the case, the jury has spoken, and that ó the verdict is what the court must impose its sentence upon.
So Iíll give you another 15 minutes; then Iím going to have to ask you to conclude your allocution. Proceed.
THE DEFENDANT: Judge, I have an absolute right to say anything I want to for any length at this time.
THE COURT: Actually, sir, you do not. But letís go ahead and proceed.
... [Brief argument between Mr. Steele and judge over time.]
THE DEFENDANT: I was talking about Sotka violating FBI protocols when he made these alleged recordings.
THE COURT: Sir, you have 15 minutes, and then weíll proceed with the balance of the sentencing. Go ahead.
THE DEFENDANT: And he destroyed the original.
The evidence goes away in this case.
It should have gone away at the outset. And I have been denied my attorney-client privilege. I suppose youíll call it repetition for me to go into that now ó how they opened my mail to lawyers, how they listened in to booth ó how you listened in to a booth conversation with my lawyer. You, Judge. You did it. How they listened in on my telephone calls.
And I saw in your response, memorandum
in point, denying the motion for new trial. I saw where you said that itís okay to do that for an attorney that isnít of record. And I was astounded to see you put that in writing. That isnít what the Supreme Court has said. Thatís not what the Constitution says.
And, as it turns out, the two lawyers that became my attorneys of record ó Mr. Hoyt and, before him, Mr. McAllister ó were the attorneys they were listening in on but before they became of record. And you have given cover to the government by ruling that I had waived my attorney-client privilege somehow just by talking to them. Thatís amazing.
You know, I have got page after page after page. Here is my page on government misconduct. Iím sure some of it is repetitious, but I figured I would have all the time in the world for this. And it was the first time I was going to be allowed to speak out, so I was going to speak out. But Iím not able to tell you about all of the government misconduct, the lies, the violation of FBI protocols, failing to warn my wife of a bomb, telling my wife not to get a lawyer. We want to talk about witness tampering?
What they did with her was witness tampering.
Oh, and there was another witness, too, a guy named Daryl Hollingsworth, who they put me in the Bonner County Jail with, made my cellmate.
He had been the cellmate of Larry Fairfax, and he told me how Fairfax had told him that the FBI had hired him to set me up, but his testimony was cut short. And he was intimidated by the FBI, but nobody seems to think there was anything wrong with that.
I have got a sheet of items about prosecutor misconduct. I would like to tell you about why I was referred to as the ďmillion-dollar manĒ around this courthouse, but I donít have time.
I would like to tell you about being thrown in the hole in Spokane and Ada Counties. I would like to tell you about how my case was tried in the press to the point where, when we first had a jury call on this case in this courtroom, you made the comment that you had never before seen people show up and demand to be made juries ó jury members. Iím sure thatís part of the reason we went to Boise thereafter, but I know why. Iím not going to be able to tell you why, though,
because I donít have enough time.
Iím not going to be able to talk extensively about the Brady violations, which are numerous.
You know, Hollingsworth, my cellmate, Fairfaxís cellmate, a month before trial, he told me about Fairfaxís book. I told McAllister. I told McAllister to subpoena it, and he didnít.
You remonstrated with McAllister during the trial for not having subpoenaed it prior to trial because he obviously knew about it. And he lied to you when he said he didnít know about it until he testified at trial.
Did anybody ever show you the piece of paper I wrote during the Daubert hearing when I handed it to him, and I said, ďSubpoena Papcun before he leaves town. Weíve got to have him. He is too important. And if he does leave town, pay anything to get him backĒ? I canít tell you about that because I donít have time.
I canít tell you about the fact that I told him to get my supporters, who had gathered money for me, to fly Papcun back and buy out his vacation. He told me my wife had told him not to do those things. And you know what he told my
wife? He told her that I told him not to do those things. I donít get to tell anybody about this, though, because I donít have time.
I donít get to talk about how you compressed the case, made me put it on in less than a day. Of course, I didnít have much of a case to put on because you had taken away my defense.
I donít really get to talk about how you intimidated my lawyer repeatedly, two times about subpoenas ó one on Fairfaxís book, the other on Papcun ó both of which I had told McAllister to do and which he didnít do and which his co-counsel has testified that he was told to do; and yet you say there is no evidence of ineffective assistance of counsel. What does it take, Judge? What does it take?
