“The special master has ruled against me,” former ATF agent and whistleblower Jay Dobyns told supporters and followers of his case on his website. “In his eyes I failed in my attempt to prove that DOJ committed fraud upon the court during the trial of this lawsuit. I lost this battle.” . . .
Dobyns is the whistle-blowing agent who gained notice after infiltrating the Hells Angels and writing about his experiences in the New York Times bestseller, “No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner-Circle of the Hells Angels.” He has since been the subject of numerous reports focused on retaliation he has been subjected to for coming forward with information exposing official wrongdoing. He was also instrumental in providing background information on management personalities and practices involved in the Operation Fast and Furious “gunwalking” scandal.
The agent had sued ATF for failure to properly investigate an arson attack that destroyed his home and endangered his family, and for reneging on protection agreements over death threats he received after the bureau withdrew his cover identity following the Hells Angels case. In September, Senior Judge Francis M. Allegra of the United States Court of Federal Claims awarded Dobyns $173,000 and denied government royalty claims against Dobyns for his book, seemingly providing an end to a prolonged six-year ordeal. Until the government challenged that ruling in the 11th hour.
In a move surprising to many case-watchers, the judge then voided his own judgment, provoking speculation but no answers as to why. That became apparent after the judge alleged government lawyers had committed “fraud upon the court,” and called for a special master to be appointed to investigate documentation of witness intimidation withholding information from and lying to the court, and other misconduct by government attorneys.
That special master was Judge John M. Facciola. His order unsealing some, but not all, court documents related to the case, has now been posted.
“The documents will soon be available through the United States Court of Federal Claims; docket 1:08-cv-00700-FMA. For those who hold a Pacer account they will be published here:https://www.pacer.gov/psco/cgi-bin/courtinfo.pl?court=E_USFCC,” Dobyns advised. “What you are going to find are witness statements, investigative reports, DOJ’s insider emails, court filings, thousands of them.”
Unsurprisingly, to those watching this case, those documents as well as circumstances surrounding the case also produce many unanswered questions that raise serious concerns. Among them:
Why did the special master not follow specific instructions, instead focusing on a definition of ‘fraud’ so tight that its application was almost unattainable? Why did DOJ attorney Valerie Bacon pressing ATF not to reopen the arson investigation because it might interfere with the government’s defense not constitute actionable misconduct? Just because the investigation went forward in spite of that doesn’t mean government attorneys shouldn’t be held accountable.
Why did Department of Justice attorneys do nothing to notify the court of obstruction of justice allegations raised by Dobyns’ legal team? Why did they lie to the judge, claiming they knew nothing about it, including about threats made against a witness? Why is DOJ attorney Jeanne Davidson, called by Dobyns “the ringleader for the attorneys who were representing DOJ,” still up for federal judgeship confirmation (albeit it was put on hold), and what will the results of that nomination be now that documents have been unsealed?
Why did Facciola accept DOJ’s contention that because threats against the witness did not dissuade him from testifying, it was basically “no harm/no foul”?
Why has Judge Allegra now been removed from the case, and why has Court of Federal Claims Chief Judge Patricia E. Campbell-Smith – who smilingly presented Jeanne Davidson with an award – assigned the case to herself? Alternatively, Campbell-Smith has alluded to unspecified “health” reasons, and alternatively, without elaboration, because it was “necessary for the efficient administration of justice.”
“This case is mired in Gov. Corruption,” Vince Cefalu declared in response to that photograph, which he posted on CleanUpATF, the whistleblower website where the first allegations that the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry involved “walked” guns was made. Cefalu himself is a previously-promoted agent who ran afoul of management for objecting to illegal wiretapping. Escalating retaliation, including for his providing further evidence of management wrongdoing, resulted in his being illegally fired and then reinstated in a settlement that included $85,000 in damages, legal fees, and an expunging of adverse information from his record.
“So this Judge TAKES the case away from Allegra when he insists that Dobyns has a right to depose DOJ Attys,” Cefalu continued. “There is ample evidence that DOJ obstructed justice. Pray for my brother. Corruption prevails.”
There’s plenty more—the case is long and detailed, and can’t be adequately summarized in a column-length post. I and a few others have written about the case, seemingly exhaustively, over the years, but like the radio slogan goes, the hits just keep on coming.
That invariably results in no shortage of comments from readers demanding to know why any of “us” should care about what happens to an ATF agent, a guy who was part of that system. There’s no small amount of “hoist on his own petard” sentiment, and that’s from the polite critics.
Think of it this way – if the government can eat one of its own like this when he strays from the reservation, think what they can do to any of us. If the system does not provide for a fair trial for someone you don’t care about, how can it provide one for those you do care about? If a fair trial is impossible, that means checks and balances are gone. Piling on the guy fighting against that is not in the interests of anyone except the ones who would rig the system, and the ones who would take that as a green light for corruption and abuse.
“The appeal process will continue,” Dobyns advises. “Likely for several more years. Millions more of your dollars will be spent by DOJ in the process.”
And that, compared to the wider implications, seems the least of our worries.