What’s the latest being thrown around? Two words: Witness, and Tampering. Yeah, file that one under really bad idea.
Witness tampering is the real deal. (18 U.S.C. § 1512. Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/718/usc_sec_18_00001512—-000-.html.)
Tyler Hamilton’s lawyers on Monday formally notified federal authorities about a weekend incident they consider to be “aggressive contact” initiated by Lance Armstrong, saying it is up to those authorities to decide whether it constitutes witness tampering.
. . .
The two cyclists crossed paths at an Aspen, Colo., restaurant Saturday night, said Hamilton attorney Chris Manderson. He said Hamilton told him Armstrong repeatedly asked how much he had been paid to do the television interview, and added that his legal team would “(expletive) destroy you,” “tear you apart on the witness stand,” and “make your life a living (expletive) hell.”
If this is true, man, Armstrong just stuffed it up hard.
It’s got to be tempting to put your hand on a guy who just testified against you. It’s got to be tempting to laugh him down from the comfort of your bar stool. It’s got to be tempting to have him thrown out of the restaurant when you’re personal friends with the owner.
But, just because something is tempting doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to actually do it.
Remember Filippo Simeoni? (Stage 18, 2004 Tour de France: http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/07/24/1090464904320.html.) I’m sure that seemed like a great idea at the time too. This time, maybe not so much.
California-based former federal prosecutor Richard J. Cutler has no first-hand knowledge of the incident but said that the episode, if accurately recounted by Hamilton, could fall within the definition of witness tampering.
Although no criminal charges have been filed against Armstrong, Cutler said the ongoing investigation could be enough to underlie a charge of witness tampering. Hamilton could be called back before the grand jury to provide more information, and/or summoned to testify at trial if a case were to go that far.
“If I were the prosecutor, my investigator would be going to talk to Hamilton,” said Cutler, now with the firm of Dechert LLP. “This, to me, is a game-changer.”
A charge of witness tampering could also affect any statute of limitations issues prosecutors might be facing by extending the timeline forward to the present day, Cutler added.
If what I’m reading about the statute of limitations is correct, and I have every reason to believe that it is, this could completely change the manner, and amount, of charges Armstrong could be facing. This relevant paragraph is from a May 25th Sports Illustrated article on Floyd Landis.
Under federal law, the statute of limitations for charges related to the illegal possession and distribution of steroids, human growth hormone and related performance-enhancers is five years. Federal charges for conspiracy and racketeering also carry a five-year statute of limitations. Given that Landis rode with Armstrong between 2002 and 2004, charges for whatever wrongdoing Armstrong may have committed could therefore be barred by time. That said, the statute of limitations for a charge can be tolled (extended) under certain conditions.
Like my man Joe Biden likes to say, this is a big fucking deal. If Armstrong just opened the door to criminal liability on charges that were previously going to be barred by the statute of limitations, he will have just handed the prosecution an early Christmas present wrapped in a big red bow. And, even if the statute of limitations tolling issue somehow does not come into play, the charge of witness tampering remains.
In fact, this may have been Armstrong biggest mistake of all. Even if prosecutors find themselves unable to indict him on a drug charge, they could still nail Armstrong for obstruction of justice.
Just like they did with Barry Bonds[.]
Holy shit you really are a lawyer. Good luck with your bar exam. And then go win some bike versus car cases. Like my friend Kathy in Scottsdale (just a school teacher) Got hit, headed out to cave creek by a duelly broken pelvis,and rehab. Of course the truck driver said she swerved into him, bullshit. She is one of the best riders ever. Ludo
damn…the onion continues to peel….
Should he fuckin’ hug him or what ? I say bust a beer bottle on his chops. We all have done wrong things and none of us like a tattle tale.Nothing wrong with a little school- yarding for a guy who stuck his nose in the pooh pile
I LOVE legal arguments. Especially when they promise to actually bite the guilty on the ass.
Nicely done and best of success on that Bar.
No physical record of what was said, or the manner in which it was said.
He said – She said. Reports were that Hamilton was shaking like a leaf because he got called out. Then he got 86’d from the restaurant.
Guilty or innocent of the accusations, I would have busted Hamilton in the chops for being an opportunistic, money-grubbing, snitch. Little bitch.
