March 27, 2024
DOJ's Bid to Oust Expert Witnesses in Bankman-Fried Trial"
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DOJ Moves to Exclude Expert Witnesses in Bankman-Fried Trial

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) submitted a motion on August 28th seeking the exclusion of all seven expert witnesses put forth by Sam Bankman-Fried from testifying during the trial. According to the motion, the DOJ contends that Bankman-Fried’s proposed expert witnesses, along with the information they have disclosed, exhibit a range of shortcomings. The DOJ argues that these deficiencies justify their prohibition from participating in the trial.

The motion further asserts that several of the disclosed details lack even the most fundamental aspects necessary to accurately present the expert opinions, and a majority of them fail to establish the foundational basis required under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 16. The motion states, “Where the defendant does disclose the expert’s opinions, the opinions are inappropriate subjects for expert testimony, lack a reliable methodology or basis in facts and data, or are irrelevant, unfairly prejudicial, and confusing to the jury”.

Additionally, the motion argues that the legal conclusions drawn by the proposed expert witnesses would intrude upon the responsibilities of both the court and the jury. The DOJ urges the court to exercise its gatekeeping authority to prevent the inclusion of such expert testimonies. Presently, the seven individuals nominated as witnesses are Lawrence Akka, Thomas Bishop, Brian Kim, Joseph Pimbley, Bradley Smith, Peter Vinella, and Andrew Di Wu, all of whom are professionals in the legal field.

Bankman-Fried’s legal team asserts that on August 25th, the DOJ introduced a fresh set of evidence against him, comprising an additional four million pages of discoveries. This new material was disclosed less than six weeks before the scheduled trial date of October 3rd.

On August 8th, the attorney representing the DOJ announced intentions to press seven charges against Bankman-Fried in the impending October trial. Among these allegations, the purportedly illegal campaign finance scheme will be presented as evidence in support of a wire fraud charge during the trial.

At present, SBF’s attorneys are advocating for his temporary release from the detention facility. They argue that the provided extraordinary accommodations are inadequate for preparing for the upcoming criminal trial, particularly following the DOJ’s release of millions of documents.

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