During a discussion after the jury was excused for the day, Scotten said the comment was made “as a joke” because Bondy responded to a disagreement between the two men over the use of a video exhibit that Bondy considered racist.
Prosecutors replayed the video, which a defendant appeared to have found on the Internet and exchanged in an online chat, suggesting that $ 500,000 received by a Russian donor for a cannabis project was not ordinary credit. However, Bondy cross-examined the jury that the money-related dispute in the video involved African Americans.
Scotten said he reached out to Bondy during a hiatus to tell him he was keeping the relation of the breed unprofessional. The prosecutor said the defense attorney “decidedly” disagreed and later looked “angry” as if challenging Scotten to a fight. The prosecutor said this led him to comment on “a duel”.
“It was not a threat,” emphasized the prosecutor.
“I heard him say, ‘Does anyone have a sidearm?'” Bondy said. “I haven’t heard of a duel. Whatever it was, it was inappropriate … an inappropriate attempt to stifle my advocacy in this courtroom … that’s what upsets me.”
Oetken said he believed Scotten did not mean it literally or as a threat. “He made a joke … Maybe you interpreted it differently,” the judge told Bondy. The judge added to the prosecutor: “If it was a joke, one should have been careful with it.”
Oetken said the lawyers on both sides are tired and sometimes tempers are short. “I’m glad the jury wasn’t here. I don’t think that will affect the process, ”said the judge. “You have to be warm and professional, and I tell everyone that.”
The judge also said he saw no racist aspect in the exhibition that the government was playing. “I don’t see how important race is,” he said.
However, Bondy said he thinks the government is picking this video out of the mass of evidence in the case, unnecessarily fueling racist sentiments. “Having three children of color influenced me based on my life experience,” said the defender. “It touched me in a way that I thought was offensive. … Was that really necessary in that case?”
Bondy apologized, but Scotten didn’t offer one. In fact, he suggested that the defense attorney milked the episode out of strategic advantage.
Oetken said he would not tell the prosecutor to apologize. “I’m not going to make anyone apologize because I think there are different interpretations of what happened,” said the judge.
On the second day of the witnesses’ trial of allegedly injecting Russian money into US campaigns as part of a plan to obtain US-based cannabis licenses, the jury spent much of the day hearing from an FBI agent working in the The stand was on various texts, WhatsApp messages and other communications between Parnas and other defendants in the case. Evidence included numerous photos of Parnas and others in the case at political events and fundraisers in 2018 with people including then-Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.