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FOX Analyst: TSA Lawyer Carla Martin May Have Coached Witnesses in Moussaoui Trial to Help Reduce Airlines' Liability in 9-11 Civil Suit

Reported by Marie Therese - March 17, 2006

st-patricks-day-1.gif Carla Martin, the TSA attorney at the center of a controversy involving the Moussaoui trial, may have even more to worry about than official censure. Peter Johnson, a FOX News Legal Analyst and FOX & Friends host, dropped a bombshell this morning when he announced that attorneys for the 9-11 victims' families are making the case that Ms. Martin might have coached transportation witnesses in an effort to help airline companies defend against a suit brought by the same families.

As everyone knows by now, Carla Martin, who worked on the Pan Am Lockerbie case for many years and was one of a number of Transportation Security Administration attorneys assigned to the Zacharias Moussaoui trial, has been put on administrative leave because she coached transportation witnesses in the penalty phase of the trial by providing them with copies of other witnesses' testimony, an action that was in violation of Judge Leonie Brinkema's explicit ruling. Judge Brinkema decided that the federal prosecutors would not be allowed to call seven key witnesses, because their testimony would be tainted. In an appeal, the prosecutors argue that this is too harsh a punishment.

Ms. Martin's attorney, Roscoe C. Howard, issued a statement saying, "When her opportunity comes, her response will show a very different, full picture of her intentions, her conduct and her tireless dedication to a fair trial."

Judge Brinkema has put the trial on hold until Monday.

Steve Doocy then noted that Mr. Howard also said that his client had "a little help from a couple of lawyers representing American airlines - American and United - who are being sued by 9-11 victims."

Peter Johnson jumped in to give the lawyerly statement of what has been alleged:

PETER JOHNSON: "There are some allegations in a New York federal court lawsuit by the victims' lawyers that perhaps, perhaps, lawyers for American and United airlines were trying to affect the outcome in the criminal trial in order to affect the outcome in the civil trial in New York. It's not yet clear, but if you put the pieces together, it clearly raises more questions about how many people were actually involved in this process by which the transcripts were, were sent. There's no proof on this ..."

DOOCY: "Right."

JOHNSON: "... but allegations have been made by the victims' lawyers in New York federal court."

ALISYN CAMEROTA: "And they contend that the airlines were trying to change the prosecution's angle, because they didn't like the ..."

JOHNSON: "They didn't like the prosecution's ...."

CAMEROTA: "... the prosecution's angle that 9-11 could have been averted somehow."

JOHNSON: "The implication is that the prosecution's angle would hurt them in the civil lawsuit if the transportation officials continued to testify in a way that the prosecutors said they were going to testify."


"Oh, what tangled webs we weave,
When first we practice to deceive!"

Sir Walter Scott 1771-1832

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