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United States v. Carter

United States District Court, D. Kansas

August 13, 2019

KARL CARTER, Defendant.



         I. Introduction ........................................................................................................................... 3

         II. Procedural Background and Scope of this Decision .......................................................... 8

         A. Procedural Background: This Case in Three Parts ............................................................. 8

         B. The Scope of this Decision Under the Tenth Circuit's Mandamus Ruling ...................... 19

         III. Findings of Fact: Failure to Cooperate with the Special Master's Investigation .......... 23

         A. Orders to Preserve and Cooperate ..................................................................................... 23

         B. The USAO's Failure to Preserve Evidence ...................................................................... 30

         1. The USAO Misconstrued the Court's Early Preservation Orders and Willfully Delayed and Obstructed the Special Master's Preservation Orders ........................................... 30

         2. The USAO Failed to Preserve the AVPC Hard Drives ................................................ 32

         3. Failure to Implement a Litigation Hold ........................................................................ 38

         a. Delayed Litigation Hold Email ............................................................................... 40

         b. Delayed Formal Litigation Hold and Failure to Inform the Special Master of Formal Litigation Hold Efforts ............................................................................... 42

         c. Impact of USAO Litigation Hold Delays ............................................................... 47

         4. The Government Delayed and Obfuscated Its Compliance with the August 15, 2018 Preservation Order ........................................................................................................ 49

         C. Failure to Cooperate with Production of Witnesses and Documents ............................... 54

         1. Failure to Make Key USAO Personnel Available to the Special Master ..................... 54

         2. Failure to Produce Documents Requested by the Special Master ................................ 56

         IV. Findings of Fact: Possession and Access to Video and Audio Recordings of Attorney-Client Communications at CCA ........................................................................................ 63

         A. Video Recordings .............................................................................................................. 63

         1. CCA Recording Practices ............................................................................................. 63

         2. Grand Jury Subpoena in Black ...................................................................................... 66

         3. USAO and Agents' Knowledge and Intent ................................................................... 67

         4. USAO's Use of Videotaped Attorney-Client Meeting ................................................. 71

         B. Audio Recordings ............................................................................................................. 80

         1. CCA Recording Practices ............................................................................................. 80

         2. USAO Methods of Obtaining Recordings of Calls ....................................................... 88

         3. Grand Jury Subpoena in Black ...................................................................................... 90

         4. Individual Cases that Came to Light in Black .............................................................. 91

         5. USAO's Knowledge that CCA Audio Recordings Included Recordings of Attorney-Client Phone Calls ...................................................................................................... 101

         6. DOJ Directives, Training, and USAO Management Advice ...................................... 106

         7. USAO Internal Deliberation and Guidance on Audio Calls ....................................... 107

         a. Failure to Investigate ............................................................................................. 108

         b. Unilateral Determination on Waiver ..................................................................... 110

         c. Failure to Disclose to the Defense ........................................................................ 113

         d. No Reasonable Measures to Exclude or Filter Attorney-Client Calls .................. 118

         e. Internal Dysfunction ............................................................................................. 120

         8. Retention of Attorney-Client Recordings ................................................................... 122

         V. Conclusions of Law: Cooperation .................................................................................... 123

         A. Civil Standards ................................................................................................................ 124

         B. Spoliation ........................................................................................................................ 128

         1. AVPC .......................................................................................................................... 129

         2. ESI Lost Under Normal Retention Policies ................................................................ 132

         C. Non-Spoliation Sanctions ............................................................................................... 136

         1. Preservation and Impoundment .................................................................................. 138

         2. Production of Witnesses ............................................................................................. 141

         3. Production of Documents ........................................................................................... 141

         4. Non-Spoliation Sanctions for Violations of Court Orders .......................................... 143

         VI. Conclusions of Law: Sixth Amendment .......................................................................... 145

         A. Governing Law ............................................................................................................... 146

         1. Supreme Court Standards ........................................................................................... 146

         2. Tenth Circuit Approach in Shillinger ......................................................................... 154

         B. Application ...................................................................................................................... 162

         1. Need for Particularized Findings ................................................................................ 162

         2. Issues Common to all Claims ..................................................................................... 163

         a. Privileged Attorney-Client Communications.......................................................163

         i. Soundless Video Recordings.............................................................................164

         ii. Audio Recordings and Waiver..........................................................................166

         b. Purposeful Intrusion and Legitimate Justification................................................176

         i. Purposeful Intrusion..........................................................................................176

         ii. Legitimate Law Enforcement Justification.......................................................177

         VII. Roadmap for § 2255 Litigation........................................................................................179

         A. Posture of the § 2255 Litigation......................................................................................181

         B. Reassignment and Consolidation for Discovery.............................................................183

         VIII. Conclusion........................................................................................................................184

         I. Introduction

         The Sixth Amendment guarantees an accused the right to assistance of counsel for his or her defense.[1] This right is “indispensable to the fair administration of our adversarial system of criminal justice.”[2] It “safeguards the other rights deemed essential for the fair prosecution of a criminal proceeding.”[3] The Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel includes the ability to speak candidly and confidentially with counsel free from unreasonable Government interference.[4] For the adversary system to function properly, any such advice must be shielded from exposure to the government. That bedrock principle is at issue in this case.

         The Government initiated a drug-conspiracy investigation in the spring of 2016, targeting detainees and employees of Corrections Corporation of America (“CCA”), a large, private detention facility located in Leavenworth, Kansas.[5] Although the case initially charged six defendants with various drug offenses, the Government suspected the conspiracy involved at least 95 inmates and 60 more individuals outside the facility.[6] Facts uncovered after an early discovery conference in this case revealed discovery practices that implicated the Sixth Amendment right to counsel: the Government possessed soundless video recordings of attorney visitation rooms at CCA, and possessed and distributed audio recordings of telephone calls between several detainees and their counsel.

         The Court immediately clawed back and impounded the recordings, and conducted several emergency hearings on these issues, prompted in part by the involvement of the Office of the Federal Public Defender's (“FPD”), which was allowed to intervene in this case on behalf of its many clients detained at CCA. At these early hearings, the Court endeavored to find out from the Government the scope of its discovery efforts that potentially intruded on confidential in-person and telephonic attorney-client meetings, but the Government evaded the Court's questions, and denied that its practices implicated the Sixth Amendment or the attorney-client privilege. The Court ultimately appointed Special Master David Cohen to investigate. The Government did not cooperate with his investigation, and its failure to cooperate ultimately resulted in a lengthy delay in this Court's ability to rule on these issues. Finally, despite the delay associated with the Government's failure to cooperate and its litigation efforts challenging the propriety of the Special Master's investigation, the Court conducted a full evidentiary hearing on all pending matters in this case in October and November 2018. The Court is now prepared to rule.

         Under extant Tenth Circuit law, the purposeful intrusion by the government into the attorney-client relationship, absent a countervailing state interest, constitutes a per se violation of the Sixth Amendment with no need to demonstrate that the defendant has suffered prejudice as a result.[7] The Supreme Court requires the remedy for a Sixth Amendment violation to be “tailored to the injury suffered” and not “unnecessarily infringe on the competing interests” of the fundamental right to assistance of counsel and respecting society's interest in the administration of criminal justice.[8] In this case, the Court's attorney-client privilege and Sixth Amendment analysis is necessitated by the FPD's motions under Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(g) for return of property, wherein it asserts the Sixth Amendment rights of clients detained at CCA. As part of the Sixth Amendment analysis, the Court must necessarily evaluate the Government's lack of meaningful cooperation in the Special Master's investigation because the Government's credibility is directly at issue.

         The purpose of the Special Master's investigation was to work with all the parties, and with Securus Technologies, Inc. (“Securus”), the company that provides the telephone-recording equipment to CCA, to determine the extent of the attorney-client communications that were obtained and/or accessed by the Government. Because the Government did not abide by this Court and the Special Master's preservation and cooperation directives, this opinion discusses evidence of these failures, and considers a remedy. Although the Court declines to impose spoliation sanctions at this time for the Government's probable destruction of evidence material to the Special Master's investigation, the record in this case may lay the groundwork for specific spoliation claims in individual cases brought under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Moreover, the Court easily finds that the Government willfully violated myriad Court orders and Special Master directives, and the Court imposes monetary sanctions for these violations.

         The Government is correct that the determination of a Sixth Amendment violation must be particularized to each defendant, and that relief must be tailored to the injury suffered. Nonetheless, the Court can narrow the inquiries required in each related § 2255 case because these petitioners all seek similar relief for similar types of intrusions. The Court's findings of fact shine daylight on the Government's practice of obtaining attorney-client communications, and its view that these communications are not protected, and thus, not subject to scrutiny. While the Sixth Amendment requires particularized findings to determine whether an improper intrusion into the confidential relationship with counsel occurred, and if so, the appropriate remedy, this record allows the Court to consider several legal issues that implicate the Sixth Amendment analysis and are common to all affected litigants. These issues include, inter alia: (1) the elements required to prove a per se violation of the Sixth Amendment under Tenth Circuit law; (2) whether soundless video recordings constitute protected attorney-client communications; (3) whether the “preamble” language that played at the beginning of Securus telephone calls constituted a waiver of the attorney-client privilege; and (4) whether the Government had a legitimate law enforcement purpose when it procured the recordings at issue in this case.

         In the end, this case presents an opportunity to provide a wide-lens view of the Government's conduct implicating the Sixth Amendment inquiry. The culture of the Office of the United States Attorney (“USAO”), particularly in Kansas City, Kansas, directly bears on that analysis. And the USAO's pattern of similar misconduct in other cases is relevant to the Court's determination of witness credibility on the issue of access to the recordings, and of the appropriate remedy for detainees prejudiced by an intentional intrusion into their attorney-client relationship. Likewise, the USAO's delay and obfuscation in the Special Master's investigation will weigh into fashioning an appropriate remedy in the § 2255 cases. Litigants have been unable to seek or obtain relief in their individual cases or on direct appeal because the evidence necessary to support their claims is either still impounded by this Court, or because the Special Master's investigation was impeded by the Government's machinations. Audio recordings of attorney-client calls obtained by the USAO continue to be produced in August 2019, almost three years after the investigation began. Evidence likely has been lost due to the Government's failure to timely implement a meaningful litigation hold. And the Government's productions to the Special Master and FPD were incomplete and turned over in a manner designed to mask the individual source of production.

         The Government's wholesale strategy to delay, diffuse, and deflect succeeded in denying the individual litigants their day in court for almost three years. The strategy continues today, and can be found in the Government's proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, where it contends that most detainees' communications with their attorneys are not protected, and that the USAO was correct in unilaterally determining that it had a right to access such information. It can also be found in the Government's responses to the pending § 2255 motions, where it contends that these claims do not deserve to be considered on the merits. The day has come to bring this case to a final decision.

         This opinion is intended to provide a roadmap for future consideration of the many cases pending on these issues under § 2255. It orders a release of the video recordings to the FPD, which has been appointed by standing order to represent any litigant alleging claims based on the facts surrounding the Special Master's investigation. It will consolidate the habeas cases under one United States Magistrate Judge for discovery and reassign them to the undersigned for a consistent application of the principles set forth in this opinion. It will make clear the common legal standards that will govern in those proceedings, and what must remain pending for particularized findings in each case.

         This opinion begins by setting forth a summary of the complicated and lengthy procedural background in this case, which proceeded in generally three parts, and explains the scope of the Court's opinion. Next, the Court sets forth its findings of fact on the Government's cooperation with the Special Master's investigation and compliance with the Court's orders related thereto, followed by the Court's findings of fact on the merits. Finally, the Court provides conclusions of law on the FPD's requests for sanctions against the Government, and then on the merits of the Sixth Amendment claims. The Court concludes by providing a roadmap for managing the pending litigation under § 2255 that will follow when this case concludes.

         II. Procedural Background and Scope of this Decision A. Procedural Background: This Case in Three Parts

         This case has a lengthy and complicated procedural history that has been recounted in several past orders.[9] The Court provides the following highly summarized procedural history to explain how this case proceeded in generally three parts, and why it culminated in the evidentiary hearing that prompts the Court's Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.

         Part I of the underlying case[10] proceeded like many other criminal cases. On April 9, 2016, United States Magistrate Judge Teresa J. James signed a Criminal Complaint wherein Special Agent Jeff Stokes of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (“KBI”) demonstrated probable cause to believe that Lorenzo Black, Karl Carter, Anthon Aiono, Alicia Tackett, Catherine Rowlette, and David Bishop (the “Black Defendants”) conspired to distribute controlled substances inside CCA. An 11-count grand jury Indictment was filed on May 4, 2016. Special Assistant United States Attorney (“SAUSA”) Erin Tomasic and Assistant United States Attorney (“AUSA”) Christopher Oakley appeared on behalf of the USAO at all proceedings during Part I of this case.

         The Court conducted a discovery conference with the parties on July 21, 2016. At that hearing, Tomasic discussed having obtained voluminous video-surveillance footage from video cameras stationed throughout the CCA facility. Tomasic admitted there were cameras in the attorney visitation rooms at CCA for security monitoring purposes but denied that the cameras had recording capability.

         By early August 2016, the FPD sought to intervene and filed a motion for return of property under Fed. R. Crim. P. 41(g), arguing that the USAO was in possession of video recordings of the attorney visitation rooms at CCA, which the FPD alleged intruded into privileged, confidential communications of attorneys and clients housed at CCA and violated the Sixth Amendment.[11] The FPD filed an Amended Rule 41(g) motion on August 7, 2016, adding allegations that CCA recorded attorney-client telephone calls and at times provided the content of those calls to the USAO.[12] The Black Defendants joined the motion and defendants throughout this District filed similar motions in their respective cases.[13]

         The Court held hearings on the FPD's motions on August 9, August 16, and September 7, 2016, in an effort to determine the scope of the alleged Sixth Amendment violations. The USAO appeared by different counsel at these hearings: Debra Barnett, the Criminal Chief for the District of Kansas, and Duston Slinkard, the Topeka Criminal Coordinator. After the August 16 hearing, the Court issued “clawback” and impoundment orders to CCA and the USAO and their agents, for all video and audio recordings of attorney-client communications in their possession.[14]

         Part II of the case began on October 11, 2016, when the Court appointed David Cohen as Special Master under Fed.R.Civ.P. 53.[15] The Appointment Order set forth the Special Master's initial duties in two phases: Phase I would determine the feasibility of isolating potentially privileged and confidential attorney-client video and audio recordings from the universe of recordings the USAO obtained from CCA; Phase II would cull the potentially privileged materials and provide progress updates to the Court and the parties.[16] The Court limited the Special Master's duties to those to which the USAO consented at that time, and reserved the right to later expand the scope of his appointment to investigate whether, and the extent to which, the USAO violated the Sixth Amendment and/or Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e) in this and other criminal cases as requested by the FPD.[17]

         The Special Master effectively concluded Phases I and II of his investigation in a March 16, 2017 Report, in which he made certain findings of fact, including a tentative finding that neither the USAO nor law enforcement actually viewed the video recordings of CCA attorney visitation rooms obtained in May 2016 during the Black investigation.[18] But the extent to which the USAO or law enforcement obtained recordings of telephone calls made by detainees, and the extent to which the USAO was not entitled to obtain those recordings, remained open questions because the Court had not asked the Special Master to issue a report on those concerns.[19] The Special Master listed a number of actions for the Court to consider, in order to reach final conclusions of fact and “mend[] the parties' relationship, ” including authorizing him to proceed with a third phase of the investigation into video and audio recordings.[20]

         On May 17, 2017, the Court issued an order detailing its findings that justified an expanded Phase III inquiry, and directed the Special Master “to investigate the actions and conduct of the government, the USAO attorneys and staff, and the participating investigative agencies . . . in procuring, obtaining and perhaps using video and audio recordings of attorney-client meetings and phone calls at CCA.”[21] Phase III would not be funded by the USAO, but instead the Court would bear the cost from specially appropriated funds.[22]

         During the Phase III investigation, additional evidence outside of the Special Master's investigation came to light. First, the USAO notified the Court that Tomasic had listened to attorney-client calls not only in this case, but in a second case before another judge in this District, United States v. Herrera-Zamora, [23] resulting in Tomasic's termination from employment. Second, the Court held a two-day evidentiary hearing in the related case of United States v. Dertinger, [24] on a motion to dismiss alleging the USAO used attorney-client video recordings obtained in the Black case. Before a decision could be reached in that matter, Dertinger entered into a sentencing agreement in which the parties agreed to a sentence of time served.[25]

         The USAO ultimately declined to produce any of the information the Special Master requested during his investigation, and on June 7, 2017, notified him for the first time that the USAO may have a conflict that would require another entity to take responsibility for document production. On July 14, 2017, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) informed the Court and the Special Master that Steven Clymer, an AUSA in the Northern District of New York, was appointed as Special Attorney to the United State Attorney General to respond to the Special Master's Requests for Information in Phase III.[26]

         The Special Master filed a Phase III Status Report on October 20, 2017.[27] This was his last substantive report to the Court. In it, he notified the Court that the Government had declined to cooperate further with him by declining to produce documents he had been requesting for months.[28] The Special Master attached a September 12, 2017 letter from Clymer spanning 24 pages, wherein Clymer “respectfully decline[d] to provide most of the information and documents sought” by the Special Master as part of the Phase III investigation.[29] Clymer set forth the Government's position that it had authority to preclude production and testimony based on its housekeeping regulations often referred to as the DOJ Touhy Regulations (“Touhy”).[30]

         Thus began Part III of the Black case, in which the Special Master's inquiry turned from an investigation into an adversarial litigation proceeding. The Court promptly set the case for hearing, and the FPD moved for an order directing the Government to show cause why it should not be held in contempt of court for violating the Court's orders to cooperate with the Special Master.[31] In advance of the hearing set for January 18, 2018, the Special Master issued an Order of Production directing Clymer to bring to the hearing certain documents and materials that were set out in subpoenas duces tecum (“SDTs”) he issued; the Special Master also issued testimonial subpoenas directed at current and former USAO employees.[32] The FPD and counsel for the remaining Black Defendants also subpoenaed USAO attorneys and other witnesses.[33] Defendant Carter moved to dismiss the Indictment on Sixth Amendment and prosecutorial misconduct grounds.[34]

         The USAO moved to quash the subpoenas and terminate Phase III of the Special Master's investigation, [35] which the Court denied in a January 12, 2018 Memorandum and Order.[36] The day before the scheduled January 18 hearing-which by that point had expanded to a motions hearing on the pending motion for order to show cause, motion to dismiss, and Rule 41(g) motions-the Government filed a Petition for Writ of Mandamus with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals as to the Court's January 12 Memorandum and Order.[37] The following day, January 18, the Tenth Circuit granted the Government's request to stay the hearing pending its ruling on the mandamus petition.[38]

         On February 26, 2018, the Tenth Circuit granted in part and denied in part the Government's petition as follows:

The district court's order directing the Special Master to conduct a Phase III investigation authorized specific tasks as they pertain to three categories of people: defendants in the case before it; defendants with pending motions for relief in the District of Kansas which motions are based on certain allegations; and targets and subjects of the CCA investigation . . . . We direct the district court to limit the scope of investigation and inquiries to matters related to defendants before the court in United States v. Black, No. 16-20032-JAR, and to other parties in Black who have filed Rule 41(g) motions in that proceeding.[39]

