Page:Summary Report of Al Capone for the Bureau of Internal Revenue.djvu/56

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SI-7085-F
 

There is attached herewith as Exhibit No.168, a memorandum stating the position of United States Attorney Johnson in reference to the acceptance of a plea of guilty from the defendant, Al Capone. This Department concurred with the Department of Justice in the decision to entertain a plea of guilty from Capone. I believed it advisable to entertain a plea of guilty because on account of my very close contact with the important witnesses in the tax case, I was convinced that every one of them was in deadly fear of the Capone organization and we could not be certain that they would identify Al Capone at the trial or that they would stand by the testimony given before the grand jury. We took unusual precautions to keep their identity secret and to protect them from contact with any members of the Capone organization between the time they appeared before the grand jury and the trial so that they would not be threatened or influenced. However, many of the key witnesses did temper their testimony in his favor at the trial when they were faced by Capone and his body guard, D'Andrea. I also considered the acceptance of a plea of guilty advisable because I knew the organization would attempt to illegally influence the jury at the time of the trial and if their efforts to do so had not been promptly discovered and thwarted I am sure they would have succeeded in influencing or bribing one or more of the jurors so that the trial would have been unsuccessful for the government. (Details relating to an unsuccessful attempt to fix the jury are set forth later in this report).

No stones were left unturned by the defense in order to prevent the conviction of the defendant, Capone. Some of their efforts most likely would have been successful if they had not been discovered by us and drastic and prompt action taken by the government to prevent the consummation of their tricks. Important witnesses were sent by the defense to other states, also out of the country, and the principal defense witnesses gave perjured testimony at the trial. During the trial the defendant and his armed body guard, Phillip D'Andrea, glared at the government witnesses instilling fear in them and causing them to temper their testimony in favor of Capone. The most daring effort to thwart the case of the government was an attempt to fix the jury. A few days before the trial was scheduled a special venire of one hundred was called for jury service in this case. By an underhand method and through the payment of a large sum of money, the defense secured a copy of the list of proposed jury men several days before it became public. The list was turned over to Al Capone at his office in the Lexington Hotel (this information was secured from such a confidential source that no prosecution of the members of the organization for attempts to reach the jury was advisable). Capone then submitted the list of names to various

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