Oh, and you denied the recorder inspection, by the way. Remember I talked about there being two recorders, two defective recorders for the recordings? You wouldnít even let us see them, let alone inspect them. They said that the anomalies might be because of the recording limitations of the recorder, but you wouldnít let us see them to test if that statement was true.
I filed a bar complaint against Whelan ó you know that ó for invading my attorney-client privilege. She did that. She filed the motion to have it sanctioned by you a week after I told McAllister on the phone that I wanted it done. Itís the only way she could have known about it.
And, of course, she admitted that she had been listening to those conversations, but she has lied and denied it more than once since then.
But Whelan, the prosecutor, lied, Judge, to this court.
And you gave a jury rule modification that was incredible to me. You said that they should use but-for causation in determining whether Fairfax had gone to Oregon because of me.
Well, you know, if anybody here gets injured going home today after this hearing, am I going to be responsible for that? But for me, they wouldnít have gotten hurt. Itís the same rationale.
Cardozo discussed it in Palsgraf, you know that case that they told us in first-year torts that we would be talking about the rest of our careers. For good reason. Cardozo would disagree with you. But for me? No. Wrong.
Public defender misconduct ó I have got a whole list of items. The guy that I had to have at first, not the least of which is the fact that he refused to give us an affidavit coming into these proceedings. Why? Because Prosecutor Whelan told him not to. Thatís what he told us.
I was repeatedly lied to.
Investigation wasnít done. I was lied to by McAllister. No preparation of witnesses or me.
We gave him lists of questions to ask of witnesses at trial. He put them aside and didnít use them.
Never challenged the recordingsí authentication.
I doubt that it would have done him any good. He refused to pursue the angle of the Russian Mafia or the Russian brides case that I was investigating for a book that I was writing.
He simply stood down at trial after you confronted him with the knowledge of what I had said to him in the attorney-client conference booth during trial. He stood down after that because of what you said to him.
I refused to recognize the authority of this court. I am one of the victims. The perps, Larry Fairfax, admitted and the government and the FBI and the NGOs. Nobody is injured. Nobody is
damaged except my wife and myself, our family.
Larry Fairfax admitted his intent to scam us. And, when caught, he came up with a whole new intent, a whole new Magellan.
He admitted to taking silver from one of the stashes that he knew about on my property.
He admitted it. He didnít say I gave it to him.
He admitted he took it. He admitted to planting the bomb. He admitted to lying. But he is the one who is to be believed, not me, an officer of this court.
The grand jury indicted me on evidence that we conclusively showed you during the Daubert hearing was falsified. Because there is no victim, there is no injured party. They swore out a complaint against me, and it was false. No victim and no injured party has complained against me. On the contrary, my wife, who is the victim, comes in and supports me. And you cut her off for doing that.
I have been improperly charged. I have been improperly tried. I have been improperly convicted. And Iím about to be improperly sentenced.
You have no jurisdiction. Itís
fabricated. Iím getting 50-plus years. Murderers walk in six to eight. I demand to be released now.
And, you know, then I had something that I wanted to finish off with, which was more of a patriotic theme about America, about a storm thatís rising in America right now. ...
I think itís one of my best pieces of writing. I think it would have been impressive, but I donít have time to give it because Iím not being allowed to say what I want to say during this allocution because Iím being cut off and limited to [an hour and] 15 minutes, which I have six of left.
... [The judge and Mr. Steele discuss the time limitation, the judge says Mr. Steele must finish in six minutes. Mr. Steeleís digression into politics is omitted here.]
There is no justice today in America for the politically incorrect. You claim the rule of law has brought me in to stand before you. And I have recounted many of the times that the law has been broken by the prosecution, by the government, by you ó broken by the FBI, broken by the Department of Justice.
The present government will never allow us openly to form an organized opposition to whatís going on in this country. The Constitution has been thrown out the window in my case. The laws have been trod underfoot. And you facilitated it, Judge.
You know, history shows us the rocks that weíre about to founder on ó tyranny, injustice, unfairness, inequality. I have seen it in my legal career, and I have seen it in my case.
And the people who have done it to me are the same people who say that patriotism is old-fashioned, that love of country is out of date. They say the same about those who consider the slightest show of sentimentality toward America to be proper.
But God help us, Judge, and God help America if these cynics, these elitist one-worlders, power brokers ever persuade us that these things have passed us by. Because, Judge, patriotism, loyalty, justice, sentiment, these things are the United States of America, and they will be again, regardless of what you say here
I think thatís my 15 minutes.