Tony Alamo Christian Ministries home page
Ladies & gentlemen -
There is a trial going on in San Jose, California right now that will directly affect more American citizens than any other trial that has ever been held anywhere in the United States at any other time in our history. The importance of the outcome of this trial to the United States Government is so great that no national news media is covering it. This trial is more important than any trial Court TV has ever covered.
This trial is a classic David and Goliath battle of just one lone man, Joseph Banister, against the full power and resources of the Government of the United States. The federal judge presiding over the case is so crooked that when Judge Shubb dies, they'll have to screw him into the ground.
In case you are unfamiliar with Joe Banister, let me tell you about an uncommon man with more character and integrity than any human being I've ever met, read or even heard about outside the Bible itself. Mr. Banister was an IRS agent earning $80,000.00 annually, who actually began to study the Income Tax Code and discovered it did not apply to most American citizens, and that it was being enforced by the IRS and Government of the United States illegally.
Most American men earning $80,000.00 annually, who are married with two children and have a house, cars and all the normal trappings of the American Dream, would ignore such a finding and continue doing what they do. But Banister was actively and successfully investigating people for tax fraud and tax evasion. I'm not familiar with the cases Banister handled, but most IRS agents in Banister's position are the catalyst in bringing people to trial on federal tax charges, imprisoning them and causing them to lose everything they ever worked for in many cases.
So when Joe Banister discovered to his apparent horror that he had been persecuting American citizens based on assumed law that did not in fact exist, he wrote to his superiors, pointed out the areas in the Tax Code that appeared to be illegally enforced, and asked their help in showing him his error. Instead of showing Banister where he was incorrect, his superiors wrote him back and asked for his resignation. What does that tell you?
So Banister left the IRS and went into private business. He has never been shy about explaining his findings, and he is in good company. Another organization, We The People, has publicly challenged the IRS to an open debate and to answer many of the same questions Banister asked his superiors. In that case as well, the IRS and other government officials have refused to meet with the citizens asking the questions, and they have refused to answer their questions in writing.
I don't have to tell any of you how easy it would be for the IRS to simply answer the questions and make the entire controversy go away, but apparently they cannot answer those questions without admitting their enforcement of the Tax Code has been illegal all along. There simply is no other logical explanation that makes sense, and Terry Lemons of the IRS made the following, shocking statement: "The government is answering the petitions through enforcement actions." In other words, we don't need no stinkin' law, and you better pay your taxes whether the law says you have to or not. So much for the Rule of Law in this nation. You may want to read my former article, "Fighting Words" at http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/03/10/08/worden.htm
Here's the Banister Case as I understand it. The feds are prosecuting Banister for conspiracy to commit tax evasion/fraud based on Banister telling the employees of a clothing manufacturer located in Shasta City, California what Banister had discovered about the Tax Code. So Banister tells the group what he's learned and the employer decides he doesn't have to withhold taxes from his employees anymore. That was the employer's decision entirely, and Banister was doing nothing more than exercising his First Amendment right to free speech. At no time during the meeting did Banister urge the employees or the owner to stop withholding taxes, and it is notable that Banister himself has continued to file his tax returns every year, even since he left the IRS.
I hope every one of you will forward this article to every message group you have contacts with, because this is a case that has an effect on every American citizen, no matter what their political persuasion. Many who read this will initially assume I'm a tax-protester, but that is not the case. I believe very strongly that we need to support our great nation, although I do admit I don't like how the government spends my tax dollars in many ways. No, this is a fundamental violation of the American Way. In a nation where every politician and judge and cop insist we are a nation under the Rule of Law, the Rule of Law must FIRST apply to the government of that nation as an example to all citizens. If the government of a nation insists on the citizens observing the Rule of Law, while flaunting it and threatening to crush anyone with "enforcement actions" who insist on the government's equal observance, then that government has deteriorated both morally and legally into tyranny.
The article following my comments here recount Day 3 of the Banister Trial as of Thursday, June 16, 2005. It reveals a corrupt federal judge who is actively trying to assist the prosecution in every way possible, even expressing frustration that the federal case is so weak. What do we expect from a judge who is paid by federal tax dollars? How can we expect that crooked son of .... to rule fairly in a trial that threatens his own paycheck? If the judge had the character of a Joe Banister, he would, but this judge is a gutless and corrupt little man who was well-briefed on the importance of this case before he took his seat behind the gavel. In a case of this much importance to this corrupt federal government, I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn many of the jurors have been hand-picked to convict no matter how weak the federal case. But if an impartial jury has been impaneled, there is no way they are going to convict Joe Banister of anything more serious than having personal integrity.