         The evidentiary hearing was eventually rescheduled for May 15, 2018.[40] Again, the Government moved to quash the subpoenas reissued by the Special Master, which the Court previously stayed in December 2017.[41] The Court did not rule on the renewed motions to quash, and ultimately did not enforce the SDTs given the Government's invocation of Touhy. At the evidentiary hearing, the Special Master and the parties presented evidence on the scope and extent of alleged Sixth Amendment violations stemming from the video and audio recordings at CCA and the USAO's possession of recorded, privileged, attorney-client communications. The parties called the following witnesses: former CCA Unit Team Manager Leslie West, Special Agent Stokes, AUSA Scott Rask, former SAUSA Tomasic, CCA employee Wayne Bigelow, and CCA Warden Linda Thomas. Clymer made nearly blanket Touhy objections to Rask's testimony and partial Touhy objections to Tomasic's testimony.[42]

         On May 16, 2018, after a full day of evidence, the parties asked the Court to recess the hearing to allow them to work toward an agreed resolution of outstanding issues related to the Special Master's investigation. United States Attorney Stephen McAllister[43] later announced to the Court that his office and the FPD hoped to reach an agreement on a proposed standing order with the help of the Special Master, and that the USAO would seek to dismiss then-remaining Defendants Carter and Bishop.[44] All parties understood that if an agreement did not come to fruition, the hearing would be reconvened. The FPD and USAO proceeded to work toward resolution of matters impacted by this litigation, including a jointly proposed Standing Order approved by this Court that appoints the FPD to represent any District of Kansas defendant who may have a post-conviction Sixth Amendment claim based on video or audio recordings of attorney-client communications by any holding facility housing federal detainees.[45]

         On July 30, 2018, the FPD moved to reconvene the evidentiary hearing recessed on May 16, 2018, citing a letter to the Special Master from then-Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein dated July 27, 2018, informing the Special Master of the DOJ's position in the Black litigation and the Special Master investigation.[46] The letter explained that the DOJ would not approve blanket sentencing reductions absent evidence of particularized harm, and would either negotiate or litigate each claim individually.[47]

         The Court set the evidentiary hearing to reconvene on October 2, 2018, [48] and soon after granted an FPD motion for yet another preservation order for audio recordings of telephone calls by District of Kansas detainees requested or obtained by the USAO, and for derivative information related to those recordings.[49] On August 17, 2018, the Special Master served the Government with a new SDT, aimed at eliminating the Government's Touhy objections. The Government neither objected nor moved to quash the new SDT, but the Court granted its request for an extension to produce until September 21, 2018.[50]

         The hearing recommenced on October 2, 2018, almost one year after it was originally set. The Court heard evidence from the Special Master, FPD, and the Government over the course of seven days. The following witnesses testified: Tomasic, United States Secret Service (“USSS”) Special Agent John Seubert, AUSA Jabari Wamble, defense attorney Christian Cox, Captain Jared Schechter, Butler County Detention Facility Capt. Toby Stewart, USAO Litigation Support Specialist Pauletta Boyd, USAO IT Manager David Steeby, AUSA David Zabel, defense attorney Carlos Moran, AUSA Lanny Welch, AUSA Emily Metzger, Securus attorney Joshua Martin, CCA employee Wayne Bigelow, Assistant FPD Rich Frederico, AUSA Sheri Catania, Professor Peter Joy, defense attorney Justin Gelfand, forensic expert Tami Loehrs, AUSA Leon Patton, Oakley, AUSA Terra Morehead, former First Assistant United States Attorney Mike Warner, former AUSA Tanya Treadway, defense attorney Melanie Morgan, defense attorney Christopher Joseph, AUSA Trent Krug, AUSA Tristan Hunt, AUSA Kim Flannigan, AUSA Barnett, defense attorney Tom Haney, AUSA Scott Rask, and AUSA Tom Beall.[51]

         Current and former USAO employees testified within the scope of their Touhy authorizations at the hearing, with Clymer offering guidance to each witness about whether answering a question was outside the scope of the authorization. Compared to the May hearing, the witnesses invoked Touhy more narrowly and less often during the October hearing, and Clymer often advised the witnesses that they could proceed to answer questions that they were initially reticent to answer based on their authorizations.

         The Government did not fully produce documents responsive to the Special Master's SDT by the September 21 deadline. Instead, it produced responsive documents on a rolling basis, up to, during, and well after the hearing.[52] It being evident that the Special Master, Defendant Carter, the FPD, and other interested parties were denied an opportunity to fully consider the Government's discovery responses during the course of the October hearing, the Court kept the record open and ordered a further evidentiary hearing for November 16, 2018, to “figure out whether the production is complete, all other concerns about production, [and] any requests for remedies about production.”[53]

         On November 16, 2018, the Court heard more evidence. The Special Master and FPD recalled Steeby, Beall, and Metzger to answer questions about late-produced documents, and the Special Master testified as a rebuttal witness. Further evidence was presented about the USAO's litigation hold, and the timing and transparency of the USAO's request for recusal by the DOJ. The Government continued to take the position that the disclosures that it had made in response to the SDTs were made voluntarily, not because of any court order or rule of law, since the disclosures went beyond those required by Fed. R. Crim. P. 16. On November 21, 2018, the Court issued a Final Production Order detailing steps the Government must take to fully comply with the SDT, including providing a privilege log for documents it withheld under Touhy or other privileges.[54]

         The Government filed a motion seeking reconsideration, which included a request for disqualification of the Special Master under 28 U.S.C. § 455.[55] In a lengthy Memorandum and Order filed on January 25, 2019, the Court largely denied the Government's motion to reconsider its Final Production Order.[56] The Court denied the Government's request to disqualify the Special Master and terminate Phase III of the investigation. But the Court modified the production portion of its November 21 Order, allowing the FPD and Special Master to move for admission of any additional exhibits identified through the Government's production pursuant to the SDTs and accelerating the briefing schedule for proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. The Court made clear that this modification was not intended to excuse the Government's noncompliance with its production obligations. It explained that further remedies, if any, associated with the Government's failure to cooperate with Phase III of the Special Master's investigation were under advisement and would be addressed in this Order. The Court also noted that there were then 66 pending § 2255 motions that raised potential Sixth Amendment violations, where there could be no dispute that both the Federal Rules of Evidence and Rules of Civil Procedure apply.[57]

         In accordance with the Court's January 25 Memorandum and Order, the FPD and Special Master submitted additional exhibits for the Court's consideration on March 7, 2019.[58] The FPD and the Government filed Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law on March 21, 2019.[59] Also on March 21, the Government filed a “Post-Hearing Status Report on Preservation, ” providing previously undisclosed information about its preservation efforts since August 2018.[60]

         B. The Scope of this Decision Under the Tenth Circuit's Mandamus Ruling

         The Tenth Circuit's ruling on the Government's mandamus petition permitted the “investigation and inquiries [in]to matters related to” two categories of parties: (1) “defendants before the court in United States v. Black” and (2) “other parties in Black who have filed Rule 41(g) motions in that proceeding.”[61] As described above, in line with this directive, the Court eventually reset an evidentiary hearing for May 15, 2018, to address (1) the Special Master's Phase III Report; (2) the FPD's Motion to Show Cause and Supplemental Motion for Order to Show Cause; (3) the FPD's pending Rule 41 motions in Black; and (4) Defendant Carter's Motion to Dismiss Indictment. These motions unmistakably fall within the scope of the Tenth Circuit's mandate.

         In his motion to dismiss, Defendant Carter argues for dismissal of the charges against him based on Fifth and Sixth Amendment violations and as a sanction for the Government's abusive litigation practices during the Special Master's investigation. Although the Government has stipulated that Defendant Carter's charges may be dismissed, the motion remains pending.[62]

         The FPD's Rule 41(g) motions allege Sixth Amendment violations related to video and audio recordings of its many clients detained at CCA. The FPD explained in its Amended Rule 41(g) motion the magnitude of its stake in the issues before the Court: “at least two of our clients were named in the body of the complaint, Robert Buress and Jermaine Rayton. We currently represent about 75 clients who are housed at CCA pending trial or sentencing.”[63] The Government argues that these motions are moot because it has returned all recordings to FPD clients. But for reasons explained fully in this opinion, the Court is not convinced that all property has been returned-there have been repeated cycles in this case of the Government representing that it has returned or impounded all recordings at issue, only for the Court to find out later that there are more. Moreover, the Court has not yet ruled on the Sixth Amendment allegations in the Rule 41(g) motions. Therefore, the Court properly considers in this opinion the allegations raised in the FPD's Rule 41(g) motions, and the evidence presented at the hearing relating to the FPD's many clients housed at CCA.

         The original evidentiary hearing was prompted in part by the Special Master's Phase III Status Report on October 20, 2017, which documented the USAO's decision not to cooperate with the Special Master after the Phase III investigation began.[64] The FPD's Motion to Show Cause, and two supplemental Motions to Show Cause, were filed in response to that report. Those motions also fall within the scope of the Tenth Circuit's mandate.[65] They ask the Court to require the Government to show cause why it should not be held in contempt for failing to cooperate with the Special Master's investigation.

         The Tenth Circuit's mandamus order permitted Phase III of the investigation to proceed with respect to the two categories of parties discussed above. But long before the mandamus ruling, this case had pivoted away from an investigation into an adversarial posture. By July 2017, the USAO made clear to the Special Master that it did not intend to produce internal emails captured by previously-negotiated search terms. Also in July 2017, the DOJ assigned Clymer to represent the Government in connection with the Special Master's investigation. Clymer's first order of business was to inform the Special Master and the Court that the Government would not produce documents requested by the Special Master during the previous year of his investigation.[66] These letters triggered the Special Master's October 2017 Report and the FPD's initial Motion to Show Cause. Those filings, along with the still-pending Rule 41 motions, led the Court to set this matter for hearing and the Special Master and FPD to issue SDTs.

         Despite the many false starts-and the Court's dashed hope that the FPD and USAO could work out a reasonable settlement of remedies for the remaining defendants in this case and with the many habeas corpus petitioners impacted by this investigation-the evidentiary hearing finally concluded on November 16, 2018. The Court heard ten days' worth of evidence. This evidence was required for the Court to understand, among other issues: (1) the scope of video and audio recordings captured by CCA and Securus during the relevant time period; (2) the methods by which the USAO obtained attorney-client recordings before and after August 2016; (3) the custom and practice of the USAO in obtaining and listening to attorney-client audio recordings; (4) how to determine witness credibility in the face of conflicting testimony and contradictory evidence; (5) the degree to which the USAO cooperated with the Special Master during his investigation; and (6) the degree to which the Government preserved and produced evidence pursuant to Special Master's and Court's directives. All of these inquiries were necessary for the Court to conclude its investigation into Sixth Amendment violations at CCA with respect to the Black Defendants and the detainees represented by intervening party FPD, and to rule on pending motions filed by these parties.

         The Court's forthcoming findings of fact and conclusions of law necessarily discuss defendants prosecuted by the USAO in other cases within this district, such as Juan Herrera-Zamora, Michelle Reulet, Mendy Forbes, and Brenda Wood. The Government did not object to evidence about these cases on the basis of relevance or scope. When discussing these other cases, the Court is careful in its findings to explain the nexus between those cases and the relevant inquiries in this case, including the USAO's knowledge and intent in accessing recordings that included attorney-client communications. In so doing, the Court finds that evidence of the USAO's conduct in those cases is directly relevant to the questions presented in this case as to: (1) “defendants before the court in United States v. Black” and (2) “other parties in Black who have filed Rule 41(g) motions in that proceeding.”[67]

         III. Findings of Fact: Failure to Cooperate with the Special Master's Investigation

         The Court makes the following findings of fact relevant to allegations by the Special Master, FPD, and Defendant Carter that the Government willfully failed to cooperate with the Special Master's investigation in this matter. Although these allegations were first set forth in the parties' 2017 filings, they were supplemented during the lengthy delay between those original filings and the evidentiary hearing in May, October, and November 2018, as further evidence of the USAO's conduct came to light. Revelations about the USAO's failure to preserve documents material to the investigation continued up to the parties' deadline for submitting proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. Thus, the Court's findings cover the following aspects of the Government's non-cooperation over the course of this lengthy period of time: (1) failure to abide by the Court's discovery orders by failing to preserve evidence, including the so-called AVPC hard drives, and (2) failure to timely and fully cooperate with the Special Master by actively discouraging timely cooperation by key USAO personnel and by failing to timely and completely produce material documents.

         A. Orders to Preserve and Cooperate

         The Court made several early orders both orally and in writing with respect to the impoundment and preservation of evidence that is material to the Sixth Amendment inquiries in this case. On August 9, 2016, at the first emergency hearing on the FPD's Rule 41(g) motions, the Court ordered the Government to turn over to the Court's custody the six hard drives, or “DVRs, ” containing the CCA video-recording footage produced to Tomasic in May 2016 pursuant to grand jury subpoena.[68] On August 10, 2016, the Court entered a Memorandum and Order memorializing this ruling, and directing all detention facilities in Kansas and Missouri that house District of Kansas detainees, including CCA, to cease and desist video and audio recording of attorney-client meetings, phone calls, and videoconference calls.[69]

         At the August 16 hearing, the Court heard evidence that Defendants in the Black case had received audio recordings in discovery that included their own attorney-client phone calls, the attorney-client phone calls of their co-defendants, as well as attorney-client phone calls of CCA detainees not charged in Black.[70] The Court orally clawed back the audio recordings in the USAO's possession after acknowledging that the Government's discovery of attorney-client communications potentially raised “hundreds of Sixth Amendment violations” since “every person has their own right.”[71]

         The clawback orders were memorialized in writing on August 18, 2016, but were not strictly limited to clawback and impoundment.[72] The order pertaining to video recordings extended the August 10, 2016 order, and directed CCA to provide to the USMS all originals and copies of recordings of the attorney visitation rooms; the USMS was directed to immediately deliver those recordings to the Court.[73] The clawback order pertaining to audio recordings provided, in part: “the Court Orders the preservation and protection of any and all audio recordings of attorney-client communications at [Corrections] Corporation of America (CCA).”[74]Thus, the Court's August 18 clawback and impoundment order of “any and all audio recordings” was not expressly limited to audio recordings of defendants in the Black case. As for the discovery that included audio calls in Black, the Court ordered the USAO to provide a list of all persons or entities to whom these recordings had been disseminated and to refrain from accessing or listening to them. The Court further ordered that the USAO “return all recordings and derivative information, such as transcripts, notes, or reports concerning these recordings, to the Court.”[75]

         On September 2, 2016, the Court was advised for the first time in a filing by the FPD that “the Kansas City office of the USAO may be in the cyclical process of replacing computers and perhaps other electronic equipment.”[76] Indeed, on August 30, 2016, FPD Melody Brannon emailed then-USAO Criminal Chief Debra Barnett, advising that she had heard that the USAO was to undergo a cyclical replacement of its computers and demanding that the USAO maintain all existing computers, including hard drives and other media that could contain data related to the video recordings as “we want to make sure nothing is lost in the transfer.”[77] At the September 7, 2016 evidentiary hearing, the Court orally ordered that the USAO's computer hard drives “be held on to until further order of the Court.”[78] AUSA Slinkard advised the Court:

Mr. Slinkard: So we will communicate with [IT Coordinator David Steeby] that we need to retain the hard drives from the Kansas City office, unless the Court orders more broadly, retain the hard drives from the Kansas City office, as well as the ability to access the laptop hard drives from the Kansas City office, if that's acceptable.[79]

         In the October 11, 2016 Appointment Order, the Court ordered all parties to “provide full cooperation to the Special Master . . . and observe faithfully the requirements of any orders of the Court and rulings by the Special Master.”[80] In addition to setting forth the Special Master's duties in Phase I (feasibility) and Phase II (culling and segregating any arguably privileged video and audio recordings), the Order warned that the Court may later expand the scope of the Special Master's duties to a Phase III, which may include a determination of

whether and how the Government has used or attempted to use protected material in any investigation, grand jury proceeding, or litigation, regardless of whether the use or attempted use was disclosed to the Court or to the parties; and whether the Government did or attempted to interfere with a defendant's attorney-client relationship, such as requesting attorney fees or alleging conflicts of interest.[81]

         On October 25, 2016, the Special Master entered a Discovery Conference Order.[82]

         Because the Court's Appointment Order “contemplated the possibility of later directing [him] to pursue ‘additional investigative duties, '” he directed the USAO, CCA, and the United States Marshals Service (“USMS”) to

identify and preserve all information and sources of information relevant to the matters listed on pages 7-8 of the Appointment Order (docket no. 146). This obligation includes preserving all emails (regardless of the device used to send or receive them) and other documents related to video- and audio-recording at CCA-Leavenworth or any other detention facility.
In addition, the Special Master specifically ORDERS the Office of the United States Attorney to immediately make a forensic image of the personal computers of Erin Tomasic, Kim Flannigan, and Pauletta Boyd, and also of any computer used to view the video- recordings produced in this case by individuals affiliated with the OUSA.[83]

         On November 18, 2016, the Special Master filed another Preservation Order, ordering preservation by Securus and the USSS, of the same materials identified in his previous order.[84]

         In a footnote to the November Preservation Order, the Special Master made clear that:

The obligation imposed by this Order and the Discovery Conference Order includes: suspension of routine destruction of information; guarding against deletion; preservation of data and metadata in native form; preservation of information on workstations, servers, laptops, online accounts, and all other sources; and preservation of information in the custody of others that is subject to the obligee's direction or control.[85]

         Under the terms of the Appointment Order, the Special Master's preservation orders were deemed orders of the Court since neither party lodged objections.[86]

         The Court conducted a discovery conference with the parties and the Special Master on October 28, 2016, during which the Court stressed that the scope of the preservation directives necessarily went beyond the Defendants in the Black case in light of the many Rule 41 motions pending in other cases. The Court pointedly asked the Government if it understood the scope of the directive:

COURT: . . . . So with respect to this directive to preserve any records of acquisition or production is what it really says, any records of production by CCA or Securus of video and audio recordings, that these be preserved, has that been complied with?
BARNETT: . . . .What I will tell the court is we understand right now nothing in our office as related to obtaining information from CCA should be destroyed or gotten rid of in any way. So within our office we have, I guess, put a lockdown, so to speak, on information or records that we would currently have.
THE COURT: And you do understand that it goes beyond the bounds of the Lorenzo Black case?
MS. BARNETT: Yes. Yes.[87]

         The Court went on to note, “as you know, there are Rule 41 motions pending in dozens and dozens of other cases in this district in this division and in other divisions, and so all of this is relevant to that as well.”[88]

         In its May 17, 2017 Phase III Order, the Court expanded the Special Master's investigation to include, among other things:

[W]hether the USAO and investigative agencies (including individual prosecutors, USAO staff and/or investigative agents) purposefully, intentionally, unintentionally or inadvertently, procured, obtained, relied upon, used in any manner, and/or disseminated to anyone, video and/or audio recordings of attorney client communications as described above, or attempted to do so . . . .[89]

         The Special Master was also directed to “[i]nspect and copy files, documents, communication, and electronic data of any pretrial holding facility, the USMS, and the government as necessary to complete the above duties.”[90] The Order made clear that it did not modify the parties' duty to provide full cooperation to the Special Master. Although the Order provided for Court funding of Phase III, it warned:

Although the Court relieves the government from bearing the cost of the Special Master's investigation going forward, there is one exception. If the government does not cooperate regarding the inspection and copying described in Section VIII. (9) above, or otherwise litigates the production of materials and information necessary for the Special Master to pursue his investigation, then the fees, costs, and expenses associated with that noncooperation will be paid by the government.[91]

         No further preservation directives were issued by the Court or the Special Master until August 2018, when new information came to light about the potential scope of recorded telephone calls between attorneys and their clients detained at CCA that the USAO continued to possess.[92] On August 15, 2018, after the settlement negotiations between the FPD and the USAO reached an impasse, the Court filed yet another preservation order, this time for any recordings of phone calls made or received by a person while in District of Kansas custody that was requested or obtained by the USAO, as well as any related documents such as emails, written requests, and communication with defense counsel.[93] This order granted an oral FPD motion that was prompted in part by evidence presented during the May 2018 hearing that despite the Court's earlier clawback order, the USAO still possessed many audio recordings of attorney-client phone calls procured outside of the Black investigation, and that the USAO routinely requested recordings of phone calls by detainees without formal documentation.[94]

         Specifically, the FPD learned in May 2018 that there were 1338 instances of recorded calls between the FPD and its clients detained at CCA between 2011 and 2013.[95]

         B. The USAO's Failure to Preserve Evidence

         1. The USAO Misconstrued the Court's Early Preservation Orders and Willfully Delayed and Obstructed the Special Master's Preservation Orders

         While the USAO complied with the Court's August 18, 2016 video clawback order by turning over the DVRs containing video recordings from CCA, USAO management narrowly interpreted the order to only require impoundment of the physical hard drives obtained from CCA. Despite the clear language in the Court's August 18, 2016 video clawback order, the USAO continued to maintain copies of the video recordings on Litigation Support Specialist Pauletta Boyd's AVPC computer.[96] And at the Dertinger hearing on June 20, 2017, Special Agent Stokes testified that he kept a copy of the video recordings that he had previously downloaded to his laptop computer.[97] He testified that he kept this laptop at home or locked in his car.

