In pages 5 through 9, we found Ambassador Wanta's attorney, John Chavez, was afraid Wanta would charge him with ineffective representation.
A good defense lawyer should be interested in the welfare of his client… in the outcome of the trial immediately ahead of him.
But not Mr. Chavez.
Instead, Chavez is worried his "planned defense" is repugnant to the Constitution. He is worried about that because he has built no case to defend his client. The courts -- either in Switzerland or in Wisconsin or both -- froze Ambassador Wanta’s international bank accounts containing vast amounts of wealth. This single act prevented Wanta from retaining legal counsel of his choice. It put the State of Wisconsin in control of the trial. The only thing that can absolutely prevent the potential filing of an ineffective counsel charge against Chavez is the Ambassador's testimony which makes it look like Mr. Chavez has presented a defense when, indeed he has not. Thus, it is key for the Court to determine whether or not the Ambassador will testify. Read on and see how the Court accomplishes this.
MR. CHAVEZ: Also, for the record, I had advised my client to accept the deal of the State, okay? I find that evidence absolutely overwhelming against Mr. Wanta. Mr. Wanta claims his innocence, fine. I can't tell the Judge or the Court either way if I think he’s guilty or innocent, that doesn’t matter, either. All that matters is Mr. Wanta wants his trial and he wants to testify.
Now that you know the game that's being played, the words "...All that matters is Mr. Wanta... wants to testify" take on a whole new meaning, don't they?
The following paragraphs contain negative comments about Mr. Chavez -- and he deserves them. However, he also deserves some sympathy for his plight. You see, Mr. Chavez wasn't court-appointed counsel. When on pages 5 and 6 Chavez begged Judge Torphy to allow him to withdraw from the case, he made it sound like the Court had appointed him as Counsel to Ambassador Wanta. That is untrue.
Did the Wisconsin Court system and Department of Revenue (in league with... who? The CIA? The Swiss?) decide the easiest way to handle the Wanta matter was to have him committed to a mental institution? Four times they sent him for mental evaluation... he was found competent, even though they tried four times. Why these desperate attempts? If "they" can get Wanta confined to a mental institution, Wisconsin (and anyone with the power to demand access) controls $27.5 trillion that belongs to Ambassador Wanta -- money he earned at the behest of President Ronald Reagan for the American people.
Interestingly, the Swiss provided a good excuse for Wisconsin to put this plan into effect by having Ambassador Wanta mentally evaluated while he was unlawfully imprisoned there. The Swiss said they didn't believe his story about being an American covert intelligence operative. They decided the Ambassador was living in a fantasy world and committed him for psychiatric evaluation where they proceeded to pump him full of drugs. That they "didn't believe his intelligence involvement" is impossible since the blue nylon bag Wanta carried was filled with communiques with the FBI. In their November 17, 2000 Tribunal Decision from the Lausanne Courts, the Swiss admit finding 73 messages between Wanta and the FBI. They knew. The Swiss denial is not credible.. but it provided a good excuse for them to keep Wanta behind bars while they examined and evaluated the intelligence data contained in that blue bag. Remember, Wanta was told to take those records to Switzerland with him by RAC William LeCates of Nashville, his supervisor when working within the U.S. Treasury Department.
Thus, the Swiss paved the way for the Wisconsin strategy to get Wanta committed to their mental institution.
Concurrently, Wisconsin gave the Swiss a payback when they put on this farce of a trial to find Wanta guilty of a non-existent crime. The Swiss Tribunal Decision, dated 17 November 2000 (strangely, seven years to the day the Swiss returned Ambassador Wanta to the United States to have all charges against hin dismissed in a New York Federal District Court), justified their imprisonment of Ambassador Wanta in 1993 by saying he was, after all, convicted of criminal tax matters in Wisconsin in 1995. What does that have to do with holding him in a Swiss prison in 1993? The Tribunal Decision (about which you'll hear more later) had no charges to justify holding Ambassador Wanta in prison for over four months. At the end of the Tribunal Decision they made a weak effort to justify their actions by saying "Well, Wisconsin found him guilty of non-payment of income taxes in 1995." Each court washed the other's hands.
But back to the subject: Why Mr. Chavez deserves our sympathy.
Before this trial, two or three lawyers accepted retainers averaging about $15,000 each, to defend Leo Emil Wanta (Kenneth Starr was one of them -- yes, that Ken Starr... and then retained by the state of Wisconsin - Department of Education - without repaying the retainer and later became Special Counsel in the William Jefferson Clinton impeachment process; surely the Clinton appointment wasn't a payoff?). After accepting the retainer and beginning investigation of Leo Wanta's case, the lawyers disappeared, money still in hand, After all, who wants to crosss swords with the CIA, the FBI, and several other intelligence agencies for which Ambassador Wanta had done covert work?
