West Side State Representative Derrick Smith is charged with taking $7,000 in bribes from a secret FBI informant shortly after he took office. Much of the case is hooked to secretly recorded conversations between Smith and the snitch. Smith's defense is focused on how that confidential FBI source was recruited and managed.
In discovery, Smith's attorneys have asked for a copy of what is known as the FBI's snitch handbook and Monday night they are not happy about what they received.
One hundred pages long, it is officially known as the Confidential Human Source Policy Manual.
But when attorneys defending State Rep. Derrick Smith in the corruption case against him received the so-called snitch handbook, they knew right away that it wouldn't do them much good.
Even the table of contents had been whited out, preventing Smith's legal team from using the manual to prove what they suspect: That the snitch used by the FBI had a criminal background, and his training and conduct were in violation of the FBI's own guidelines.
According to a newly-filed motion, Representative Smith's attorneys say the "manual is significant because the government has mishandled the CS, or confidential source, in a number of ways."
But with section after section of the FBI's manual for handling undercover operatives blotted out, and in some cases entire pages of rules and regulations redacted, Smith's lawyers contend the government isn't playing by accepted legal rules of evidence.
They claim that "presumably, only relevant portions of the manual have been removed or else the government would not have removed them."
Smith was thrown out of the General Assembly after being indicted, only to be re-elected, and since you can only be stripped of your office once, he's still serving as 10th District representative.
"I don't have to boast, I don't have to do anything like that," Smith said. "When it happens, it happens and it's god's will."
Smith Monday night is aiming a little lower, asking for some good will from the judge that the government be ordered to turn over a full, complete and un-redacted version of the FBI informant rules.
Prosecutors may not even call the confidential source as a trial witness, but Smith says he should have the right to question the reliability the evidence gathering process that was used to indict him.