Defense has no more witnesses, jury to hear closing arguments tomorrow
Molloy will instruct the jury first thing in the morning, and the jury will begin to deliberate by tomorrow, Molloy said.
“Life’s a circle,” defense attorney David Bernick told Peronard as he took the stand for a second time Tuesday afternoon.
Peronard was first called as a witness for the government at the beginning of the trial in February.
Bernick focused his questions on letters and emails that Peronard sent to officials within in the EPA in 2002
Bernick emphasized Peronard’s reference to himself as “King of Libby.” Peronard said the remarks were taken out of context and that he was working under several limitations in the EPA when he was in charge of the Libby cleanup in 2002.
“It wasn’t the war powers act, I couldn’t put a missile base up there,” Peronard said in reference to his power in Libby.
Tensions thickened between Peronard and Bernick at many points during direct. Bernick moved to strike two of Peronard’s answers because they didn’t answer his question. Molloy also had to tell the two to not argue over each other.
“You’re not on trial here, I’m not saying you are,” Bernick told Peronard. “You don’t have to defend yourself.”
Bernick asked Peronard about Libby attic insulation cleanup and tried to prod Peronard into saying the EPA didn’t want to bring national attention to the cleanup. Peronard insisted this was not the case.
“Isn’t it true, in 2000, there was discussion between you and EPA headquarters about known risks to Libby residents in the late ’80s?” Bernick said.
The government’s redirect was short as the prosecution tried to subdue the drama that Bernick attempted to stir that afternoon.
Under cross-examination, Peronard told the jury that he never bullied anyone within the EPA, nor did he exert selfish desires to be the “King of Libby.”
–Kelsey Bernius (posted 4:45 pm)