The Trial of Lyndon LaRouche
The following is a fact sheet documenting the background to the
trial of Lyndon LaRouche at the Federal Court in Alexandria,
Oct. 6, 1986: Massive search and seizure operation by 400 FBI
agents and police of the Leesburg, Virginia offices of the
Executive Intelligence Review and the newspaper New Solidarity.
Indictments, based on findings of a Boston Grand Jury, are
issued to the LaRouche campaign organization and LaRouche-
associated companies, and against 10 LaRouche collaborators. (On
Dec. 16, 1987 three more LaRouche associates are indicted, and
then LaRouche himself on July 2, 1987.) The accusations are
"conspiracy to obstruct justice" and "credit card fraud."
Truckloads of documents are seized, supposedly to provide
additional documentation of the accusations. A second search
warrent mentions "[illegal] sale of stocks and bonds". For this
latter accusation, a Grand Jury in Loudon County Virginia
indicts, on Feb. 18, 1987, another 16 LaRouche associated
individuals and 5 companies.
Nov. 24, 1986: First press stories appear, in the Washington
Post and Loudon Times Mirror, referencing an Alexandria, Virgina
Grand Jury investigation (again using material seized in raid) of
alleged tax evasion by LaRouche and associated companies. These
investigations, like the ones in Loudon County, make use of the
huge mass of documents seized in the FBI raid.
Apr. 20, 1987: Alexandria, Virginia bankrupcy judge Bostetter
orders three companies (one is a scientific organization) to be
placed under involuntary supervision and forced to suspend their
May 1988: After a 6-month Boston trial, judge Robert Keeton
declares a mistrial, following serious errors by the prosecution.
The prosecution refused to disclose crucial evidence to the
defense. After the mistrial, a Boston newspaper published an
interview with one of the jurors, who stated that the jury, in
an informal vote, was unanimously in favor of acquitting the
defendants, because the prosecution could not prove its case and
had destroyed its credibility through its legal misconduct.
Oct. 14, 1988: Federal attorney Henry Hudson of Alexandria,
Virginia, announces that he is indicting LaRouche and six
associates for "conspiracy to commit mail fraud" and "conspiracy
to defraud the Internal Revenue Service."
The accused William Wertz, Edward Spannaus, Michael Billington,
Dennis Small, Paul Greenberg and Joyce Rubinstein are each
indicted on between 3 and 11 counts. LaRouche on the other hand
is indicted on a total of 13 counts. Count 13 charges him with
having conspired "with persons known and unknown to the Grand
Jury" in order to prevent the IRS from assessing and collecting
The other 12 counts charge the defendants with having devised "a
scheme and artifice to defraud and obtain money by false and
fraudulant pretenses, representations and promises... The policy
of the NCLC (a LaRouche-associated organisation) was not to repay
loans in accordance with the promises made to lenders; ...
between January 1984 and September 1986 the organisation never
established a system for making, and never made, routine payments
of promised principal and interest on loans in general." The
prosecution cited 11 individual cases in which creditors were
mailed written agreements. (For technical legal reasons, the main
accusations -- fraud and violation of loan contracts -- were
subsumed under the designation "mail fraud")
The accusations stand or fall with the basic claim, that the
National Caucus of Labor Committees (NCLC), a philosophical
association founded nearly 20 years ago, is in fact a criminal
conspiracy whose essential purpose is to enrich Lyndon LaRouche.
The political goals of this organisation--fighting drugs and
hunger, for a new just world economic order, for a strong western
defense, against the decay of westerm culture and for a cultural
and scientific renaissance--were considered side aspects of the
By setting a very short period between the indictment and trial
opening, Alexandria Judge Bryan created the preconditions for a
summary trial, in which the defendants were deprived of the
possibility of comprehensive defense.
Oct. 14, 1988: LaRouche's lawyers submit a legal challenge
against the indictment, on grounds that the indictment would
damage LaRouche's ongoing electoral campaign, and that it was
largely identical to that of the Boston trial, and therefore
violated the fundamental legal principle excluding "double
jeopardy" -- no one can be tried for the same accusation twice.
Judge Stanley Sporkin dismisses the challenge following a brief
oral hearing without having read the written motions.
