Prosecutors’ emails show race and politics motivated case against Bill Cosby
By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Correspondent
This is the second of a two-part exclusive with Bill Cosby’s appellate lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean
Disturbing emails that revealed the prosecution of Bill Cosby was a politically motivated, and unethical witch hunt could play a key role in Cosby’s attempt to clear his name.
The emails prompted responses from Cosby, his longtime publicist Andrew Wyatt, and Appellate Attorney Jennifer Bonjean.
“If the media is interested in the truth and facts, they won’t ignore this scheme led by Kevin Steele to destroy me and my family,” Cosby said through Wyatt from the maximum-security SCI-Phoenix in Collegeville, Penn.
The two outlets, celebrity gossip site TMZ and the small Philadelphia area student journalism centered outlet YC News, which first reported the stories, show mainstream media’s refusal to fully inform the public about the Cosby case.
“The prosecutors’ behavior is filled with racist hatred, political corruption, and homophobic slurs,” Cosby said.
“I’m told by Wyatt that these sick people in the District Attorney’s office called someone a fairy, which cements their hatred for Blacks and the LGBTQ community. I expect the Superior Court to grant me a new trial regarding Email-gate.”
Bonjean told NNPA Newswire that Cosby’s fight for justice isn’t over.
“Not even close. Even as we move through the Superior Court, Mr. Cosby has rights under the Post-Conviction Relief Act, and this is precisely the type of material that’s outside of the record that may be relevant to a claim that Mr. Cosby’s Constitutional Rights were violated,” Bonjean stated.
“This provides another vehicle in which to attack things if we do strikeout in the Superior Court.”
The bombshell emails include comments made by Deputy District Attorney Thomas McGoldrick and Assistant District Attorney Stewart Ryan.
The men suggest that Cosby’s accusers should attack Cosby with knives.
Ryan responded to an article link sent by Deputy District Attorney Thomas McGoldrick about NBC’s “Dateline,” airing a joint interview with Cosby’s alleged victims.
“Interview him with small, very sharp knives,” McGoldrick wrote.
“They should do it ‘To Catch a Predator’ style,’ ” Ryan wrote in response to the email. “Then allow the 27 victims to interview him.”
At the very least, the emails once again prove that Cosby and African Americans, in general, do not benefit from their Constitutional right to presumption of innocence in the criminal justice system.
“District Attorneys are elected officials who have a duty to all of the people in whatever jurisdiction they are in,” Bonjean stated.
“And, that means even the people who are accused of a crime. They have a duty to everyone. This gives you pause when you see this type of behavior – even with it happening behind the scenes,” she stated.
A spokesperson for the Montgomery County D.A.’s office told TMZ, which first reported the emails, “This was an ill-advised attempt at humor related to stories in the news at the time. No communications impacted the administration of justice in the investigation and prosecution of Mr. Cosby.”
However, Ryan and another assistant district attorney, Kristen Feden, both openly made racist remarks during jury selection of Cosby’s 2018 trial.
When Cosby’s lawyers alleged that prosecutors were trying to keep African Americans off the jury, Feden remarked that the defense had its token juror.
“They already have their one,” Feden stated in court.
Ryan, over objections by Cosby’s lawyers, said in court: “I’m tired of this Black sh.t.”
After a Right-to-Know battle with Montgomery County officials, YC News also reported that they obtained emails that show inappropriate conduct on the part of prosecutors.
The outlet reported that Steel was pressured to have Cosby arrested before and immediately follow Steel’s election.
Immediately after Steele won a hotly-contested election on Nov. 4, 2015, McGoldrick – who worked in the prosecutor’s office – was advised by relatives via email:
“First order of business – lock-up that creep Bill Cosby.”
“Good news. With 94.35 percent of the vote in, Kevin [Steele] leads 83,582 to 67,442,” McGoldrick responded. “I still have my job!”
Steele, whose campaign platform included prosecuting Cosby, was elected Montgomery County District Attorney later that night. Immediately, he was pressured to go after Cosby.
