Bulger Day 27: Flemmi and Whitey Don’t Like Being Called ‘Rats’
So Whitey Bulger’s on trial and you’re interested in hearing about it, but you’ve got this darn day job and you can’t manage to keep up with all the live tweets. We feel you. Here’s what you missed. (Past coverage here.)
It was a relatively calm day in court as the cross-examination of Bulger’s erstwhile partner in crime Stephen Flemmi turned from accusations of pedophilia and the murder of innocent women to the age-old debate about whether Whitey Bulger acted as an informant for the FBI. Flemmi contends that he and Bulger passed the FBI info on the Mafia and other members of the criminal underworld for 15 years, a (non-criminal) allegation that Bulger and his lawyers contest. Defense attorney Hank Brennan forced Flemmi to admit that he’d lied about his relationship with corrupt FBI agent John Connolly in a previous trial. Flemmi said that telling the truth during his own trial would have exposed his corrupt relationship with the FBI and weakened his case. “I’m telling the truth now,” he insisted.
Asked if he enjoyed being called a “rat,” Flemmi replied, “I don’t think anyone likes it. I don’t think Mr. Bulger likes it, either,” which earned him a brief look from Bulger. “A rat is something that scurries into corners and feeds on others,” Brennan replied, to the prosecution’s objection.
Flemmi took a quick break so the jury could hear testimony from another witness, a bank teller who accepted a $200,000 check made out to Flemmi from one of Bulger’s alleged extortion victims. At the end of the day, though, Flemmi remained under cross-examination so look forward to more of his testimony tomorrow.