Lawyers representing Sam Bankman-Fried have strongly denied any allegations of attempting to intimidate witnesses in his criminal trial. In a letter addressed to Judge Lewis Kaplan on August 1, they argued that the prosecution’s attempt to revoke his bail and have him detained is based on flimsy grounds and relies heavily on assumptions and innuendo.
Bankman-Fried’s lawyers refuted the claim that his contact with a New York Times reporter was meant to intimidate former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison or influence the jury pool. They emphasized that his communication with the reporter was a legitimate exercise of his rights to make fair comments on an article that was already in progress and based on information from alternate sources available to the reporter.
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) had alleged that Bankman-Fried sharing Ellison’s diary with The New York Times was an act of harassment and intimidation. Ellison is expected to be a witness against Bankman-Fried in his upcoming criminal trial, scheduled for October this year.
However, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers countered the accusation, suggesting that it was, in fact, the government that shared Ellison’s diary with the New York Times. They found it implausible that the government had no involvement in the article, pointing out the language used in the story and its discussion of when the government would begin preparing its trial witnesses, along with the mention of documents not provided by Bankman-Fried.
The letter from Bankman-Fried’s lawyers vehemently denies any wrongdoing on his part and asserts that there is no justifiable reason to revoke his bail or have him detained ahead of the trial. They maintain that his contact with the reporter was a legitimate exercise of his rights, and any suggestion of intimidation is unfounded. The case remains ongoing, and the court will ultimately decide the validity of the arguments presented by both parties.