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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Still no charges in Weldon probe

Some think this bodes well for Curt:

Caso was scheduled to appear yesterday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., for a status hearing. But on Tuesday, prosecutors filed a motion to cancel that hearing and set a May sentencing date....

Sklamberg is making the same moves in the Grimes case. The day before her Jan. 23 status hearing, he filed a motion asking that the judge instead set an April sentencing date....

Cooperating witnesses who strike plea deals are typically not sentenced until after they testify against whomever the government plans to target, according to John Lauro, a defense attorney and former Assistant U.S. Attorney in New York.

"You want to keep that issue open and give the sentencing judge the ability to see the extent of the cooperation, which may have included testifying," Lauro said. The fact that prosecutors want to proceed to sentencing Caso and Grimes "signals to me that charges against anybody else are unlikely," he said.

Others are not so sure:

But other legal observers, including Peter Tague, a professor at Georgetown University School of Law, warned against reading too much into the government's recent actions. Tague, who specializes in criminal procedure, said it's possible that the investigation is winding down, but that it would be premature to assume that the Weldons and Sexton are in the clear.