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WHY CAN’T A CITIZEN PRESENT EVIDENCE TO A GRAND JURY?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jul. 9, 2013) — On Tuesday, CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III contacted the court clerk of Judge Thomas Varlan at the federal courthouse in Knoxville, TN to request an appearance in front of a sitting grand jury.
For more than three years, The Post & Email has focused on the loss of the grand jury as an investigative body of both common crimes and corruption on the part of government officials since 1946. Fitzpatrick has been attempting to testify to a federal grand jury for nearly four years.
After attempting to present evidence of crimes to his local grand jury in Monroe County, TN, he discovered systemic corruption which he highlighted by attempting a citizen’s arrest on the grand jury foreman, who had been serving illegally in the position for 28 consecutive years. Instead, the judge ordered Fitzpatrick arrested and jailed despite a citizen’s arrest being legal in the state of Tennessee.
Fitzpatrick later discovered that county criminal grand juries in Tennessee were abolished by a law passed in 1984 which was never observed by the judiciary. The local press has been largely unwilling to investigate the corruption in Monroe, McMinn, and other counties in eastern Tennessee. National press misreported the grand jury foreman as having been “real” when he was violated Tennessee statute by his longevity.
Ms. Lori Gibson, Varlan’s clerk, told Fitzpatrick that normally such a request normally is directed to the U.S attorney for the district in which the federal grand juries are convened. Fitzpatrick responded that he has already contacted U.S. Attorney William C. Killian and Magistrate Judge H. Bruce Guyton. Killian “expressly denied” Fitzpatrick’s request in a letter dated June 14, 2013, citing the fact that Fitzpatrick has contacted his office on numerous occasions, and Guyton said that a request to appear before a grand jury made to his office is normally deferred to the U.S. Attorney.
Fitzpatrick has evidence that Killian and two other prosecutors have committed crimes in the case of a man who was said to have been in a place where he was not, then convicted of a crime based on the false statements contained in an FBI agent’s affidavit.
Given that information, Gibson asked Fitzpatrick to send his request to Varlan via email and provided an email address different from one he had been using.
As Fitzpatrick’s computer is down, he asked Gibson if others could send the request on his behalf, to which Gibson responded in the affirmative.
Anyone willing to contact Judge Varlan at the address Gibson provided can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After finishing his 15-minute phone call with Gibson, Fitzpatrick contacted several members of the local media in eastern Tennessee who have previously reported erroneously on the case. One hung up on him; one editor appeared interested, according to Fitzpatrick; and a third asked Fitzpatrick to recontact her if he secured an appointment to appear before the grand jury.
Fitzpatrick said that he stressed to Ms. Gibson that the information he possesses “has to do with my report of criminal conduct on the part of government officials,” including Killian.
“We could be onto something of extreme historical importance and significance at this moment by having people go to a federal judge and say, ‘According to your own letter, it’s either a federal judge or the U.S. Attorney; the U.S. Attorney is conflicted in this because it’s the U.S. Attorney who has committed crimes. So people from around the country can come in and say, ‘Make way for Commander Fitzpatrick,'” Fitzpatrick said. “People can give exposure to the fact that U.S. Attorneys are the gate-guards, and the only other way in is through a federal judge. So let’s see how this plays out.”
The Post & Email has sent the following email in response to Fitzpatrick’s report:
To Ms. Lori Gibson:
Good afternoon. I own and operate an electronic newspaper, The Post & Email, which covers government corruption and constitutional issues. For nearly four years, The Post & Email has reported on matters of systemic corruption in eastern Tennessee which involve local, state, and federal-level officials, both elected and appointed.
I am sending this email at the request of CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III, who spoke with you this morning regarding a request to testify to a federal grand jury directed to Judge Thomas Varlan. CDR Fitzpatrick currently does not have a computer and asked your permission for others to send an email request on his behalf for him to appear.
I have seen and written about the evidence which Fitpatrick possesses and wishes to present to you and am convinced that it is sound. It indicates that an FBI affidavit used to issue an arrest warrant in April 2010 against a man who is now incarcerated contained fabricated information, of which Judge Varlan could not have been aware at the sentencing.
The Post & Email has extensively covered the function of the grand jury throughout British and American history, including the public’s increasing difficulties in accessing a grand jury since the change in the Rules of Criminal Procedure in 1946. Historically, the grand jury served as a buffer between overzealous prosecutors and citizens as well as an investigatory body which would inquire into suspected malfeasance on the part of any public official. The loss of this function is apparent as government corruption has spiraled out of control in recent decades.
The Fifth Amendment states that all citizens are entitled to a grand jury review of evidence against them prior to a charge being issued, although some jurisdictions no longer use local grand juries.
My readership will follow this development closely, as many have sought or will be seeking access to their own area grand juries on various matters.
The information Fitzpatrick has is more than sufficient to overturn the man’s conviction and incarceration in a federal prison and, in my estimation, should be presented to a grand jury forthwith so that justice can be served.
Sharon Rondeau, Editor
The Post & Email
P.O. Box 195
Stafford Springs, CT 06076