The Office of the Wisconsin Public Defender had appointed two lawyers to the case. They, too, walked. Mr. Chavez was appointed by the Public Defender's Office to coordinate the mental competency tests Judge Torphy decided Ambassador Wanta should undergo. After all, Wanta had just been evaluated for mental illness in Switzerland, so Torphy could justify this decision on the basis of the Swiss precedent. Of course, the Swiss found no mental impairment... but the way the Wisconsin courts work, that didn't matter. Neither did it bother the Wisconsin Courts that spending Public Defender funds on a defendant who is probably the wealthiest man in the world and had more than sufficient funds to personally pay for private counsel... violated Wisconsin Statutes. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin Public Defender's Office is always substantially over budget and is suspected of appointing lawyers to defend highly affluent people (many with mob connections) who can easily afford their own lawyers.
To make a long story a bit shorter, when Mr. Chavez completed the mental competency work for which the Public Defender retained him, Judge Torphy would not release him. It appears Mr. Chavez was forced into service -- forced to try the Wanta case. As he, himself, clearly states, he had tried to resign from the case twice, but Judge Torphy wouldn't allow him to withdraw. Those who were after the Wanta trillions saw an easy solution: Get him declared mentally incompetent, put him in a mental institution, fill him with whatever drugs necessary to get out of him all the information required, and perhaps a convenient overdose would end this situation with Wanta's untimely death. The plan was thwarted by the chief physician at the Mental Health Division of the Office of Human Services. She, in fact, is quoted as having said: "The only people who are crazy are the people in Madison who sent this man here for evaluation."
When the "Let's put him in a mental institution" strategy failed, Mr. Chavez was forced to try the Wanta case and is due some sympathy... and understanding how he got drug into the Wanta trial helps to better realize his fear of being charged with providing ineffective counsel. That, however, doesn't change the fact that it was ineffective counsel at an unlawful trial for a non-existent crime.
The Chavez quote, above, is a perfect example of being considered guilty until proven innocent – by your own lawyer. Wanta’s own counsel (before a jury is even selected) tells the Court he thinks his client is guilty – he tells the Judge and the Prosecutor that the evidence against his client is overwhelming and he has advised Ambassador Wanta to accept whatever deal the State of Wisconsin has offered. As you will see later in the transcript, the evidence was not only NOT overwhelming, there was absolutely no evidence produced proving INCOME (as opposed to corporate cash flow or personal expense reimbursement) was paid to Leo Emil Wanta.
The above paragraph from the transcript establishes that a plan exists to avoid difficult cross-examinations, and to avoid investigating or challenging the lack of funds so witnesses or their depositions can be presented on the Defendant’s behalf. Chavez is establishing the basis for his own defense should ineffective counsel charges be brought against him. He obviously plans to present a defense that is repugnant to the Constitution of the United States.
According to bank statements dated April 1993 just prior to his arrest in Switzerland, Ambassador Leo E. Wanta had billions of dollars in the bank -- more than enough to fly witnesses to Wisconsin from Singapore, Austria, Russia, Switzerland, and other foreign locales which is where his witnesses resided. The Court withheld access to those funds; the Court withheld access to legal counsel of his choice. The Court provided a lawyer who appears to have involved himself in a plot to withhold any vestige of justice from Leo E. Wanta and which makes a joke of the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and the Attorney General’s office. These men, responsible for making sure defendants get a fair trial, were engaged in a plot to do everything but that.
If any citizen with relatively average intelligence was suddenly appointed by a court to defend a fellow citizen from charges of not paying legitimate income taxes, what’s the first thing he or she would do? It doesn’t take a law degree to know. The first thing that needs to be proven is that income was paid to the client. Only if income was paid can taxes against it be assessed by the State.
Most of us also know that there are two basic forms on which income is declared. There is a 1099 Miscellaneous Income form for the self-employed, and there is a W-2 Federal income declaration form used by employers. There are various other forms as well, but let’s keep it simple. At no time during the trial did attorney John Chavez demand the prosecution produce any income reporting form to prove income had been paid to Leo E. Wanta.
We citizens appointed to defend a client would be screaming; “Where are the 1099 Forms or the W-2 Forms which prove the Defendant earned income and didn’t pay taxes on it?”