         Moreover, despite having knowledge that it had obtained recordings of attorney-client telephone calls for defendants not named in Black, and despite the broad language of the Court's August 18, 2016 audio preservation and clawback order, the USAO chose to narrowly interpret that order to include only those recordings obtained in the Black case. On August 19, 2016, the day after the Court's order, Beall, Barnett, Metzger, Slinkard, Rask, Oakley, Tomasic, and Flannigan met to discuss the scope of the clawback order on audio recordings. Contrary to the testimony of Barnett and Metzger, there was not a consensus during this meeting that the scope of the Court's clawback order was narrowly limited to the calls obtained in the Black discovery. On that same date, AUSA Carrie Capwell opined in an email to Tomasic that the Court's order could be broadly read to apply to all cases.[98] Also on that same date, there was an email conversation between Oakley, Metzger and Boyd, on which Beall, Barnett, Flannigan, Rask and Tomasic were copied.[99] Metzger expressed concern that the Court's clawback language was broad, such that with respect to phone recordings that were on the shared discovery drive, they should “delete them from the drive, ” or “lock them down” and give the Court notice of that.[100]The USAO ultimately did neither.

         Tomasic and Flannigan testified that they informed Barnett that there were phone recordings in other cases, including United States v. Rapp, [101] that were separately obtained in the CCA investigation and that should be within the scope of the clawback order as well.[102]Tomasic pressed Barnett by email on September 13, 2016, about whether phone calls obtained in other investigations should be impounded under the clawback order in Black.[103] On September 14, 2016, Barnett directed Tomasic to seek clarification from the Court on what to do with phone recordings from other investigations.[104] On September 22, there was an email exchange between Metzger and Barnett.[105] Metzger again expressed concern that the Court's order should be applied to calls that were obtained in other cases.[106] Yet neither Tomasic, Barnett, nor Metzger ever sought clarification from the Court. And while by this point Barnett had directed Tomasic to secure these other calls and prepare a chart identifying the affected detainees, [107] these and all other calls in the USAO's possession remained in the shared discovery drive, accessible to all AUSAs, without notice to the Court or the parties. According to the USAO's March 21, 2019 status report, documents on the USAO's shared discovery drive exist until deleted, and “[n]o discovery drive data related to any case has been approved for deletion after the Court's blanket preservation directive of November 21, 2018.”[108] Thus, it appears based on this recent status report that recordings pertaining to non-Black defendants were not only accessible to all AUSAs, but were also subject to deletion by any AUSA until November 2018 under the USAO's interpretation of the August 18, 2016 audio preservation order.

         2. The USAO Failed to Preserve the AVPC Hard Drives

          In April 2016, USAO management was placed on notice that the entire USAO office for the District of Kansas would undergo a cyclical replacement of its computers in August and September 2016.[109] On August 31, 2016, the day after receiving Brannon's August 30 email demanding that the USAO maintain its existing computers and hard drives, Barnett forwarded Brannon's email to Beall, Slinkard, and Metzger.[110] The substance of the subsequent discussion in this email string demonstrates that these USAO managers recognized the significance of preserving the data on the computers. Metzger noted that since the video recordings were impounded by the Court, she did not understand Brannon's concern unless it was “some type of metadata on the videos?”[111] That, of course, would be one compelling reason to preserve the computers, particularly any computer from which someone had accessed or viewed video recordings. Metzger later testified that she understood at the time that there was an issue about who had viewed the video recordings. In this August 31 email string, Metzger also noted that it was her understanding that “we have locked it down on our computers, ” and that Boyd could probably verify whether the computer that housed their discovery was being replaced or not.[112]Metzger further recognized the need to confirm with USAO IT personnel Boyd and Steeby that “nothing will be lost.”[113] Slinkard weighed in with the suggestion, “[c]heck with David to make sure, but I understood that we would be retaining all hard drives from the old computers.”[114]

         It is undisputed that neither Beall, Barnett, Metzger, nor Slinkard conveyed this information to Steeby, nor sought confirmation from USAO IT personnel that all computers would be maintained and the data on the computers preserved before the planned cyclical replacement. By August 31, the Wichita and Topeka divisions were already undergoing or completing their cyclical replacements, something Barnett and Metzger, who worked in Wichita, and Beall and Slinkard, who worked in Topeka, knew. But the cyclical replacement had not yet commenced in the Kansas City division. Steeby testified that because users could lose data on their computers if they did not take certain steps, he gave repeated notice to users and made sure to inform them of the actual date on which their computers would be replaced, giving them instructions to leave their computers on overnight.[115]

         Barnett testified that she had never been involved with a litigation hold and thought that Metzger or Slinkard would tell Steeby to preserve all hard drives. Barnett offered that she had no supervisory authority over Steeby, but neither Metzger nor Slinkard had supervisory authority over Steeby either. Metzger testified that she understood Barnett was asking for guidance on how to respond to Brannon's August 30, email, but that she did not understand that she was expected to follow up with Steeby. In sum, no USAO manager took responsibility for this critical issue of preserving the data and computers during the cyclical replacement and refresh. Yet Beall, as the United States Attorney, Barnett as the lead attorney in the Black case, and Metzger, as the USAO Litigation Hold Attorney, all had direct responsibility to ensure that the computers were preserved.[116]

         On September 6, 2016, Steeby completed the cyclical replacement of all but one computer in the Kansas City division.[117] He did not replace a desktop computer called the AVPC, which was assigned to and under the control of Boyd for litigation and discovery support.[118] Boyd had previously downloaded the proprietary PELCO player software on the AVPC, software required for USAO personnel to view the CCA video recordings. That software was loaded under Boyd's login and only she could directly access it. Any metadata identifying who, when, and how the PELCO player software was used to view the CCA videos resided on the hard drives of this AVPC computer. Instead of replacing the AVPC, Steeby kept it in service, reformatted its two hard drives, and installed the Windows 10 operating system. Steeby testified that had someone shared Brannon's August 30 email with him, he would not have “refreshed in place” the AVPC computer, because he understood that the installation of the new operating system would overwrite data on the hard drives.[119]

         The next day, Boyd returned to her office, and to her chagrin, found that the hard drives from the AVPC had been “wiped” such that she could not access any files, data, ongoing work projects, the PELCO player, or video recordings.[120] Boyd testified that while she received instructions before her laptops were replaced, she had not received instructions for desktop computers, so she had not backed up her data. Had Steeby notified Boyd that she would lose data on her AVPC, she could have backed up the data and in that process, preserved the video recordings, the PELCO player, and any associated metadata.

         The Court credits the testimony of Tami Loehrs, a forensic computer expert, whose opinion was unrefuted. Loehrs testified that the only reason to have two hard drives on a computer is to use one hard drive for the operating system and one to store data. Steeby testified that each of the AVPC's two hard drives housed the operating system and data, a nonsensical practice in Loehr's opinion. If the AVPC had one hard drive devoted to data and one to the operating system, the PELCO player and video recordings would have been stored on the data hard drive and the installation of Windows 10 on the operating system hard drive, which would not have compromised the PELCO player and video recordings. Loehrs credibly and persuasively opined that there was no reason for Steeby to install Windows 10 on both drives and risk overwriting data, unless the objective was to destroy the data. Nonetheless, Loehrs could not opine as to how much data, if any, was overwritten on the AVPC between the time it was reformatted and when it was taken out of service on November 7, 2016, about two months later. She did not conduct a forensic examination of the computer and could not opine that the data, including any logging information that may have existed, was completely lost.[121] Loehrs and Steeby both testified that a forensic evaluation of the AVPC's unallocated space would show how much data was overwritten.[122]

         Beginning on September 7, 2016, in a host of internal email communications, USAO management repeatedly sought confirmation from Steeby that he had preserved data on the Kansas City division computers.[123] Shortly before the September 7 hearing where the Court ordered the old USAO hard drives preserved, Steeby assured Slinkard that the laptops had been preserved, labeled, and stored, but did not expressly mention the desktops and did not mention that the AVPC hard drive was reformatted.[124] Steeby later testified that he did not mention the AVPC because Slinkard's questions were about the hard drives, although he acknowledged that the AVPC had hard drives, just like the laptops did. At the September 7 hearing, Slinkard conveyed Steeby's assurances to the Court. When the Court directed that the laptop hard drives and chassis be stored until further order, Slinkard immediately emailed Steeby during the hearing to advise him of that order. The following day, September 8, 2016, Beall emailed Steeby, reiterating the Court's directives. Beall expressly and pointedly advised Steeby that the Court order regarded all Kansas City office computers. Steeby responded that he had preserved the laptops; but Steeby did not expressly respond to Beall's directive that this applied to all computers.[125]

         On October 27, 2016, Slinkard emailed Steeby about the preservation of computers in the Topeka office, and stated that the preservation order applied to all hard drives for all computers replaced during the refresh.[126] At a hearing the following day, October 28, 2016, Slinkard again advised the Court that all hard drives and chassis had been preserved. Slinkard further advised that the AVPC and its hard drives had not been replaced and were still in service. The Court stated that while it wanted all hard drives impounded and stored by the USAO, it did not want to impound the computer that was still in service. Barnett assured the Court that all computers were preserved and maintained. Neither Barnett nor Slinkard advised the Court that the AVPC hard drives were not preserved and maintained, nor did they advise the Court that the AVPC computer housed the video recordings and PELCO player software.

         Three days after the hearing, on October 31, Slinkard emailed Steeby, copying Beall, Metzger, and Barnett, and asked how best to preserve Boyd's computer that was not replaced.[127]Slinkard asked if they could remove the hard drive and install a new hard drive. Steeby responded, stating that “it didn't cross my mind at the time, but one of the three workstations under Pauletta's control was upgraded in-place, overwriting everything on the local hard drive in the process.”[128] Someone from the USAO apparently conveyed this to the Special Master because on November 3, the Special Master asked USAO management for an explanation of what had happened to the AVPC, prompting an internal email discussion among the USAO management team about how to respond.[129] Then in a November 5 letter to the Special Master, Slinkard advised that he did not know until Steeby told him on October 31 that the AVPC had been refreshed in place.[130] Finally on November 7, Barnett directed Steeby to “lock down that PC.”[131] Steeby powered off the AVPC computer and took it out of service.[132] He placed it in the USAO vault in December 2016.

         3. Failure to Implement a Litigation Hold in Compliance with Early Preservation Orders

         At the local level, the USAO has an electronic, shared file-retention system called Proof Point that on a daily basis rolls documents over into an automatic archival system managed and controlled centrally by the Executive Office of the United States Attorneys (“EOUSA”). This Proof Point system only houses email and documents attached to email; it has no connection to network drives or other repositories. The emails and attached documents are archived in the Proof Point system under EOUSA's control for three years. During the three-year retention period, users can access their own individual archive email but cannot add, delete, or edit archived materials. After three years, the emails and attachments are purged and forever irretrievable.

         The Proof Point email archive system has no connection to nationally-controlled network drives, including shared discovery drives that reportedly house scanned discovery documents and other network drives that reportedly house Word documents. According to Steeby, Boyd, and Tomasic, some of these drives, including discovery drives, are shared and accessible to all USAO attorneys who have permission to add, modify, update, and delete data from those drives. Data on the discovery drives is locally backed up on a daily basis, and there is a six-month restoration period for any data or documents that are modified or deleted. After six months, those modifications or deletions cannot be restored. Steeby testified that although he does not recommend such, users can keep materials on drives that no one else can access, such as local drives.

         As discussed above, the USAO knew in August 2016 that the Special Master's investigation into possible Sixth Amendment violations surrounding its procurement of video and audio recordings was imminent. As early as August 11, 2016, Beall suggested in an email to Metzger, Barnett, and Slinkard that they needed to put a litigation hold in place.[133] Even if the USAO was unsure in August about its preservation duties, it certainly knew by October that the Special Master had ordered preservation. Yet, Metzger did not issue a litigation hold for local repositories of paper documents, records, and files, nor for local repositories of ESI in August 2016, or for several months thereafter. Nor did Metzger take steps to initiate a national litigation hold for documents no longer controlled locally.

         a. Delayed Litigation Hold Email

         In October 2016, the Special Master believed that “the lit hold had been put on by virtue of my order.”[134] He was first introduced to Metzger, the USAO Litigation Hold Coordinator, on November 22 by email, to work on the specific terms of the litigation hold email that Metzger was preparing to send to USAO staff. Metzger did not inform him that there existed a formal process through the DOJ for instituting a litigation hold, which included a standard litigation hold form. The Special Master had previously sent Barnett a Preservation List consisting of nineteen categories of information that should be covered by the USAO's litigation hold, and he worked with Metzger to utilize that list in crafting the litigation hold email.[135]

         On December 19, 2016, Metzger finally sent the litigation hold directive by email to all USAO staff.[136] Metzger's email directed USAO staff to preserve documents from January 1, 2011 through the present and continuing, including ESI.[137] It further directed them to

immediately retain, preserve and prevent any destruction, deletion or purging of any and all written and electronic materials (including files, work product, pleadings, memoranda, subpoenas, administrative requests, handwritten notes, calendar items, e-mails, phone records, tasks and any other electronic records), wherever located or recorded (please note that this includes ceasing purging of closed files that contain any such materials), and regardless of when created, that may contain information about any of the items set forth at the end of this e-mail.[138]

         Metzger included the Special Master's Preservation List at the end of the email. She further directed the recipients to forward the email to any agent with whom they had worked within the last five years and who may have responsive information and direct them to also preserve such materials. The email cautioned that “attorney-client communication” means “any communication between an attorney and client, whether or not it is believed to be or may be privileged.”[139] Metzger's email also instructed that

this preservation hold is not limited to the Black case and covers any and all such information that is in the possession of this office. Further this litigation hold is mandatory, not discretionary, and applies to each and every employee of the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Kansas.[140]

         Metzger instructed USAO staff to acknowledge receipt and review of her email and to advise her if they possessed responsive information. She provided no deadline for sending her a receipt or response.

         Contrary to the Special Master's belief, the evidence presented at the hearing makes clear that before Metzger sent this December 19, 2016 email, USAO staff did not receive any directive from management to preserve ESI or paper records. Metzger's stated reason for the delay was that she was “negotiating” with the Special Master the terms of the litigation hold. But this explanation is not credible given that the Preservation List and the language in the email were largely the work of the Special Master. Metzger's main contribution was to add language to the email that advised USAO staff that the directive was for preservation but not production at the time; she sent the Special Master that language on November 22. On December 6, Barnett sent an email to Rask, Metzger, and AUSA Annette Gurney, suggesting a meeting “with the criminal AUSAs this Thursday, at 1 p.m. to talk about the preservation email.”[141] Barnett acknowledged in that email that the Special Master wanted the preservation email sent out “yesterday, ” but hoped it could wait until they met. This evidence suggests that the lengthy delay was not attributable to a good-faith negotiation with the Special Master over the terms of the email.

         Moreover, Metzger made little effort to enforce the December 19, 2016 email after it was finally sent out. Beginning on January 31, 2017, DOJ policy established a 30-day deletion policy for documents in the USAO “M” drive, which housed scanned documents. Metzger notified all staff on January 30, 2017 of the new policy taking effect the next day and advised them that any documents in the M drive that fell within the scope of the litigation hold should be moved, printed, or otherwise retained.[142]

         By late February 2017, many USAO staff had still not even responded to her email to advise whether they had responsive materials, causing further delay. In fact, Metzger waited until February 20, 2017, to send a follow-up email, asking the 63 staff members who had not responded to the December 2016 email to respond by February 21, 2017.[143] She sent another follow up email on February 27 to those who still had not responded, directing responses by the following day.[144]

         b. Delayed Formal Litigation Hold and Failure to Inform the Special Master of Formal Litigation Hold Efforts

         Metzger's testimony at the October 2018 hearing was entirely focused on the December 19, 2016 litigation hold email. Her testimony strongly suggested that this was the only attempt to implement a litigation hold pursuant to the Court's and Special Master's preservation orders. In fact, when asked whether there “[w]ere there other preservation directives that you have not yet described, ” Metzger responded, “I don't believe so, that I recall.”[145] As far as the Special Master knew, the December 19, 2016 email was the only litigation hold effort by the USAO.[146]Evidence presented at the November 2018 hearing shows that on May 19, 2017, two days after the Court's Phase III Order, Metzger notified USAO staff that they should complete Attachment 1 of the standard DOJ litigation hold form, entitled “User Litigation Hold Notice and Certification Form, ” which is routinely used to implement a litigation hold on both local and national repositories.[147] The form required each user to check boxes for the locations where responsive information “may exist, ” including categories for both electronic and hard copy documents. In answering an email question from Barnett about this form on May 22, 2017, Metzger explained: “[o]f course, we are retaining and preserving already; this is just extra precautionary back-up on the national server.”[148] Metzger directed USAO staff to each complete and return the Attachment 1 form to her by May 31, 2017. Their signatures certified that they had followed the preservation directives explained on the form, and that they had identified all potential repositories with responsive materials. The next step was for Metzger, as the Litigation Hold Coordinator, and Steeby, as the Systems Manager, to sign and certify Attachment 4 for each user, entitled “USAO Lit Hold Coordinator/Systems Manager Certification.”[149] There is no evidence that this step was fully accomplished. Although Steeby signed many of the forms, with a signature date as late as August 2, 2017, none of the Attachment 4 forms in evidence were signed by Metzger in her capacity as the Litigation Hold Coordinator.

