21 January 2002
Source: Digital file purchased from Eastern Virginia District Court official reporter Norman Linnell; telephone (703) 549-4626.

See court docket: http://cryptome.org/usa-v-rph-dkt.htm


            1                      UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
                                   EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA    
            2                          Alexandria Division
            5    -------------------------------:
            6    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA       :
            7                                   :
                      -vs-                      :     Cr. No. 01-188-A
            8                                   :
            9    ROBERT PHILIP HANSSEN,         :
                                Defendant.      :
           10                                   :
           14                            GUILTY  PLEA
                                         July 6, 2001
           17                   Before:  Claude M. Hilton, Judge
           20    APPEARANCES:
           21    Kenneth E. Melson, Randy I. Bellows, Justin W. Williams, 
                 Laura A. Ingersoll, John J. Dion and Gordon Kromberg, 
           22    Counsel for the United States
                 Plato Cacheris, Preston Burton and John F. Hundley,
           24    Counsel for the Defendant
           25    The Defendant, Robert Philip Hanssen, in person

                               Norman B. Linnell  OCR-USDC/EDVA  (703)549-4626


            1              THE CLERK:  Criminal case 2001-188-A, the United 

            2    States versus Robert Philip Hanssen.  Will counsel please 

            3    note your appearance for the record. 

            4              MR. BELLOWS:  Good morning, Your Honor.  Randy 

            5    Bellows, Justin Williams, Laura Ingersoll, John Dion, Gordon 

            6    Kromberg and Ken Melson, United States Attorney, for the 

            7    United States.

            8              THE COURT:  All right.

            9              MR. CACHERIS:  Good morning, Your Honor.  Plato 

           10    Cacheris, Preston Burton, John Hundley.  Not with us today is 

           11    Sydney Hoffmann, but she is a member of the team.  We are 

           12    here for Mr. Hanssen. 

           13              MR. BELLOWS:  Your Honor, at this time I would like 

           14    to tender to the Court the original signed copies of the plea 

           15    agreement, the statement of facts and the consent order of 

           16    forfeiture.  They are identical to the documents that were 

           17    provided to the Court, courtesy copies earlier this week. 

           18              For the record, Your Honor, I would like to note 

           19    that this is an 11(e)(1)(C) plea.  It was submitted to the 

           20    Court for its review.  And on June 14 the Court accepted the 

           21    plea agreement and advised the parties that it would embody 

           22    the judgment and sentence called for in the plea agreement, 

           23    which is life imprisonment. 

           24              Thank you.

           25              THE COURT:  All right.  Let the defendant be sworn. 

                               Norman B. Linnell  OCR-USDC/EDVA  (703)549-4626


            1              NOTE:  The defendant is sworn.

            2              MR. CACHERIS:  Your Honor, as you know, we are here 

            3    for the purposes of changing a plea.  And if I may take a 

            4    moment to address the Court on a few issues I think the Court 

            5    should be aware of.

            6              THE COURT:  All right. 

            7              MR. CACHERIS:  I would be pleased to do so.  Thank 

            8    you. 

            9              Mr. Hanssen is here this morning, Your Honor, to 

           10    tender a plea of guilty to certain counts in the indictment.  

           11    They are Counts 1 through 4, 6, 8, 9, 11 through 15, 18, 20 

           12    and 21. 

           13              Counts 5, 7, 10, 16, 17 and 19 are to be dismissed 

           14    for reasons that we have, we think, convinced the Government 

           15    that the statute of limitations has expired on those counts. 

           16              In the context of this plea, I would like the Court 

           17    to know and Mr. Hanssen would like the Court to know that he 

           18    commenced his espionage activities in the 1979/1980 period.  

           19    And he ceased those activities in 1981 voluntarily. 

           20              However, between 1985 and 1991/1992 Mr. Hanssen 

           21    resumed his espionage activities, and during that time period 

           22    transmitted sensitive and classified information to the 

           23    Soviet Union and its successor Russia as described in the 

           24    indictment and statement of facts. 

