Report: Leland Yee’s Attorney Hints at an Entrapment Defense

California State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) appeared in court today for a bail hearing in an attempt to get the amount reduced. The judge overseeing the case ruled that the bail amount would remain at $500,000.

U.S. Magistrate Nathaniel Cousins ordered Yee to return to court on April 8 for either an arraignment on a grand jury indictment or a preliminary hearing on the criminal complaint filed by federal prosecutors last week.

But most of the action was outside the court, where Yee's attorney, Paul DeMeester, said he expects an indictment and said that Yee will plead not guilty when the time comes. Yee's attorney said he would not discuss if Yee planned to resign from his State Senate position.

DeMeester declined to comment on whether Yee, is considering stepping down from his state Senate post.

"The politics is now behind us. We're concentrating on the case," said DeMeester, who also would not comment on Yee's defense strategy.

Interestingly enough Yee's attorney seems to be hinting that the FBI went after Yee because their case wasn't going anywhere, and that law enforcement may have engaged in entrapment. DeMeester did not definitively say that this would be Yee's defense.

"A very good question is what took three years," DeMeester said, noting that the case had been ongoing since 2011.

"Another very good question is the allocation of scarce federal resources, fairness to Leland Yee and fairness to the public," DeMeester added.

Yee was arrested last Wednesday on six counts of scheming to defraud citizens of his honest services, and one count of trafficking in firearms without a license.

We'll have more on this story as it develops.

Source: ABC San Francisco

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  1. 0
    Kajex says:

    Even if the defense strategy worked (and at this point it's a long shot), that Yee was willing to engage in that behavior is the kiss of death to any legitimate political career.

  2. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    I wondered about the entrapment thing when I read the affidavit.  However, from Yee's perspective, almost all (if not all) the illegal behavior he engaged in was prompted by Keith Jackson, not undercover FBI agents.  On the other hand, it started with an FBI agent asking Jackson about getting Chow's ankle monitor removed and purchasing weapons.  Will that matter?  I have no idea.

    Also, having read the affidavit, it doesn't appear that the case was going nowhere.  It went a lot of places.


    Andrew Eisen

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