Testifying to a grand jury is one thing. Turning THAT into a publicity stunt is a bitch move.
I don’t see George Hincapie out crowing about 1999. Maybe because he’s too busy working like a real man, and not trying to turn a profit off of bitch-ass gossip.
Landis and Hamilton need to go confess to their priest and then get back to bagging groceries or whatever the fuck they’re doing.
Oh, and while we’re talking law, Counselor:
Care to expound on the credibility of Landis and Hamilton as witnesses?
I could care less about Armstrong one way or the other. If I’m a juror, though, I’m not taking their latest version of events as truth any more than I took their ridiculous stories as truth the past 5 years.
Furthermore, they’ve been profiting from their lies all along. And now, they’re profiting from….lies? Truth?
If your case hinges on the testimony of those clowns, you’re in serious trouble.
W, it really doesn’t matter if Landis or Hamilton are credible witnesses, because they are not the only witnesses. There is nothing for you or I to expound upon in their regard. You may be confusing an appearance in the media with the prosecutions best evidence. We’ve seen the former, but not that latter.
And, you should really read some of the links I provided above. The question is whether this witness tampering thing has wings.
I see this theme a lot on comment boards and blogs…that Hamilton has somehow hatched an elaborate plan to generate publicity for a novel.
Even if true – and you’re really giving a lot of CREDIBILITY to Hamilton to assume this is all part of an orchestrated plan – don’t forget that A) It doesn’t mean necessarily that the contents of the novel would be false and B) that Mr. Armstrong is not above selling a novel about his experience riding bikes.
…@w…so, i guess we’re all supposed to feel like you just ‘bitch slapped’ us & told us “how it is’ because you played runaway steamroller all over the post…
…how ’bout you back the fuck up & take another look at what you really just said…you made your case by bagging on two particular guys & yes, they are the two who’ve garnered the most attention recently in relation to the ‘armstrong investigation’ & yes, their testimonies, were they to be presented alone before a jury of their peers would suffer from credibility issues…although, as an aside, plenty of us here now accept their recent statements…
…however, you seem to have forgotten all the ex-teammates & others involved who’ve made statements about they & armstrong’s involvement over the years, who don’t have credibility problems…
…at the time they were made, their accusations were perhaps simply an angered ‘calling out’ of armstrong but at this point their statements add validity to testimony from a person like hincapie…& there may be others we haven’t heard about who’ve testified as regards armstrong’s culpability before the grand jury…
…so how about you sit back down in the gallery & if you’re needed, the court will call on you…
…so far, despite your angered vitriol, the only factual statement of account you’ve made is that there is no physical record of the armstrong/hamilton confrontation…other than that, you’ve got nothing…
I followed your links, BJ. I know my way around many sections of the US Code, and I respectfully disagree on this matter of witness tampering.
You have Hamilton saying one thing. Perhaps the US Attorney could find a witness that was in earshot of the altercation and would be willing to corroborate Hamilton’s account.
You have Armstrong which calls this a cordial, awkward encounter. And he’s already got his friends backing him up.
This is nothing. It has no wings. The burden of proof lies with them, and all they have is Hamilton’s word. Yawn.
As for the credible witness stuff…Hamilton and Landis’ shenanigans might play for a grand jury. And we don’t know what, if any charges, might be filed. But, the US Attorney better play ball with more than disgraced cheaters to catch a cheater. Even a conspiracy charge is going to require a coherent paper trail, and if it hasn’t emerged in the decade that people have been looking for one, I don’t think it’s going to emerge now.
I’m looking at the baseball cases for insight on how this will play out. Bonds has walked. His obstruction charge will be tossed. Clemens might get nailed, but only because his trainer turned over syringes (!). Marion Jones and CJ Hunter got nailed on a paper trail, but would have walked otherwise.
So, I appreciate your thought into legal strategy here, but a look at case precedence is a pretty big deal, as well. We try cases in courtrooms. Armstrong’s team will be the most agile lawyers money can buy. They will out maneuver the US Attorney, just like the defense did for the baseball players. They have that case precedence (in terms of the winning strategy) on their side. You see this case getting stronger. I see it getting weaker, and weaker.
