A federal judge today upheld the government's use of warrantless wiretapping against a Portland teen convicted of trying to set off a bomb at the Pioneer Courthouse Square Christmas Tree lighting in 2010, the Associated Press reported.
Mohamed Mohamud's defense team filed a motion for a new trial in January after it learned the government failed to disclose the use of warrantless wiretapping until after their client was convicted on terrorism charges.
"I must examine the totality of the circumstances and weigh the government’s compelling interest in protecting national security against the degree to which surveillance intrudes on an individual’s privacy," U.S. District Court Judge Garr King wrote in his opinion. "I conclude the government’s compelling interest in protecting national security outweighs the intrusion of surveillance on an individual’s privacy."
Mohamud argued that the existence of previously undisclosed surveillance raised serious questions about whether the government was honest and disclosed the whole story, U.S. District Court Judge Garr King wrote. The defense team said they weren't able to do their job without access to the evidence.
But their lack of access didn't prove that the government misrepresented the case, King found.
"Moreover, the government insists defendant’s allegations about the government’s lack of candor to the court in other federal cases involving national security issues cannot establish that any errors were made in this case," he wrote. "I must agree with the government on the last point."