Saturday, September 15, 2007
Federal government disrespected Missourians with actions taken in Cooper case
What has become increasingly clear in the case of the immigration fraud case of former Rep. Nathan Cooper, R-Cape Girardeau, is that the federal government was willing to sacrifice the integrity of the Missouri House of Representatives and the people of Cooper's district in order to make its case against Cooper's alleged accomplice, Omega Paulite.
Though government officials apparently had more than enough evidence to convict Cooper well before the 2006 elections, he was allowed to run for re-election, saddling the people of his district with a felon as their representative and placing a Republican leadership which deserved better with a member who was clearly unworthy of their trust and support.
Documents filed Thursday in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri continue to underscore these points. Ms. Paulite's attorneys from the St. Louis-based Bryan Cave firm, filed a series of motions, including a request for all recordings possessed by the prosecution.
The motion noted that evidence against Ms. Paulite came from monitored telephone conversations, gathered over a period of several months, between Ms. Paulite and Cooper. At this time, Cooper had already been contacted by the government, knew he was caught dead to rights, and was working with the government to nail his alleged co-conspirator. It is not just Ms. Paulite's filings that lend credence to this, but government affidavits filed when the case against Cooper was finally brought to light.
That leaves three questions:
1. Was Ms. Paulite an important enough catch for the government to allow a criminal to remain in the Missouri Legislature?
2. Is there something else coming down the road of which we have not been informed?
3. Was Cooper offered some sort of deal in order to remain in the House and act as if nothing was any different than usual, just so the government could make its case against Ms. Paulite.
The people in Cape Girardeau deserved better than an extra year or more of
having a felon representing them. For that matter, Cooper was making decisions that affected everyone in this state. For the federal government to manipulate our state government in this manner is simply inexcusable.
In other motions filed in Ms. Paulite's case:
-Her attorneys asked that any statements she made on Aug. 8 be thrown out. "Ms. Paulite unequivocally invoked her right to counsel and attempted to call her attorney," the motion said. After that, the motion indicated, two Department of Labor agents continued to question her, violating her Miranda rights.
-Amended an earlier motion to free Ms. Paulite of some of her bond restrictions
-Asked for additional time to file motions since Bryan Cave just recently came on board. The deadline for motions was Thursday.
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