           25              Between 1992 and 1999 Mr. Hanssen did not engage in 

                               Norman B. Linnell  OCR-USDC/EDVA  (703)549-4626


            1    espionage and did not transmit any classified material to any 

            2    foreign power.  However, in 1999 he resumed his activities, 

            3    and that persisted until his arrest on February 18, 2001. 

            4              I might tell you that when he was arrested, on that 

            5    date he had a premonition that he was going to be arrested.  

            6    And regardless of that, he went to the drop site where he was 

            7    arrested.  The Government has provided us with a videotape of 

            8    that whole incident, his dropping the materials and his 

            9    arrest. 

           10              Accordingly, Your Honor, he was not a person who 

           11    spied constantly for 20 years.  He did so intermittently at 

           12    his option. 

           13              These facts presented to we, the defense team, 

           14    certain legal and factual issues which we have investigated 

           15    and we have discussed with Mr. Hanssen, such as the ex post 

           16    facto application, the statute of limitations and the 

           17    argument about the duplicity or possible duplicity of one of 

           18    the counts in the indictment. 

           19              Furthermore, we have consulted with a discrete and 

           20    professional psychiatrist, Dr. David Charney of Alexandria, 

           21    who advises us that no credible medical mental defense would 

           22    be successful in this case. 

           23              Mr. Hanssen has agreed with the analysis that we 

           24    have given him and with the statement of Dr. Charney.  He 

           25    understands, furthermore, that if all legal defenses were 

                               Norman B. Linnell  OCR-USDC/EDVA  (703)549-4626


            1    successful, he would be, nevertheless, convicted of at least 

            2    one count of espionage for which the Sentencing Guidelines 

            3    and all relevant conduct would mandate a life sentence.  He 

            4    has advised us that he wishes the Court to take the plea that 

            5    he is to tender to the Court today. 

            6              We suggest to the Court that this is one of those 

            7    rare cases where both sides have won.  The death penalty has 

            8    been removed, and Mr. Hanssen is in the process of telling 

            9    the Government all factors involved in his activities. 

           10              He is prepared to take his plea.

           11              THE COURT:  All right. 

           12              MR. BELLOWS:  Your Honor, there is only one thing 

           13    that I would respond to here, and that's certainly it is the 

           14    Government's view that the statute of limitations had not run 

           15    on any count. 

           16              The decision of the United States to agree to 

           17    dismiss the six counts that Mr. Cacheris referred to was in 

           18    light of Mr. Hanssen pleading guilty to 15 counts, which 

           19    include the 13 substantive espionage counts that are death 

           20    penalty eligible and the conspiracy count which is death 

           21    penalty eligible.

           22              Thank you.

           23              THE COURT:  Very well. 

           24              All right.  Mr. Hanssen, you have now been placed 

           25    under oath, and I am going to ask you certain questions 

                               Norman B. Linnell  OCR-USDC/EDVA  (703)549-4626


            1    concerning the plea and the offense itself. 

            2              Do you understand if you give any false answers to 

            3    any of these questions, you could subject yourself to a 

            4    charge of perjury?

            5              THE DEFENDANT:  Yes, Your Honor. 

            6              THE COURT:  Would you state your full name.

            7              THE DEFENDANT:  Robert P. Hanssen. 

            8              THE COURT:  And how old are you?

            9              THE DEFENDANT:  I am 57.

           10              THE COURT:  What is the extent of your education?

           11              THE DEFENDANT:  I have a graduate degree from 

           12    Northwestern University, a Master's in business 

           13    administration. 

           14              THE COURT:  Have you reviewed the plea agreement 

           15    which has been signed by you and your counsel on the one hand 

           16    and the Government on the other?

           17              THE DEFENDANT:  I have, Your Honor.

           18              THE COURT:  And does it contain the entire 

           19    understanding you have reached with the Government in this 

           20    matter?

           21              THE DEFENDANT:  Yes, it does, Your Honor.

           22              THE COURT:  Have you received a copy of the 

           23    indictment and gone over it with your attorneys?

           24              THE DEFENDANT:  Yes, I have. 

           25              THE COURT:  Do you feel as though you thoroughly 

                               Norman B. Linnell  OCR-USDC/EDVA  (703)549-4626


            1    understand the charges against you in this case?

