By CBS3’s Joe Holden and KYW Newsradio’s Kristen Johanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Before Federal Court closed for the weekend, both sides in the case against Philadelphia’s indicted District Attorney revealed new information.
It appears the case may actually head to trial in exactly a month. Seth Williams’ attorney filed notice they intend to be ready, despite an extraordinary amount of evidence — and Williams’ email accounts are now at the heart of the case.
A Federal judge has ordered the District Attorney’s office to allow the government access to Seth Williams city-issued email account, despite the office’s privacy concerns.
In a letter to the judge, the DA’s Office said allowing the Feds to filter through the email account could compromise confidential grand jury information, among other private legal matters.
Federal prosecutors wrote a 51 page letter to the Judge describing how they filter through emails, and said they would knowingly protect any confidential information.
The judge granted their request.
When it comes to Seth Williams’ email, attorneys are mapping out a list of keywords on how to search three of his accounts. Those keywords include Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, furniture, sofa, Burberry, cash, loans, and case-fixing – to name a few.
One of the filings on Friday suggests some of Seth Williams conduct remains under investigation.
Of the most significant — Williams’ lawyer says they’ll be ready for trial in exactly a month. That’s despite being handed 147,999 pieces of evidence. The judge previously set a trial start date for May 31.
Prosecutors have also given notice they are still fine tuning how to search three email accounts used by Williams — including his city email, Yahoo, and Gmail accounts.
The government wrote: “The emails contain information on pending charges… And other conduct that remains under investigation.”
For the first time, prosecutors identified specific individuals tied to allegations in the indictment.
A specialized team is using the names and other keywords to search William’s email. They include upscale bars and restaurants, powerful union leader John Dougherty and a Philadelphia police deputy commissioner.
None of the names appearing in the documents has been implicated in any wrongdoing.
Williams’ second in command, Kathleen Martin, entered the fray on Friday – claiming some of William’s email could be linked to grand jury investigations. In a letter sent to the federal judge presiding over William’s case, she argued the details in those documents could not be released under Pennsylvania law, without the approval of the supervising judge.
Prosecutors shot back writing martin’s position:
“…Threatens to greatly delay and even derail the government’s review of the products of the search warrant.”
The federal judge ruled Martin’s position was “without merit” and was “plainly baseless.”
Martin told CBS3 they were merely requesting guidance from the courts on how to proceed in the filtering process that is underway on Williams’ email accounts.
Some legal experts have already said going to trial only two months after Williams was indicted would be an uphill battle for both sides.