October 17, 1988: Arraignment before Chief Judge Albert V.
Bryan. All defendants plead not guilty and move to shift the
proceedings to Boston, on the grounds of similar content of the
two cases. Bryant fixes a Nov. 10 deadline for submission of all
defense pre-trial motions and Nov. 21 for the trial. When even
the state prosecutor Robinson objects, Judge Bryan remarks that
90 percent of the defense motions would just come of a computer
and only three or four would be worth considering.
Oct. 21, 1988: Judge Bryan dismisses the motion to move the
trial to Boston, despite the fact that the circumstance of
"double jeopardy" is underlined by the presence of the Boston
prosecutors John Markham and Mark Rasch, who assist the deputy
prosecutor of Alexandria in the trial.
Oct. 28, 1988: Hearing of defense motion that the prosecution
must indicate all documents to be used as evidence for the
accusations. At this point, Judge Bryant admits that "we are
pushing the defendants a bit hard in this case in terms of time".
Nov. 4, 1988: The defense protests the hurried tempo of the trial
and the trial date, only five weeks after the indictment.
Defense Attorney Kenley Webster points out that he had only two
weeks to work on the case, while the prosecution had been working
on it for four years. Furthermore, since October 1986 defendants
had been deprived access to the more than two million documents
seized and available to the prosecution. Judge Bryan supports
the argument of prosecutor Kent Robinson, that most of the
defense attorneys had become familiar with the case already in
Boston. Motions to shift the trial and to delay trial date are
denied. The Judge also denies defense motion to separate
proceedings on the tax evasion count from the other, completely
Nov. 7, 1988: The Alexandria prosecution, represented by Boston
state attorney Markham as signer (!), moves that defendants
and their attorneys should not be allowed to mention harrassment
and financial warfare by government institutions as a reason for
non-payment of loans. The prosecution demands that no mention be
made of illegal investigations by the FBI, of documented
infiltration of the LaRouche organization by informants, or of
the involuntary bankruptcy proceedings brought against LaRouche-
associated companies by the government in April 1987. This demand
is particularly bizarre: the alleged conspiracy according to the
prosecution was supposed to have terminated on April 19, 1987,
one day before the involuntary bankruptcy proceeding.
The attorneys for Ed Spannaus and the other defendants submit an
Emergency Petition for Mandamus to the U.S. Court of Appeals in
Richmond, arguing that Judge Bryan be ordered to move the trial
to a later date.
In addition, the defense submits a Motion to release exculpatory
evidence. This includes information concerning agents and
informants infiltrated into LaRouche-associated organizations by
government agencies and government pressure applied to financial
supporters and banks carrying accounts of LaRouche organizations
Nov. 9, 1988: Defense submits a motion to suspend the trial on
grounds it is politically motivated and selectively directed
against LaRouche, while other politicians, for example Gary Hart,
would never consider repaying campaign debts of millions of
Nov. 10, 1988: Judge Bryan dismisses the above and 26 of the 28
motions, and supports the prosecution's demands to limit scope of
the defense. Bryant claims that harrassment by government
agencies was irrelevant to the case in point. He denies the
defense the right to individually question the prospective jurors
or to submit a list of questions for jury selection.
By these actions Judge Bryan preprogrammed a guilty verdict
against the defendants. Limiting the defense meant that the true
political nature of the case, which had begun to emerge during
the Boston trial, would be excluded. Instead, attention was to be
given to the obscure conspiracy theory of the prosecution.
November 14: Refering to their Petition to the Richmond court,
the attorneys for the defense submit sworn personal oaths to the
effect that an adequate defense would be impossible under the
conditions set by Judge Bryan, a situation which would violate
the constitutional right to a fair trial.
At the same time, the defense submits a new motion against the
ruling of Judge Bryan requiring the defense to reveal its
strategy prior to the opening of the trial.
November 17: The Richmond Court of Appeals rejects the defense's
petition for a setting a later trial date.
November 18: Final deliberation before opening of the trial.
Judge Bryan rejects the defense motion asking that the
prosecution be ordered to submit a list of prosecutions
witnesses. The prosecution is only required to name a witness 24
hours before the witness is to appear in court. Judge Bryan also
dismisses the motion of November 14.