“[Former Attorney General Kathleen] Kane and Cosby are key topics,” Montgomery County Deputy Chief Detective Mark Bernstiel wrote in an email to others involved in the Steele campaign.
What’s more, then-District Attorney, Risa Ferman, was one of several to remind Steele that “Bill Cosby’s fate hinge on a small-town election.”
Ferman sent an email to Steele on Nov. 2, 2015.
The email contained an article in Rolling Stone that several others circulated – the article was headlined: “Bill Cosby’s Fate Could Hinge On A Small Town Election.”
Several individuals reminded Steele and other soon-to-be critical figures in the Cosby prosecution to prepare to prosecute the comedian “if – and only if” – Steele won the nomination.
According to the emails, those closest to Steele said the “Cosby card” was a great idea.
“I am so proud and happy that you won the election,” an individual told Steele in an email. “Some media were saying that playing the Cosby card was not a good idea, but I think it worked well, and I’m glad you toughened up a little bit.”
Cosby was convicted in 2018 of aggravated indecent assault after the trial judge reversed himself by allowing five other alleged victims to testify against Cosby.
Most of the women to accuse Cosby were clients of attorneys Gloria Allred and Lisa Bloom, whose ethics were recently called their into question by the New York Times.
Allred is Bloom’s mother.
In a new book about the Harvey Weinstein scandal by Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, Bloom said she “could discredit his accusers and make [Weinstein] a hero.”
The Times published an alleged memo from Bloom with an action plan to bolster Weinstein’s image. Bloom’s strategy allegedly included placing articles with favorable news outlets to discredit Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan.
She also said she could suppress negative stories that appear in a Google search.
“I feel equipped to help you against the Roses of the world, because I have represented so many of them,” Bloom allegedly wrote.
“As I’ve been saying for over five years, this has been a political scheme orchestrated by Gloria Allred, Kevin Steele, and Judge Steven T. O’Neill to destroy Mr. Cosby and his legacy,” Wyatt wrote in an email to NNPA Newswire.
“These egregious characters are cut from the same cloth as the man residing in the White House – racist, White elitists who have acknowledged in their actual email transmissions that they have a deep-rooted hatred for Mr. Cosby,” Wyatt wrote. “Kevin Steele, Stu Ryan, Thomas McGoldrick, and Jesse King all should be rounded up, investigated by the FBI and charged for abusing their power.
“Most importantly, they should be charged for filing false charges against Mr. Cosby, who always believed that white racists politically motivated his conviction in the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.”
Wyatt went on to say that “Mr. Cosby feels that if the Superior Court is truly fair and impartial, they will grant him a new trial in lieu of this newly found evidence called Email-gate.”
Bonjean said prosecutors are supposed to be looking for the truth.
“They are not supposed to be advancing the political agenda. I understand it’s a political position, but that’s not supposed to be your motivation,” Bonjean said.
“Prosecutors are supposed to be seeking truth by the rules of professional responsibility. So, when you see these types of things, it makes you question whether they are seeking the truth or do they have an agenda that they’re going to advance regardless of what the truth is.
“This is a concern, but also a concern is that when you see this win-at-all-cost attitude that this agency had so much so that they were literally designing a campaign around the idea of convicted a single person. When you see this win-at-all-cost attitude, that’s where miscarriages of justice happen. And so it should give us defense attorneys real pause because we should be thinking about what else is out there.
“I certainly would like to know because prosecutors have so much power, and they have the ability to do good. This behavior puts people at risk. This type of unethical behavior can undermine the fairness of the process. I am hoping that we will have the opportunity to see what else is out there. And it makes me think that we should be exploring these other possibilities because the win-at-all-costs is a red flag for us that we should be investigating.”
Wyatt said the emails also “show a common scheme led by [District Attorney] Kevin Steele and his cohorts in order to create scandal against Mr. Cosby so that they could fabricate a motive to bring sexual assault charges against Mr. Cosby.”
“We now have substantial proof that our suspicions regarding this false conviction against Mr. Cosby, Wyatt wrote. “Thus, you will notice that these emails were disseminated amongst various assistant district attorneys within Montgomery County; several months before any charges were filed against Mr. Cosby.”