We don't often comment on command influence and legal ethics, but this story from Washington Times discusses the issue. Discovery of email was an important issue. Excerpt:
The Marine Corps has suddenly dropped criminal charges against an officer in the infamous Taliban urination video case, heading off what promised to be an embarrassing pre-trial hearing for the commandant on Wednesday.
Defense attorneys for Capt. James V. Clement had won a judge’s order, over objections from Marine prosecutors, for two staff attorneys to testify in open court about how senior commanders had interfered in the case to get a guilty verdict.
The lawyers also were seeking to question Gen. James Amos. the commandant, and wanted access to his private emails.
But the criminal case ended Friday when Lt. Gen. Kenneth J. Glueck, who heads Marine Corps Combat Development Command Quantico, Va., and was overseeing the prosecution, filed a brief court paper withdrawing the charges.
John Dowd, Capt. Clement's principal defense counsel, had accused the commandant of engineering the largest case of unlawful command influence in the Corps' history.
“The withdrawal of the charges was another act of cowardice by the the commandant, his counsel and the the Judge Advocate Division of [ Marine Corps headquarters] to cover up the worst case of unlawful command influence in the history of the Marine Corps, which was beginning next Wednesday to be uncovered in a hearing before the Chief Judge … on several motions to compel discovery,” Mr. Dowd said Saturday.
The defense attorney said he wanted to see email traffic between the commandant, his counsel and his legal division.