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Maximum Maxwell Day 9 Ended By Sick Prosecutor and Robing Room Secrets, 3d Letter To UNseal

By Matthew Russell Lee, Author on Patreon Song Ruling
BBC - Decrypt - LightRead - Radio - Podcast

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Dec 9 -- The thing about Day 9 of the Ghislaine Maxwell trial is that it ended almost before it began. 

Before the jury came in, this time on time, at 9:30 am, Kurt filed a third letter to Judge Nathan's chambers.

   The trigger was an email  Kurt had gotten overnight from a police official on the Epstein and Maxwell case, who both said he and he was sure hundreds of victims benefited from Kurt's live tweets, and that he hadn't been contacted or subpoenaed by the SDNY prosecution team.


    Along with the Omicron travel restrictions, this seemed enough to be the ban on the call-in line reversed.


 If one of Judge Nathan's rationales for ending the public call-in line just before trial was to protect the four victim-witnesses, for example from Team Maxwell's repeated outing of their last names, wasn't this outweighed or counter-balanced by the ability of the much larger number of non-testifying, even non-contacted witnesses to follow the trial in real-time?


  On that and the withholding of the witness lists, and redactions of the flight logs, Kurt wrote his letter to Judge Nathan and prepared to send. 

  By then the first witness of Day 9 had taken the stand. It was a woman from FexEd with a Southern drawl, going over Epstein's FedEx account for the packages sent to Carolyn. She did not mention the lingerie within but it was established, the packages had been sent. The grooming theory lived.


  The defense did a short cross, noting that Sarah Kellen's name was on the invoice along with Epstein's, but not Ghislaine Maxwell's. Then the witness was excused. It was time for another survivor. Or was it?


   The prosecutors rather than proceeding asked Judge Nathan for a discussing "in the robing room."


  "Do you mean a long sidebar?" Judge Nathan asked.


  "No, it should be in the robing room."


   This would mean outside the presence not only of the jury but also of the press and public, even visually. Judge Nathan still told the jurors they could leave the room, perhaps for yet more snacks. Then she summoned both sides' lawyers through a door and into the robing room.


   Kurt had been invited into a robing room, soon after he began to cover this courthouse everyday and specialized, even more than now, in writing about secrecy.  He had been on the 11th floor of 40 Foley and saw Judge Lorna Schofield's courtroom door open, even though no proceeding was listed in PACER.


 Kurt had gone in and saw at the defense table a man in shackles and a lawyer with two U.S. Marshals behind them, two prosecutors in front, and only two people in the gallery. It was like a legal Noah's Ark. Kurt had gone to the back row and put his backpack down. By then, everything had stopped.


  Judge Schofield was told, "Your Honor, I think we should go into the robing room."


  "This proceeding is suspended," Judge Schofield had said. And suddenly the prisoner was clanking with Marshals through a door behind the bench. Kurt remained in the gallery, with the two people from time to time turned around and stared at him. They were in on it, Kurt thought. But what was it?


  Finally Judge Schofield had come out. She had not, as Kurt had expected, provided some carefully worded summary of what happened in the robing room. She simply said, "We are adjourned."

    So Kurt left and went to the Security desk and got his laptop back. He walked east on Worth Street to Chatham Square, past the fruit stand above which he now visited his favorite defense lawyer, Michael Randall Long, and over to the public library on East Broadway.


  There in a windowless basement room filled with mostly older Chinese men, Kurt used the free Wi-Fi to write up the story, the mystery of the robing room proceeding. He asked the District Executive's office about it and they said that they would ask. But the mystery was never solved, even who the prisoner had been. This was Kurt's introduction to the robing room.


  There was a second bookend, one of the reasons Kurt had come to love this place, the SDNY. He had gone to a civil proceeding in Judge Schofield's, something about a boxing promoter suing a Bronx sports bar for unauthorized charging to view a pay-per-view bout from Vegas.


  Judge Schofield had invited the two lawyers to, where else, her robing room. Then she said, And you can come, Mister Wheelock.

   The robing room, it turned out, was like a fancy parlor, overlooking Foley Square. Kurt sat in the corner taking notes. Judge Schofield told the skeptical lawyer, This is Kurt Wheelock, he is a legal blogger who has come to out court to cover how it works. Do you object?


 What were they supposed to say? They didn't object, and Kurt voluntarily left out of his story some of the details of their failed settlement talks. Somehow it made up for the stealth criminal proceeding, the prisoner who might now have already been released, or might be dead. Or did it?


   Now on #MaximumMaxwell Day 9, Judge Nathan returned from her robing room and called the jury in. She gave a summary, carefully worded.

  "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, one of the prosecution team is ill and needs treatment. There is no reason to believe it is COVID. But to save your time, I am going to let you go for the day."


  And that was it. Kurt quickly tweeted it out, and uploaded the thread and some analysis to his website and to Substack. By then the SDNY prosecutor's press officer had emailed the in-house press corps to ask that the privacy of the lawyer at issue - his email didn't even acknowledge that the illness was among the prosecution not the defense - and not publish any names. Kurt went back and changed his Patreon, inserting the request word for word where the name had been.


  Meanwhile online there were people saying the prosecution has just phoning it in and had been unprepared. That something had gone wrong with the four and final victim or survivor, thought to be Maria Farmer's sister Annie. Even that things might go the way of Epstein, how he ended in the jail.

   This was the way such theories grew. Kurt checked to see if Judge Nathan's chambers had docketed his letter, submitted while they were in the robing room but before they came back. But no. It was still early. Or wasn't it getting late? #MaximumMaxwell.

And so it continued.  Click here for Patreon and more (2d).

Note: On October 29, 2021 and again on November 12 Ghislaine Maxwell and the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York filed a flurry of motions in limine, heavily redacted; the Government argued that trial exhibits are not public and will be withheld. Inner City Press opposed and opposes the continued secrecy.

Inner City Press will cover the trial, and all the comes before and after it; #CourtCaseCast and song I, Song 2, Song 3, fifth song and now Nov 27 song

The underlying case is US v. Maxwell, 20-cr-330 (Nathan).


Your support means a lot. As little as $5 a month helps keep us going and grants you access to exclusive bonus material including Maximum Maxwell, and other Maximum, on our Patreon page. Click here to become a patron.

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