United States v. O’Keefe, Case No. Cr. 06-249 (D.D.C. August 19, 2008)
With the November elections fast approaching, it’s a perfect time to talk about governmental corruption. In this case, O’Keefe was an employee with the Department of State in Canada and allegedly received bribes from Agrawal, the owner of a small jewelry business, for expediting visa requests for employees. Discovery issues have plagued this case for months, and we have written about an earlier decision in the case here.
Co-defendant Agrawal requested documentation from the State Department and Immigration Services concerning the applications of the employees as well as any post-(visa) issuance analysis, email or other documents. The United States offered a printout of the Consolidated Computer Database but refused to provide any of the post-issuance (post-indictment) communications. Agrawal felt this post-indictment analysis was the “best and most direct evidence regarding whether the visas were issued properly…” Slip opinion at 4, citing memorandum at 7.
The court ordered the government to examine files in the post-indictment time frame to be able to state unequivocally whether it is in possession of any documents that would fall within this discovery request and produce them. If privilege was to be claimed, a privilege log must be produced that “so explicitly describe[s] the documents that in camera review is unnecessary.” Slip opinion at 5.
The court appears to be losing patience for the time it has been asked to expend as umpire to these discovery requests and is getting terse. (“There has been extensive discovery in this case but Agrawal now seeks more.” Slip opinion at 2.) The lessons here may be not wasting the court’s time!