Senate Judiciary Committee Ignores Attack On Loretta Lynch Confirmation

Republican Leaders Eschew Allegations Of Impropriety Against The Attorney General Nominee In Felix Sater Case

In a recent blog on, attorneys, Frederick Oberlander and Richard Lerner, made claims that as U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York, Loretta Lynch engaged in systematic prosecutorial misconduct. They alleged Ms. Lynch concealed criminal cases, such as that of Felix Sater, to protect fraudsters who cooperated with the government.

The attorneys claimed Ms. Lynch intentionally concealed information from purported fraud victims who may have been entitled to restitution. A letter from several right­wing groups, including the Tea Party Nation, also questioned Ms. Lynch’s nomination. The Senate Judiciary Committee declined to address any of those claims at their recent hearings.

In the February 12, 2015 article, ‘Loretta Lynch Responds to NRO’s Reporting on Allegations She Slighted Victims’ Rights”, Ms. Lynch confirmed the propriety of her actions with respect to Mr. Sater’s case, his cooperation, and his assistance regarding matters that involved national security. In a letter to Utah Senator Orrin Hatch—the most senior Republican Senator—Ms. Lynch stated that Sater’s assistance was critical to national security. Ms. Lynch also reported that every court—right up to the Supreme Court—has rejected all claims of any impropriety with respect to Mr. Sater’s case.

Attorneys for Felix Sater—Robert Wolf and Michael Beys—claim the real story behind the questioning is an illegitimate scheme that Oberlander and Lerner and their client, Jody Kriss (a disgruntled former business associate whom Sater fired, and not an alleged victim), have concocted. Wolf and Beys say it involves an extortionate lawsuit—based on a 20­ year­old crime—and a shakedown where one billion dollars is being sought against those who supposedly cooperated with Sater—including Nixon Peabody, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Akerman Senterfitt, Donald and Ivanka Trump, iStar Financial and a federal prosecutor for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

Oberlander and Lerner’s campaign has been described in court proceedings as “an effort to extort Mr. Sater, major law firms and others out of tens of millions of dollars, ostensibly to line their own pockets, not protect alleged victims entitled to restitution.” Wolf and Beys also claim that, as part of their scheme, Oberlander and Lerner have filed a series of frivolous lawsuits over the past six years—most of which have been dismissed—and have now upped the ante by going after Loretta Lynch herself with baseless claims.

Wolf and Beys believe Oberlander’s own words and actions—evidenced in court filings in several related litigations—prove extortion. Oberlander said that they would: “… favorably consider settling the entirety of all claims known and unknown for their actual damages of $35,000,000… [and it was] the least amount which plaintiffs would be willing to accept for a quick settlement that avoids dissemination.”

According to Wolf and Beys, Oberlander made clear that money was the only object stating that: “… the only way to prevent worldwide notoriety [would] be a globally stipulated sealed confidentiality order accompanying a global settlement.”

Oberlander and Lerner’s judicial misconduct has been uniformly condemned by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and several Judges from the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. O berlander and Lerner are currently under criminal investigation—based on their conduct in the courts of the Eastern District of New York, and as referred for criminal prosecution by Judge Brian M. Cogan, in that district.

Michael Beys has postulated that Oberlander and Lerner might have other motives in the questioning of Loretta Lynch. “They may be concerned that district—which Ms. Lynch currently heads as U.S. Attorney—could prosecute them. If they are indeed prosecuted, they could then attempt to raise the defense that the prosecution is political, in retribution for their questioning of Ms. Lynch during the confirmation hearing. Perhaps they believe by making this preemptive attack, they can reduce the chances of being prosecuted for criminal contempt of court.”

Republican Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, the committee chairman, praised Ms. Lynch for being “engaging and confident” during her Senate Committee testimony. “There’s no question about her competence, what she’s done as far as her legal background, and her work as U.S. attorney [in New York],” said M R. Grassley.

In a statement after the hearing, Senator Hatch said, “The Justice Department is in dire need of new leadership. I plan to support her nomination.”

About M Beys:

A partner with Beys, Liston, Mobargha & Berland, LLP, Michael Beys is an experienced trial attorney focusing his practice primarily on commercial litigation, and white-collar criminal defense. From 2000 to 2005, he served as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Eastern District of New York where he was the lead counsel in over 100 federal prosecutions and investigations involving racketeering, bank and wire fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, material support for terrorism, interstate robbery conspiracy, narcotics trafficking and murder.

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