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 1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA 2 Alexandria Division 3 4 5 -------------------------------: : 6 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA : : 7 : -vs- : Cr. No. 01-188-A 8 : : 9 ROBERT PHILIP HANSSEN, : Defendant. : 10 : -------------------------------: 11 12 13 14 GUILTY PLEA 15 July 6, 2001 16 17 Before: Claude M. Hilton, Judge 18 19 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 23 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 23 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