Prosecutors filed a scathing motion in Federal Court Monday, aimed at limiting what former congressman Mel Reynolds can use in his defense on tax charges, when his trial begins next month.
“The defendant has publicly and repeatedly, through his Twitter account and press releases he has issued to the media, accused the government of treating him unfairly because of his race,” prosecutors wrote. “Needless to say, race has nothing to with this case.”
Prosecutors noted numerous Reynolds statements, including a March 28 tweet that “we live with a heartless federal justice system which doesn’t give a damn about BLK people,” and a statement two days later where he charged that the “real issue is black lives don’t matter to Fed prosecutors in Chicago.”
“It’s the story of the BLK man in America,” Reynolds tweeted March 31. “Three white men in a room dictating the life of a BLK man. One pretending that he’s with you.”
The latter tweet, was an apparent reference to Reynolds’ court-appointed attorney, Richard Kling, who he asked to have removed from his case. The former congressman is now representing himself, with Kling kept on by the court to offer what would appear to be badly needed legal guidance. One day later, he declared that what was happening to him, “is just one more real example of how the criminal justice system is systematically destroying black families."
“The defendant has a track record of issuing inflammatory accusations in the media,” the government wrote. “As such, the defendant may attempt to embrace these same anctics in the courtroom.”
In their filing, the government confirmed that Chicago real estate tycoon Elzie Higginbottom and perennial candidate Willie Wilson are on the potential witness list.
Reynolds has previously tweeted accusations that “Elzie Higginbottom bribed Robert Mugabe in NY, and Rev. Jesse Jackson was standing in the room when it happened. If I am lying, then sue me!” He accused Wilson of giving “an illegal payment to a member of Congress.”
“This behavior cannot be permitted at trial,” prosecutors declared, noting that Reynolds was in business with both Higginbottom and Wilson, and accusing him of trying to intimidate them from testifying.
Reynolds is currently in federal custody. He is being held in the county jail in Kankakee.