This basic question was never asked by Mr. Chavez during the trial.
"Well," the prosecution might insist, "no forms were issued. That doesn't prove the Defendant didn't receive income – after all, we’re talking about illicit, illegal income here… a company owned and managed by the Defendant. He chose not to send himself a W-2 Form from a company he owns and controls."
Another question must then be asked in response to the Prosecutor's statement: “Where is the evidence proving the company did not issue the required forms… has that company been prosecuted or charged with tax violations? Was it investigated?” The answer is "No."
If the company required by law to provide the tax forms to Mr. Wanta is not being investigated or prosecuted, why? If there is not sufficient evidence to prosecute the company for not producing required income tax forms to employees (owners or otherwise), there is insufficient evidence to prosecute an employee of the company!”
This proves Mr. Chavez is either more ignorant than the average person who might be placed in his position. Or, it proves that Mr. Chavez was intentionally ignoring the basic charges filed against Ambassador Wanta.
There is no doubt that a Nevada corporation – one of Leo E. Wanta’s Title 18 Section 6 companies with a branch office in Wanta's former home in Appleton, WI – sent him checks which Mr. Wanta cashed. (For a definition of a Title 18 Section 6 company, go here and scroll to #4.)
Does cashing checks sent to him by his Nevada corporation make the funds “personal income” to Leo Wanta? It may or it may not. When a person works for a Nevada corporation but is performing duties for the company at a distant location, such an employee is usually reimbursed for travel and living expenses. And, as the trial progresses, it is Leo E. Wanta’s travel and living expenses the prosecutor presented to the Court, calling it personal income. But Mr. Chavez never makes these key points – because his only defense is Mr. Wanta’s testimony… which he finds "repugnant."
John Chavez is truly frightened that this trial may cost him his license to practice law in Wisconsin. He is frightened that the ineffective defense he plans – a defense designed to help find his client guilty of an imaginary charge – will fall apart and provide sufficient reason to get him disbarred should Wanta decide to not testify. Chavez ends his agonizingly embarassing "I want to make a record" statement by saying:
MR. CHAVEZ: There. I’ve made a record. I’m just – Again, the reason I’m making this record is, Mr. Wanta is only setting this up for ineffective assistance and for appeal.The closing comments on this topic by Mr. Chavez once again show his fear of ineffective assistance charges. There can only be one reason for this kind of fear before a jury is even chosen, before he performs poorly during the trial: The ineffective defense is planned and is known in advance.
Page 10, Paragraph 3, Line 13:
THE COURT: All right. Let me – Anything else, Mr. Chavez?
MR. CHAVEZ: No, Judge. Let me read what Mr. Wanta just gave to me, and then I’m going to have some questions of him.
THE COURT: Why don’t you make a couple copies of that for counsel.
The first question I’d like to ask and I – I would have asked it sooner or later, in any event, depending on whether or not Mr. Wanta indicates his desire to testify or his desire not to testify – or whether you would have called him or not called him, I guess…
…is a better way to phrase it. And I guess my question, Mr. Wanta, without getting into the details of the other things that Mr. Chavez has said, and that is that you understand that you have a right not to testify?
THE DEFENDANT: Your Honor, I’m innocent of the charges and I want to prove it by testifying – by testifying with the exhibits.
THE COURT: Please answer my questions. We’ll get to what you want to do. My question is, do you understand that you have a right not to testify?
The Defendant did answer your question, Judge. He added a thought, though. He has suggested that his testimony will be accompanied by exhibits. You had to get past that quickly because you and Mr Haag, the Prosecutor, aren’t going to allow any exhibits, are you?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.
THE COURT: And as I understand Mr. Chavez and from what you just said, it is at least presently your desire to testify as a witness on your own behalf in this case; is that true?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor, because he has not called a single witness – a witness on my behalf. He has refused to. He claims that the State did not give him enough in his budget and all this other material.
THE COURT: All right.
MR. CHAVEZ: That’s absolutely -- --
All right? The Defendant has told Judge Torphy his counsel has informed him there are no funds available for his defense and the Judge's response is "All right."? There are no questions asked of Mr. Chavez to verify this statement or deny it. Unbelievable! This is absolute proof that the Judge was aware that no funds had been made available to provide an acceptable defense for this defendant. This entire trial was a farce!
In a normal trial, at what point is the defendant advised of his right to testify or not to testify? Not before a jury is even selected, I'll wager. How often before a trial does a Judge ask a Defendant if he intends to testify and advise him of his right to either testify or not testify?