         According to Steeby's November testimony, his receipt of the litigation hold forms allowed him to submit a ticket to the Network Operations Center to stop the ordinary three-year roll-off of email messages for that user. Presumably, Steeby's ticket also would have stopped ordinary document destruction of any non-email category of documents that a user checked on the form.[150] Not until the ticket was submitted and processed would the normal deletion process stop-emails from 2014 were being deleted each day until the ticket was processed.[151]

         There was ample testimony about the scope of materials AUSAs routinely maintained for their cases that likely should have been preserved. At the October 28, 2016 hearing, Barnett testified that prosecutors maintained paper files and that the USAO had internal policies on what must be retained when a case or investigation is closed.[152] AUSA Wamble testified about the types of case-related documents he kept routinely, including the majority of the case file, except he might discard “scratch notes.”[153] AUSA Oakley testified that he preserved ESI and notes in both electronic and paper format that were responsive to the issues in Black. AUSA Morehead acknowledged in a March 9, 2017 email to Barnett and Rask that she had dozens of files in the past five years that were closed and in archives, and that she “expect[ed] the way we purge out files that any forms that once existed are no longer there, but are we expected to search them, too?”[154] And Tomasic testified that she “knew people were recording [internal USAO] phone calls [and] I knew people were printing out e-mails every night and taking them home in binders because they did not trust the people they worked with.”[155]

         Despite this evidence, of the few Attachment 1 forms produced by the Government, only AUSAs Krug, Metzger, Flannigan, and Treadway indicated that repositories other than Microsoft Outlook “Email Messages” likely held responsive information.[156] Only Krug and Metzger identified hard copy/paper documents as a repository of responsive information. There is no evidence that Metzger certified any such forms as part of this process, a prerequisite to Steeby's ability to obtain a ticket and implement the hold.

         At the November 16, 2018 hearing, Steeby testified that Metzger's December 19, 2016 email did nothing to prevent archived documents from being permanently deleted, or to halt the DOJ's automatic rolling purge of the contents of its email and other repositories. Metzger knew in December 2016 that her email did nothing to preserve centrally-held ESI. As she stated in a November 16, 2016 email transmitting a draft of the litigation hold email to Barnett, Beall, Slinkard, Rask, and the IT staff:

Please note that this hold does not reference the national network or back-up system because that will be beyond the capability of local staff. As soon as we have identified staff who may have responsive information, David Steeby and I will work to implement a litigation hold through the national litigation hold coordinator to ensure proper electronic retention.”[157]

         But that did not happen until sometime after May 2017, if at all. And when Metzger finally initiated that process in May, she advised Rask and Administrative Officer Randy Miller that it was just an “extra backup step of locking down the national servers.”[158]

         Thus, the Court finds that the December 19, 2016 email was a superficial litigation hold because it did nothing to formally accomplish a freeze pursuant to the USAO's local or national document retention policies.[159] Metzger was fully aware that documents may be lost without the formal litigation hold. The day after Metzger sent the December 19, 2016 email, AUSA Jackie Rapstine, the Civil Coordinator in the Topeka division, emailed Metzger to caution that emails are officially retained for only three years, and that Rapstine was “not sure everyone understands that leaving old things in the archive does not necessarily result in retention after a certain point.”[160] Metzger responded that she was aware of the retention issue, and that she was “going to prepare lit hold forms for all criminal folks who respond they might have something and ask Bonnie Curtin to issue a formal electronic hold. I know we are losing some stuff in the interim, but it would be very dated and there is a formal process.”[161]

         Steeby could not recall exactly when, but he believes he sent a batch of 20 to 30 tickets to the Network Operations Center sometime between May 30, 2017 and July 26, 2017.[162] Steeby also acknowledged that by July 2017, he had still not sent in tickets for all users. There is very little to corroborate Steeby's vague recall that he sent a batch of tickets to the National Operations Center in 2017, and there is no evidence about which users were included in that batch. On May 22 and June 5, 2017, James Moore, a network analyst at the Network Operations Center, emailed Steeby a list of USAO users, advising that he had “completed the Litigation Hold Procedures” for those users.[163] But there is no evidence that this email was sufficient to implement a national litigation hold on those users' emails or other documents. In fact, other evidence suggests the opposite-on June 5 and 13, Randy Miller sent emails to USAO management indicating that he had not received Attachment 1 forms for several users, including many of the same names on the list Moore sent Steeby on May 22.[164]

         There is evidence that the USAO reached out to Bonnie Curtin at the National Preservation Office, an arm of EOUSA, because on June 13, 2017, Curtin sent Metzger, Steeby, and Miller a Litigation Hold number, and detailed instructions. Notably, Curtin offered to assist the USAO should they seek to recover old paper records from the Federal Records Center and further advised that the USAO could segregate pertinent materials on the EOUSA's litigation hold server for safekeeping.[165] But there is no evidence that Metzger or anyone else from the Government ever followed through on those avenues to preserve and/or obtain records for production.

         c. Impact of USAO Litigation Hold Delays

          The current record makes it very difficult for the Court to surmise exactly what has and has not been preserved by the USAO-its shifting explanations and failure to transparently and truthfully inform the Special Master and the Court of its preservation efforts created gaps and inconsistencies in the evidentiary record.[166] For example, the Court cannot find from the record that all USAO users understood the scope of their preservation duties in the Black case, and thus preserved evidence material to the litigation beginning in 2016. USAO management unilaterally interpreted the Court's early preservation orders as pertaining only to recordings involved in the Black case, despite representing to the Court on the record that it understood its preservation duties extended beyond Black, and despite telling USAO staff in the December 19, 2016 preservation email that their duties extended beyond the Black case. And the USAO waited seven months after the Appointment Order to begin the formal litigation hold process, with full knowledge that documents would be lost in the interim under the USAO's normal retention policies.

         At best, the USAO willfully delayed its formal preservation duties for months, allowing evidence to be deleted or removed in the interim. Such evidence may have been relevant to the items on the Special Master's Preservation List, or to the many cases that have since been filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Giving full credit to Steeby's testimony that he sent tickets to the Network Operations Center in the summer of 2017 for 20 to 30 users, there is no record of which users. And even this hold was inadequate because most users, despite testifying that they routinely kept handwritten notes and other electronic documents in their case files, only indicated in their DOJ form that they possessed relevant evidence in the form of emails and in a few instances network documents. Giving the USAO credit that it provided EOUSA with the information it needed to put a litigation hold on these users' electronic repositories, emails for these users that predated May of 2014 are forever lost because no centralized hold was put in place before May 2017 at the earliest. Such evidence may have been relevant to the Special Master's preservation order in the Black case, or to the many cases that have since been filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.

         Complicating the Court's findings on this issue is the USAO's dilatory status report filed on March 21, 2019, well past the time when any witness could testify and explain its contents. This filing acknowledges prior preservation efforts yet fails to set forth what those efforts entailed at the national level prior to October 2018. According to that filing, the ordinary three-year retention period on email was not halted until November 6, 2018, “such that no [email] data post January of 2016 will be lost through normal retention practices.”[167]

         Also making this Court's fact finding difficult, as described more fully below, is the manner of the Government's production before and during the October 2018 evidentiary hearing.

         The Government neither bates stamped the electronically-stored documents, nor identified the repository from which each document originated. Therefore, the Court cannot ascertain who produced what, nor the volume that a particular person produced. What is clear is that only with respect to two former prosecutors-Tomasic and Treadway-did the Government produce any paper records or any volume of ESI. Notably, the production of their records revealed that Tomasic and Treadway had knowingly and intentionally listened to attorney-client phone calls in one or more of their cases.[168]

         4. The Government Delayed and Obfuscated Its Compliance with the August 15, 2018 Preservation Order

         While the August 15, 2018 Preservation Order did not require production, a few days after it was filed the FPD moved for discovery regarding audio recordings still in the USAO's possession that had not been turned over to the Court after the August 2016 clawback order.[169]The FPD's motion asked that the Government identify each case in which the USAO or its agents sought or obtained recorded phone calls of detainees at CCA or any other federal holding facility, so that the FPD could identify and evaluate potential Sixth Amendment violations for purposes of seeking relief through § 2255 petitions or otherwise. The parties engaged in a lengthy negotiation period over this motion, expressly asking the Court to refrain from ruling at the time of the evidentiary hearing.[170]

         At the November 16, 2018 hearing, Steeby testified about the Government's document-retention policies for its network drives and backup files. Based on this testimony, which suggested that some of the documents and audio recordings could be subject to destruction, the FPD requested that the Court order the Government to cease and desist any destruction of those files. The Court orally granted that motion, emphasizing that Steeby should inform his national contact at DOJ that there should be “no destruction.”[171] The Court's Final Production and Briefing Order included yet another preservation directive in paragraph 1:

Immediately preserve all documents on the USAO network, including shared, individual, national, and local drives to avoid any further destruction of documents, including documents that were deleted by the user and any earlier versions of modified documents. The government is to construe this preservation order in the broadest terms possible, to ensure that no documents of any age or nature are destroyed, purged, or otherwise rendered inaccessible. The Court may issue a more detailed preservation order at such time as the USAO provides further information about its local and national systems.[172]In a December 5, 2018 filing, the Government represented to the Court that it “ha[d] complied with paragraph 1 of the production order.”[173]

         At the FPD's request, the Court set for hearing on December 14, 2018, the discovery motion requesting audio recordings and derivative information in the Government's possession that the parties had been negotiating since August. First, the Court heard from the parties on production issues related to attorney-client telephone recordings. The Government and the FPD presented areas of substantial agreement as to the production of the requested phone recordings, although they differed on a few issues. The FPD had presented the Government with a list of approximately 100 names of clients still in custody whose calls Securus records confirmed were accessed; the FPD's own records suggested that these calls included attorney-client calls.[174] By the time of the hearing, the Government had identified approximately 26 cases for which it possessed recorded calls, although it did not concede that the calls included attorney-client calls. The Government still required time to investigate the other approximately 75 detainees identified by the FPD. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Court granted the FPD's motion for discovery, and ordered the USAO to provide the sought-after phone recordings and derivative evidence in two stages, with deadlines on January 7 and 28, 2019.[175]

         On February 20, 2019, the parties filed a joint status report on the phone discovery directed by the Court's December 14 order.[176] The parties agreed that the Government complied with the Court's December 14 Order as to the 100 clients still in custody, whose calls were obtained and suspected to include attorney-client calls. The FPD advised that it had provided the Government with an additional list of about 380 names of defendants in the District of Kansas, many of whom are no longer in custody. The parties agreed that within 60 days, the Government would conduct a preliminary examination of the list of 380 names and propose a timeline to identify, collect, and produce discovery related to them. Between January 7 and August 2, 2019, the Court received and impounded in its vault seven batches of discovery from the Government pursuant to this agreement; copies were also provided to the FPD. The Court has not received a copy of the timeline contemplated by the parties' most recent status report on this issue and, thus, has no reason to believe that this discovery is complete.[177]

         Second, at the conclusion of the December 14, 2018 hearing, Slinkard updated the Court as to its preservation efforts since the November hearing:

We continue to work with the data system staff at-computer system staff, computer information staff at the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys. I think that's been productive. . . . I do think in the not-too-distant future we'll be in the position to report back to the court about the various types of information, categories and-and what the abilities and what steps are taken on that. So we're not ready to-to update on that today, but there has been progress. And I just wanted to make the court aware so you could anticipate sooner rather than later some sort of status report on-on that.[178]

         In fact, the status report on preservation was filed much “later” than “sooner.” On March 21, 2019, the same day that the parties' proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law were due, the Government filed its Post-Hearing Status Report on Preservation.[179] This report outlines the Government's efforts to comply with the Court's August 2018 preservation order, including, for the first time, a table of categories of USAO repositories, the ordinary retention period for each repository, and the action taken to preserve documents in each one. The filing is confusing at best. On the one hand, the report states that the USAO's December 19, 2016 litigation hold “remains in place, ” that “older e-mail data that was already subject to an existing preservation directive, whether in this matter, or any other matter, would also continue to be retained, ” and that in December 2018, members of the Government's team met to discuss preservation issues needed “in addition to the preservation directives that had been conveyed to all USAO employees throughout the pendency of the litigation.”[180] Yet the rest of the report suggests that the USAO met with EOUSA about halting the Government's ordinary retention policies for the first time in October 2018-two months after the Court's August order was entered.

         This document conclusively demonstrates that the Government did not immediately comply with the Court's August 2018 preservation order; indeed, it waited until October to even meet with EOUSA about imposing a national litigation hold on the documents at issue. It was not until November 2018 that EOUSA extracted and protected email archives from January 1, 2016 to November 6, 2018.[181] Therefore, it took three months for the Government to fully comply with this Court's preservation directive as to email archives stored nationally. Also, the report makes clear that Clymer continued to meet with USAO employees and EOUSA representatives until at least December 11, 2018, to identify and address preservation efforts, despite representing to the Court on December 5 that the Government had fully complied with its November preservation order.[182]

         C. Failure to Cooperate with Production of Witnesses and Documents

         1. Failure to Make Key USAO Personnel Available to the Special Master

         The USAO also thwarted the Special Master's investigation by failing to provide him access to USAO personnel who had relevant information. The Special Master testified that when he was appointed in October 2016, he adopted an open-door policy, inviting the USAO as well as the defense bar to share with him information they thought relevant. He did not issue testimonial or document subpoenas. He did not seek to depose anyone. He did not demand interviews. His view was that the parties were motivated to get to the truth and to help him determine the circumstances of any recordings between detainees and their attorneys. The Special Master let USAO management, in particular Barnett, know at the outset that this was his approach. Barnett visited with the Special Master, answered his questions, and provided information on a number of occasions. But Barnett's willingness to share information with the Special Master did not translate into a willingness to allow other USAO personnel to share information with him or to respond to his questions.

         Early on, the Special Master told Barnett and Beall that he wanted to speak with Tomasic, Flannigan, and Boyd. The Special Master expressed an interest in talking to Tomasic because she was the lead prosecutor in the Black case, had procured the video and audio recordings, and was also involved in the Dertinger matter. The Special Master expressed an interest in talking to Flannigan because she was Tomasic's immediate supervisor and was also involved in the Dertinger matter. And the Special Master expressed an interest in talking to Boyd for a number of reasons. Boyd was the USAO's litigation support coordinator, and the Special Master was not yet aware of Steeby nor Miller. Moreover, the Special Master knew Boyd had access to the PELCO player software, the knowledge to play the video recordings, and perhaps had information about others accessing the video recordings.

         Both Flannigan and Tomasic testified that they were eager speak to the Special Master. Tomasic testified that from the time of the Special Master's appointment in October 2016, she repeatedly told USAO management that she wanted to speak with him. But Barnett specifically directed Tomasic not to speak to the Special Master. By then Barnett was avoiding speaking to Tomasic directly, so she conveyed this prohibition indirectly, through Rask. Barnett expressed to Rask at the time, and reiterated in her testimony, that she did not want Tomasic or Flannigan speaking to the Special Master because of their disrespectful behavior and because of complaints she was getting about Tomasic. When the Sixth Amendment allegations in this case first arose, Tomasic, Flannigan, and several other Kansas City prosecutors were highly critical of Barnett and USAO management's representation of the USAO in the hearings the Court conducted in August, September, and October 2016.[183]

         Both Flannigan and Tomasic testified that USAO management did not tell them that the Special Master was specifically asking to speak to them. It was Special Agent Stokes who conveyed to Flannigan that the Special Master was asking to speak to her. Flannigan testified that she told Metzger that she was willing to talk to the Special Master, and Metzger said she would pass this information on, but nothing ever happened after that. The Special Master never interviewed Flannigan, although he did have the opportunity to examine her at the Dertinger hearing on June 20, 2017.

         USAO management finally gave the Special Master access to Boyd in February 2017. Barnett acknowledged in an email to Rask and Beall that as early as October 2016, the Special Master had asked to speak to Boyd.[184] Not until February 2017, when the Special Master actually spoke with Boyd, did Tomasic learn from Boyd that the Special Master also wanted to speak to her. In turn, Tomasic soon told management that she wanted to speak to the Special Master. Tomasic testified that Rask told her that he felt the Special Master was untrustworthy, that Tomasic was finally showing maturity in putting the USAO's interests ahead of her own, and that he wanted her to think about that when she spoke to the Special Master. According to Tomasic, Rask instructed both Flannigan and Tomasic to not “air their laundry” to the Special Master.[185] Meanwhile, Metzger sent Tomasic an email expressing her concerns about Tomasic talking to the Special Master.[186] Nonetheless, Tomasic finally submitted to an interview with the Special Master in May 2017, shortly after the USAO terminated her employment.

         2. Failure to Produce Documents Requested by the Special Master

         Beginning in the Fall of 2016, the Special Master expended considerable time and money negotiating search terms with Metzger, Barnett, and Steeby for the purpose of running searches on USAO staff emails and other repositories.[187] The goal of using search terms was to automate the process of producing relevant documents in a less burdensome fashion than requiring the Government to review every document. Securus and CCA produced requested documents to the Special Master well before his March 2017 report. The KBI and the USMS also responded quickly and thoroughly to the Special Master's Requests for Information and documents during the first phases of the investigation. In contrast, the Special Master was growing frustrated by the USAO's failure to produce documents; instead, its staff continued to “tweak” iterations of his proposed search terms.[188] The Special Master repeatedly met with Steeby beginning in December 2016, sometimes several times per week, collaborating on search terms to run against the USAO's Proof Point archive email system, and later, with appropriate syntax adjustments, to run against other USAO repositories. The Special Master made clear that he expected to run these search terms, and by February 17, 2017, he asked Steeby and Metzger to use the search terms to run searches on the repositories of at least ten USAO employees.[189]

         On June 5, 2017, frustrated by the USAO's inaction in commencing searches, the Special Master directed the USAO to run a search on Tomasic's document repositories and produce responsive documents as soon as possible.[190] The USAO responded by raising issues they had not raised with him before: (1) unresolved internal personnel matters with Tomasic might necessitate another entity taking responsibility for reviewing her documents; and (2) the USAO needed to review Tomasic's documents for relevance, national security, and privacy issues. In a June 7, 2017 email to USAO management, the Special Master suggested that the USAO perform an initial privilege review to identify specific concerns, and then either submit the materials in camera to this Court or another judge or submit a privilege log for the Court's consideration.[191]In that email, the Special Master also assured the USAO that before he filed any report, he would allow the USAO to review and identify any findings that should be redacted. The USAO ignored the Special Master's suggestions and refused to produce Tomasic's documents.[192]

         As an additional basis for withholding production, the USAO advised the Special Master for the first time in late June 2017 that it was awaiting word on its request that the USAO recuse and that DOJ assume control of the Black litigation. At the October 2018 hearing, it was revealed that this request was made one day after the Court's October 11, 2016 Appointment Order, [193] and approximately one month after the Court directly asked Barnett on September 7, 2016, if the USAO had consulted with its appropriate counterparts at DOJ to determine whether it could continue to handle the Black case in light of actual or potential conflicts of interest arising from already-serious allegations of prosecutorial misconduct. Barnett responded that the office had consulted “with the appropriate personnel, ” and that the USAO would remain on the case and would allow Tomasic and Oakley to answer questions from the Court at the hearing.[194]When the USAO sought intervention from DOJ one month later, it did not inform the Court or Special Master, despite the Court's earlier inquiry.

