Last week, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied Mathew Martoma’s emergency motion for bail pending appeal. Martoma had argued he was likely to get his insider trading conviction reversed or receive a new trial because of several alleged errors Judge Paul G. Gardephe made while presiding over Martoma’s trial. Those alleged errors included the district judge’s refusal to admit sworn statements of SAC founder Steven A. Cohen concerning the reasons why sold his Elan and Wyeth holdings. But Martoma failed to persuade the Second Circuit, which ruled that his motion did not present a substantial question of law or fact. Although Martoma can still appeal his conviction, he will have to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons in the meantime. Yesterday, the Second Circuit sent the case back to Judge Gardephe, who ordered Martoma to surrender by Thursday.
The government has opposed David Rainey’s motion to dismiss the obstruction of Congress charge filed against him in the Eastern District of Louisiana and Rainey’s request that prosecutors disclose portions of their grand jury presentation. Prosecutors argue that whether a congressional “inquiry or investigation is duly authorized depends not on formalities, but upon careful examination of all of the surrounding circumstances.” Rainey was BP’s second highest-ranking representative at “Unified Command,” where representatives from the government and industry took charge of responding to the April 2010 blowout on the Deepwater Horizon. Rainey has been charged with obstructing a congressional inquiry into the incident and making false statements to federal agents.
Rainey moved to dismiss the obstruction charge last month on the ground that, in essence, there was no valid congressional investigation for him to obstruct. According to Rainey, Congress never properly authorized the Committee on Energy and Commerce or its Subcommittee on Energy and Environment to investigate the spill. Hence, there could be no violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1505, which makes it a crime to obstruct “the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation is being held.”