Mark Geragos refuses to submit to background check and is bumped from criminal defense of contractor

The Sacramento Bee reports:

A judge on Monday removed high-profile defense attorney Mark Geragos from the case of a defense contractor charged with conspiring to defraud the CIA because the lawyer refused to submit to background checks.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns said Geragos placed an undue burden on the court by refusing to obtain a security clearance. Prosecutors said they would have to spend six months sifting through 17,000 pages of documents to remove any classified material.

The move may delay the trial against former top CIA official Kyle “Dusty” Foggo and his best friend, Poway-based contractor Brent Wilkes, Burns said, after repeatedly asking Geragos to reconsider his stance.

The trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 23.

Geragos, who represents Wilkes, called the government’s insistence that it could not hand over the material “laughable” and said his client has a constitutional right to any incriminating evidence. Burns said Geragos may appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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