WASHINGTON (AP) — A distinguished protection lawyer whose star purchasers have included Snoop Dogg pleaded responsible Friday to leaking grand jury info to reporters a couple of political conspiracy case in opposition to a rapper from the Fugees.

David Kenner, a California-based lawyer recognized for his illustration of celebrities like Suge Knight and Tory Lanez, was sentenced to a yr of unsupervised probation after pleading responsible to a misdemeanor contempt of court docket cost. He additionally agreed to pay a $5,000 high quality.

Federal prosecutors say Kenner was representing Prakazrel “Pras” Michel, a founding member of the Fugees, when he gave grand jury info and pictures to 2 reporters for Bloomberg Information for “defense-oriented” tales that ran in March 2023, shortly earlier than the beginning of the Washington, D.C. trial. Michel’s trial included testimony from such figures as actor Leonardo DiCaprio and former U.S. Lawyer Common Jeff Periods.

As is typical in legal circumstances, Kenner had gotten entry to proof as a way to put together Michel’s protection, however had been ordered by the court docket to not share the data, prosecutors mentioned.

Kenner’s lawyer mentioned in court docket paperwork that the reporters initially agreed to signal a protecting order, however later modified their minds. A Bloomberg Information spokesperson declined to remark.

Kenner, 82, informed the choose who sentenced him that he was reckless for not taking steps to terminate the reporters’ entry to grand jury info. He described it as a “low level” in his 56-year authorized profession.

“Clearly, I made a horrible mistake,” Kenner mentioned.

Michel was eventually convicted of all 10 counts, together with conspiracy and performing as an unregistered agent of a overseas authorities. The Grammy-winning rapper faces as much as 20 years in jail on the highest counts.

Michel is now pushing for a new trial within the case. His new lawyer, Peter Zeidenberg, says Kenner made a bunch of errors. That included bungling closing arguments by using an artificial intelligence program. As soon as touted as the primary use of generative AI in a federal trial, the closing arguments included Kenner misattributing a well-known lyric from a tune by the rapper Diddy to the Fugees, in accordance with court docket paperwork.

The cost to which Kenner pleaded responsible carries a most jail sentence of six months, however U.S. District Decide Amit Mehta mentioned a time period of imprisonment or residence detention wasn’t warranted. His probation time period might be unsupervised below the phrases of a plea settlement he struck with prosecutors.

Mehta initially expressed shock that prosecutors agreed to a sentence with out a high quality. Mehta mentioned a $5,000 high quality — the utmost quantity allowed below the statute — could also be a “small however symbolic” addition to the sentence.

L. Barrett Boss, one of many protection attorneys, mentioned Kenner was planning to retire after Michel’s trial. However Boss mentioned Kenner is “very strained financially” as a result of he spent $1.4 million “out of pocket” on Michel’s protection.

A spokeswoman for Michel mentioned the conviction displays a breach of consumer belief. “Whereas Mr. Kenner argues that he was merely attempting to mount the very best protection for Pras Michel, his consumer, Mr. Kenner’s reckless actions crossed crucial moral traces, failed his duties as counsel, and in the end have price him dearly,” Erica Dumas mentioned.

Michel was charged with funneling cash from a Malaysian financier to Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection marketing campaign by way of straw donors, then attempting to squelch a Justice Division investigation and affect an extradition case on behalf of China below the Trump administration.

The financer, Low Taek Jho, additionally helped finance Hollywood movies, together with “The Wolf of Wall Avenue,” which starred DiCaprio. Jho has since been accused of masterminding a cash laundering and bribery scheme that pilfered billions from the Malaysian state funding fund generally known as 1MDB. He’s now a global fugitive and has maintained his innocence.

Kenner had argued through the trial Michel merely wished to earn cash and acquired dangerous authorized recommendation as he reinvented himself on the earth of politics.


Whitehurst reported from Philadelphia.

At present Information High Newsmaac


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