Like the Founding Fathers of this nation, Joe Banister has put everything he has in this life at risk, including his own freedom. He has placed the financial security of his wife and children at risk, and he has placed everything he owns at risk for nothing having to do with personal gain. This man deserves the moral and financial support of every single American family, and I'm proud to say I have personally contributed to Banister's Defense Fund.
I urge you all to do the same, but even more importantly, I am asking you all to go to a quiet place, bend a knee and ask God, in the name of Jesus Christ, to protect Joe Banister from the evil that threatens him. I am asking you to ask God to confuse the minds of those who wrongly persecute Joe and his family, and to open the hearts of those jurors hearing Banister's case, no matter what their personal prejudice might be. Joe Banister is an example of what God expects us all to be when confronted with evil. If character is defined by what a person would do in a given situation if he knew for a certainty nobody would ever find out what he did and why, then Joe Banister has the kind of character we all need to emulate -- and support.
The recount of Trial Day 3 follows.
Carl F. Worden
Joseph Banister Trial Day 3, Thursday June 16, 2005
The day started out with the government's 7th witness, Thomas DiLeonardo, who is currently an assistant US attorney in New Jersey. During the fall of 1997 he was a trial attorney and worked with Joe on a fraudulent tax return case.
The defendant in that case owned three gas stations/convenient stores and was accused of under reporting income. This witness stated the following:
- Joe was a competent Special Agent who did exemplary and superior work.
- During the investigation of the above mentioned case Joe did not ask him questions about the 16th amendment, 861 or any issues about the legality of the Federal Income Tax.
- He, Thomas DiLeonardo, did receive Joe's report on the Federal Income Tax, but he thought it was just the same old tax protester arguments that the courts years have ruled against for the last 10 or 15 years.
- Before doing the Amended returns that Joe did for Al Thompson, Joe knew how to do the regular/traditional kind of return that most people do.
When Joe's attorney, Jeff Dickstein, cross-examined Thomas DiLeonardo, he admitted that:
- Joe knows what is fraudulent and willfulness.
- In the spring of 2000 Joe tried to contact and meet with Thomas DiLeonardo, but he was out of town (DC).
- On April 9, 2001 in Washington, D.C., Thomas DiLeonardo saw Joe marching around the IRS building and had a conversation with him trying to find out what these people were doing. He admitted that Joe asked him to address the demonstrators, but he declined.
- Thomas DiLeonardo never studied Subchapter N of the IRS Code, and does not know what it covers.
- DiLeonardo came to California in April 2001, and had a conversation with Joe. Joe told him why he resigned from the IRS, and asked him to help get some answers by arranging meetings with DiLeonardo's superiors, to discuss his questions about the legality of the Federal Income Tax.
- Mr. DiLeonardo agreed and sent an e-mail to three individuals. The first one was Ron Semino, who was the Chief of the Western Division of the U.S. Department of Justice's Tax Division. The second and third one's were Melissa Shriebman, and another DOJ Tax Division lawyer who were involved with tax protest issues and have handled a lot of tax protest kind of arguments.
- Jeff asked "Are you still friends with Joe?"
Special Agent Shawn Breslin responded "I have no reason not to be." Obviously these Special Agents and DOJ lawyer who worked with Joe still had high regard for Joe and were not willing to lie to hang their old friend.
When DiLeonardo said that Joe's arguments were frivolous Dickstein responded "Frivolous? Doesn't frivolous mean without case law to back it up?" and DiLeonardo replied yes. Then Jeff said, "frivolous, isn't that what the government calls things that they don't want to answer/understand."
However the government objected and the judge sustained. Then when Jeff started asking this witness about the tax law and regarding the 16th amendment the judge objected on his own! The judge said that he would not let the jury decide whether the 16th amendment was ratified or not.
This witness was dismissed and they gave the jury a 10-minute break while they all decided whether to let Al's California Franchise Tax Board tax returns into evidence. The judge said it was not relevant.
Witness number 8 was an IRS Special Agent, Shawn Breslin, CPA. He had been a special agent since 1991 and he started investigating Al Thompson in September of 2000. There were some exhibits that the government had where calculations were made on what Al supposedly owed. These exhibits had "for criminal purpose" on them and Jeff objected so that government had to do all the exhibits over again. While the special agent testified the jury got corrected copies of these schedules. When the government asked the special agent questions he testified to the dollar amounts.
