Preet Bharara, the United States premier inquisitor for prosecuting Bitcoin cases, was reprimanded by United States District Court Judge Valerie Caproni for endangering the former New York Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver's right to a fair trial by making public statements endangering his right to a fair trial by jury. Caproni in ruling on a motion by the defense offered:
"In this case, the U.S. Attorney,1 while castigating politicians in Albany for playing fast and loose with the ethical rules that govern their conduct, strayed so close to the edge of the rules governing his own conduct that Defendant Sheldon Silver has a non-frivolous argument that he fell over the edge to the Defendant’s prejudice."
The Judge denied Silver's motion to dismiss the case on the grounds Bharara's misconduct was conveniently ever so slightly beneath the threshold to dismiss the case at this time. This has been the first time Preet Bharara was publicly called out for this sort of misconduct meant to pervert the possibility of a fair trial by the Judge before trial.
Earlier this month Bharara was criticized for misinterpreting insider trading laws by a full federal court of appeals that refused to reconsider a number of his insider trading convictions which had been overturned by a three member panel drawn from the appeals court's full bench.
Bharara seems to have suffered a severe reversal of fortune over the past several months. Last fall mainstream media outlets were floating Bharara as a serious contender for Attorney General of the United States, and now judges are defiantly taking the Manhattan prosecutor to task for his disturbing pattern of abusing public opinion and the procedures of the courts to conduct show trials.
It is still a mystery as to whether Bharara's last major conviction, that of Ross Ulbricht for allegedly operating the Silk Road will be overturned. The arrest of rogue Drug Enforcement Agent Carl Mark Force IV and others have cast a shadow of corruption over the entire investigation that lead to the conviction of Ulbricht. The announcement of Ulbricht's arrest like that of former speaker Silver included a number of allegations presented as fact, were recently revealed to be inadmissible in any trial. Bharara and his office went far further in their pre-trial defamation of Ulbricht to prevent the opportunity for fair trial than what the case against Silver was nearly dismissed for.