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Legal Analysis of FBI Raid on Buffalo City Hall

Federal Agents recently raided Buffalo City Hall. FBI agents along with agents from the investigative arm of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) conducted what was described as “court authorized activities” for over eight hours inside Buffalo City Hall.

WGRZ 2 On Your Side reported on the raid and interviewed attorney Barry Covert to provide legal analysis as part of their coverage of the story.

As reported by WGRZ, the raid was for the execution of a court authorized search warrant. The FBI would not disclose what they were looking for or what the raid was connected to. However, the activity focused primarily on the Office of Strategic Planning, which is located on the third floor of Buffalo City Hall.

Several agents worked behind a guarded closed door for over eight hours. News cameras captured federal agents removing several carts containing boxes of documents covered in tarps. A spokesperson for the FBI indicated that, as part of the search warrant, agents spoke with a number of people who work in the Office of Strategic Planning.
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Legal Analysis of Verdict in Case of Man Found Guilty of Setting Ex-girlfriend on Fire

Attorney Barry Covert was interview by WGRZ 2 On Your Side to provide legal analysis for their coverage of the case of Jonathan White. Jonathan White was accused of setting his ex-girlfriend on fire outside of a Tim Hortons in Tonawanda in December 2018.

A jury recently found Jonathan White guilty of attempted murder and assault.

As reported by WGRZ, the victim in this case, Jessica Cameron, took the witness stand during the trial. She provided testimony on her relationship with the defendant as well as the events of the day of the assault. Jessica Cameron suffered burns to her face, head, and hands. She spent several months being treated in ECMC’s burn unit and she is still recovering from her injuries.

The jury made numerous request for information as they deliberated the case. WGRZ reports that during deliberations, the jury sent three notes to the judge. The first note requested video surveillance footage. A second note asked for Jonathan White’s cross examination and redirect testimony. A third note requested images of the scene of the assault. In addition, the jury asked for clarification on the definitions of intent and the attempted murder charge. Shortly thereafter, the jury returned with a guilty verdict.
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Legal Analysis of New Indictment Against Rep. Chris Collins

United States Congressman Chris Collins was indicted on a series of insider trading charges in August 2018.  Nearly a year after the initial indictment, federal prosecutors have recently re-filed the case against Rep. Chris Collins, leading to a new “superseding” indictment. The new indictment against Rep. Chris Collins excludes three charges that were included in 2018’s indictment.

These latest developments in Rep. Chris Collins’ insider trading case have been covered extensively by news outlets throughout Western New York. Attorney Barry Covert was interviewed by The Buffalo News, WGRZ 2 on Your Side, and WIVB News 4 to provide legal analysis on the new indictment. Over the course of these interviews, Mr. Covert’s analysis addresses several aspects of the updated charges, including:

  • Why did federal prosecutors convene a new grand jury in the insider trading case against Rep. Chris Collins?
  • What is the significance of the three charges that have been removed from the new indictment?
  • What is the Speech and Debate clause and how does it impact the case against Rep. Chris Collins?
  • Has the overall nature of the case against Rep. Chris Collins changed with the new indictment?


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