Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Kerik's lawyers cited one-time U.S. attorney general nominee Zoe Baird and former New Jersey Gov. Christie Whitman as high-profile tax deadbeats in a 94-page document that seeks to quash perjury, tax fraud and illegal payoff charges.
"It is a matter of public record that prospective appointees to high political office are rarely if ever charged criminally for such issues," Kerik lawyer Barry Berke wrote.
Kerik is set to go on trial next year in White Plains Federal Court. Aside from Baird and Whitman, Berke cited former Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and deputy attorney general candidate Charles Ruff as others who've sidestepped criminal charges for domestic tax lapses.
Berke accused federal prosecutors of "overreaching" by bringing federal charges that echo those he pleaded guilty to in 2006 after a probe in the Bronx.
Kerik has admitted lying on city disclosure forms about renovations to his Bronx apartment done by a mob-linked contractor seeking city work.
"This is an extraordinary prosecution," Berke charged.
Berke also said it's unfair to charge Kerik for lying to White House officials vetting his background for several high-ranking administration positions from 2002 to 2004 because their questions were too vague.
Kerik was forced to withdraw his nomination for homeland security czar.
Read full article here. [Brooks Holland]