Supersized Barry (cont.)
Posted: Tuesday February 27, 2007 11:24AM; Updated: Tuesday February 27, 2007 12:30PM
Why would Anderson continue to simmer in an East Bay, Calif., prison? In addition to protecting "his biggest and best client," Williams said, Anderson may feel double-crossed by the feds. Williams said the feds cut a plea deal with Anderson that included his cooperation in the form of testimony. Anderson objected to cooperating, and when he did so, the feds pulled the entire plea deal out from under him.
Anderson could remain in prison until January 2008 --- "when the grand jury's term expires in July and, if they wanted to be mean, they could extend [the sentence] another six months," Williams said.
Meanwhile, Williams and Fainaru-Wada may have dodged prison themselves. The reporters from the San Francisco Chronicle faced the possibility of incarceration if they did not comply with a subpoena to reveal the identity of the person or persons who provided to them leaked grand jury testimony from the BALCO case, including Bonds' flaxseed bit.
But since then, Troy L. Ellerman, a former defense lawyer for BALCO founder Victor Conte and BALCO VP James Valente, admitted he leaked the testimony to the reporters. He agreed to plead guilty to obstruction of justice and related charges. The subpoena compelling the reporters to testify was withdrawn last week. (The authors have not acknowledged any of their confidential sources.)
Ellerman is looking at a two-year sentence as part of a plea offer, but if the judge rejects that offer -- there is a sentencing hearing in June -- the judge could order the case to go to trial. In that scenario, Williams and Fainaru-Wada would most likely be called to testify, and they would be staring at the possibility of prison again if, as they intend, they do not testify regarding the identity of their sources.
"We're still in some jeopardy," Williams said.
Meanwhile, the decision on whether to indict Bonds no longer belongs to Ryan, who left his position Feb. 16, but to his replacement, Scott N. Schools, a former general counsel at the Justice Department.
"We can't tell what he's going to do," Williams said. "The prosecution team thought they'd had enough [to indict] before. Now the question is does he agree with that?"
Until Schools decides to indict or not, the case moves nowhere, Rains' histrionics notwithstanding. Anderson remains in lockup and Bonds remains a drag on the game. Meanwhile, the voices of Williams and Fainaru-Wada remain as free and clear as when we heard them last year.