As I noted here August 10th, Cunningham briber Tommy Kontogiannis was working with the U.S. intelligence community on a terrorism-related manner. Freshly released court transcripts now confirm this.
As I said a while back, Kontogiannis’ cooperation had nothing to do with the Cunningham case. He was cooperating in an ongoing terrorism case in some other jurisdiction, and most of the transcripts involve a discussion of how to keep the public from finding out what was going on.
Kontogiannis pleaded guilty in February behind closed doors at U.S. District Court in San Diego. No one objected in the 20 hours that a generic notice to seal unspecified proceedings was posted at the court. That justified locking the doors in Judge Larry Burns’ mind.
According to the heavily redacted transcripts of the proceedings, Judge Burns makes reference to the Joint Terrorism Task Force and Kontogiannis himself says he wanted to help out beause of the “2001 situation.”
At another sealed hearing in May, Burns heard from an FBI special agent and a Mr. X, possibly a CIA agent, who were running the case. Kontogiannis was allowed to travel outside the United States accompanied by a government agent.
It’s worth noting here that in the FBI and the rest of the intelligence community, terrorism trumps public corruption. In the FBI’s priority list, combating terrorism is No. 1 while public corruption is No. 4.
So if Kontogiannis had something to offer the intelligence community in a terrorism investigation, as it appears he did, they were almost obligated to offer some sort of inducement to secure his cooperation.
He’s not Jack Bauer, he’s just using whatever he can to save his own hide.