Did Linda McMahon Obstruct Justice? (5th in a series – Open Questions From the New London Day Investigation)

“[Vince] would like you to call [Dr. George] Zahorian to tell him not to come to any more of our events and to also clue him in on any action that the Justice Department is thinking of taking [emphasis added].”

Linda McMahon “CONFIDENTIAL INTEROFFICE MEMO” to Pat Patterson, December 1, 1989


“At no time did they ever charge anybody with any kind of obstruction of justice or whatever it is you were suggesting…”

World Wrestling Entertainment lawyer Jerry McDevitt to Ted Mann of New London’s The Day


The full version of Ted Mann’s follow-up story is in The Day’s Sunday edition. See “Ex-prosecutor says McMahon camp wrong on WWF warning,” http://theday.com/article/20100411/NWS12/304119975/1018.

Here are some of the key open questions:

  • Linda McMahon, World Wrestling Entertainment, and their law firm, K&L Gates, say that federal prosecutor James J. West tipped the firm’s Jack Krill about the investigation of Dr. George Zahorian. West denies that. Krill himself has not spoken directly and in detail about the alleged tip, and he should. The McMahon memo refers to the encounter between Krill and the government official at “a fundraiser.” West notes that, by policy, he would not have been attending a political fundraiser, but in fairness, Linda McMahon did not specify “political” fundraiser. To cut to the chase – Krill needs to tell the potential voters in the Connecticut Senate election exactly where and when he talked to West and what West allegedly told him.
  • “This memo was seen by the jury” in Vince McMahon’s 1994 federal trial on steroid distribution and conspiracy charges, Linda McMahon’s campaign spokesman Ed Patru asserted. No, it was not. The jury saw a redacted version of the memo, in which the paragraph about how the company got tipped was blacked out. Period. End of paragraph.
  • The McMahons were not charged with obstruction of justice. But that doesn’t mean that they didn’t commit obstruction of justice. The Linda McMahon memo raises legitimate concerns in that area, especially in the context of her Senate candidacy. So do other tactics of the McMahon defense team. That is why the next post on this blog will go into more detail on the role of lead defense counsel Laura Brevitti’s husband, Martin Bergman, who initiated outrageously improper contact with one of the prosecution’s star witnesses, and arguably tried to suborn her testimony.

Irv Muchnick

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