On cross examination Jeff asked him over and over and over whether anyone impeded, impaired, obstructed or defeated the IRS from calculating, assessing or collecting the tax on Cen Cal (Thompson or his company or employees) and he said no every time. Jeff asked whether Joe impeded, impaired, obstructed or defeated the IRS from calculating, assessing or collecting the same alleged taxes and he said no. The Special Agent, Shawn Breslin, noted that he has been with the IRS for 13 years but does not know the civil side of the IRS.
He, Special Agent Shawn Breslin, did not know whether Al Thompson's 1040's had been audited. Jeff asked if Joe Banister had an obligation to file the 941's for Al's company and he said no. Jeff said, "It's Al's responsibility not Joe's, not the employees and not Al Thompson's payroll tax preparer Susan. Special Agent Shawn Breslin answered: yes, it's Al's responsibility, in response to Jeff's question.
This ended Government's case against Joe and concluded the prosecutions' presentation to the Jury.
The jury was dismissed for the day and told to come back Friday at 9 am. There was a break from 11:40 to 2:30 because the judge had another brief matter to handle.
Then at 2:30 the sparks started flying. Joe's lawyers made a motion to dismiss the charges against Joe under Rule 29 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which REQUIRES a dismissal of the charges, if the Government fails to produce ANY evidence in the trial that could possibly show guilt of the defendant. Jeff cited on point U.S. Supreme Court case U.S. v. Galletti, 541 U.S. 114, 121 (2004), Caldwell case (from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals) to show that Joe's speech does not and cannot constitute conspiracy, and that there was A COMPLETE ABSENCE OF PROOF by the Government. The judge asked the government to rebut that, and they did a poor job, since they did not have a case in the first place.
The judge, however, did not want to dismiss the case.
Jeff stated again that the government did not prove an underlying tax liability. The judge asked the government why they did not do a better job of preparing the IRS Special Agent when being asked about conspiracy to impair, impede, obstruct or defeat the IRS?
The judge agreed that none of the government's witnesses proved willfulness or conspiracy.
The judge continued to argue with Jeff about it. Jeff told the judge that Rule 29 requires the judge to dismiss the charges because of lack of ANY proof. The judge did not want to dismiss the case, because if he did, the U.S. Government could not reverse his decision by going to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. But if he ruled against Joe, then he could get the judge reversed by the 9th Circuit. Jeff reminded the judge that the law REQUIRES dismissal when the Government fails to provide ANY proof. The judge stated that he felt that Rule 29 is not fair to the Government and that there is some talk in the Congress to change Rule 29, so that the Government could appeal the dismissal of their case.
Jeff reminded the judge that AT THIS TIME and until Congress changes the law, the judge must dismiss the charges! However, Judge Schubb did not want to embarrass his fellow government officials who had successfully got a Federal Grand Jury to indict a ham sandwich (Joe) and wanted to convict the ham sandwich of the non-existent crimes (Joe's alleged conspiracy and false statements). The judge argued a fair amount about this with Jeff and eventually made the political decision of going against the plain language of the law and against the evidence in the case by refusing to dismiss any of the charges.
Next, both sides took out portions of the Deposition (under oath videotaped and transcribed testimony) of Joe's boss at the IRS, Mr. Gordini. The government wanted 7 items extracted and the judge let them extract 6.
The defense wanted 1 item extracted and the judge let them extract it. It was a very insignificant item. Joe's lawyers are having the video edited for the jury's view in the morning.
Judge Schubb, attempted to prop up the government's case by letting all of the charges hang in there, for now, when the government did not provide any proof of the charges, but by letting them all go by the defense will be able to present all the evidence they want to bring in. With the conspiracy charge intact, Joe will be able to fully explain his story before, during and after his career with the IRS for the jury to see and evaluate for themselves. So all in all we believe the trial is going over well for Joe, as expected.
Friday the Video of Mr. Gordini and two of Joe's witnesses will testify, and then Joe will testify later on Friday or on Monday. We expect the trial to be over around the middle of next week.
At the end of the day upon coming out of the courtroom, Joe motioned for about 15 of us to come together in a huddle. We could see he was filled with emotion and did not know what to expect. About 30 feet away was his Mother, Aunt, his wife and youngest son. He quietly told us of his burden of the difficulty all this has been on his wife and sons. He asked us not to respond to his wife in any way because for now it would not be good. She would only receive it in a negative way. Special prayers need to be offered up for his wife and sons. The oldest is 17 and would not come. We all hurt for them and realize how serious this is and how great a sacrifice has been made by this family. We appreciate so much what Joe is doing for all of us and this is something we can do for him.
Yours in truth, freedom and justice,
Sherry, Ken, Ross, Peymon and Harry