And, on a non-legal point. Hamilton better HTFU. There are a few million Lance Lovers out there that want to stomp on him. Like Landis, everywhere he goes he will be jeered, heckled, spit on, etcetera.
And the motherfucker DIDN’T TIP! Once that gets out, he’ll be eating snot with every sandwich.
I’m kinda curious why Phil Z. gets a pass and a pat on the back, while LA gets his due.
FYI, I am no LA fan.
No surprises here. LA built his career on mind games and intimidation. Old habits die hard. I can’t wait to see what happens when he tries to intimidate his fellow prisoners!
…bottom line…bonds, clemens, jones, etc., lying during a federal investigation…
…armstrong & tailwind cronies, misappropriation of federal monies & a probable ‘hindering an investigation’…
…very different scenarios, bucky…
i hate to say it, but i’m getting a serious case of dope-gate fatigue.
personally, this post and comments made my eyes glaze over, but i guess lawyers gotta argue.
yes, LA is one of the biggest assholes in the sport.
yes, LA doped, everyone knows it.
yes, it seems EVERYONE competing at that level dopes and games the system.
i just don’t care any more. please, more baller, red-bull and divide posts instead of legal semantics. this is getting boring.
Are you really taking the bar exam?
big jonny – very nicely written…you did not waste you time in law school…looking forward to more from you on this..when I recounted the restaurant incident to my wife, she concluded “witness tampering” almost before I finished the story…
Just like his cancer he denied it until his swollen sack forced him off the bike. I predict a tearful confession kinda like when he announces to the world that he had cancer. Waiting until it gets really bad before admitting some thing’s wrong then having to unnecessarily fight for his life. Only this time it’ll be for his freedom and reputation. His next book, “It’s Not About The Jail Time”
Gotta love the Lance fan boys. Sorry, Lance may be a good bike rider and yes he raises money for his cancer charity, but as a human he is nothing but selfish a piece of shit. “Oh, but he raises money for cancer!” Yeah, but if he had not gotten cancer he would not have raised a penny, nor would he have cared. His history of intimidating and trying to intimidate people leaves him with no fucking credibility at all.
W – I appreciate your point regarding case precedent. Although I am sure there is a trove of relevant stuff I could spend the rest of today reading through, I haven’t the time or the energy. Instead, I’m going to burn my morning with two timed practice essays on Civil Procedure. On balance, I’d rather throw myself down a flight of stairs.
Just like with Nixon, it’s not the crime, but the cover-up that burns ’em. That, and hubris.
Two links I found this morning worth sharing:
Joe Biden is your man? I’m sorry.
This was a really bad move on Armstrong’s part, but the statute-of-limitations argument is bunk. The Supreme Court rejected it 60 years ago in Grunewald v. United States, 353 U.S. 391, 402 (1953).
RMS, since you may know more about this than I do (nearly anyone would at this point!), Grunewald dealt with conspiracy charges, right? And that least one overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy must occur within either the statute of limitations time frame or the tolling of same? And, that any such act in furtherance of the conspiracy could not occur once the objective of that conspiracy had been realized, in essence, terminating the conspiracy? For that to be applicable to the Armstrong case, wouldn’t the conspiracy need to have ended? (What conspiracy the prosecution will be alleging I’m not even sure at this point, to defraud the government because US Postal was a recipient of tax dollars?)
Interesting stuff. Way better than that Civ Pro I’m supposed to be doing right now…
poor lance, tormented by unfathomable grief over the early loss of his father and the agony of being raised by an insane alcoholic mother (how many times has that slut been married? three? four?) but listen, if it were me i’d be a drunk or a suicide. more likely the latter since i lack the gene for addiction. lance, he’s got a nice incipient alcoholism going. i can’t wait to see if it blossoms into full blown addiction after the public legal humiliation which is sure to come!
Armstrong isnt going to Haven !
Dude just cannot help himself. He’s his own worst enemy. He’s going down hard, all the Lance fan boys are gonna be sad when this does finally happen, and it’s gonna happen. Funny thing is, most of the Lance fan boys were the same guys defending Hamilton, defending Landis, defending Ullrich, and so on and so forth. You guys are ridiculously naive.