         Metzger testified that while the USAO did not need DOJ approval with respect to all production, it did need DOJ approval to invoke the Touhy regulations or to invoke privilege as a bar to production. Beall testified that he lacked authority to search for and produce documents pending DOJ's decision on the October 12, 2016 recusal request. In any event, Beall testified that he did not recall ever asking DOJ for approval to produce anything the Special Master requested during the time the USAO was still handling the Black investigation. Instead, the USAO stalled production, frustrating the Special Master's work.

         The Special Master testified that had he known that the USAO would stall and refuse production, he would not have expended considerable time and money working on search terms and repeatedly requesting production. Instead he would have issued subpoenas or sought a Court order for production. The USAO's inaction led the Special Master to seek some of the documents he expected the USAO to produce from other investigative agencies. Using the same search terms the Special Master and the USAO agreed to, the KBI and USMS quickly searched their repositories and produced responsive documents to the Special Master. In contrast, the USSS, like the USAO, stalled and ultimately followed the USAO's lead in refusing to produce.[195]

         On July 10, 2017, the Special Master sent Requests for Information to Beall, asking for responses as soon as reasonably possible.[196] On July 14, 2017, the DOJ issued a letter to the Special Master announcing the appointment of Clymer.[197] The letter further advised that the USAO had not been recused from the underlying Black case and would continue to be responsible for the case and the investigation.

         As the Court previously noted, this began the adversarial chapter and effective conclusion of the Special Master's investigation in this matter. Clymer responded to the Special Master's July 10, 2017 Requests for Information in a letter dated September 12, 2017, in which he “respectfully decline[d] to provide most of the information and documents sought.”[198] Among the reasons cited by Clymer to decline production was that the Government's internal files are protected from discovery under the Touhy regulations.[199]

         As already described, the Special Master eventually issued SDTs on August 17, 2018, expressly excepting from the scope of the subpoenas any documents the Government deemed undiscoverable by virtue of the Touhy regulations.[200] The Government did not move to quash these subpoenas. Despite the Court granting a three-week extension, the Government did not adhere to the September 21 deadline to produce documents ahead of the two-week evidentiary hearing commencing on October 2, 2018. Instead, the Government produced selective documents on a rolling basis. After timely producing thumb drives on September 17 and 18 that contained a total of 14.16 gigabytes of data, the Government untimely produced on September 25, 27, and 30 thumb drives that contained a total of 15.38 gigabytes, another thumb drive of 0.32 gigabytes on October 9, and a thumb drive of 0.06 gigabytes on October 11, the day before the evidentiary hearing concluded on October 12.[201] The Government took the position that it had no duty to comply with the subpoenas and no duty to produce a privilege log, but that it would “voluntarily” produce certain documents of its own choosing.[202]

         These untimely and large disclosures placed the Special Master and the parties at a decided disadvantage; they simply were not able to use the late-produced materials in their witness examinations during the October hearing. Much of what the Government produced were duplicative emails, or duplicative full or partial email strings, that were also duplicative of the binder of printed emails that Tomasic had provided to the Special Master in 2017. Moreover, the manner of production masked whose repositories were produced, making it impossible to tell the source of much of the materials.

         Furthermore, rather than use the agreed search terms that the Special Master and USAO had spent so much time developing in 2017, the Government chose to have each USAO employee cull and produce ESI from their own repositories. There is no assurance that the production was complete, much less the product of objective review. Yet during a meeting on June 19, 2017, between the Special Master, Rask, and others, Rask assured the Special Master that EOUSA would need to approve and perform the search of USAO emails and other repositories and that the review would be done by EOUSA, not by the individual AUSAs who owned the various repositories.[203]

         As noted earlier, a number of AUSAs-including Tomasic, Krug, Wamble, Morehead, and Barnett-testified that they kept paper files, notes, and records. Yet other than Krug's and Tomasic's voluntary partial production of paper documents, [204] the only other paper documents the Government “voluntarily” produced were certain paper documents of retired AUSA Tanya Treadway from the case United States v. Reulet.[205] As discussed in detail in the Court's findings of fact on the audio recordings, those paper documents included handwritten notes prepared by Treadway as she listened to multiple recordings of phone conversations between Reulet and three of Reulet's attorneys while Reulet was detained at CCA. This is not only direct evidence that Treadway knowingly listened to attorney-client phone recordings, it is evidence that Treadway lied to United States District Judge Daniel Crabtree about whether she had listened to Reulet's attorney-client phone calls. The failure to produce any other paper documents is certainly no assurance that there were no relevant paper documents responsive to the SDTs.

         On the last day of the October hearing, after Clymer could still not say whether the USAO would produce more information, [206] the Court kept the record open and ordered a further evidentiary hearing for November 16, 2018. Clymer offered the excuse that the Government needed approval of the Deputy Attorney General to produce any documents, presumably including ESI and paper documents. But that is no explanation for the Government's dilatoriness. The Government had been on notice of the agreed search terms as early as December 2016. Clymer also stated that the Government had no duty to produce a privilege log, which he deemed “simply impractical.”[207] Clymer instead asserted that the Special Master and parties were “just going to have to rely on trust in the U.S. Attorney's Office that it is complying with what it said it's going to do.”[208]

         The Court heard further evidence in November, which triggered its decision to enter the Final Production Order on November 21, ordering the Government to: (1) use the search terms negotiated with the Special Master to run a document search on the Proof Point email archive system files and on all other electronic repositories, individual or shared, for every current or former USAO employee who has testified at any hearing in this case, and produce all documents resulting from these searches and identify the source of each document; (2) search all nonelectronic repositories for every USAO current or former employee who has testified in this case, using a team of neutral, uninterested searchers, and produce all documents from those searches; (3) produce every completed and signed response to the May 19, 2017 litigation hold notice; and (4) produce a production log for withheld information of any type.[209] The Government was ordered to comply with these directives within sixty days of the order. Instead, it moved to reconsider in December, advising that even if the Court denied its motion, the DOJ “likely will respectfully decline to comply with the production order if it remains in place as presently drafted.”[210] Thus, in its January order denying the motion to reconsider, the Court acknowledged that requiring further production was “an exercise in futility” and modified its briefing schedule to prepare to close the record. But the Court cautioned:

[T]he Court does not suggest the government will never have to produce these documents and information. Indeed, AUSA Clymer has argued in at least three briefs filed in these proceedings that the “appropriate mechanism” for investigation of any Sixth Amendment violations is 28 U.S.C. § 2255, even though some defendants have sought relief for Sixth Amendment violations in pending criminal cases. The Court will leave the production matter for another day, as there are currently sixty-six pending § 2255 motions that raise potential Sixth Amendment violations, where there can be no dispute that both the Federal Rules of Evidence and Rules of Civil Procedure apply.[211]

         IV. Findings of Fact: Possession and Access to Video and Audio Recordings of Attorney-Client Communications at CCA

         Despite the limitations on the record due to preservation and production issues, the Court issues the following findings of fact.

         A. Video Recordings

         1. CCA Recording Practices

         CCA is a detention facility that contracts with the USMS to house federal detainees.[212]CCA is remote; it is located in Leavenworth, Kansas, over thirty miles from either the Topeka or Kansas City, Kansas federal courthouse. CCA houses defendants during the pendency of district court litigation, including trials, sentencings, and revocation proceedings. In-person and phone conversations between attorneys and their clients at the facility are necessary for attorneys to provide legal representation and discuss legal matters. Including travel time, an in-person visit with a CCA client takes up nearly half a workday.[213]

         CCA used a PELCO multi-camera video system to record throughout the facility. The PELCO system allowed prison personnel to monitor and record activity using approximately 154 video cameras throughout the facility. The input from these cameras was recorded onto a total of six different DVR hard drives. Each DVR drive held, at most, about three months' worth of video, with new video replacing old video in a looping fashion. Since 2008, CCA video-recorded in-person meetings between attorneys and clients in five of the nine designated attorney visitation rooms, where attorneys met with clients to give legal advice and discuss legal strategy. CCA provided no notice to either defense attorneys or detainees that the cameras in the attorney visitation rooms were recording-defense attorneys believed these cameras were in place for security-monitoring purposes only.

         CCA video recordings did not include sound, but visually captured meaningful communication between attorneys and clients. CCA's Video Recording Procedures require designated employees to be trained to record. This included training on “Use, ” “Focusing, ” and “Zoom function.” Former-U.S. Deputy Marshal Matthew Cahill testified about viewing some of the video recordings in areas other than the attorney visitation rooms, and indicated that while the picture quality was poor, the camera operator at times zoomed in on certain parts of the picture.[214] Cahill did not personally view any of the video recordings of the attorney visitation rooms; but this Court did, in camera, at the conclusion of the Dertinger hearing. This Court has already made findings about the good quality of the recordings of the attorney visitation rooms based on this in camera review. The Court found it “could easily observe non-verbal communications, including the communicants' use of their hands, fingers, and other body language.”[215] The Court incorporates by reference its previous findings that “non-verbal communication can provide an observer a wealth of information about the communicants.”[216]The USAO submitted an eleventh-hour declaration by CCA Chief of Security Roger D. Moore, Jr., asserting that the attorney visitation room cameras “were contained in ‘bubbles,' and were not capable of panning, tilting or zooming.”[217] The Court gives little weight to this declaration. It was signed on July 20, 2018, yet the USAO failed to submit Moore live for questioning during the October 2018 hearing. In contrast, other witnesses who testified live on the same issues were subject to cross-examination. To the extent the Moore declaration conflicts with or is cumulative of live witness testimony, the Court credits these live witnesses and disregards the Moore Declaration. The Court also sustains the FPD's foundation objection to this declaration. There is no indication in the declaration that Moore has personal knowledge of the intake procedures to which he attests-he never states that he was present when detainees at CCA were given the materials about which he declares. Moreover, even if CCA guards could not pan, tilt, or zoom the camera at the time of the recording, the evidence has established that it is possible to zoom in using the PELCO software when viewing the video recordings later.

         2. Grand Jury Subpoena in Black

         A subpoena is not necessary to obtain video from CCA. Tomasic explained that “[t]ypically, when only particular and limited video recordings are requested . . . CCA burns those recordings to a disc.”[218]

         Tomasic testified that the USAO did not routinely obtain video recordings of spaces inside the CCA facility. During the investigation in Black, the USAO decided to obtain video recordings of spaces inside CCA that might depict contraband smuggling, transactions, or conspiratorial conduct. On April 12, 2016, a few weeks after receiving information from a cooperating individual detained at CCA that there were video cameras that recorded the attorney visitation rooms, Tomasic issued a broad grand jury subpoena for “[a]ll video footage or still images currently retained by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) depicting any internal or external surveillance video or still image taken between July 2014 and April 12, 2016 at the CCA facility in Leavenworth, Kansas.”[219] On May 17, CCA produced voluminous video recordings from the entire facility, including the attorney visitation rooms, on six DVR hard drives. USSS took initial custody of the video recordings and provided a copy of the six hard drives to the USAO on June 1. On June 6, USSS advised the USAO what equipment it would need to play the recordings. On June 10, CCA produced to the USAO an index to the hard drives, which itemized the locations depicted on each of the six hard drives. This one-page index clearly identified that included on DVR #5 was the “Low Custody Attorney” room and included on DVR #6 were seven attorney visitation rooms.[220]

         The six hard drives contain video recordings made between November 24, 2015 and May 16, 2016. The Court accepts the Special Master's finding that the mechanics of the PELCO video system make it very difficult to isolate recordings from a given camera.[221] This means it would be challenging and expensive to extract from DVR #6 only those recordings from the 21 cameras not recording in attorney visitation rooms.[222] It would also be challenging and expensive to extract and isolate footage of each attorney-client meeting given the split-screen functionality of the PELCO player.

         Because the video recording equipment at CCA had limited storage capacity, the system would overwrite old video recordings with new video recordings. The Special Master reviewed a sample of footage from 30 attorney visits from the seven cameras on DVR #6 for the period of February 20 to May 16, 2016. He found that every attorney-client meeting he viewed that took place in an attorney visitation room that held a video camera was listed on the attorney visitor log and was, in fact, recorded.[223] Extrapolating from the attorney visitor logs for that twelve-week period, a total of over 700 attorney visits were recorded.[224]

         3. USAO and Agents' Knowledge and Intent

          In March 2016, a CCA detainee who was cooperating in another of Tomasic's cases in this District, United States v. Rapp, [225] advised Tomasic that there were cameras in the attorney visitation rooms. AUSA Kim Flannigan was co-counsel with Tomasic on the Rapp case, but denies any awareness of the cooperator's statement. Based on the cooperator's information, Tomasic admittedly considered conducting a controlled purchase of contraband in an attorney visitation room, where the transaction could be video recorded, but ultimately decided not to.

         USSS Agent John Seubert testified that he originally drafted the grand jury subpoena in the Black case for video recordings from specific areas where there was suspicion of contraband trafficking in the Black case. While Seubert testified at the Dertinger hearing that there was evidence that the attorney visitation rooms were used for contraband trafficking and that contraband had been recovered from those rooms, he did not recall whether he knew this at the time the subpoena was drafted in Black.[226] Rather, he testified that it was Tomasic who redrafted the subpoena to include video recordings of all areas of CCA, without his knowledge. In other words, Seubert blamed Tomasic and claimed to be an unwitting participant in the subpoena of video recordings of attorney visitation rooms.

         At the July 21, 2016 discovery conference, the Court asked Tomasic whether there were video recordings of the attorney visitation rooms. Tomasic told the Court that the attorney visitation rooms were monitored for security, but not recorded:

[N]o-there are [sic] no audio in attorney/client unless someone at CCA, an employee, took it upon themselves to turn on the audio. But I don't believe it's recorded. It's just that it would allow a particular CCA employee to listen in without recording if-if the employee believes something was afoot that he needed to be aware of.[227]

         It is clear that at this point no attorney or detainee was aware that their attorney-client meetings were being video recorded, nor were they aware that CCA had the ability to record meetings in the attorney visitation rooms.[228]

         Whether or not Seubert's testimony about his unwitting role is credible, the evidence shows that at the time Tomasic issued the subpoena on April 12, 2016, she was aware that there were cameras in the attorney visitation rooms that video recorded. Indeed, Seubert's testimony that at some point the USAO was aware that the attorney visitation rooms were the situs of conspiratorial activity is borne out by another investigator's email to Boyd. On July 12, 2016, Stokes emailed Boyd to ask, “[d]id we get in video from the attorney visitation rooms, law library, and pods at CCA?”[229] Seubert testified that only he and ultimately Tomasic decided what to request in the subpoena for CCA video and that he did not tell Stokes that the video would include attorney visitation rooms.[230]

         At the September 7, 2016 hearing, the Court specifically asked Tomasic at what point the Government came to know that the video recordings included attorney-client communications. Tomasic responded, “the government had a good-faith basis to believe that the CCA video recordings contained attorney-client meetings at the time the issue-the subpoena was issued.”[231]Tomasic further stated to the Court that she did not recognize, think, or consider that the subpoena would include attorney visitation rooms until the Court's questions “triggered” her memory at the July 21, 2016 hearing and she realized there might be a problem with the breadth of the subpoena.[232] The Court does not credit Tomasic's testimony that she forgot about what she characterized as the cooperator's “lengthy” proffer, which provided an “overwhelming amount” of information, only weeks before she drafted the subpoena to ask for all video recordings from CCA.[233] Rather, the evidence compels the Court to find that Tomasic knew that her broad subpoena would result in CCA providing video recordings of the attorney visitation rooms and did nothing to exclude or avoid access to these recordings. Based on this knowledge, the Court also finds that Tomasic did not respond with candor to the Court's question at the July 21 discovery conference about whether there were video recordings of the attorney visitation rooms.

         Even if Tomasic had forgotten what the cooperator told her and she was unaware of what the investigators knew about the attorney visitation rooms, there is evidence that she should have known the video recordings included the attorney visitation rooms before the July 21, 2016 discovery conference. On June 10, 2016, the USAO had the index of CCA cameras that identified attorney visitation rooms.[234] By June 13, 2016, Tomasic was prepared to begin “downloading the surveillance footage” to give to Black defense counsel.[235] Tomasic knew about this index at the July 21 discovery conference when she advised the Court and defense counsel that the USAO would soon disseminate the video recordings and assured the defense that although the video footage was voluminous, “we actually created the index for defense counsel, and for some time defense counsel has been aware that there is an index.”[236] If Tomasic had reviewed this one-page index before the July 21 hearing, she did not speak with candor when she told the Court the rooms were only video monitored. But even if Tomasic had not seen the index before July 21, she could have looked at the index after the hearing and corrected her statement to the Court to clarify that the video recordings included the attorney visitation rooms. Tomasic made no such correction or clarification.

         4. USAO's Use of Videotaped Attorney-Client Meeting

         Just two weeks after the July 21 discovery conference, Tomasic sent an email to the Court and defense counsel in the Black case, expressing uncertainty about whether the attorney visitation rooms were recorded, but assuring the Court and counsel that if they were, the USAO would not review the video recordings of the attorney visitation rooms until the defense's concerns could be resolved.[237] This email is significant for several reasons; most importantly, it is irrefutable evidence that Tomasic did not speak with candor to the Court and opposing counsel. To understand how Tomasic's email was intended to mislead the Court and counsel, one must understand the chronology of events between August 2 and the afternoon of August 5, when this email was sent.

         Beginning in late July, Tomasic and Flannigan called and emailed defense attorney Jacquelyn Rokusek to request that she meet with them at the USAO concerning her client from another criminal case-Richard Dertinger. According to Rokusek, Tomasic and Flannigan told her at their August 2, 2016 meeting that based on two proffers from cooperators in the Black case, they had learned that Rokusek had allegedly provided a document containing a proffer statement to Dertinger that Rokusek had acquired in discovery in yet another case, United States v. Phommaseng, [238] which Dertinger was sharing with CCA detainees.[239] This, they told her, had jeopardized their investigation in the CCA contraband case and they intended to pursue an obstruction charge.[240] Rokusek testified she told Tomasic and Flannigan that she had not yet received any proffer statements in the Phommaseng case, but Tomasic and Flannigan asserted that this still presented a conflict of interest for Rokusek's continued representation of Dertinger. According to Rokusek, near the end of the conversation with Tomasic and Flannigan, “I was informed by Ms. Flannigan that they had a case agent on the case who was reviewing attorney-client meetings from CCA to determine whether or not this document had been provided to Richard Dertinger, which I told them it had not.”[241]

         Rokusek left the meeting alarmed not only by the prosecutors' allegations against her, but also because they told her they were reviewing video recordings of her meeting with her client to determine whether or not the document had been provided to him.[242] This prompted Rokusek to take several actions. She sent an email to Tomasic and Flannigan, to memorialize what they had told her at the August 2 meeting:

I've been contemplating how to move forward concerning the potential conflict of interest you discussed with me at your office yesterday. You mentioned that you were reviewing video of my visits with Mr. Dertinger at CCA. I would like an opportunity to view the same video footage before making a final decision. Would that be something I could review within the next few days? I will wait for your response and continue as I continue (sic) to research the potential issue.[243]

         Tomasic responded:

The agent looking through the video for your visits said he has located the time/date of your visits but has not paired those dates up to the video yet. That agent is on vacation this week and is preparing for a hearing next week. If you want him to pull the video for you, it might take a while, but we are willing to do so.[244]

         Flannigan responded in a separate email, urging Rokusek to come right away to “try to find the video.”[245] Notably, in their email responses to Rokusek, neither Tomasic nor Flannigan denied or challenged Rokusek's statement that they were reviewing video of her visits with Dertinger; in fact, Tomasic's response reiterated that the agent was working on locating the video of Rokusek's visit with Dertinger.