            2              THE DEFENDANT:  I do, Your Honor. 

            3              THE COURT:  Do you understand that Count 1 charges 

            4    you with a conspiracy to commit espionage; and that Counts 2, 

            5    3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 and 18, 20 and 21 charge 

            6    you with specific acts of espionage?

            7              THE DEFENDANT:  Yes, Your Honor, I do.

            8              THE COURT:  And you understand that in order to 

            9    convict you of those offenses, the Government would have to 

           10    prove beyond a reasonable doubt that in Count 1 you did in 

           11    fact conspire with others, that you conspired to commit 

           12    espionage; that in those remaining counts, that you did in 

           13    fact commit espionage; and that you did so knowingly, 

           14    willfully and intentionally?

           15              THE DEFENDANT:  That's correct, Your Honor. 

           16              THE COURT:  Now, have you told your attorneys all 

           17    the facts about the case that you know?

           18              THE DEFENDANT:  Completely, sir. 

           19              THE COURT:  Do you feel you have had a sufficient 

           20    length of time to confer with your attorneys in order to 

           21    fully understand the case?

           22              THE DEFENDANT:  Absolutely. 

           23              THE COURT:  Are you satisfied with the 

           24    representation your attorneys have given you?

           25              THE DEFENDANT:  Very much so, sir.

                               Norman B. Linnell  OCR-USDC/EDVA  (703)549-4626


            1              THE COURT:  Now, you understand if your plea is 

            2    accepted, that all of these offenses call for the maximum of 

            3    the death penalty, a fine of up to $250,000, a five-year term 

            4    of supervised release; however, this plea agreement would 

            5    limit that sentence to a sentence of life imprisonment?

            6              THE DEFENDANT:  I do, Your Honor.

            7              THE COURT:  All right.  Now, you also understand 

            8    that the sentence involved here is affected by the Sentencing 

            9    Guidelines, and that you have agreed to a specific sentence 

           10    to be imposed?

           11              THE DEFENDANT:  Yes, they have all been gone over 

           12    with me, sir. 

           13              THE COURT:  And you understand that if you violated 

           14    any of the terms and conditions of your supervised release, 

           15    you would have to serve that period of time?

           16              THE DEFENDANT:  I do.

           17              THE COURT:  And do you also understand that by 

           18    agreeing to the sentence in this case, you are waiving any 

           19    rights you may have to appeal the sentence that may be 

           20    imposed?

           21              THE DEFENDANT:  I understand that, Your Honor.

           22              THE COURT:  Now, do you also understand you have an 

           23    absolute right to plead not guilty?

           24              THE DEFENDANT:  Yes, sir.

           25              THE COURT:  And do you understand that if you did 

                               Norman B. Linnell  OCR-USDC/EDVA  (703)549-4626


            1    plead not guilty, you have certain constitutional guarantees?  

            2    That is, the right to a speedy and public trial by jury if 

            3    you want a jury; the right not to testify and remain silent 

            4    unless you want to testify; the right to see, hear and 

            5    cross-examine all witnesses against you; the right to use the 

            6    process of this court to compel the production of evidence 

            7    and attendance of witnesses in your behalf; and the right to 

            8    the assistance of a lawyer at all stages of the proceedings. 

            9              Do you understand that by pleading guilty you are 

           10    giving up these constitutional guarantees?

           11              THE DEFENDANT:  I do, sir.

           12              THE COURT:  And do you understand that by pleading 

           13    guilty, the Court may impose the same punishment as if you 

           14    had been tried and convicted by a Court or by a jury?

           15              THE DEFENDANT:  I understand that, sir. 

           16              THE COURT:  Now, has anyone made any promise or 

           17    threat to induce you to plead guilty?

           18              THE DEFENDANT:  No, sir.

           19              THE COURT:  Now, along with this plea agreement was 

           20    filed and handed to me a statement of facts.  Have you 

           21    reviewed this statement of facts?

           22              THE DEFENDANT:  Yes, I have gone over it in detail, 

           23    sir. 

           24              THE COURT:  And have you reviewed it with your 

           25    attorneys?