By the way not a Lance fan either , just a fan standing up for yourself
You’re spot on about the holding of Grunewald. I have a hard time coming up with any conspiracy that could still be going on. After all, the doping (at least what Tyler has alleged) took place more than five years ago, which is the federal statute of limitations. There are some exceptions to Grunewald, but I haven’t heard anything about this case that would make me think they apply. I think this former prosecutor was spouting off without really thinking about what he was saying.
If Armstrong gets charged, I hope it’s for trying to shut Tyler up. That trial would be less likely to drag the sport through the mud.
Get back to that civ pro. The only thing worse than studying for the bar is studying for the bar the second time.
What happend to running down hippsters around here. That’s so much more fun than this legal dribble.
W wears tight pants!
Hamilton stiffed em on the tip:
If it is true Lance stopped Hamilton by forcibly placing a hand on his chest it at least a very bad move. Lance seems pretty stupid.
Who the hell would leave a tip when they were 86’ed??
Holy giant assumption…who is saying the charges would be related to activities prior to 5 years ago. Successful cheaters, liars and thieves don’t stop until someone makes them stop. The idea that the Lance activities related to the issues magically stopped is enough to make me laugh.
…so lance starts his day in tennessee, beginning a benefit century ride at 7:00am (5:00am – mountain time), flies back in the private jet afterwards (who’s paying for fuel – oh, never mind, that’s none a’ my business) & just happens to be having drinks at cash cash’ around 11, 11:30pm that night…
…wonder if he was actually at home & someone dropped a dime, mentioning that the tyler hamilton party was having dinner at said restaurant (one of armstrong’s faves)…
…sounds like with those long hours, the guy really is a superman…that, or perhaps he couldn’t help himself from dropping by & having an intimidating word with old pal tyler…
…as someone suggested, armstrong wouldn’t have gotten in landis’ face with the same agenda…it’s been said that tyler is a sweetheart but a nervous kinda guy…floyd, while a nice guy, not so much a nervous type…that might a’ been a different kind of confrontation…
Lance Armstrong is a thug. He smeared Emma O’Reilly. Smeared Lemond. Chased Simonei and smeared him.
He’s just a little fucking piece of shit thug. I am sick of him. I hope he loses his fortune and rots in jail for ten years.
_I_ sure as hell wouldn’t leave a tip if I was 86’ed. “I’ve been thrown out of nicer places than this!”
Thanks Big Jonny for your consistent posts on Pharmstrong. I always look forward to your take on Lance Arrogantstrong. I hope this case is wrapped up soon. The suspense is killing me. I think Novitsky is taking his time, putting all the pieces together to insure a solid case, after the previous investigations on Balco etc.
When the indictments come down, we’ll need your input to make sense of all the legalese. As you can tell, I’m no fan of the uniballer and I have this feeling of dread or unease or just plain disgust that Juan Pelota will get away with it in the end and he’ll walk away scot-free.
content=”Cache Cache Bistro is Aspen’s favorite and affordable restaurant…
885$ thats affordable?
Lance was not tampering with the witness. he was clearly addressing his comments to Tyler’s chimeria twin.
pretty sure landis would have cracked him in his f….ng face.
Men no nite to go to the Cash Cash.
@Phried.. it’s ASSpen, that is affordable, it’s only 3 digits.
Two words: Former Triathlete
I HIGHLY doubt Tyler was picking up the tab on that restaurant bill.
Still, if I, or one of my friends, were told (for no very good reason) I could finish my meal but that I wasn’t welcome to return ever again, I don’t think I would leave a tip.
“Hamilton told Manderson that he returned to his friends at the table, where the waiter who had taken their order made it clear he was no longer welcome.”
In those circumstances it’s entirely appropriate to leave a tip.
..a fucking table tipped over.
wow. Imagine a restaurant saying you’re not welcome because Lance doesn’t like you?!
…i’m sure the owner (& her cycling pal) knew damn well that mentioning to reporters that the hamilton party didn’t tip was gonna leave an impression, no matter the real circumstance…
…armstrong 101 – the book of intimidation…“always make your opponent look bad while casting yourself in a favorable light…truth be damned…”…
I just had a thought, strange..I know, but I’m sitting here watching the Tour de Suisse and saw Big George in the bunch. I wonder how he’s being treated after “spitting in the soup”…albeit under oath…. Any thoughts?