         Rokusek also shared her concerns with Laura Shaneyfelt, the CJA Panel discovery coordinator, as well as with FPD Brannon. This prompted Brannon to email Barnett and Slinkard to advise that the FPD had learned that CCA records, not just monitors, the attorney visitation rooms.[246] Barnett in turn asked the USMS to find out if this was true.

         The USMS received inconsistent responses from CCA personnel. The CCA warden, who was newly assigned to that facility, investigated. She testified that she went into one of the attorney visitation rooms, saw no camera, and responded to the USMS that there was no video recording of the attorney visitation rooms. But, as she later acknowledged in her testimony, had she checked the other attorney visitation rooms, she would have discovered that six of the nine rooms had cameras and were video recorded. In any event, based on the information received from CCA and the USMS, Barnett advised the FPD and others that there was no video recording. Meanwhile, the FPD heard from a deputy marshal that the marshal knew that there was video recording, so their concerns were not allayed.

         In the midst of this exchange of inconsistent information were Tomasic, Flannigan, and Stokes. Instead of candidly telling the Court and defense counsel that there were video recordings of the attorney visitation rooms, Tomasic sent the August 5 email to the Court and counsel claiming that in light of the warden's statement, Tomasic was now uncertain whether there were video recordings of the attorney visitation rooms.[247] Tomasic further misled the Court and counsel by suggesting that a defense attorney was reviewing video footage at the attorney's request or own initiative:

Defense counsel has concerns that CCA's former surveillance system, which was in place prior to the new Warden's tenure, may have captured video and/or audio recordings in attorney/client rooms. As such, one defense attorney requested in writing that counsel for the USAO, nor any party acting on the USAO's behalf, view any attorney/client footage provided by CCA until the issue is resolved. Counsel for the USAO agreed that no one acting on behalf of the USAO will view the footage until the matter is resolved. This same defense attorney is beginning review of the CCA surveillance footage today. Thus, the USAO is not certain at this point whether any of the surveillance footage turned over by CCA in response to a subpoena by the USAO issued in U.S. v. Black contains video footage of the attorney/client rooms, but based on the Warden's statements, counsel for the USAO now believes the information provided by the cooperator was incorrect. Further, because the USAO has agreed to not review that footage, this matter will not be resolved until defense counsel has completed their review of the surveillance footage. If, in fact, the USAO is not in possession of any surveillance footage in the attorney/client rooms, then the USAO will resume its review of the surveillance footage and any concerns by defense counsel should be alleviated. If, however, the USAO is in possession of such footage, counsel for the USAO intends to coordinate with defense counsel to identify whether to use a taint team to review any such footage would alleviate those concerns.[248]

         Tomasic sent this email at 2:57 p.m. At that very moment, Rokusek and her investigator were looking at video recordings of the attorney visitation rooms trying to locate a recording of Rokusek's meeting with Dertinger, during which the USAO alleged Rokusek had improperly provided a proffer statement or other information to Dertinger. Rokusek testified that while locating the video recording of her meeting with Dertinger, she inadvertently opened multiple windows at one point that exposed her to video recordings of attorney-client meetings between other attorneys and detainees.[249]

         Tomasic and Flannigan later denied knowing whether there were video recordings of the attorney visitation rooms, denied threatening Rokusek, and denied directing Stokes to look for the attorney-client video.[250] Instead, they claimed that Stokes was going to merely view the video of the residential pod to see who Dertinger talked to immediately after his meeting with Rokusek and how Dertinger and others were acting.[251] Stokes also testified that he was not going to view video of the attorney visitation rooms, but that he was going to view video of Dertinger after he left his meeting with Rokusek to see what Dertinger did in the pod.[252]

         None of this testimony is credible. First, the Court credits Rokusek's description of what Tomasic and Flannigan told her the agent was going to view, and the fact that neither Tomasic nor Flannigan challenged that description in Rokusek's email to them. From the prosecutors' account, Rokusek would have had no basis to know that there was any attorney-client video. Moreover, Rokusek immediately contacted the FPD to ask about video recordings of attorney-client meetings at CCA, which prompted Brannon to contact Barnett. This course of events can only be explained by Tomasic and Flannigan making the threat to Rokusek.

         Notably, at the September 7, 2016 hearing, Tomasic attributed her knowledge that the attorney visitation rooms were video recorded to a cooperator but claimed she did not intend to obtain the video because she had forgotten or not realized the subpoena would capture the attorney visitation rooms. She went on to state:

I don't remember the exact moment. It could've been possibly one of two things triggered my memory; the concerns about Richard Dertinger obtaining information through his attorney at any attorney-client room may have spurred, oh, I think we probably have that, given what I know based on what the cooperator says, and I got all surveillance footage . . . .[253]

         Tomasic's statement confirmed what she, Flannigan, and Stokes were looking for, as borne out by the existence of a video recording of Rokusek meeting with Dertinger.

         Second, Stokes' testimony does not ring true. Stokes had a copy of the videos on his KBI computer and a PELCO player to view those recordings at his home.[254] Although Stokes testified that he was unaware of the video recordings until August 2016, he specifically asked Boyd on July 12, 2016, if the USAO had received video recordings of the attorney visitation rooms.[255] Stokes admitted that when he viewed the videos he had the CCA index with him, which Boyd had provided to him by email on July 12.[256] Stokes further admitted that he loaded either disks #3, #5, or #6 on the PELCO player and that he saw thumbnail views of multiple empty rooms.[257] Stokes admitted to watching approximately an hour to an hour-and-a-half of recorded CCA video.[258] And in an August 20, 2016 email to Tomasic, Oakley, and other agents, Stokes admitted that when he viewed the video recordings, there were 16 camera views on the screen, including views of attorney visitation rooms.[259] To see this, Stokes had to be looking at DVR #6, which the index shows included attorney visitation rooms but no pods. Stokes also admitted that they had information that Rokusek had purportedly given a written document of some kind to Dertinger that compromised the Black investigation.[260] Viewing the video recording of Rokusek's interaction with Dertinger inside the attorney visitation room would have confirmed whether or not Rokusek provided a document to Dertinger as the cooperator had reported. If Stokes was looking for Dertinger as he walked back to his pod to see “everyone's reactions, ” as the USAO contends, DVR #6 was the wrong disk; if he was looking to see whether Rokusek handed documents to Dertinger, DVR #6 was the right disk.

         Third, the Court considers that if Tomasic and Flannigan had no ill intention, it made no sense for Tomasic to feign uncertainty to the Court about the existence of such video recordings in her August 5 email. It makes more sense that if Tomasic and Flannigan believed that Rokusek had improperly provided a proffer statement to Dertinger as the cooperator claimed, Tomasic would have been open about their need to view Rokusek and Dertinger interacting in the attorney visitation room, perhaps by having a taint team review the video to see if Rokusek had in fact handed a document to Dertinger. Tomasic testified that she planned to employ a taint team to review law library computers and written materials seized from detainees' cells during a search warrant executed at CCA on April 8, 2016, understanding that there might be privileged attorney-client communications in those materials.[261] But instead of using a taint team to ascertain whether the cooperator's information about Rokusek was correct, she chose to use Stokes to review the video recordings.

         After the firestorm that ensued when Rokusek brought to light the existence of the video recordings of the attorney visitation rooms, multiple defense counsel began filing Rule 41(g) motions and demanding a hearing. Flannigan and Tomasic then changed their story to a new narrative. Flannigan claimed that she did not know there were video recordings of the attorney visitation rooms until she read Tomasic's statements in the July 21, 2016 transcript.[262] And Tomasic claimed that she had no certainty about the video recordings until August 5, sometime after she sent the 2:57 p.m. email to Court and counsel.[263] Tomasic testified that after she sent this email, but while Rokusek was still viewing the video, Boyd brought her the CCA index, which showed there were recordings of the attorney visitation rooms.[264] But Tomasic admittedly did not send another email to the Court or counsel advising that the index showed that the attorney visitation rooms were video recorded.[265] Moreover, Tomasic and Flannigan changed their account of their meeting with Rokusek, testifying that they had merely suggested to her that Stokes was viewing Dertinger after he left the meeting, and that Rokusek should view the videos to see if there was video of her meeting with Dertinger.[266]

         Tomasic and Flannigan's testimony contradicts not only the testimony of Stokes, Rokusek's statements, and their email interactions with Rokusek, but also what they told Barnett when she interviewed them in September 2016 about the video recordings. Barnett testified that based on a meeting that she, Slinkard, and Beall had with a number of defense counsel on August 8, and her understanding of the evidence that would be presented by the defense at the August 9 hearing, she did not have confidence that Tomasic and Flannigan were giving her complete and accurate information about the video recordings.[267] Barnett further testified that during case reviews with Tomasic, Flannigan, and others on September 28, 2016, Barnett made notes that reflect Tomasic knew about the video recording of the attorney visitation rooms but did not tell everyone.[268] Tomasic acknowledged to Barnett that the cooperator had told her the rooms were recorded, and that she had made a mistake in drafting such a broad subpoena that would include attorney visitation rooms.[269] Further, Tomasic admitted to Barnett that she told Rokusek they were locating the attorney-client video recordings; they did not say that Stokes was merely going to view video of the pods to watch Dertinger's behavior and interactions with other detainees. It is also notable that when Barnett was attempting to investigate the allegations concerning the video recordings in August, Stokes refused to speak with Barnett, something Barnett complained about to the KBI.[270] The Court finds Barnett's testimony consistent with its other findings.

         In sum, the Court finds that when Tomasic issued the subpoena for 22 months of all video footage from CCA, she knew it would include video of attorney visitation rooms and did nothing to exclude or avoid these recordings. The USAO kept the video recordings in its possession for over two months, accessible in the Kansas City office, redistributed them to other law enforcement agencies, and was preparing to distribute them in discovery to other defense counsel in the Black case when the Court issued its clawback order. The USAO used the attorney-client video to attempt to gain a strategic advantage over a defendant. And as detailed in Section III.B.2, supra, the USAO failed to preserve the AVPC hard drives that could have provided information about access to the recordings.

         B. Audio Recordings

         1. CCA Recording Practices

         Access to confidential attorney-client communications by phone was particularly important given CCA's remote location. CCA provided phone service to detainees by making available 121 pay-telephones installed and maintained by Securus. Whether calls to a particular number would be recorded was left to the “sole discretion” of CCA.[271] Per the terms of the contract between CCA and Securus, CCA recorded all outgoing phone calls unless the call was to a number that was “privatized.” Defense attorney phone numbers qualified for privatization. Prior to October 2016, an attorney must request that his or her phone number be privatized by sending a facsimile to CCA on office letterhead that included contact information and a signature. Successful privatization should have prevented Securus from recording phone calls by any detainee to the privatized number. Additionally, no call to an FPD phone number was permitted to be recorded, pursuant to a contract.[272] Counsel could also request a “legal” call with a client, whereby the client could call from a counselor or case manager's office phone, which was not maintained by Securus. For these “legal” calls, a CCA Unit Manager remained present in the office listening to the detainee's side of the call in person. The calls were still recorded.[273]

         The record in this case demonstrates that calls between defense attorneys and clients at CCA were routinely recorded even when the attorney properly requested privatization. Calls to the FPD were recorded repeatedly and without notice, even though the FPD followed the CCA protocol to privatize its phone numbers, including attorney cell phone numbers, and despite the agreement between the FPD and CCA that none of its calls were to be recorded.

         Although CCA promised confidential attorney-client communications without qualification on its website and in its written policy, it did not advertise to attorneys that they must ask CCA in writing not to record calls with their clients.[274] Before October 2016, the privatization protocol was not posted at the facility, on CCA's website, or otherwise published in any manner that notified counsel that calls were recorded unless this specific protocol was followed. Nor was the policy included in the phone billing records CCA sent to attorneys.[275]

         Therefore, many seasoned defense attorneys who regularly represent clients housed at CCA testified or submitted affidavits stating that they were unaware of the privatization process prior to the allegations in the Black case.[276] Those attorneys believed that attorney-client calls were not recorded and so advised their clients.[277] They believed that if an attorney-client call was inadvertently encountered, no one would listen.[278]

         Likewise, prior to October 2016, CCA did not consistently advertise to detainees how to privatize their attorneys' phone numbers, and detainees were not allowed to initiate CCA's privatization protocol; only attorneys could request privatization. On October 26, 2016, after this litigation ensued, CCA began offering detainees the option of initiating privatization of attorney phone numbers by submitting an official request form. Upon privatization, the detainee would receive confirmation that privatization had been completed.[279]

         There was evidence about various forms of notice provided by CCA to detainees and attorneys about its telephone call recording policy. Joshua Martin, General Counsel for Securus, testified that a recorded message plays at the beginning of all calls placed on Securus phones.[280]This message is audible to both the call recipient and the detainee, and for non-private calls includes the following language: “[t]his call is subject to recording and monitoring” (hereinafter “preamble”).[281] The Special Master found that the message is slightly different depending on whether the detainee calls collect or uses a prepaid calling card, but the statement that the “call is subject to recording and monitoring” is always the same.[282] If the detainee chooses to hear dialing instructions in Spanish, the prerecorded message is played in Spanish, and the preamble translates to “this call may be recorded and is subject to being monitored.”[283] A more literal translation is, “this call may be recorded or monitored.”[284]

         Detainees were sometimes presented with an “Intake Booking Packet” when they arrived at CCA, which included a form that they must sign, acknowledging that CCA

reserves the authority to monitor (this includes recording) conversations on any telephone located within its institutions, said monitoring to be done to preserve the security and orderly management of the institution and to protect the public. An inmate's use of institutional telephones constitutes consent to this monitoring. A properly placed phone call to an attorney is not monitored. You must contact your unit team to request an unmonitored attorney call.
I have read or had read to me (cross out one) the above notification on the monitoring of detainee telephone calls. I understand that telephone calls I make from institution telephones may be monitored and recorded.[285]
Detainees were also supposed to be issued an Inmate Handbook near the time of their arrival that included instructions, advice, and information about dozens of issues, including instructions on telephone use and monitoring:
Access to telephone: Telephones are provided for detainees/detainees in the housing unit dayroom. Dayroom telephones are subject to monitoring. . . .
Procedures for telephone use include:
Doc. 214 at 20 n.16.
6. Your attorney may request of our facility that calls to their office not be recorded to ensure Attorney/Client privilege. They may request this by way of sending CCA/LDC a fax on their office letterhead. This request must include contact information and signature. They may fax it to (913)727-2231. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE THAT YOUR ATTORNEY IS AWARE OF THIS PROCEDURE; THEIR TELEPHONE CALLS ARE SUBJECT TO BEING RECORDED IF THEY DO NOT REQUEST THEY BE RESTRICTED.[286]

         But former CCA Unit Manager Leslie West testified that it was common for detainees to never receive the Inmate Handbook. Even when the handbook was available, distribution could be delayed for the first three to six days-a critical time for attorney-client communications. West testified: “You were more likely to talk to an inmate who didn't have a handbook than one that did.”[287] Moreover, the content of the handbook was not reviewed with the detainee during intake, nor did the intake officer explain how to “properly place” a call to an attorney. And the handbook did not explain how an unmonitored legal call could be placed.

         There was some signage near Securus telephones at CCA. A small sign on each Securus telephone entitled “Dialing Instructions, ” states: “Calls are subject to monitoring and recording.”[288] CCA has posted its own signs near at least some of the Securus telephones. One example is an engraved plastic sign that says, “ALL CALLS MAY BE RECORDED/MONITORED.”[289]

         Defense counsel's experience with the preamble varied. Several experienced defense attorneys attested that they never heard the preamble during their phone conversations with CCA detainees.[290] Others attested that they sometimes heard the recording.[291] Christopher Joseph, who has represented clients at CCA since 2003, attested that he or a member of his staff hears the preamble on every call they answer. He attested that he is “not aware of any way to have telephone communication with a client that does not involve the recorded statement that ‘calls may be monitored or recorded.'”[292] Defense attorneys testified that typically their staff answers the phone, so they often do not hear any prefatory pre-recorded message. And several testified live or by affidavit that they did not believe the presence or absence of the preamble language determined whether their call was recorded-they believed that calls between attorneys and clients were never subject to recording. In particular, those attorneys who were familiar with the privatization process reasonably believed that submitting their telephone numbers for privatization was the only requirement to ensure nonrecording-so the preamble did not alert them that the privatization request had failed.

         The Securus Call Platform is a web-based interface that allows users such as CCA personnel to access information related to calls made on Securus telephones. Users located at a given prison normally have access only to information regarding Securus telephones at that site. As the Special Master reported, Securus preserves recorded calls for a set period of time, during which a person with access to the Securus Call Platform may, among other things: (1) extend the time the call is preserved on the Securus system; (2) listen to the recorded call; and/or (3) download the call, thereby preserving it outside of the Securus system.

         CCA's recording retention period was five years under its contract with Securus. Securus maintained recordings of all non-privatized calls and detailed data relating to every call, including whether any party outside of the facility accessed it. These details could be produced on a spreadsheet called a Call Detail Report. Securus kept records of which calls were accessed, when they were accessed, and how they were accessed, i.e., by play-back (listened to but not copied), by download to another platform, or by copying to another medium. The data was tracked on recording access logs.

         Even when an attorney correctly submitted a privatization request, there was no assurance that his or her clients' phone calls to that number would not be recorded. CCA admitted that “due to human oversight, ” calls would sometimes be recorded anyway, although CCA denied that they were used or disclosed to any third party.[293] Martin testified that a number may not have been privatized after an attorney made a privatization request for several reasons: (1) CCA input the wrong phone number; (2) CCA delayed inputting the phone number; (3) CCA input the name in different formats, for example, CCA input “Brenda Wood, ” and “Wood Brenda” for the same detainee; (4) CCA privatized the number for calls placed from only certain areas at CCA, such as the bank of jail phones, or the phones in the case managers' offices; or (5) CCA privatized an attorney's number for calls from a subpopulation “site level” at CCA, rather than calls from any and all detainees at CCA.

         CCA employee Wayne Bigelow testified about the site level issue. Bigelow's job duties at CCA included privatizing phone numbers in the Securus Call Platform. When CCA received a privatization request, the facility was required to pick from one of four “site level” lists from which any given number would be privatized: (1) the entire facility; (2) USMS inmates; (3) county inmates; and (4) Maryland DOC inmates.[294] If a number was privatized for only USMS inmates, for example, calls from USMS detainees to that number would not be recorded, but calls from Maryland DOC or county inmates would be recorded. The default selection on this field is the entire facility; the CCA employee inputting information must affirmatively choose a different site level from a dropdown box in order to select a site level other than the entire facility.