On Nov. 21, after denial of further motions to suspend or delay
the trial, jury selection begins. This process, which took three
weeks in Boston, was now completed in less than three hours. Out
of the pool of 175 prospective jurors 46 were employees of the
U.S. government, including the Department of Justice (DOJ), the
FBI, the CIA, the IRS, the Secret Service, and government
departments. Even employees of law enforcement agencies, were only
excluded when they themselves admitted to being "biased." One of
them, a Secret Service Agent, was disqualified after he flashed
his badge and revealed that he himself had been involved in
investigations against LaRouche! After 145 candidates had been
excluded for cause the remaining 30 still included an employee of
the DOJ, an FBI employee, the wife of a former FBI consultant, a
government official working with the IRS, a Defense Intelligence
Agency employee with contacts to the CIA, a secretary of the Drug
Enforcement Agency, an employee of the Department of Labor, a
worker for the television company NBC which is known for its
hatred of LaRouche. Since the defense had only 9 veto rights,
there was no way to exclude all biased witnesses.
The Trial Arguments
On the first day of the trial, government witnesses testified
as summarized below. Objectively speaking, none of the charges --
fraud, violation of loan conditions, tax evasion and conspiracy
to commit the same -- were substantiated by the prosecutions. On
the contrary, most of the creditors who testified made statements
in direct contradiction to the allegations, as for example:
1) Efforts were made to repay loans and considerable amounts were
2) LaRouche collaborators acted in good faith when soliciting
loans, having reason to believe that the conditions arranged
would actually be met.
3) Creditors understood that the loans were a form of political
support and were accurately informed concerning the political
purpose to which the funds loaned were to be used.
4) Persons giving loans were informed concerning the risk
5) Press attacks such as the ones which followed LaRouche
candidates' victories in Illinois, negatively affected creditors
and new contributions.
6) Creditors were encouraged and pressured by government
agents to press charges against LaRouche.
7) Loans would most likely have been paid if massive government
interference had not made this impossible.
Defense showed that the firms involved enjoyed massive expansion
in income over 1984-85, thereby justifying major loans. Certified
Public Accountant Thomas Seavy showed with charts, how the wave
of violent press slanders and attacks by Democratic Party
figures, following the March 1986 victory of two LaRouche
candidates in the Illinois primaries, had interrupted the
increase in sales. Even more dramatic was the effect of the
October 1986 FBI raid on the offices of LaRouche-associated
organizations. In all, the campaign of financial warfare against
these organizations following March 1986 caused an estimated
income loss of $45 mio. Seay's charts showed that during the
preceeding growth period, the ratio of loans continually
decreased as a percentage of income.
Thus, according to Seays, the accused had been justified in
assuming that continuing sales would cover loan repayment costs.
The decisive criterion for fraud -- bad faith or the intent to
defraud -- could not be claimed in this case.
There was a plan to repay debts
Two active LaRouche collaborators Frank Bell and Richard Welsh
testified on November 23 and 29, to the heroic efforts made to
repay loans. These efforts covered the 4-year period cited by the
prosecution and continued up to the present.
Bell presented his repayment plan, which involved for example
$15,000 in weekly repayments throughout 1985. Welsh described his
plan to contact 3000 creditors in order to verify the amount of
the loans and discuss a repayment schedule or forgiveness of the
loans. These plans, whose existence completely contradict the
claim by the prosecution that the LaRouche-associated
organizations pursued a general policy of non-repayment, were
seriously hampered by the seizure of the necessary documents in
October 1986. Nevertheless, debts were reduced by payment of a
total of $4.5 mio in principal and interest prior to the
involuntary bankrupcy proceedings of April, 1987, which ended all
possibility of further repayment.
The defense cited as evidence more than six memoranda written by
LaRouche making proposals for means of repaying the debt. Welsh
described his efforts over nearly seven years to realize these
Even government witness Wayne Hintz, who had formerly worked in
the bookkeeping department of LaRouche-associated organizations,
confirmed this existence of a repayment program. Hintz himself
had written memos on repayment plans which the NCLC leadership
and LaRouche endorsed. According to Hintz, LaRouche personally
had always pushed for cutting back and even eliminating the
soliciting of loans, and for increasing sales instead. Hintz
stated in court on December 6: "There was no policy I was aware
of not to repay loans." [check English quote]
These statements confirmed not only that no criminal intention
existed to defraud creditors, but moreover that all humanly
possible efforts had been undertaken to save the creditors from
financial losses. This contradicted the second major criterion
for the charge of fraud.