…btw…“…if…” it really was a classy place & the owner felt so strongly about the situation, then she personally should have gone over to the hamilton table & suggested that they enjoy their meal, that the meal would be on the house & that as owner, due to personal philosophy, she would request that mr hamilton never again frequent her establishment…
…by all reports, there had been no rowdiness, no bad behavior or actual disturbance, therefor whining to the press that the party didn’t tip after designating a server to interrupt their meal & inform them that they were not allowed back is despicable…
…if you were told in the middle of a meal that you were not allowed back into an establishment once you were done, do you think you could stomach that food with any ease ???…
…underhanded & classless…just how one of her friends handles his ‘behind the scenes’ situations…
I think this news is kind of amusing. LA is an apex predator. He didn’t get to the top without having a few antisocial characteristics like narcissism, aggressiveness, willingness to break the rules, and utter lack of remorse. He may crash and burn eventually but before that happens I find him fun to watch. Doping or no doping, he was and still is a formidable motherfucker.
JaPo , yep !!!
He’ll skate this deal. It will be obvious fraud and he’ll walk. His wallet says “bad ass motherfucker”.
His 7 Tours mean shit. He’s a liar, fraud, asshole. “Apex predator”. He’s an apex shaped pile of shit.
When I was watching that Sixty Minutes interview it was obvious as hell that Tyler was thinking the whole time that sooner or later he was going to run into Lance and get his Ass Kicked.
Meanwhile, anybody else heard the rumor that there’s a movie coming out about this whole mess starring Charlie Sheen as LA and Bronson Pinchot as Tyler Hamilton? Steve Zahn as Floyd and that guy who played Floyd on The Andy Griffith show as Pat Mcquaid.
It is after all, show business. Anybody ride their bikes today?
yeah, I ride everyday I can, cause it is the source…I don’t pay any attention to pro cycling because it is pathetic and full of scumbags that make Don King look classy.
Make no mistake, Novitsky would not be doing this had he not the cat in the bag. He is waiting to create his masterpiece, it is not if but what charges will hit. Vaughters, Zabriskie, CVV, and others have testified and have not been +, or involved in any investgation.
LA does not do anything that is not premeditated. “bumping” into TY was no accident.
Hubris is a beautiful thing, it will ultimately lead to his narcissistic downfall.
Off to Flag and Williams to race my bike, ya’ll ride yours.
oh, and fuck Lance and the yellow cock rings too.
You know what is hilarious? Jokes about the chimera/vanishing twin. So fucking funny. Every time.
Same thing goes for Contador and beef products. Every time.
This just in: Alberto Contador wins the 2011 Tour de France by a margin of 6h 44m 21s (after time bonuses). He rides the final stage only for the excellent steak frites and French sparkling white wine.
Keep the rubber side down, y’all.
the mennonite joke was pretty funny
…humpty – i agree, the guy is extremely calculating & that’s what’s interesting about the novitsky investigation…armstrong & team can only extrapolate but he just doesn’t know what cards novitsky actually holds…
…your mention of vaughters, zabriskie, et al, ties in with mike asking about how hincapie is dealing with ‘fitting in’ after testifying under oath…pro cyclists have been dodging questions, spinning yarns &/or lying to the press, public & even investigators for years about doping issues but word has gotten around the peleton that a grand jury subpoena is bigger…it’s ‘serious ass, go to jail if you lie’ shit…
…preserving the status quo is one thing, going to jail for it is another, so i can’t imagine anybody is coming down too hard on elder statesman george hincapie…
…remember, other than tyler hamilton’s 60 minutes revelations, nobody really knows what information novitsky has collected, not even ‘superman’ himself…or his lawyers…
…barry bonds trainer greg anderson did jail time rather than testify against bonds & the speculation is that there will be a nice payoff for anderson, down the line…
…nobody is gonna go to jail to preserve armstrong’s ass or his lies, no matter how much he could pay them off…guy has burned to many bridges & then there’s that hubris issue…people are only gonna carry your shit for so long, then you gotta deal with it yourself…he’s surrounded by ‘yes-men’ but they’re not involved in this investigation…
…the guy may skate on jail time but armstrong’s lying & deceit will finally be exposed to the world at large & yet with the right spin, a little (faked) humbleness, i see armstrong coming up smelling like fucking roses in the long run…
…bottom line – armstrong’s legacy will not be written as the ‘perfect record’ he would like it to be…
…but the motherfucker will be living on steak, champagne & foie gras for the rest of his days…guaranteed…
For the record:
I laugh as heartily at the Lance-haterz as I do at the Lance-loverz. I think the cranky old men that get apoplectic over this shit are hilarious, too. I’m a cyclist, so this case intrigues me. But I take it as the drama of the competition. I have no rooting interest. I’m too busy with my own dream to be worried about the blood bank in 1997 or whatever the fuck obscure FDA statute Johan Bruyneel violated.
