Good morning from New York.
Pretrial conference in the insider-trading case against Rep. Chris Collins, on the heels of a ruling rejecting multiple motions argued at the last hearing.
I'm covering it live starting at 10:30 a.m. EST for @CourthouseNews.
This morning's conference appears to be slightly delayed because of a hearing in a separate case extending past the anticipated start time.
The hearing begins:
Judge Broderick: "I appreciate everyone being able to convene on short notice."
The judge says he wants to start by arraigning the defendants on the superseding indictment.
Broderick: How do you plead?
Rep. Collins: Not guilty.
Cameron Collins and Steven Zarsky both plead not guilty too.
Cameron Collins' attorney Thomas Hanusik says there may be potential motions to dismiss the wire fraud counts and conspiracy count, "regarding certain defendants."
Hanusik may also challenge venue.
Stephen Zarsky's attorney Mauro Wolfe said that his client is considering a motion to suppress statements made in his interview by law enforcement.
Each of the defendants has been charged with false statements to the FBI.
All of the defense attorneys have been hedging about the pretrial motions they intend to file.
Judge Broderick warned them that, in weighing their strategic options: If there was supposed to be a pretrial motion, and it wasn’t made, "it will be considered waived."
Much of the hearing has been a back-and-forth of what actions the defense **might** take in terms of pretrial motions and interlocutory appeals to the Second Circuit.
The lack of certainty throws the schedule into uncertainty, with a February 2020 trial date looming.
Add to that the fact that 2020 is an election year, the government is intent to keep that trial date firm.
Big theme: Rep. Collins' legal team *may* want to revisit the speech or debate issue they just lost, but they won't say what the basic of such a challenge might be.
Judge Broderick, generally quite accommodating and unflappable, seems a bit impatient, if composed.
"Let me just say this… The case has been pending for a long time."
"Lord knows, you folks have been thinking about it a lot longer than I have," Broderick adds. "You had a decision tree long before I issued my decision."
Broderick is firm on this subject: "I don’t intend to move the trial date. The trial date is going to be what it is."
He added later: "Once a jury is in the box, they’re in the box."
If Rep. Collins is filing an interlocutory appeal to the Second Circuit that affects trial scheduling, Judge Broderick may want to sever his case from Cameron Collins' and Stephen Zarsky's.
He asks the parties to brief his ability to do that.
On timing, Broderick says: "Everyone has known that I gave the defense than the government wanted, less time than the defense wanted."
The judge notes he has another trial set for April set to last months, pushing matters to summer or beyond.
Unspoken: In an election year.
Very little resolution on any of these issues as the hearing ends.
You can follow @KlasfeldReports.
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