Thanks be to God, the underlying documentation was not "lost" and the truth finally prevailed in the Duke case, albeit not as quickly as we (and many others) wanted and some things apparently fell between the cracks
At Brad Bannon's request, I included the full text of the two emails he sent to me on May 8, 2007 in my article titled "Duke case: It starts with respecting sources," posted on August 2, 2007. Mr. Bannon graciously emailed me his thanks.
To refute ignorant statements and suggestions , I am setting forth an email I sent today to Eileen Cornacchia, Collin Finnerty's aunt, and her gracious reply.
"You may or may not know that there is a public dispute of sorts between Brad Bannon and me as to whether Brad should have believed Nifong’s lies and not expected to find evidence of multiple male DNA when he had the opportunity to review the underlying documentation.
"I had reported the multiple male DNA three times, twice in June of 2006 and again in early September of 2006, before the September 22, 2006 court conference at which Judge Osmond Smith ordered that the underlying documentation be produced. Brad apparently never knew what he should have expected to find should have been there to find.
"Ironically, I am being blamed for protecting a source and respecting parameters.
"I have consistently tried to do that. Therefore, I did not announce that '60' was on the Duke case as soon as I learned it, because I learned it in confidence, and I only used material when I believed the time had been reached when I could use it, and then used it discretely. I could write a fascinating book if I refused to treat confidences as confidences, but that's not my way.
"On February 26, 2006 I emailed you as follows:
“I am serving strictly as an intermediary for the fellow who wants to talk to [name of defense lawyer omitted]., but I'm glad you encouraged [him] and [he] agreed to speak with the fellow.
'One must take care with such contactors, but in a corrupt system, there is much to be learned from disgruntled people.
“My experience with people in NC with respect to the Duke case has been pretty good. Some strange ones have contacted me, but usually it's fearful people who want to help, know things that are not public knowledge and want me to front for them so that they will not not be identified as a source and punished for airing dirty little Durham secrets. Some are well-positioned and highly unlikely to be suspected.
'I recently was advised that Brad Bannon realized only this fall that Crystal was a multiple male DNA treasure trove, as a result of reviewing underlying documentation that Judge Smith rightly ordered to be produced over the objections of Nifong and Dr. Meehan.
'In "Duke Case: Does the prosecutor need prosecuting," posted on June 30, 2006, I wrote:
"Mr. Nifong should have wondered about the credibility of the accuser when the DNA samples were eagerly provided, or at least when the DNA found inside the accuser was determined not to have come from any of the Duke lacrosse players but from several other males."
'I am astonished that the defense lawyers say that they did not appreciate that until several months later.
'I thought they knew, "60" knew and the trick was for the lawyers to get a judge who is not a Nifong judge (Smith, as distinguished from Stephens and Titus) to take over the case, ungag so that "60" could do a blockbuster expose and expose Nifong's villainy and the real facts for all to see.
'Apparently the defense team finally learned about the scheme to cover up the facts because they were being very thorough instead of because they had been told where to look.
'At least Collin and Reade are on track to switch from being defendants in the Duke case to plaintiffs in civil suits and don't have to worry about a possible petty theft charge.
'It sure is a weird case.
"You replied the same day:
'I think there are lots of things the defense team knew and knows but they let the information out in their own good time and in their chosen ways. Thanks for the email.
"By posting our email exchange, I would show that (1) my practice was to deal with the defense through you (it was),(2) I expressed my surprise about the defense’s apparent ignorance of what to expect BEFORE Brad testified that he did think as of September 22, 2006 that he would not find evidence of multiple male DNA (I did) and (3) my email did not surprise you (after all, I had forwarded my June 20 and June 30 articles directly to you).
"Some Brad enthusiasts are suggesting that I am a Nifong enabler.
"You knew what my view of Nifong was when you first emailed me on May 24, 2006 to express gratitude for my writing and to encourage me to do more.
"I responded by making exposing the truth in the Duke case a personal priority, pro bono, so that the unwarranted ordeal of the players would end ASAP.
"Of course, there are those who resented any criticism of the defense strategy and I did criticize it in some respects. When I urged a bolder strategy (after all, I had already reported the multiple male DNA twice and expected it eventually would bring down Nifong and end the case), the article was pronounced 'excellent' and promptly posted on the FODU website, only to be quietly delinked because it did not conform to defense strategy.
"The notion that those of us who favored a bolder strategy are Nifong enablers is ludicrous, of course, and I wish North Carolina was whistleblower-friendly, but it was not for me to decide a source’s parameters should not be respected and knowing what to look for is not the same as finding it.
"I would like to post this email including our email exchange of February 26 (with the attorney’s name omitted).
"If you have a problem with any of that, please let me know.
Eileen's prompt reply:
"Mike, I don't see any problem with your releasing these emails. I certainly understand your position and your interest to protect yourself if you are being maligned or misinterpreted professionally. What I understand is that you are going to release your two emails to me. Name me as the recipient and print my one line reply. If that is your understanding, you have my permission.
Thereafter, for clarity of presentation we agreed that I would post in order our email exchanged on August 2, 2007, since my email included both of our February 26, 2007 emails.
Thanks be to God, the underlying documentation was not "lost" and the truth finally prevailed in the Duke case, albeit not as quickly as we (and many others) wanted and some things apparently fell between the cracks.
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.