         Bigelow routinely marked the wrong site level box on the Securus Call Platform because he mistakenly believed that selecting any site level in the site level dropdown field would privatize the number for the entire facility. Instead of privatizing the number for the entire facility, Bigelow routinely selected a site level subset that privatized the number only for some clients of that attorney, but not others. Neither Bigelow nor any other CCA employee ever told attorneys that there were different levels of privatization. This created, for example, the incongruous result presented at the hearing by the FPD: its main Kansas City office phone number was privatized for Wyandotte County inmates at CCA, but not for USMS inmates.[295]Thus, a phone call from a county inmate would be privatized and not recorded, while a call from a USMS client later that day to the same phone number was recorded. Thus, even if an attorney had been placed on notice of the need to privatize, the attorney never knew or had the ability to ask to be privatized for specific site levels.

         The Special Master found that as of December 15, 2016, CCA's list of attorney numbers marked “Private” contained 528 telephone numbers, compared with the roughly 18, 500 “Known Attorney Telephone Numbers” belonging to attorneys in the Kansas/Missouri/Nebraska area that the Special Master compiled.[296] Nicholas Harris, a digital forensic analyst and software developer for Digital Strata, testified that based on his work to date as an expert retained in Johnson v. CoreCivic, [297] a class action lawsuit against Securus filed in the Western District of Missouri, there were significant numbers of calls to privatized attorney telephone numbers recorded, including calls to the District of Kansas FPD's office.[298]

         2. USAO Methods of Obtaining Recordings of Calls

         It was typical for the USAO to obtain audio recordings placed by CCA detainees in a wide variety of criminal cases.[299] Prosecutors, including AUSAs Catania, Morehead, Hunt, Wamble, and Oakley testified that they obtained such recordings for a variety of reasons: (1) for voice comparisons to aid in identifying voices on wiretaps or consensual recordings; (2) to see if the defendant had made any inculpatory statements, particularly if the case was going to trial; (3) to investigate whether a detainee is continuing to engage in conspiratorial or otherwise criminal conduct; or (4) to investigate whether a detainee was violating a court-imposed no-contact order with other detainees or with witnesses. Tomasic testified that Hunt, one of the AUSAs who trained her, advised that she should always get calls if the case is going to trial.

         It is impossible, however, to identify or even quantify the number of calls obtained in other cases investigated or prosecuted by the USAO. First, the USAO and/or agents obtained recordings from CCA in several ways: grand jury subpoena, administrative subpoena, USMS form request, email request to USMS, telephonic request to USMS, email request to CCA, [300] and USMS telephonic request to CCA. Some of these requests were fully documented, such as subpoenas and USMS form requests, which identified the name of the detainee, the date and time of the request, the temporal scope of the request, and perhaps the name of the agent and/or prosecutor making the request. But some written requests contained only partial information. In May 2013, the USMS implemented a policy requiring that requests be documented on a request form that included language that stated attorney-client calls are excluded from the request.[301]Nevertheless, there was evidence that prosecutors and agents continued to request and obtain recordings through oral requests or by email.

         Second, once requested, prosecutors and/or agents received recordings in several ways. Sometimes CCA burned the calls to a disk and delivered the disc to the USMS or to the USAO by jail transport van. Other times, recordings were attached to an email and the prosecutor and/or agent would access the recordings through a link to CCA or the Securus system, which gave them a 24-hour period in which to access the calls, and either listen to or download them for access on their own server.[302] If the requesting party obtained the recordings by physical delivery from the jail transport van, there was no documentation of that, although there was at least one example of a prosecutor signing a receipt for a delivered disc.[303] When the requesting party accessed the recordings through the electronic link, there was no complete documentation of that. In fact, in some instances, the only documentation that recordings were requested or received was an email from an agent complaining that CCA's electronic link to download the documents was not working. As discussed above, however, the Government's failure to preserve means that documents, including emails, may not be recoverable.[304] These varied procedures often resulted in no paper trail about who requested the calls, when, or why. As discussed throughout this opinion, it is difficult to trace whether the USAO has attorney-client calls in a particular case, absent written documentation.

         The record is clear, however, that upon receiving recordings, prosecutors and their agents reviewed the calls. After the first hearing in the Black case, AUSA Rask asked Barnett in an email,

Because there is no evidence that any attorney-client telephone calls from CCA have been obtained and because those calls are automatically not recorded by the CCA technology as attorneys provide their telephone numbers and because there is a taint-team process in place and because this issue has been vetted through our criminal PRO and PRAO and because this was not an issue during yesterday's hearing, may the prosecution team continue with their review of the tens of thousands of calls obtained?[305]

         As the Court discusses in detail below, Rask was wrong on almost every point but one-the USAO and its agents routinely relied on CCA recorded calls and reviewed those calls.

         3. Grand Jury Subpoena in Black

         The USAO obtained more than 48, 000 recorded detainee calls associated with approximately 40 detainees in its investigation of contraband smuggling at CCA.[306] It was understandable that the USAO obtained phone calls in the Black case, given that it was investigating not only contraband smuggling within the walls of CCA, but also a conspiracy that involved those outside of CCA who supplied the contraband and CCA employees who participated in or aided and abetted the contraband smuggling.

         The USAO used a grand jury subpoena to obtain “all CCA-Leavenworth inmate recorded calls” “from July 1, 2014 until notified recorded calls are no longer needed” for seventeen inmates.[307] The time span was later expanded by informal request.[308] Tomasic also emailed CCA directly, asking for all calls made by Black Defendant Stephen Rowlette; “calls made by any inmate” to a list of specific phone numbers; and a “reverse” search on other numbers.[309] In her testimony, Tomasic placed the number of defendants whose calls were collected at 40.[310]When Tomasic subpoenaed the calls in Black, she did not exclude any attorney numbers.[311] The agents reviewed the calls and tracked them on a spreadsheet.[312] The calls were then distributed in discovery to Black defense counsel and various law enforcement agencies. Derivative reports were made, which were later subject to the Court's clawback order. The calls from these 40 defendants included at least 74 attorney-client calls.[313]

         4. Individual Cases that Came to Light in Black

          Individual cases that came to light during the Black investigation illustrate the USAO's practice with respect to collecting, saving, and accessing attorney-client calls from CCA:

         United States v. Birdsong [314]

         Tomasic testified that soon after she arrived in the USAO in 2013, she encountered an attorney-client call of defendant Jerome Birdsong and sought advice from then-First Assistant United States Attorney Mike Warner.[315] Tomasic followed Warner's advice by disclosing to Birdsong's attorney that she had accessed attorney-client calls, apologizing, and using a filter team.[316]

         United States v. Rapp [317]

         Tomasic was the prosecutor in the Rapp case, which included Dertinger as a co-defendant. As previously discussed, that case overlapped with the Black case; cooperators in the Rapp case provided Tomasic with information about Dertinger and the CCA investigation.[318] In 2016, Agent Stokes informed Tomasic that he heard two attorney-client calls between defendant Gregory Rapp and defense counsel Rick Johnson.[319] Tomasic sought advice from Metzger and AUSA Lanny Welch about how to proceed. Welch, who had been an AUSA for 29 years and the Professional Responsibility Officer (“PRO”) for the USAO for 19 years, told Tomasic, “it makes me nervous to exploit without waiver.”[320] Welch initially advised Tomasic to disclose the calls to the court and counsel, to get a firm decision of whether the privilege was waived. After Tomasic told him that she did not intend to use the calls at trial or sentencing, Welch advised her the safest approach was to disclose the calls to counsel with no need to involve the court at that time.[321] When Tomasic notified Johnson that Agent Stokes had discovered his calls with Rapp, she characterized it this way: “CCA inadvertently included at least three calls between you and your client, ” dismissing it as an anomaly.[322]

         United States v. Huff [323]

         Defendant Ashley Huff was a co-defendant in the Rapp case. When Tomasic was prosecuting the Huff case, she listened to a call involving Huff's mother's “lawyer friend.” She conferred with Flannigan and Oakley, who advised her that the calls were arguably not privileged because there were third parties present on the call. Tomasic thereafter affirmatively sought by email request recordings of all detainee calls to the phone number for the mother's “lawyer friend.”[324] After Huff filed a Rule 41(g) motion, the Government agreed to a time-served 36-month sentence on the condition that Huff withdraw her pending motions.[325]

         United States v. Forbes [326]

         Oakley, one of the prosecutors in the Black case, Wamble, and IRS Special Agent Henry Herron encountered a call between defendant Mendy Forbes and criminal defense attorney Kurt Kerns, who was not then Forbes' counsel of record. Oakley acknowledged in an email exchange with Wamble and agents that Forbes and Kerns could have been engaged in a protected attorney-client communication, even though he was not yet counsel of record.[327] Although Oakley did not listen to the substance of the call, neither he nor Wamble notified counsel;[328] nor did they divest the USAO's possession of those calls until January 7, 2019.[329]

         Nevertheless, the AUSAs proceeded to request Forbes' calls by email request on five subsequent occasions during 2015 and 2016 and did not notify Kerns or exclude his phone number or the phone numbers of Forbes' two counsel of record, Deb Vermillion and Shazzie Naseem.[330] In all, the USAO obtained 32 attorney-client calls of Forbes.[331]

         United States v. Wood [332]

         Wamble, who was one of the prosecutors on the Forbes case, was the lead prosecutor in Wood, a wide-ranging fraud case. Wamble testified, and an email from his legal assistant to the USMS corroborates, that when he encountered an attorney-client call, he immediately contacted the USMS and asked them to provide him with a “clean” set of calls that did not include attorney-client calls. Wamble also had Cox's phone number privatized, but without notice to Cox.[333] He did not, however, disclose or disgorge the recording to Wood's attorney Christian Cox.

         Wood subsequently filed a Rule 41(g) motion in her criminal case, seeking return of the recordings.[334] Wamble testified that he told his supervisor, Rask, that he possessed Wood's attorney-client calls. Neither Rask nor management directed Wamble to turn over the calls in response to the Rule 41(g) motion; instead he was directed to preserve the calls.[335] The USAO eventually delivered to the FPD on February 23, 2018, six discs with recorded phone calls, and explained:

1. Disc labeled “Brenda Wood jail calls” This disc may contain calls that were inadvertently included phone recordings of Brenda Wood's previous attorney, Christian Cox. Upon hearing the voice of who I believed to be Mr. Cox, I stopped listening to the calls and requested calls from the Marshals Service that did not include Cox's phone number. Additionally, when I heard what I thought to be Mr. Cox's voice, I contacted Mr. Cox to alert him to this possibility and informed him how he could seek to have his calls not recorded at CCA.[336]

         However, Cox testified that Wamble never told him that he had obtained, inadvertently or otherwise, recordings of Cox's calls with Wood or that Wamble had possession of any attorney-client recordings.[337] Cox further testified that if he had known of Wamble's actions, he would have proactively protected the communication.[338]

         Wamble admitted in the Black hearing that he did not tell Cox that he actually possessed the recordings.[339] Wamble also admitted he did not know how CCA privatization worked.[340]And he admitted that he never produced the calls during discovery to either Cox or Brannon, Wood's subsequent counsel.

         The facts ultimately demonstrated that (1) Wood's calls to Cox had been recorded, with at least 13 calls exceeding four minutes;[341] (2) Wamble directly contacted CCA by email to request Wood's CCA calls, making no exception for attorney calls;[342] and (3) Wamble did not disclose his possession of the calls to either Cox or the FPD, but instead kept them for over three years. After the FPD entered an appearance in March 2015, Wamble requested Wood's calls another four times, without making an exception for the FPD.[343]

         Wood was facing up to 78 months' imprisonment, but after filing a motion to dismiss based on Wamble's procurement and possession of video and audio recording of attorney-client communications, the Government agreed to reduce her sentence to time served, approximately 50 months.[344]

         United States v. Herrera-Zamora [345]

         Tomasic and AUSA David Zabel prosecuted Herrera-Zamora. Carlos Moran, an attorney from Kentucky, represented Herrera-Zamora. After a contentious trial, Moran moved on February 20, 2017, to discover whether the USAO had listened to his communications with his client.[346] Tomasic and Zabel were indignant, and pressured Moran into withdrawing his motions.[347] Moran described his reaction to later learning that the USAO had in fact obtained and reviewed his communications:

         I-I was pretty offended because I really believed that-when they assured me that they wouldn't. And, you know, to accuse another member of the bar is not an easy thing or is not a very pleasant thing to do. And then when I-when I learned that, in fact, they did, I don't know, it's even worse.[348]

         Tomasic issued a subpoena requesting CCA to provide all detainee calls to Moran's specific phone number.[349] Tomasic testified that Moran had advised the court that CCA detainees whom he did not represent had been calling him, so she and Zabel were concerned that Moran was speaking with detainees represented by other counsel. They obtained recordings of all detainee calls to Moran, including calls from Herrera-Zamora to Moran, even though their stated purpose in obtaining the calls did not justify their obtaining calls between Herrera-Zamora and Moran.

         Before Tomasic subpoenaed the recordings of detainee calls to Moran, she sought advice from Welch, who in turn sought advice from DOJ's Professional Responsibility Advisory Office (“PRAO”). Tomasic's request for advice first assured Welch that her research had confirmed that the detainees had waived their attorney-client privilege. The PRAO, which expressly does not give advice, responded to Welch's inquiry about Tomasic's question, noting that if the privilege was waived, as Tomasic represented her research conclusively established, then she should employ a taint team to review the recordings.

         Tomasic asked Hunt to serve as a filter attorney, along with a Spanish-speaking DEA agent, since the conversations between Herrera-Zamora and Moran were in Spanish.[350] When the DEA agent could not assist them, Tomasic, who speaks Spanish, decided to listen to the calls herself but had difficulty understanding them. Sara Gardner, a contract interpreter, testified that Tomasic asked her to listen to and translate the recordings.[351] Gardner stated that Tomasic also asked her to come to the USAO during trial to listen to and provide oral summaries of conversations between Herrera-Zamora and Moran to learn defense strategy and so Tomasic and Zabel could impeach the defendant should he testify in his defense.[352] Gardner was so alarmed by this request that she informed AUSA Catania, who reported Gardner's concerns to Metzger.[353]

         On May 10, 2017, Tomasic informed Rask that she had listened to a call or calls between Moran and his client.[354] The USAO terminated Tomasic shortly thereafter. The USAO did not bring Tomasic's May 10, 2017 admission to the attention of the Court and parties in Black until June 19, 2017, when it filed a Notion of Correction of Record.[355] After Tomasic's misconduct came to light, the USAO agreed to recommend that the court vacate Herrera-Zamora's 420-month sentence and impose instead a sentence of time served.[356]

         United States v. Reulet [357]

         AUSA Tanya Treadway, who retired before the October 2018 hearing, was the USAO's Senior Litigation Counsel and served as a primary filter, or taint, attorney for the USAO.[358] The responsibility of the filter attorney position demanded adherence to the highest ethical standards.[359]

         Treadway prosecuted Reulet, who had attorney-client relationships with four attorneys during the course of her prosecution: (1) Andino Reynal, her criminal defense attorney; (2) Melanie Morgan, her second criminal defense attorney;[360] (3) Mark Metzger, who represented her in a pending DUI case in Texas; and (4) Richard Grimes, who represented her in a pending child custody dispute between Reulet and her husband, who was a codefendant in the criminal case in this district.

         Reulet appealed the magistrate judge's decision to revoke her bond to District Judge Daniel C. Crabtree, and appealed his decision affirming the magistrate judge to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.[361] Issues pertaining to her pending DUI and her attempts to gain custody of her child were raised in the litigation over the bond revocation.

         It is undisputed that Treadway listened to and took extensive notes of Reulet's conversations with Reynal, Metzger, and Grimes as they discussed the criminal case, the pending bond revocation litigation, the DUI case, and the child custody case, all of which had overlapping issues. Treadway's notes of these conversations comprised 106 pages of a legal pad.[362] The notes include discussions about defense trial strategy, plea negotiations, risk-benefit assessment of trial versus plea, and estimates of the sentence Reulet faced.

         Defense attorney Melanie Morgan testified in a compelling account of how Treadway exploited the information she gained from these calls in negotiating a plea with Reulet.[363]Morgan testified that Reulet was very motivated to gain custody of the child she shared with her co-defendant husband, and that Reulet was strongly opposed to her husband having custody of the child. This is something Treadway learned from listening to Reulet's conversations with Grimes, who represented Reulet in the pending child custody proceeding. Morgan testified that Treadway offered Reulet a binding plea agreement under Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(c)(1)(C), with the assurance that if she was sentenced to the negotiated prison term, she would finish her sentence before Reulet's husband finished his sentence. Morgan testified that this plea offer was attractive to Reulet, who wanted to ensure that she gained custody of her child before her husband could. So Reulet and the USAO entered into the binding plea agreement proposed by Treadway. Morgan further testified that perhaps as an act of retribution, after Reulet was sentenced, Treadway struck a plea agreement with Reulet's husband to a sentence of time-served, thus allowing Reulet's husband to seek custody of the child, as Reulet was still in prison.[364]

         Treadway's handwritten notes are conclusive evidence that she actually listened to Reulet's attorney-client calls. But Treadway lied about listening to the calls in a court proceeding before Judge Daniel D. Crabtree.[365] Answering defense counsel's accusation that she had listened to the calls, she emphatically denied doing so.[366] Treadway's misrepresentation was not discovered in the Reulet litigation; rather, it surfaced later during the Black investigation. Days after Treadway's testimony in Black, Judge Crabtree signed an agreed order vacating Ms. Reulet's sentence.[367]

         5. USAO's Knowledge that CCA Audio Recordings Included Recordings of Attorney-Client Phone Calls

          For years, prosecutors in the Kansas City division had received, or knew others had received, attorney-client calls when they made a general request for all of a detainee's calls from CCA. The prosecutors' exposure to attorney-client calls was neither infrequent nor uncommon. The individual cases set forth above illustrate prosecutors' knowledge that attorney-client calls were available from CCA and instances where prosecutors listened to those calls. There was no written policy in the USAO at the time that prevented or discouraged this practice.[368]

         There is also circumstantial evidence that prosecutors, both individually and collectively, were aware or should have been aware that a general request for detainee calls at CCA might well yield attorney-client calls. First, some of the Kansas City prosecutors repeatedly discussed the issue of how to treat attorney-client calls obtained from CCA. Through these discussions, they were aware that others had encountered such calls even if they personally had not. These discussions were often prompted by Tomasic's questions and concerns. Tomasic testified that after she encountered the Birdsong attorney-client calls, she discussed the issue of how to handle attorney-client phone calls with what she referred to as the “lunchroom group” in the Kansas City USAO. She testified this group was comprised of five to eight prosecutors who would meet in the lunchroom on occasion. Although she declined to specifically name members of the group, Tomasic did not include Patton, Oakley, Krug, Wamble, or James Ward as members of the lunchroom group. As detailed later in this opinion, Tomasic continued to raise her concerns with the lunchroom group about attorney-client calls throughout her tenure at the USAO.

         The second type of circumstantial evidence is the sheer volume of jail calls the prosecutors obtained over the years and the number of known attorney-client calls they received. Procuring attorney-client calls happened with enough frequency that the USAO knew, or should have known, that its practice resulted in possession of attorney-client communications.

