Dallas Attorney Clint Broden, who represents Scimitar Motorcycle Club member Matt Clendennen, filed nine pretrial motions yesterday.
Clendennen is scheduled to go to trial February 29, although that proceeding will probably be postponed to accommodate prosecutor Abelino Reyna. Reyna still hasn’t found a way to convict Clendennen although in a motion filed January 26 he promised his former law partner and the judge in the case, Matt Johnson, that he is thisclose. Clendennen is accused of conspiracy to commit murder and assault at the Twin Peaks restaurant last May 17.
Polygraphs And Discovery
Three of Broden’s motions are interesting.
One asks for a hearing on the admissibility of a polygraph examination Clendennen took. The Scimitar was asked if he went to the “Twin Peaks on May 17th for the purpose of engaging in violence;” if he engaged in any violence at the Twin Peaks; and if he encouraged “anyone to take part in violence at Twin Peaks that day.” He answered “no” to all three of those questions and the polygrapher found no deception.
Polygraph exams aren’t admissible into evidence in Texas trials but holding a hearing on whether they might be is a way to introduce the examination into evidence in the court of public opinion. It is unlikely Johnson would allow the results of that polygraph exam into court but if the subject comes up at a public hearing it is possible that even the Waco Tribune-Herald might notice.
The second motion, a discovery request, is equally subtle. The list of potential evidence Broden wants is seven pages long and seems fairly complete. For example Broden would like to see Patrick Swanton’s notes. He also wants to see, “Records, notes, reports gathered, maintained or produced by law enforcement or the prosecutors about the criminal activity of any members of the Scimitar Motorcycle Club or Cossacks Motorcycle Club.”
Near the bottom of that long list, he makes it clear that he wants the items on his list of evidence requests to include, “any items in the possession of any member of the ‘prosecutorial team’ or items to which the ‘prosecutorial team’ has access.”
And finally he lists who he considers to comprise the “prosecutorial team.” And, that list includes the “Texas Department of Public Safety,” “United States Drug Enforcement Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation,” and the “United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas.” In other words, if the federal police have Reports of Investigation that are pertinent to the Twin Peaks Massacre or the fusion centers have deconfliction logs (lists of the locations of undercover assets) Broden wants to see them.
The most interesting of the nine motions is titled “Motion To Reveal Identity of Confidential Informants And Undercover Law Enforcement Officials.”
“It appears evident that law enforcement officials infiltrated and/or had confidential informants inside the Cossacks Motorcycle Club and/or other motorcycle clubs prior to the incident at Twin Peaks,” Broden writes. “First, DPS reports indicated Waco Police Detective Jeff Rogers was receiving information from a ‘source of information’ regarding the Confederation of Clubs meeting at Twin Peaks and that the Cossacks planned to attend. Second, it also appears that Lorena Police Officer Shawn Board may have received information about the meeting from a confidential source. Third, while all of this was taking place, federal authorities (who also assisted in the instant case) were conducting ‘Operation Texas Rocker.’ That operation recently resulted in an indictment filed in the United States District Court for the Western District. While not explicitly stated in that indictment, it appears law enforcement officials were receiving inside information from within both the Cossacks and Bandidos motorcycle clubs. Interestingly, the indictment chronicles conflicts between the Cossacks and Bandidos from November 2013 to September 2015. Nevertheless, any mention of Twin Peaks incident (occurring in May 2015) is conspicuously absent. A logical conclusion is that this was done in some hope that it would preclude discovery of confidential informants used in connection with ‘Operation Texas Rocker’ that were present at or who had material information regarding the Twin Peaks incident.”
“Any ‘confidential witness who was present at Twin Peaks on May 17, 2015 and who was an eyewitness to the incident in question could testify that Mr. Clendennen did not participate nor encourage any of the violence that took place that day. Moreover, while specious and unsupportable, one of the state’s theories as to Mr. Clendennen’s criminal liability appears to be a theory under which Mr. Clendennen came to Twin Peaks on May 17, 2015 knowing that violence was likely to take place between the Bandidos Motorcycle Club and the Cossacks Motorcycle Club. In fact, Mr. Clendennen knew no such thing. Therefore, the following ‘confidential witnesses’ would be material to Mr. Clendennen’s defense.”
The Good Part
Specifically Broden wants to know about:
“(1) Any witness, whether present at Twin Peaks on May 17, 2015 or not, who might testify that law enforcement officials encouraged the violence at Twin Peaks in order to support its ‘Operation Texas Rocker.’ Such evidence would indicate that the violence at Twin Peaks was not planned nor anticipated by most motorcyclists present.
“(2) Any witness, whether present at Twin Peaks on May 17, 2015 or not, who could testify that not all members of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club or its support clubs were told that the Bandidos Motorcycle Club would be present at Twin Peaks on May 17, 2015. Obviously, if Mr. Clendennen or others were being told that the Bandidos would not be present, it would not have been possible to anticipate violence between the Bandidos Motorcycle Club and the Cossacks Motorcycle Club.
“(3) Any witness, whether present at Twin Peaks on May 17, 2015 or not, who could testify that one or more members of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club or its support clubs were told that the May 17, 2015 (event) was a ‘peace offering’ meeting. If Mr. Clendennen or others were being told that the purpose of the meeting was a ‘peace offering,’ this would be material evidence to indicate that he could not have anticipated violence between the Bandidos Motorcycle Club and the Cossacks Motorcycle Club.
“( 4) Any witness, whether present at Twin Peaks on May 17, 2015 or not, who could testify that one or more members of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club or its support clubs were told that the May 17, 2015 was merely a ‘Funday Sunday’ outing. If Mr. Clendennen or others were being told that the purpose of the meeting was a ‘Funday Sunday’ this would be material evidence to indicate that he could not have anticipated violence between the Bandidos Motorcycle Club and the Cossacks Motorcycle Club.”
“Mr. Clendennen notes that the above requests relate to any informants known to the ‘prosecutorial team’ or to whom the ‘prosecutorial team’ had access. This would include federal investigative and prosecutorial agencies to the extent they participated in this investigation.”
Broden isn’t going to get any of this, of course, because this could be more embarrassing for the Department of Justice than the “Fast and Furious” decision to let those guns “walk.” But it is going to be fun to watch him try.
Get your popcorn ready.