In addition, it emerged that the government's figures regarding
outstanding debt were wrong. Government witness, IRS employee
Harry Chusid presented a 900-page report which he claimed showed
that from 1984 to 1986 more than $33 mio. had been taken out in
loans, while only $3.7 mio. were repayed. This "analysis" fell
apart during cross-examination, however, when a random check
demonstrated, as Chusid was then forced to admit, that loans had
been calculated in full each time reference to partial payment
was made. On only 10 randomly-chosen pages of the report, it was
shown that the government had calculated $301,000 in non-existent
loan sums due to this multiple counting proceedure.
Most creditors testifying as government witnesses confirmed what
LaRouche stated in a press conference following the verdict: 95%
of those who gave financial support during the period in
question continue to support LaRouche's policies and programs; most
of them know that it is the government which is guilty for the
financial difficulties of organizations associated with LaRouche.
Of the remaining 5%, only a tiny number could be brought to work
actively with FBI, Secret Service or IRS agents and issue false
Creditor Dorothy Powers, for example, testified on November 30
that defendant Michael Billington had explained to her very
clearly that her loan constituted a kind of "war bond" and
carried a corresponding element of risk. Creditor Martha Van
Sickie testified to similar effect, and during examination of
witness Max Harrell the defense presented a transcript of a
telephone conversation in which Harrell was literally told
concerning his loan, "of course it's a risk". This was again
confirmed on December 7 by witness Alan Rither, a Washington
lawyer who also loaned money to the organizations of the
Mrs. Audrey Carter testified that her 1985 loan to Caucus
Distributors, Inc. (CDI) was due for repayment in November 1986,
the month after the dramatic FBI raid. In April 1987 CDI was shut
down on orders of the government. Alan Rither, who had also made
a loan to CDI, testified that even after the involuntary
bankrupcy he had recieved assurances that the remainder of
repayments due would be paid back to him.
John Perricone, an active supporter of the NDPC (the National
Democratic Policy Committee, which promoted the electoral
campaigns of LaRouche-associated candidates) testified that he
had known defendant Joyce Rubenstein since 1979 and regarded her
as an honest, committed woman. In cross examination Perricone
confirmed that he had loaned a total of more than $30,000, but
had not insisted on repayment. Testimony by Perricone concerning
FBI harassment against him was suppressed at the demand of
prosecutor John Markham. However, statements by creditor
Elizabeth Sexton, who had allegedly been cheated by the
defendants, revealed all the more clearly the methods by which
government agencies pressured contributors and creditors and even
incited them to lay traps for the defendants.
All of this demonstrated, as attorney Ed Williams for Joyce
Rubenstein and attorney James Clark for Michael Billington
emphasized in their final summaries, that the testimony of even
the most hostile witnesses had only proved that loans were taken
which had not been paid back. The defendants' motives were to
defend political ideas, and not to pursue criminal aims.
A crucial element of the prosecution's case, and especially for
the prosecution's characterization of LaRouche as the
authoritarian dictator of the alleged conspiracy, was the
testimony of former members of the NCLC: Charles Tate, Chris
Curtis, Vera Cronk, Steve Bardwell and Pam Goldman. Their
malicious, lying testimony demonstrated that a conspiracy did
indeed exist -- namely on the part of those who had orchestrated
the indictments and legal harassment of the defendants! It was
quite clear that these witnesses were motivated by personal
animosity toward LaRouche, and had possibly been pressured to
testify by promiss of avoiding prosecution themselves. It became
clear that the witnesses had been coached by representatives of
the prosecution in repeated intensive sessions in order to fit
their testimony to the prosecution's case.
