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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Grand Juror Charged With Tipping Off O.J. Simpson Raid

Aired December 10, 2001 - 14:32   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I want to switch gears completely right now, to go to Miami, Florida, where there is word that perhaps a grand juror tipped off O.J. Simpson about that investigation under way in his home in Miami last week.

Let's listen in, courtesy of WSVN.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One moment.

Elisa (ph) -- we will take questions first, and then we will do our Spanish presentation.

Yes, sir.

QUESTION: To what extent did this disclosure render the nine search warrants that were issued and executed last week exercises in futility?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a good question. We are still assessing, really, the damage that occurred as a result of disclosure that occurred in this case. It's hard to say specifically right now. But I will say each and every time something like this happens, the possibility -- the real possibility -- that we lose evidence, that we loose defendants, that information that should not be disclosed to defendants is disclosed improperly -- so we are still trying to assess how badly this hurt us.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes?

QUESTION: Specifically at the O.J. Simpson residence, his attorney announced that he had knowledge the day before the warrant was served that it was going to be. To what extent was that effort compromised?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Again, I can't say specifically with regard to any individual in particular. We will be looking at it. We will be trying to review what, if anything, was compromised as result of the information that was disclosed illegally.

Nic. Yes.

QUESTION: Were your agents finding that the well was drier than expected when they were executing the warrant? Did it appear something was wrong right away?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Other than when we showed up to a search warrant and we see the members of the media waiting for us, we didn't think there was anything wrong. That was a clue. But it hasn't come from evidence that was secured on the sites, no.

QUESTION: But did you think that there was less at these residences than were you expecting to find and perhaps things had been taken off site?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's hard to say. What I can say is at the different locations, what we found eventually will be presented to the appropriate body, and the determination will be made at that time.

QUESTION: So you don't know if O.J. knew in advance that the raid was going to happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not going to speculate as to what Mr. Simpson did or didn't know.

QUESTION: Was any money exchanged between Mr. Acosta and...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't comment specifically on the nature of that evidence.

What we are able to comment on today is really what's has been a matter of public record: what's in the complaint, what's occurred in open court.

But again, I am proud you how quickly, how aggressively, we have moved on this.

And that gives you an indication of where we rank this in terms of federal violations. I don't know -- I frankly don't know -- of any more serious violation of federal law than a compromise or a leak in the federal grand jury.

Dan.

QUESTION: When was the last time that someone had compromised a grand jury...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a good question too. I wish I could say this had never happened before in this district, but indeed, probably seven or eight years ago, on a narcotics grand jury, we did have a similar-type leak, where the individual had disclosed information to a target. Assets were moved and attempted to be moved. We did prosecute that case, and I believe that defendant is serving a lengthy period of incarceration -- ten years, I believe. BLITZER: There you have details of an unusual case in Miami, where a grand juror is accused and charged with tipping off a suspect in that raid last week of O.J. Simpson's home in Miami.

We are going to continue to follow that. The suspect who was tipped off is not yet identified, The grand juror who was arrested is named John Acosta.

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