                               Norman B. Linnell  OCR-USDC/EDVA  (703)549-4626


            1              THE DEFENDANT:  With the attorneys, yes.

            2              THE COURT:  Do you disagree in any particular with 

            3    this statement of facts?

            4              THE DEFENDANT:  No, I do not, Your Honor.

            5              THE COURT:  Is what this statement of facts says 

            6    happened in fact what did happen?

            7              THE DEFENDANT:  Yes, sir. 

            8              THE COURT:  Now, you understand that once you have 

            9    pled guilty, you cannot refuse to testify against any 

           10    confederates, accomplices or co-defendants who may now or 

           11    hereafter be charged with the same or associated crime?

           12              THE DEFENDANT:  I do, sir.

           13              THE COURT:  And do you understand that by pleading 

           14    guilty, you waive the right to object to any question 

           15    concerning the legality of the admission or seizure of any 

           16    evidence in connection with this charge?

           17              THE DEFENDANT:  Yes, Your Honor, I do.

           18              THE COURT:  And do you understand that if your plea 

           19    is accepted now, there will be no further trial of any kind 

           20    and you will be found guilty?

           21              THE DEFENDANT:  Yes, sir. 

           22              THE COURT:  All right.  Do you make any claim that 

           23    you are innocent of the charges contained in any of the 

           24    Counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 20 and 

           25    21?

                               Norman B. Linnell  OCR-USDC/EDVA  (703)549-4626


            1              THE DEFENDANT:  No such claims, sir.

            2              THE COURT:  Then how do you plead to those counts?

            3              THE DEFENDANT:  Guilty.

            4              THE COURT:  All right.  The Court finds the plea is 

            5    voluntarily and intelligently entered, there is a factual 

            6    basis to support the plea and would find the defendant guilty 

            7    of those Counts 1-- 

            8              MR. BELLOWS:  Your Honor, the only thing I would 

            9    say for the record is that Count 21, which the Court referred 

           10    to, is an attempted espionage count as opposed to a 

           11    substantive espionage count. 

           12              The other thing I would put on the record is that 

           13    the parties have stipulated to a waiver of a presentence 

           14    report because the sentence in this case would be life 

           15    imprisonment without parole. 

           16              THE COURT:  All right.  Do you understand that 

           17    Count 21 is an attempted espionage count?

           18              THE DEFENDANT:  I do, sir. 

           19              THE COURT:  I didn't indicate that earlier. 

           20              The Court finds the plea is voluntarily and 

           21    intelligently entered, there is a factual basis to support 

           22    the plea and finds the defendant guilty of the charges 

           23    contained in Counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 

           24    15, 18, 20 and 21. 

           25              And there is an order of forfeiture here that I 

                               Norman B. Linnell  OCR-USDC/EDVA  (703)549-4626


            1    will enter at this time.

            2              Is there also an order to dismiss those remaining 

            3    counts? 

            4              MR. BELLOWS:  Yes, Your Honor.  At this point we 

            5    would ask the Court to dismiss the remaining counts of the 

            6    indictment.  And those counts are Counts Number 5, 7, 10, 16, 

            7    17 and 19. 

            8              THE COURT:  All right.  The Government's motion is 

            9    granted.  Those counts will be dismissed. 

           10              And will you get me an order on that? 

           11              MR. BELLOWS:  Yes, Your Honor.

           12              THE COURT:  And I will enter that order, Mr. 

           13    Hanssen, as soon as it is presented to me.  And those counts 

           14    will be dismissed. 

           15              MR. BELLOWS:  Your Honor, we would propose a 

           16    sentencing date of January 11.  I have talked to Mr. Cacheris 

           17    about that.

           18              THE COURT:  All right.  The case will be continued 

           19    to January 11 at 9:00 a.m. for sentencing. 

           20              MR. BELLOWS:  Thank you.

           21              THE COURT:  All right.  

           22          ------------------------------------------------
                                         HEARING CONCLUDED
                                I certify that the foregoing is a true and
           24         accurate transcription of my stenographic notes.
           25                        _________________________________
                                     Norman B. Linnell, CP, CM, CE

                               Norman B. Linnell  OCR-USDC/EDVA  (703)549-4626