An unbiased court could only dismiss these witnesses' testimony
as worthless. The final blow to their credibility was delivered
when witnesses Steve Bardwell and Charles Tate were forced to
confirm descriptions of a Halloween Party held on October 31,
1986, in which former NCLC members celebrated the huge FBI raid,
earlier that month, on the offices of LaRouche-associated
organizations. Bardwell had himself written a five-page
invitation to that party, announcing the performance of a play
entitled "Pin the Rap on LaRouche." The guests at the party came
in costume; Charles Tate, who had dressed himself up as a credit
card, acted out an imaginary testimony against LaRouche. Kostas
Kalimtgis, a former leading associate of LaRouche presently
suspected of having been a long-time KGB plant, gave a major
speach at the Halloween party calling upon those present to do
everything possible "to put LaRouche behind bars."
While most statements by the ex-members were discredited by their
obvious vindictive intent, Charles Tate and Chris Curtis
entangled themselves in serious contradictions. Curtis had
earlier testified, in the Boston case, that LaRouche associates
had acted in good faith and he had no knowledge of an intention
not to repay debts. Now, in Alexandria, he claimed that non-
repayment had been the general policy. Especially under cross
examination, Curtis revealed himself to be an obedient
instrument of the prosecution. His coaching for testimony had
clearly been much more than the originally acknowledged 15 hours
of consultation with U.S. government officials. Curtis admitted
that since leaving the NCLC he had applied for employment to 12
different government agencies, including the CIA. It emerged that
in the course of his attempts to secure employment, Curtis had
successively changed his line on LaRouche and his associates, in
the direction of increasingly damaging statements. Tate revealed
himself as a notorious liar, admitting that he had lied to
LaRouche in a number of written reports. He had spent the
equivalent of two weeks preparing his testimony under the
supervision of various government agents, including
representatives of the prosecution.
Claim of "Conspiracy" Key to Prosecution's Case
The case of defendant Edward Spannaus demonstrated most clearly
how the claim of "conspiracy" was the prosecution's only way to
implicate him in criminal actions. Spannaus was charged with
Count 1 (conspiracy to defraud) as well as Counts 3-11, where he
was accused of participation in 9 individual cases of
sollicitation of loans. However, in none of those 9 specific
cases was any criminal action on his part demonstrated. There was
only a remark in one of Spannaus' notebooks concerning an
unverified statement by LaRouche on loan policy. Spannaus' only
involvement in the cited loan cases was in discussing with a
lawyer changes in loan contracts.
On December 2 Richard Vepez, a former NCLC member confirmed in
testimony that Spannaus had in one case objected to a change in a
loan contract which might have caused misunderstandings
concerning the political nature of activities for which the money
was to be used.
Spannaus' defense attorney Kenley Webster cited the flimsy nature
of the charges against Spannaus as exemplary of the shakey
foundation of the prosecution's entire case.
The Case of Dennis Small
Defendant Dennis Small was indicted on only one count, for
allegedly having sollicited a large loan from Mrs. Goodwill for
the declared purpose of supporting a campaign against drugs. It
emerged, however, that Chris Curtis was the one who made the loan
agreement with Mrs. Goodwill -- according to Curtis' own
testimony! Dennis Small had never had anything to do with this
loan. Curtis left the distinct impression that his false
testimony in court had been elicited under threat of indictment.
Count 13 embodies the political nature of the trial better than
any other. Government witnesses ended up establishing that
1) LaRouche has had no taxable income since 1979.
2) LaRouche had been completely open about his financial
situation, and tax officials had never attempted to collect taxes
3) Tax experts, lawyers and accountants consulted by LaRouche had
advised him that he had no taxable income and was not obliged to
file a tax return; indeed, he had been advised not to file.
4) LaRouche had thus acted in good faith that his actions were
in accordance with U.S. tax law.
5) the government's contention that LaRouche had a "lavish
lifestyle" was a fabricated falsehood.
Experienced lawyer Mayer Morgenroth confirmed in testimony that
LaRouche had decided not to file a tax return on the basis of
sound professional advice, and that material goods provided him
(housing, clothing, security) did not constitute taxable income.
