The New York Times (NYT) is asking the court to lift a gag order limiting the statements that Sam Bankman-Fried can make to the press after the former FTX CEO gave the publication the private writings of his close associate, Caroline Ellison.
After the NYT published the story on Ellison, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a letter to Judge Lewis A. Kaplan saying that the government has filed a motion to stop Bankman-Fried and his attorneys from making “prejudicial extrajudicial statements.”
Federal prosecutors accuse Bankman-Fried of witness tampering as Ellison, former CEO of FTX trading arm Alameda Research, is poised to give her testimony in the case. On July 26th, the court issued a temporary order prohibiting all parties from discussing with the media anything about the case.
In a letter dated August 2nd, The New York Times senior vice president and deputy general counsel David McCraw asked Kaplan to reconsider the gag order.
“While the current round of motion practice was prompted by a Times article about Caroline Ellison, and the Government argues that the article was part of Defendant’s effort to interfere with the trial, that overlooks the public’s legitimate interest – independent of this prosecution – in Ms. Ellison and her activities at her cryptocurrency trading firm.”
McGraw says news organizations seek to give the public details about Ellison and what she did because of her major role in Bankman-Fried’s fallen crypto empire.
“She has confessed to being a central participant in a financial scheme that defrauded investors of billions of dollars – a scheme that was not detected by government regulators and law enforcement agencies until the public’s money had disappeared.”
McGraw says the court should not impose restrictions to the extent of preventing the accused from speaking freely to the press.
“It may well be, of course, that the parties will choose not to speak to the press in the future, but Rule 23.1 provides the appropriate safeguards and balancing of interests if they choose to do so. We respectfully ask that any such restraints be imposed only as permitted by the First Amendment and Rule 23.1(a) and (h).”Don't Miss a Beat – Subscribe to get email alerts delivered directly to your inbox
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