However you see Lance in your fanboy world, you can’t deny that he is arguably the most bad ass cyclist in history. I guess it’s cool to excavate the name of some coked out Belgian and tell tales of him attacking in the snow in ’74 or some shit. That guy is cool, too. But Armstrong is one aggressive bastard and he wins. I admire that in professional sports.
Now, rather than be a grown-up, Hamilton made the bitch move of going on TV and publicly dragging Armstrong’s name (fact or fiction) through the dirt. That’s just lowlife, tabloid journalism. So, this wasn’t witness tampering. Had Hamilton testified and then creeped back to his sad little life, Armstrong would be none the wiser. But he didn’t. And he got called out with a “How much did they pay you, pussy?” tongue lashing. Ha! Morally speaking, that’s fair game and as entertaining as a counter-attack on Ventoux. Legally speaking, it’s a Novitzky Hail Mary.
So, I laugh the hardest at Hamilton. Imagine him quaking and stuttering and wetting his pants. Maybe Armstrong can track down Landis outside a White Castle and give him the finger, too.
In sports, the only better than a mean aggressive bastard taking pretenders behind the woodshed is when that mean aggressive bastard gets taken down a peg by the new bastard. That’s the competitor in me talking.
So far, it’s just been the disgraced runners-up crying foul and that’s not going very far. So, until the next Armstrong whupping…
“Now, rather than be a grown-up, Hamilton made the bitch move of going on TV and publicly dragging Armstrong’s name (fact or fiction) through the dirt.”
…Says a guy on a message board with nothing to risk. My guess is the opposite, Hamilton (always has been a loser as far as I’m concerned), facing grown up realities of the cheating and the crimes made a grown up decision. Instead of making up some stupid story (vanishing twin) and starting another self-serving foundation took the best option as an adult.
As far as it being limited to disgraced cyclists, those are almost the only kind left due to their own actions (yeah, that includes Lance).
I guess another way to say it is there are very few cyclists stuck in the immature frame of mind that cheating and being a criminal equals being a man and a stand up human…I am only sure of one left at this point, we’ll see if it lasts.
The Feds take a very dim view of witness tampering and they have obtained § 1512 convictions for a lot less than the alleged behavior in this incident.
…wow…it’s kinda sad that some folks just don’t pay attention to what’s really going on…
…but not unusual…
“…what’s really going on…”?
What’s really going on is I get up too early, travel too far to do too much work for too little money, come home too late and too tired to go for a proper ride, have too many bills, pay too many taxes, and am getting too old too fast. Meanwhile, the elected officials we hired to make things better are too busy worrying about bicycle racers to do their job.
Jesus, dude! Do I have to draw you a picture?
…draw all the pictures you want, joe, any way you like…they can be your art portfolio…
…i was referring to someone & something all together different…
I was referring to who gives a fuck, bigger picture-wise. And maybe I was (am) alittle drunk. So crucify me. It’s Drunkcyclist, ain’t it? And I been both today. Simultaneously, even.
But seriously (seriously) I doubt one out of a thousand give a rat’s ass who dopes and who don’t. Most of us got bigger fish to fry. And I for one am sick of hearing aboot it, eh.
Fuck, at least Anthony Weiner had a funny sounding name.
Oh, and Dingus? I already got an art portfolio. Photography, actually. From back in the day when there was alittle more to it than button pushing.
And suddenly I am veryvery tired. Nighty night.
“Oh, and Dingus? I already got an art portfolio. Photography, actually. From back in the day when there was alittle more to it than button pushing.”
So have to twist something to focus made it that much harder
What I’d expect from a turd wrangler.