Morgenroth reported that he had participated in 1979 and 1984 in
consultations concerning the tax status of LaRouche and his
associates. These consultations established that LaRouche wrote
as a politician and publicist for various publishing concerns
sympathetic with his views. These companies had a legitimate
interest in providing meals, housing, a minimum of clothing and
necessary security arrangements for LaRouche. A tax consultant
from Michigan, Gerry Doherty, had explained to Morgenroth that
these provisions to Mr. LaRouche could not be counted as income.
Furthermore Harold Dubrowsky of the tax consulting firm Grant
Thorton, had advised that LaRouche was not required to file a tax
Thomas Seay, a certified public accountant (CPA) testified that
according to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations, LaRouche
could be classified as an employee of various publishing houses,
however this determination was somewhat ambiguous. The same
regulations prescribe that meals, housing and even medical and
clothing expenses, insofar as they are provided as gifts, do not
constitute taxable income. Seay had advised LaRouche that he need
not file a tax return.
New York accountant Murray Altman testified that during the four
years he had completed tax returns for LaRouche-associated
publishing companies and firms, LaRouche himself had been free of
Finally, IRS tax official Elizabeth Jeu, who had been involved
for the last 12-14 in a tax investigation of LaRouche, testified
to the effect that since 1979, the IRS had never seriously tried
to collect taxes from LaRouche.
LaRouche's lawyer Odin Anderson stressed in his closing
statement, that the IRS could have demanded at any time since
1979 that LaRouche file a tax return. This had not happened, but
instead a bizarre tax evasion conspiracy theory had been
The prosecution alleged that loans and contributions were used to
maintain LaRouche's alleged "lavish life-style," and that security
measures constituted a prestige symbol rather than necessary
defense against real threats. Contradicting these claims, Richard
McGraw, a LaRouche associate responsible for LaRouche's personal
security, testified as to the actually quite austere living
situation of Mr. and Mrs. LaRouche, and described how urgently
necessary security arrangements had deprived LaRouche of privacy
and freedom of movement, and made him a virtual prisoner in his
General Luis Giuffreda, who headed under President Reagan the
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) between 1981 and 1985,
testified to the considerable danger LaRouche's life, referenced
numerous reports of threats to LaRouche, from terrorist groupings
including the Baader-Meinhof band, Weather-Underground, Yippies
and Jewish Defense League, as well as threats from the Communist
Party U.S.A. and the Soviet Union directly. In view of these
threats, LaRouche's security arrangements were much too little.
LaRouche's security was not in the "Cadillac category" but rather
in the "VW bug" category, and that LaRouche's living quarters
reminded Gen. Giuffreda of his son's student housing.
Following this testimony the prosecution modified its approach,
asserting explicitly that neither the threat to LaRouche nor the
legitimacy of his security costs had been denied by the
prosecution or the American government.
Throughout the testimony no significant substantiation at all was
presented for Count 13, "Conspiracy to defraud the United States
by impeding, impairing, obstructing and defeating the lawful
function of the U.S. Treasury Department and IRS in the
ascertainment, computation, assessment and collection of the
revenue, to witt: the individual income taxes of Lyndon LaRouche
jr. Indicative was the manner in which Prosecutor Robinson cited
Kavaler, the attorney for the television company NBC, as supposed
evidence in his closing summary. In 1984 LaRouche had sued NBC
for a vicious slander program, broadcast nationwide by NBC and
coinciding with the initiation of the investigation of LaRouche
by the Boston Grand Jury. Robinson quoted from the transcript of
the NBC trial, in which Kaveler questions LaRouche on his income.
The judge's detailed instructions to the jury concerning Count
13, including his emphasis that demonstration of "good faith" on
the part of the defendants would be conclusive proof of
innocence, should have led unambiguously to a verdict of
"innocent" on this count. The verdict of guilty is clear proof
that the jury's decision was a total miscarriage of justice.
The True Lyndon LaRouche
On Dec. 8, a number of prominent personalities from several
countries took the stand to testify to LaRouche's personal
integrity, his standing as an influential political figure whose
initiatives and policies are respected throughout the world, and
to the reasons why LaRouche had become a target of harassment,
slander and assassination threats. This testimony succeeded in at
least partially casting light upon the political motives behind
Juan Rebaza, President of the Peruvian national fishing company
Pesca Peru, testified on the political activities of Dennis Small
in Iberoamerica, including Small's meetings with Peru's President
Alan Garcia, with the labor movement in Mexico and with the
LaRouche-associated Schiller Institute's initiative for formation
of a Latin American common market.
