By Jana J. Pruet
DALLAS (Reuters) – Jury selection began on Monday in the trial of a Texas man accused of trying to blow up a natural gas pipeline and suspected of seeking guidance from jailed Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.
Anson Chi, 35, is facing four counts of firearms and weapons violations that could bring him as much as 30 years in jail if convicted. Prosecutors said in their indictment that he tried to destroy a suburban Dallas section of a natural gas pipeline with a bomb in June 2012.
Court documents said Chi, 35, began writing letters in July 2011 to serial bomber Kaczynski, who is serving a life sentence for deadly bomb blasts, The documents said Chi told Kaczynski he shared the same anti-technology beliefs and was seeking help developing a website.
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Richard Schell granted Chi’s motion to exclude the correspondence between him and Kaczynski in the trial.
The Dallas Morning News, which published excerpts from the letters, reported that Kaczynski shared some of his beliefs with Chi, but later grow disenchanted and said Chi was headed for “big, big trouble.”
Chi, who is representing himself in the trial, has complained that federal authorities have seized essential material for his defense.
“All my legal papers were stripped from me. My legal books were taken away,” he said in papers filed with the court.
Chi was arrested after a blood trail from the attempted pipeline explosion led to the house he shared with his parents.
Federal authorities then found chemicals and other material that could be used for bombs at the residence along with letters between Chi and Kaczynski, according to court documents.
(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by David Gregorio)
[Image via Wikipedia Commons]
‘It’s treachery if not treason’: Harvard’s Laurence Tribe destroys Trump’s claim he’s above the law
Legendary constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe explained the legality of President Donald Trump's claim to be above the law during a Thursday evening appearance on MSNBC's "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.
The host played a notorious clip of Trump.
"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters. Okay? It’s like incredible," Trump argued.
"And now he has gone beyond that," O'Donnell noted. "Now the president is sayin, 'I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and I cannot be prosecuted for that crime. Or any crime.'"
Internet blown away by Giuliani’s ‘pants-sh*tting panic’ freak out on CNN’s Cuomo
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani received harsh reviews of his Thursday evening appearance on CNN with anchor Chris Cuomo.
Many people worried about Giuliani's mental health after watching the interview.
Here is some of what people were saying about Trump's defense attorney.
Maddow is visibly shocked Trump is claiming in court the president can’t even be investigated
The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC was flabbergasted by the latest court moves by President Donald Trump as he continues to hide his tax returns from investigators.
The host noted the ongoing legal battle Trump is waging to keep his accounting firm, Mazars, from handing over eight years of his tax returns to New York state investigators.
The host was shocked by the headline on the front-page of The Washington Post website.
[caption id="attachment_1544917" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Headline in The New York Times: "Trump Lawyers Argue He Cannot Be Criminally Investigated" screengrab.[/caption]