The slick defense attorney who helped bring a little Teflon to John Gotti’s son is back on the case of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman — following nearly a year of financial wrangling.
Lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman will sign onto the cartel leader’s defense team Monday, he told The Post.
Lichtman is joining Eduardo Balarezo and William Purpura in Guzman’s defense almost a year after he initially attempting to represent the kingpin, but was foiled due to a murky monetary situation.
“It’s finally been resolved,” said Lichtman, adding the runty drug lord’s family will be ponying up the funds. “We had to make sure it was done correctly, with regard to the government’s limitations.”
Lichtman successfully defended John “Junior” Gotti — the son of late Gambino crime family boss John Gotti — in his $25 million securities fraud case in 2005.
Prosecutors in the El Chapo case made a stink regarding the lawyer’s representation last year, questioning whether or not funds were coming from cartel assets.
Yet despite the late start, Lichtman said he’s eager to join the team and show people just how low the government has stooped in attempting to try his client, who’s charged with drug trafficking.
“The jury and the public will be stunned when they see the types of cooperators being used in this case,” he said. “I’ve been on many cases where all sorts of questionable characters have been used, but this dwarfs them all. There are so many mercenary, dishonest people being tapped in an attempt to bring down Mr. Guzman.”
Prosecutors have been tight-lipped about who will be taking the stand against the Sinaloa Cartel head in his upcoming trial, with Chapo’s current defense team claiming they can’t even get a list of government witnesses, and are forced to speculate.
Jury selection is expected to begin Nov. 5.
Last week, before officially taking the case, Lichtman said he had been meeting with El Chapo, and that his time in isolation in federal custody was “taking a toll” on the reputed drug lord and that he had “noticed a deterioration in his faculties.”
“The conditions are obscene, I’ve represented infamous people over the years,” Lichtman told The Post. “He’s being held in the most harsh conditions I’ve seen in 27 years of practice.”
Published at Sun, 19 Aug 2018 22:58:54 +0000