Retired Brigadier General Paul-Albert Scherer, former head of
West German military counterintelligence, testified to LaRouche's
contributions to the Western Alliance and to the campaign of
attacks against LaRouche by the Soviet Union. LaRouche became a
major threat to the Soviets especially for his role in the
development of the SDI policy. Gen. Scherer testified that
LaRouche was man of integrity and modest way of living, who is
working for his ideals without interest in personal gain.
Internationally-known AIDS expert Dr. John Seale, member of the
Royal Society of Medicine in London, documented the crucial
importance of the fight against AIDS and testified on how his
cooperation with LaRouche in that fight had led to slanders and
harassment against him directed by agencies of the U.S.
The 78 year-old Amelia Robinson, a long-time
close associate of Dr, Martin Luther King, active since the 1930s
in the American civil rights movement, emphasized in her
testimony the role of the Schiller Institute and the LaRouche-
associated Club of Life in the worldwide battle against hunger
and the drug plague. She portrayed LaRouche as an absolutely
honest man, who had "devoted his life to the wellbeing of his
nation and the world."
General Lucio Anez, former Chief of Staff of the Bolivian Armed
Forces, head of the Bolivian Military Academy and Bolivian
representative to the Inter American Defense Board, testified on
his meetings with Dennis Small and Lyndon LaRouche. He had
discussed with LaRouche the latter's 15-point program for a war
against drugs. He had also invited Dennis Small, whom he
described as a "an honest, truth-loving man", to give "lectures
on economics and the drug problem before the highest-level
military institution in my country."
In addition to this testimony, many written attestations were
submitted by personalities familiar with LaRouche from France,
Spain, Italy, England, Germany and other countries. These all
attested to LaRouche's personal integrity and to the respect
LaRouche enjoys among former leaders of the Resistance in Europe,
scientists, politicians and religious figures.
Government Dirty Tricks
Despite the efforts of the prosecution to exclude from the court
proceedings all evidence of government involvement in efforts to
harass, entrap and frame up LaRouche and his associates,
testimony did provide a tiny glimpse of the powerful political
motives behind bringing LaRouche to trial.
Richard Morris, a California lawyer who worked for several years
as Chief Assistant to "Judge" William Clark in the U.S. State
Department and National Security Council, testified on his
numerous meetings with LaRouche and LaRouche associates in the
period 1982-83. In these meetings, according to Morris, LaRouche
had often provided useful information relevant to various aspects
of national security. Many attempts had been made from various
sides to stop these contacts. Morris testified that he was
approached in the middle of 1982 by three persons, from the CIA,
the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security
Council, who told him that LaRouche was "pro-communist, pro-
socialist, a fascist, KGB, and even a Democrat"!
Dr. John Seale was prevented by the court from testifying on the
fact, that following Seale's endorsement of Proposition 64 -- an
anti-AIDS measure originally proposed by LaRouche associates and
placed on the California referendum ballot in November 1986 --,
Seale was slandered by official U.S. State Department spokesman
Charles Redman, and accused of spreading "Soviet disinformation".
Herbert Quinde, a member of the LaRouche security staff,
testified on a telephone conversation he had conducted with
Edward Bennett Williams, member of the President's Foreign
Intelligence Advisory Board PFIAB during the first Reagan
Administration. During that conversation, Williams reported that
Henry Kissinger had personally requested that he, Williams, take
part in Justice Department operations against LaRouche. At that
time he had refused, on the grounds that the Justice Department
"should not intervene into politics." In addition, Williams spoke
of a faction of the National Security Council which was opposed
to LaRouche's policies and wanted to eliminate him.
Impressive further proof of government dirty tricks was provided
even during the court proceedings, when the U.S. Embassy in Peru
refused to grant an entry visa to the well-known Peruvian lawyer
Maritza Hidalga Garcia, who had been called as a witness for the
defense. Although Judge Bryan had told the prosecution to
insure the granting of the visa, the American Embassy in Peru
continued to refuse the visa, upon the proposterous grounds that
Mrs. Hidalga lacked an assured income!