According to Leo E. Wanta, his funds were frozen and it prevented him from retaining his own counsel. His lawyer, provided by the court system (if not technically "court appointed")has informed him that there are no funds available to provide a coherent defense... no witnesses, no depositions. Wanta refused to accept court appointed counsel… in fact, at one point Mr. Chavez asked Wanta to terminate him as counsel. Ambassador Wanta informed Mr. Chavez that he couldn’t terminate his service because he hadn’t retained him.
Wanta’s funds were frozen by the Swiss. Did they defrost them before returning him to the U.S.? If not, why not? The massive deposits Wanta had in Swiss banks at the time of his arrest in Lausanne simply disappeared. The money was never returned to him or to the American people. Even so, why would an American courtroom allow frozen funds that would have paid for a private lawyer to remain frozen after his return to the United States and after all charges against Ambassador Wanta had been dropped? Why would the State of Wisconsin want to pay the costs for a court appointed lawyer when the Defendant was rumored to have access to $27.5 trillion? Answer: To gain and maintain control of the trial. In any fair trial, this would not have happened. In Wisconsin, it had to happen. The State had to maintain control of the unlawful performance it was about to give in the name of justice.
The point is, the frozen funds prevented Mr. Wanta from retaining his own counsel for this trial and stuck him with Mr. Chavez… who functioned under the control of the Court and the Public Defender's office.
Leo/Lee E Wanta was placed in an absolutely impossible position: Accept his lawyer’s advice (as Mr. Chavez admits giving it) and plead ”guilty” to a crime he hadn’t committed; or, go to trial to make sure certain important things got on the record. The things Leo Wanta needed to get on the record had to do with topics about which he, as an intelligence operative, could not speak. He needed to let the Court, the prosecution and his own defense counsel talk publicly about things it was unlawful for them to mention in a public forum, especially a Court of Law that had no jurisdiction to try his case. For them to mention such things merely violated the law; for an intelligence operative functioning under an Oath of Office to make the comments would have bordered on treason.
As the trial transcript reveals, they would try to lead him into betraying his Oath of Office, to speak of things intelligence operatives cannot reveal, but he wisely avoided that trap. He paid a heavy price for doing so, but not as severe as it would have been had he let them entice him onto that Yellow Brick Road. Perhaps that is what Mr. Chavez so feared about Ambassador Wanta’s testimony? Had Wanta gone into detailed explanations regarding his intelligence activities, he could have been skating around the edges of treason. Maybe that’s what the court hoped to provoke: a detailed explanation about an intelligence agency that had obviously thrown the Defendant under a bus. That would then provide a real reason to prosecute Wanta for treason and put him away for life. That, in turn, would give “them” legal access to the funds accrued by Ambassador Wanta’s Title 18 Section 6 corporations – which is, after all, what everyone was after.
When Ambassador Wanta charged Mr. Chavez with not calling witnesses on his behalf because court-provided funds were insufficient, the Judge has no reaction, whatsoever. He simply says “All right.” He doesn’t ask Mr. Chavez “Is this true?” The Judge knew there was no money made available to to try this case honestly on the basis of facts… probably the reason state public defenders and court appointed lawyers walked away from defending Wanta. Ambassador Wanta made very clear from the beginning that he had more than enough money, requested the funds be made available to him so he could retain his own legal counsel, and he strongly objected to having court-controlled lawyers forced upon him.
Interestingly, the prosecution (Mr. Haag) makes sure to point out to the jury (on Day 3 of the trial) that no witnesses were willing to appear on Mr. Wanta’s behalf – but that comes later. Telling a jury no one was willing to appear on behalf of a defendant is highy prejudicial.
What is a normal judicial reaction when a defendant in his/her courtroom says a court controlled lawyer told the defendant there was no money available to call witnesses (or take depositions)? My hope would be that the norm would be a Judge that called for an investigation. If the Court had made funds available, the Judge should be asking defense counsel where the money went. Obviously then, the Court did not make funds available and so the absence of them was not a surprise to Judge Torphy.
Based on the Sixth Amendment and its reliance on an adversarial system to achieve justice, funds to provide the basic needs of a defendant for a criminal offense certainly should be available. Of course, if a judge knew the charge was accurate and he was responsible for freezing the funds, no investigation would be ordered. Such a judge would say something like: “All right.”
When faced with this charge, Mr. Chavez is apparently going to say “That’s absolutely untrue” or “that’s absolutely a lie” or “That’s absolutely insane!” He suddenly stops after saying “That’s absolutely…” perhaps remembering they were on the record and he was about to tell a lie.