         The FPD conducted an analysis of call data to identify CCA inmates whose attorney-client calls were recorded, requested, accessed, or obtained by the Government. This analysis is detailed in Exhibit 562, dated October 8, 2018. As AFPD Rich Federico testified, he was not able to quantify these numbers but instead was only able to offer a sampling, for a variety of reasons. First, despite Clymer's proclamations that the Government was willing to resolve pending Rule 41(g) motions by turning over audio recordings to the FPD, that did not begin until January 2019. Federico did not have possession of the actual recordings at the time of the hearing and could not do a quantitative analysis of the calls themselves. Instead, Federico conducted a comprehensive and exhaustive review of Securus and CCA call data to identify CCA detainees whose attorney-client telephone calls were recorded, requested, accessed, or obtained by the USAO.[369] The data he analyzed primarily derived from information acquired by the Special Master, CCA (both directly and from the Special Master), Securus, court exhibits, docket information, and the Bureau of Prisons.[370] The analysis took several months and hundreds of hours to complete. Federico reviewed information relating to over 1600 defendants.

         The data from Securus and CCA was incomplete. Harris, the forensic analyst for Digital Strata, testified that based on his work to date as an expert retained in the related class action lawsuit against Securus in the Western District of Missouri, it is clear that the Securus data includes accessed calls not captured in the CCA data, and vice versa.[371] Harris also testified that the Special Master's report on the number of recorded calls to attorney numbers is understated, because Harris identified more known attorney numbers than the Special Master was able to identify.[372]

         There were several limitations to Federico's analysis that led to underreporting of the USAO's accessing of attorney-client communications. Because many of the USAO's requests were made orally-by phone calls to the USMS and/or CCA-and because the USAO failed to preserve and produce electronic and paper records from its own repositories, it is certain that Federico did not obtain all evidence or documentation of every USAO request for production of a CCA detainee's phone calls.[373] Federico encountered an incomplete if not scant paper trail on requests and fulfillments of requests for jail calls, which prevented any complete quantitative analysis based on documentation of calls requested or received. Thus, Federico's analysis was limited to “known” requests.

         Second, Federico chose to limit his review to data for FPD clients in the District of Kansas who were detained at CCA and still in custody at the time of his analysis in October 2018.[374] The parameters of Federico's analysis were thus confined to: (1) inmates previously in custody at CCA; (2) charged with a federal criminal offense in the District of Kansas; (3) who were still in custody; (4) whose recorded telephone calls were accessed on the Securus telephone platform from January 1, 2010 through August 1, 2017; and (5) whose accessed calls contained at least one attorney call.[375] Federico used the call record data of CCA and Securus, which identified calls accessed by the detainee PIN of the person placing the outgoing call, the phone number of the person called, and the time, date, and duration of the call.[376] Federico found that there were 1, 615 CCA detainees still in CCA custody whose calls were recorded and accessed during the given time period, 723 of whom had cases pending in this district, 372 of whom remained in custody on October 8, 2018, and 104 of whom had calls to their attorneys accessed.[377]

         Despite the limitations in the data and analysis, Federico's findings are significant. Every time the USAO made a general request for all recorded calls, there was a 27.96% chance that the calls would include attorney-client calls. This statistic-that prosecutors had a greater than one-in-four chance of encountering attorney-client calls-is consistent with the USAO having repeated discussions about attorney-client calls, albeit at the initiation of Tomasic. Moreover, according to Federico's analysis, if these numbers are extrapolated to all FPD clients during the relevant time period, to include both those in custody and those no longer in custody, the USAO accessed 1, 429.21 attorney-client calls, of which 202.15 were FPD clients.[378] Acquisition of attorney-client calls was neither rare nor an anomaly.

         And the violations compound. Exhibits 600 through 609A prepared by the FPD are critical on this point. Each is a partial compendium of known call requests by individual AUSA, followed by a chart identifying known requests that resulted in collection of attorney-client calls.[379] Because this analysis of individual AUSAs is limited to known requests and District of Kansas detainees still in custody in October 2018, the Court finds that the number of call requests in the exhibits underrepresents instances of individual AUSAs accessing attorney-client calls. Nonetheless, this partial analysis of incomplete data demonstrates that individual prosecutors should have known they had obtained attorney-client calls and that a general request for calls would yield attorney-client calls.

         For example, AUSA Morehead denied any awareness of attorney-client calls.[380] Federico's research revealed that between May 24, 2013 and September 27, 2016, Morehead requested calls at least 33 times for 28 different defendants.[381] In at least nine of those cases, attorney-client calls were recorded.[382] Yet Morehead never excluded any attorney numbers from her requests.[383] Likewise, AUSA Catania testified that she had never encountered any attorney-client calls.[384] Federico's partial analysis showed that Catania received calls of 15 defendants between the period of June 28, 2013 to July 17, 2015, including attorney-client calls in at least six of those cases, without excluding any attorney numbers from her requests.[385] And records “voluntarily” produced by the USAO in January 2019 showed that Catania obtained 76 attorney-client calls in the Phommaseng case.[386]

         In sum, the individual cases and the empirical data together support a finding that the USAO prosecutors had both individual and collective knowledge that attorney-client calls were available through a general request for detainee calls from CCA.

         6. DOJ Directives, Training, and USAO Management Advice

         A 2014 DOJ policy memorandum on “Electronic Surveillance Procedures within the Federal Prison System” required that prosecutors obtain recorded phone calls of detainees only by grand jury or trial subpoena, and with prior approval, “any such request must be in writing and endorsed by a United States Attorney, or, in matters being handled by a Department litigating section, the Section Chief.”[387] This memo also cautioned that “[pr]isoner communications with attorneys are not within the scope of this memorandum.”[388] The memo further refers to the earlier “Weld” memo, which provided that without prior judicial approval, prison officials may monitor and use detainee telephone conversations except for calls between a prisoner and his or her attorney.[389] This memo put USAO prosecutors on notice that they could obtain jail recordings under certain restrictions but could not obtain attorney-client recordings. The client law enforcement agencies had similar proscriptions.[390] There is no evidence that prosecutors in the Black case obtained such prior approval before obtaining audio calls in discovery.

         The DOJ's PRAO office published a July 2008 Memo on “Filter Teams-Guidance on Use of Filter Teams to Avoid Ethical Problems, ” citing to a number of cases, and generally advising that attorney-client privilege issues should be disclosed to defense and unless resolved, litigated for a judicial determination.[391] Notably, this memo stresses that filtering can be done by a filter team, Special Master, or magistrate judge, and that the prosecution should seek court approval of the filter procedures. There is no evidence in this case that the USAO sought court approval of any filter procedures.

         USAO management consistently advised that prosecutors must disclose to the defense that they had possession of attorney-client calls. Barnett testified that she considers calls privileged until there is a judicial determination otherwise. Welch and Barnett testified that the proper steps were to set up a filter team, then notify the defense if any attorney-client calls were found; if the privilege issue could not be resolved between prosecution and defense, the matter should then be submitted to the court for a judicial determination.[392] Welch testified that as the USAO PRO, prosecutors could have consulted with him about how to proceed on this type of professional responsibility issue, but confirmed that there was no written policy in place at the USAO at that time for how to proceed when a prosecutor encountered an attorney-client call.[393]

         7. USAO Internal Deliberation and Guidance on Audio Calls

         Without factual support or accurate legal analysis, and contrary to DOJ directives, training, and USAO management advice, the Kansas City prosecutors, as well as Treadway, unilaterally determined that recorded attorney-client calls were available for review, without approval from the court or notice to the defense. The prosecutors' unilateral determination that the preamble constitutes a waiver if the attorney decides to engage in conversation thereafter, coupled with their lack of research and investigation about the CCA phone system, led to their exploitation of vulnerabilities stemming from CCA's flawed system of recording practices. The USAO's surreptitious practice of collecting and saving, but not disclosing, attorney-client calls allowed the practice to perpetuate for years. It was only when the inexperienced and unsupervised Tomasic disseminated a voluminous batch of phone calls in discovery in the Black case that the USAO's practices come to light.

         a. Failure to Investigate

          Despite knowing they were getting attorney-client calls when they obtained all audio recordings of detainees housed at CCA, none of the Kansas City prosecutors knew how or under what circumstances CCA recorded calls that detainees placed to attorneys. Without exception, the Kansas City prosecutors testified that before the issue arose in the Black case, they had no confirmed knowledge of how the system worked.[394] They thought that CCA had a process to block calls to attorneys, but they did not know what that process was. They did not know how a detainee or attorney would request or receive privatization of their calls. They did not know whether detainees received notice that they needed to request privatization, and they did not know that CCA would not accept such requests from the detainees, but only from their attorneys. They did not know that CCA affirmatively represented to the public that attorney-client calls were treated as confidential.[395] They did not know that CCA did not inform attorneys that they must request privatization, nor what CCA's process for requests entailed. They did not know that many experienced defense counsel in the District of Kansas were utterly unaware that they must request privatization.[396] They did not know whether CCA's system worked to privatize calls after a request was made.[397] They did not know that there was a delay in privatization after a request; and that despite privatization requests, some calls were never privatized.[398] They were not certain what the preamble said, in English or Spanish, nor whether it was consistently the same preamble.[399] They did not know whether the preamble played on every call. They did not know whether the preamble was played on calls that were privatized or when there had been an attempt to privatize. They did not know the advice defense attorneys were giving their clients concerning the legal effect of the preamble.

         In fact, only after these issues arose in the Black case did the USAO consider investigating the facts. When Barnett appeared at the August 9 and August 16, 2016 hearings, she could not answer the Court's questions about how CCA recorded attorney-client calls. On August 17, 2016, Flannigan emailed Barnett, Metzger, Beall, Rask, Tomasic, and Oakley advising that they should contact CCA to find out how attorney calls are blocked.[400] Before then, none of them knew or tried to determine any of the salient facts. Indeed, the Special Master determined the answers to these questions in Phase II of the investigation, speaking with CCA and Securus employees, and obtaining certain records.[401]

         b. Unilateral Determination on Waiver

          Nor did the USAO research the law about waiver. Several prosecutors admitted in their testimony that the issue of whether the attorney-client privilege has been waived is dependent on salient facts. Zabel testified that these facts matter in the application of the privilege and that he had no knowledge of the facts about the CCA recording practices discussed above.[402] Hunt testified that whether the privilege was been waived depends, as “[f]acts mean everything.”[403]Wamble described it as an individual determination.[404] Morehead testified that the waiver must be knowing and intelligent, which is a factual determination.[405] Yet the Kansas City prosecutors, as well as Treadway in Topeka, took the position before and during the Black litigation that their view of the law was that all CCA detainees waived their attorney-client privilege when they placed calls to attorneys over the CCA phones because there is a preamble played on the calls and signage around the phones that says calls are subject to monitoring. But the prosecutors who testified were emphatic that they did not actually listen to these non-privileged calls. Indeed, at the October 2018 evidentiary hearing, virtually all of the prosecutors similarly testified that even though the calls were not privileged, they did not listen, repeating to the effect, “just because you can doesn't mean you should.”[406]

         There were a few exceptions. Patton, the longest-serving prosecutor in the Kansas City office, testified that attorney-client calls are generally privileged, and that prosecutors may not listen to them, including calls placed from CCA.[407] Krug likewise testified that when an agent encountered a call in one of his cases, Krug understood that he should contact his supervisor and PRAO because “I have ethical obligations.”[408] And Welch advised Tomasic in the Rapp case that it would make me nervous to try to exploit these calls unless I'm convinced there's a waiver. One way to make sure is to notify defense counsel and the Court that you have these calls, have not listened to them, but you think you could given Hatcher and ask the Court for a ruling. That gets the issue out of the way before trial and will give you a firm answer.[409]

         But Tomasic testified that in her discussions with the Kansas City prosecutors, in particular with the lunchroom group, the consensus was that the privilege was waived. Tomasic testified that whenever she shared with the lunchroom group the advice she received from Warner, Metzger, Welch, and the PRAO, the group roundly dismissed the advice as wrong, telling her that calls placed by detainees at CCA to their attorneys were not privileged because they were on notice that the call was recorded because of the recorded preamble. Tomasic testified that in 2016, she discussed the calls in the Huff case with Oakley and Flannigan, who advised her that the calls were not privileged. Tomasic further testified that Oakley told her about his experience with attorney-client calls in Forbes, and she understood from that discussion that such calls were “fair game.”[410]

         Moreover, the Kansas City prosecutors repeatedly broadcasted to one another that caselaw supported their position. The USAO was an echo chamber of sorts on the matter, perpetuating the notion that they were on firm legal ground. Yet none of the AUSAs had ever litigated this issue in the District of Kansas or the Tenth Circuit; and none of them was aware of any District of Kansas or Tenth Circuit case supporting their position that CCA detainees had waived their attorney-client privilege for calls.[411] Zabel testified that the case law supported their position, but he could not point to any specific cases.[412] Flannigan testified that the Hatcher case in the Eighth Circuit supported their position, but she did not know what position the USAO had taken in that case.[413] Hunt testified that a Tenth Circuit case supported this position, but he could not name the case; he also referenced the Hatcher case in the Eighth Circuit, a First Circuit case, and a case in the Western District of Missouri.[414] Oakley testified that the case law was “overwhelming, ”[415] though in 2012 he advised agents in the Forbes case that any conversation between an attorney and client is subject to privilege, even if the person is not represented by the attorney at that time.[416] And at a hearing in Reulet in December 2016, Treadway argued to Judge Crabtree that the law is clear that these jail calls are not privileged because of the preamble.[417]

         Thus, the Kansas City prosecutors operated under the theory that “the law is clear that CCA's preamble warning the call was being recorded made the call non-privileged[.]”[418] Once the Black investigation turned adversarial, both USAO management and rank alike took this litigation posture, consistent with the position previously taken by most Kansas City prosecutors before, that the attorney-client privilege is waived.[419] As discussed infra in Section VI.B.2.a.ii, however, this unilateral determination that the recorded calls were conditioned on a knowing waiver of attorney-client confidentiality was made without factual support or accurate legal analysis.

         c. Failure to Disclose to the Defense

         Prosecutors who made the unilateral determination that all CCA detainees waived their attorney-client privilege intentionally avoided any judicial determination of this issue by not disclosing to defendants that they had obtained their attorney-client calls. Numerous defense counsel stated that they had never received an attorney-client call in discovery.[420]

         Historically, the AUSAs did not disclose that they had any jail calls, including non-attorney-client calls. After Tomasic returned from the DOJ National Advocacy Center (“NAC”) in early 2017, she told the lunchroom group that she had learned that jail calls must be turned over to defendants in discovery, pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 16.[421] Tomasic testified that at NAC “it was discussed at length that inmate calls are property of the government because we contract with the jails or we directly supervise them and, therefore, they're Rule 16 statements of the defendant and must be turned over.”[422] Tomasic testified that Zabel, Rask, and others in the lunchroom group rejected this position, and that Rask dismissed the DOJ trainer as not being knowledgeable on this subject.

         Barnett testified that the Kansas City office engaged in the narrowest reading of Rule 16 possible. Flannigan testified that while Rule 16 requires disclosure of any recorded statement of a defendant upon the defendant's request, she disclaimed knowledge of whether the District of Kansas's standard pretrial order states that the defendant has been deemed to have requested his or her recorded statements. The Court takes judicial notice that the pretrial order does require that.[423] The Court further finds that by taking the position that they need not disclose detainee phone calls in the regular course of Rule 16 discovery, the USAO's acquisition and access to attorney-client calls was easier to hide.[424]

         Even if they disclosed that they had CCA calls, most prosecutors did not disclose that they had attorney-client calls, ensuring that there would be no judicial determination on the issue in any given case. There were exceptions; but in those rare instances when a prosecutor disclosed that they had an attorney-client call, the evidence shows that the prosecutor described it as inadvertent, or in some way conveyed that their possession of an attorney-client call was rare or exceptional, in a manner designed to alleviate defense concerns.[425]

         But the USAO's regular practice was to not disclose to defense counsel that they had acquired and/or accessed attorney-client calls. Tomasic testified that Oakley advised her that he had heard an attorney-client call but did not disclose because of “litigation risk” and “hassle.”[426]Tomasic further testified that the lunchroom group repeatedly said that if defense attorneys were “stupid enough” to talk to their clients over the phone, they had no obligation to tell them that their calls were recorded.[427] This is consistent with Warner's testimony that the culture in the Kansas City office was to treat the defense bar as the enemy, [428] and Barnett's testimony that as Criminal Chief, she repeatedly received complaints from the defense bar about abusive treatment by the Kansas City prosecutors.[429] This practice also failed to follow the advice of the DOJ's PRAO as well as advice from USAO management.[430]

         The prosecutors' position was that if they did not “use” the attorney-client calls- meaning use as evidence at trial-they were under no obligation to disclose the calls to the defendant, even if they or their agents heard the calls.[431] Prosecutors unilaterally determined that they had not “used” the calls; they did not disclose their possession of the calls to the defendant so that defendant could evaluate the content of the calls and/or seek a judicial determination of prejudice. One only need read Treadway's copious handwritten notes of the attorney-client phone calls in Reulet to see that a prosecutor gleans information from the content of attorney client calls that has utility to the prosecutor, whether or not the calls are going to be evidence at trial.

         And that is certainly the pitch Zabel made in his email to Rask and others on March 6, 2017, arguing that they did not need to disclose the defendant's calls to Moran in Herrera-Zamora because they had not used the calls to prove guilt or for sentencing purposes, the calls were not relevant as inculpatory or exculpatory evidence, and the calls were not discoverable under Rule 16 unless the defendant requested them.[432] Zabel strived hard not to disclose in Herrera-Zamora, despite the pendency of Black and being on clear notice that detainees and attorneys lacked knowledge of the recordings. Zabel's reluctance to disclose is consistent with Tomasic's testimony that on several occasions in Herrera-Zamora, Zabel told her they did not have to disclose calls if they were not going to use them, and that Zabel rejected her suggestion that they follow the advice she received in national training that the recordings must be disclosed under Rule 16.[433] Tomasic further testified that Zabel told her not to tell Rask, who by then was the Kansas City Criminal Coordinator, that Zabel had told Tomasic not to disclose or that she had Gardner listen to calls.[434] Zabel denied Tomasic's allegations.[435]

         In fact, this narrow definition of “use” governed prosecutors' disclosure of other types of discovery, including Brady and Giglio materials.[436] Tomasic testified that the lunchroom group took the position that while they must disclose Brady and Giglio information, they did not believe in disclosing this information early, or even before negotiating plea agreements. Barnett and Tomasic testified that this group of prosecutors was vehemently opposed to the Court's new pretrial order, which established a general rule of early disclosure of this and other types of discovery. Warner testified that during his tenure, some of the Kansas City prosecutors engaged in heavy-handed, unfair prosecutorial practices, including discovery practices such as late disclosure of Brady and Giglio information and evidence relevant to sentencing issues, [437] and were “extremely oppositional” to management's attempts to adopt standard discovery policies in Kansas City that were consistent with how discovery was handled in the Topeka and Wichita offices.[438] Warner identified Morehead, Rask, Catania, Flannigan, and Zabel as most resistant to management's attempts to adopt policies addressing abusive prosecutorial practices in discovery, retaliatory use of § 851 sentencing enhancements, abusive charging practices in drug cases, and “bait and switch” § 5K1.1 agreements, all of which Warner testified “reeked of ambush prosecution.”[439] Barnett echoed how resistant some Kansas City prosecutors were to management's efforts to bring the Kansas City office's practices into conformity with the other two offices.

         d. No. Reasonable Measures to Exclude or Filter ...

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