The Jury Disregards Judge Bryan's Instructions
Following testimony by prosecution and defense witnesses, Judge
Bryan spent one hour instructing the jury on the criteria the 12
jurors should follow in deciding on a verdict of innocent or
guilty for each of the defendants upon each of the counts with
which they were charged -- a total of 48 decisions requiring
unanimous agreement by the jurors. The jury took only 11 hours to
reach its decision: a verdict of guilty against all defendants on
all counts. If the jury had followed the instructions of the
judge, the verdict would have been the opposite.
The following are key points of Judge Bryan's instructions to the
* The overall definition of a "conspiracy," is defined
as two or more persons combined wilfully and knowingly for a
criminal purpose, with the addition of only one overt act--which
needn't have been an illegal act in itself, but done in
furtherance of the conspiracy. A conspiracy does not have to be
written down, or even expressed explicitly orally, but is defined
as a "shared agreement." Once an individual is found to be a
participant in the conspiracy, he can be found responsible for
the acts of all other persons in the conspiracy.
* The judge cautioned the jury that "membership in a
political organization like the NCLC or in a political committee
like the NEC is not criminal; nor is it evidence of criminal
activity or participation in a criminal conspiracy. Active
membership in a political organization which espouses honest,
albeit controversial, views is not only lawful under our
constitutional system, but is in fact protected activity."
* The defendants have a legal right to free political
expression under our system, but if those expressions, otherwise
legal, are judged to be made "in furtherance of the conspiracy,"
then it can be an overt act.
* The tax law instruction outlined the same exemption code
which the expert witness had cited, adding that "employee" status
is an objective aspect of the tax code, not based on subjective
belief. It stressed that negligence or trying to reduce taxes is
not evidence of criminality. It emphasized that the intent of the
defendant is critical, and that "good faith is a complete defense
against Count 13 (the tax count)."
In summarizing what the government charged in the tax
count, the Judge said this amounted to counting as income
LaRouche's housing, food and wine, clothing, entertainment and
services, but not costs of physical security, security
facilities, or improvement of security facilities.
* The judge noted that if the defendant sought the advice of
an attorney or an accountant, and made full disclosure to his
ability, and acted on that expert's advice, then he is not
wilfully acting to defraud or deceive the IRS.
* Judge Bryan said that the key point of proof of
the 11 individual mail fraud counts is deception by the
defendants, which can be defined as half-truths, omissions, or
otherwise concealing material effects in relationship to the
solicitation. It also noted that "willfull blindless" is no
* He again stressed the intent of the defendants as being
the critical feature, and that good faith on the part of the
defendant is a complete defense:
"You are further instructed that good faith and an honest
purpose on the part of any defendant is an absolute defense as to
the charges set forth in Counts 1 through 12. It matters not how
visionary you may find the defendants' political goals to be, or
how unreasonable the prospects of success of any of the
defendants' political undertakings--e.g. the war on drugs--may
seem to you, if the defendants honestly and genuinely believed
that their political movement would gather increasing popular
support and that they would have the resources to repay their
* He noted that being late on loan payments is not evidence
of an intent to defraud.
* Finally, he stressed that the burden of proof was
completely on the government, that the defendants not taking the
witness stand could not be used as prejudice against them, and that
while the jury should aim to come to its unanimous verdict,
jurors should not surrender their opinions for mere interest in
getting a verdict.
Following the verdict it became evident that the foreman of the
jury, one Buster Horton, had played the decisive role in
manipulating the jury into its unanimous decision of "guilty on
all counts". Horton, it turns out, is a career civil service
employee working as a middle-level official of the U.S. Dept. of
Agriculture, one of the hotbeds of LaRouche's political enemies
within the government. The very weekend before the judgement in
Alexandria, the Department of Agriculture had used front
organizations to circulate slanderous leaflets attacking LaRouche
at a conference on agriculture policy, organized by the Schiller
Institute in Chicago.
As the clerk read the verdict, no juror, except Horton, looked
the defendents in the eye. At least one juror was seen crying as
she left the courtroom, a sign of the evil process which had
taken place behind closed doors.