The United States of America, on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Investigation has filed with the Court a document entitled UNITED STATES OF AMERICA’S OBJECTION TO ORDER ON AMENDED DEMAND FOR SPECIFIC DISCOVERY, DATED FEBRUARY 5, 2013. The objection cites the “supremacy” clause of the United States Constitution to claim the Court has no authority to compel the production of documents. Moreover, the document states that the defense has not followed the proper procedure, and claims that “at such time as proper demand is made on the FBI, the FBI and the Department of Justice will promptly authorize the production of appropriate documents subject to the regulatory limitations imposed by 28 C. FR SS 16.26.”
The defense is well aware of the procedure for requesting documents from the FBI, as are we aware of the regulatory limitations, and as such, we are also aware that such a request would be unlikely to produce any more information that has already been provided to the State. The purpose for our DEMAND FOR SPECIFIC DISCOVERY in regards to FBI documents, and the Court’s subsequent order, was to begin the long process of gaining access relevant aspects of the FBI file regarding its investigation into possible civil rights violations in regards to the shooting of Trayvon Martin.
Those who recall the hearing on this issue will also recall Mr. O’Mara’s acknowledgement to the Court that this was only the first step in a long process, one we know would end up either with voluntary compliance by the State Attorney’s office and/or the FBI, or with a request for issuance of a subpoena to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, as per procedure. We understand the FBI is following proper procedure in this matter, and we will continue to work with them to gain appropriate access to information that may be relevant to our case. Unfortunately, we may not have the time to fight for access to additional documents before trial begins in less than 100 days.
The State prosecutors have much easier access to the FBI’s file on this case, but they have refused to request any more information from the FBI than the reports that have already been disclosed in discovery -- reports that show no evidence of racism on the part of George Zimmerman.
Because claims of racism, of profiling, and of civil rights violations are central to the national attention this case has received, and indeed were central to the calls for Mr. Zimmerman’s arrest, the findings of the FBI’s investigation are very relevant. We would hope that everyone who wants to base their opinion on factual information would want this discovery available as well.