Julian grabbed his three-ring binder, walked to the podium and greeted Jenkins with a smile that foreshadowed a coming massacre. The senior federal prosecutor—who keeps a multicanister supply of Altoids at his desk—tends to deliver questions in a soft-spoken, almost conversational manner. If you’re not paying attention, you might miss the subtle but potent answers he solicits.

Today, however, Julian pounced. He immediately dubbed Jenkins’ attempt to downsize the important number from 24 percent to 7 percent “the new math.” The PI paused but eventually answered, “Yes,” when asked if the 24 percent figure was “still valid.”

“So without any [defense team] adjustments, we’re almost 25 percent based upon your own calculations?” asked Julian.

Jenkins looked at the defense table, glanced down and said, “No, that’s right.”

The next half-hour of cross-examination could be used in law school. Julian got Jenkins to admit that his calculations had not included contributors to the mysterious Mike Carona Foundation, Gold Star fund-raising events done to promote the sheriff or Carona’s ridiculously pompous swearing-in ceremonies.

To each point, Jenkins replied that he’d only included the sheriff’s campaign contributors. The answers fell into Julian’s trap: Shortly thereafter, Jenkins admitted that his calculations ignored chunks of the sheriff’s contributor base. If Carona listed a business as a contributor, for example, Jenkins hadn’t bothered to check if the owner of the business had been a contributor who had received a badge. He also didn’t factor all the extensive laundered contributions into his calculations. By the time Julian was finished (after fighting off numerous Sun objections), Jenkins agreed that the figure of contributors who got badges was, rather than 24 percent, likely more than 50 percent.

Jenkins’ shoulders slumped, and he stared blankly at Julian while waiting for his next question. Jurors looked back and forth at both men and took notes. The prosecutor grabbed the podium with both hands, rocked back and forth on his heels, and fired off his second-to-last question: “Have you ever heard the phrase ‘garbage in, garbage out?’”

“Yes,” the defense witness said.

Do you agree with that? Julian asked.

“Sure,” he replied.

rscottmoxley@ocweekly.com

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