U.S. government hits Bankman-Fried and attorneys with 4 million pages of discovery documents
The former FTX CEO's lawyers argue that the government is overwhelming their client without allowing him the ability to adequately prepare his case.
In the relevant court filing, lawyers broadly objected to the government’s intention of opening access to discovery materials — that is, evidence and legal information — while Bankman-Fried is held at the Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn (MDC).
Lawyers emphasized that the amount of information at play is an issue, stating:
“We further object to the Government’s production, just yesterday, of an additional 4 million pages of discovery. The Government cannot be allowed to dump millions of pages on the defense less than six weeks before trial.”
Elsewhere in the filing, lawyers said that discovery information amounts to terabytes worth of data to date, adding that millions of additional pages are forthcoming.
Bankman-Fried’s lawyers also complained that the government has no plan to deliver the discovery documents to their client at MDC despite his rapidly approaching trial date. As such, lawyers urged the court to provide Bankman-Fried with internet access. They stated that current plans, which allow Bankman-Fried to meet with lawyers twice a week, are not sufficient to accomplish the data review that is needed.
Lawyers argued that there is “no substitute” for Bankman-Fried’s work on the case, asserting that their client has extensive knowledge of companies involved in events and is uniquely capable of locating relevant documents “quickly and efficiently.” Though Bankman-Fried has been provided with a laptop, lawyers said that this device has limited internet access and does not allow him to collaborate with lawyers or access his previous work.
Bankman-Fried’s lawyers further noted that their client previously compiled specific data into a spreadsheet with millions of cells. They said that he spent between 80 and 100 hours per week reviewing discovery prior to his imprisonment.
In light of the situation, lawyers urged for Bankman-Fried’s temporary release, which would allow the former FTX CEO to work with the defense and access the internet five days per week in a dedicated courthouse working space.
Lawyers have pressed for those release conditions since at least Aug. 18.