When the first grand jury wrapped up in Santa Clara County DA Jeff Rosen’s investigation into an alleged plot to trade campaign contributions for concealed gun permits, this news organization scooped competitors by nabbing copies of transcripts from those hearings before they became a matter of public record.
That leak has now bolstered the defense strategy.
Harry Stern, the attorney defending Capt. James Jensen, blamed prosecutors—citing no evidence whatsoever, we should note—and used it as part of his motion to pull Rosen off the case. (Multiple parties, including witnesses, defendants and their attorneys, also had copies, we should note.)
The claim, which is still wending its way through the 6th District Court of Appeal alongside co-defendant Christopher Schumb’s motion for recusal, is that the unauthorized release would sway public opinion and taint a potential jury pool.
When another grand jury issued a second round of indictments in the case, the transcripts stayed firmly under lock. And it appears they’ll remain so for now, even though the court originally planned to unveil them last week.
That’s because Stern did his best to prevent another unwanted disclosure.
Last week, in response to Stern’s request to prevent the disclosure, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Eric Geffon made sure the documents would remain sealed for another couple of weeks.
“Without intervention,” his honor wrote in the filing obtained by Fly, “the transcript of the grand jury proceedings would be unsealed on Dec. 21, 2020. In order to allow for a hearing on this motion, the court hereby orders the grand jury transcript in the matter to remain sealed until Jan. 11, 2021.”
So, we’ll mark our calendars. Though Fly’s holding out for another leak, it’s likely we’ll have to endure the suspense a little while longer.