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The alleged conduct of an undercover FBI agent in the public corruption investigation of John “JT” Burnette and his co-defendants — and a decision by a judge to keep some details out of evidence — became a key point of contention during oral arguments in the wealthy businessman’s appeal.
The fight over the evidence has been under seal for years, though it burst into public view Wednesday when a three-judge panel with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal convened to hear arguments in the high-profile case.
Amy Mason Saharia, a prominent Washington lawyer representing Burnette, asked the judges to vacate Burnette’s conviction, which came last summer after a lengthy trial. Connor Winn, a criminal appeals lawyer for the Department of Justice, asked that the judgment be affirmed.
Saharia argued that US District Judge Robert Hinkle mistakenly instructed the jury on what constitutes bribery and improperly allowed one of the undercover FBI agents, “Mike Sweet,” to testify about Burnette’s lack of truthfulness during secretly recorded conversations.
Burnette case appealed: appeals court will hear oral arguments in J.T. Burnette bribery case” class=”link “Federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in JT Burnette bribery case
She also complained that jurors were not allowed to hear testimony about the conduct of Sweet himself during a December 2016 trip to Las Vegaswhere Burnette and a co-defendant, former City Commissioner and Major Scott Maddox, were wined and