WaPo: The Case Against Charles Daum

WaPo’s Keith Alexander this weekend had a report on charges of conspiracy and witness tampering against Charles Daum, a longtime D.C. defense attorney who, as Alexander reports, “faces the possibility of decades in jail and six digit fines” if convicted.

The case against him centers on his defense of Delante White, who was indicted on federal drug trafficking charges in 2008. Federal prosecutors allege that after White hired Daum, the lawyer — and two investigators, Daaiyah Pasha and her daughter, Iman, who have also been charged in the Daum case — hatched a plan to trick a jury into thinking that the drugs seized in a police raid of White’s apartment weren’t his.

The case could have implications for attorneys and high-profile clients, or those charged with serious crimes, Alexander reports.

Area lawyers are intensely interested. Some are amazed that Daum might have jeopardized a three-decade career by fabricating evidence in a bare-bones drug case. Others wonder whether they really know Daum.

Other lawyers read the indictment as a warning to aggressive defense lawyers. Betty M. Ballester, head of the Superior Court Trial Lawyers Association, said defense lawyers worry that prosecutors are “targeting high-profile attorneys and investigators.”

But lawyers seem most troubled that unsatisfied clients might make charges against them in exchange for the government’s favor. Gladys Weatherspoon, Iman Pasha’s attorney, thinks White and Robertson framed Daum for that reason. “Every defense attorney is one client away from being Mr. Daum,” she said.

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