Went back to Chicago after receiving a call from Bobby Ferguson asking when he planned on leaving. Clift said tomorrow or the next day. The next day got a call from Bobby saying I'll see you shortly. Bobby came to hotel room in the Athenaeum. He gave him like a gift bag. It was like a bag you would see a gift in, with tissue, inside was a plastic bag that had money in it.
Bobby Ferguson said "hold on to this for Black." Clift assumed it was for Kwame. It wasn't a problem for him. There was $90,000 in the bag.
Took it out and they were in $1,000 dollar stacks of $100 or $50s. Clift put on some gym shorts and put money in his pockets, them he put jeans on top and put more money in the pockets. He wanted to conceal the money even though he didn't think it was illegal. Just didn't want to be noticed. He went through metal detector without issue and went home to Chicago.
Dropped of his bags at home. Took the money off and counted it- it was $90,000. He hid it in a vacuum cleaner. Hid the money behind the bag. There were 9 stacks.
Later, Clift flew to Dallas and took $50,000 to Kwame. Clift has family in Dallas and at the time Kwame and his family were there. He learned that was where Kwame was planning to move.
Clift carried the money in his cargo pants. He didn't take all the money because it was easier to take just $50,000.
As Clift recalls, he was the one who decided to take that much. In Dallas, he stayed at the Hilton in Southlake.
Bullotta shows Clift the check in receipt which he recognizes.
Introduces it into evidence as Clift 1.
The receipt is for September 20th, 2008 and departure date of September 21st, 2008. But Clift says it was more than 1 night, more like 3. Kwame didn't pay for trip, Clift did. Clift said he wanted to see Kwame and his family as well as his own.
After that trip, he did go to Detroit. He did go to Detroit in October 2008 and took the remainder $40,000. Took it again in his pants. No problems with the airport. Kwame was no longer at the mansion but at an apartment. Just Kwame and Clift were there. They spoke and Clift handed him money. Stayed at the Antheneum.
Introduces Clift 2 in evidence.
The document has the hotel date of October 22nd 2008 through October 24th 2008. They were alone when he gave him the money. Kwame and Clift were communicating a lot at the time. "He was a friend in need."
From that time until September 2010, they were still friends. Subpoenaed to testify at grand jury in September 2010. Felt the same way as now, "uncomfortable."
Clift was asked several questions about surveillance conversations and texts. Clift says he decided to tell the truth.
Clift did get an immunity agreement. Talked to the government and his mother a lawyer for Blue Cross Blue shield in Chicago. His mother requested it.
9:06AM The jury enters the courtroom. Judge tells the jury about the earlier voir dire.
9:02AM Jim Thomas, lawyer for Kwame Kilpatrick, questions the witness- anonymous at this point. Witness in court because he was subpoenaed. He was previously employed by a jeweler who had him find high end clients. Job involved cash transactions. Witness has no reason to believe he will face any charges for undertaking cash transactions. The witness did sign an immunity agreement. The witness was told by government he wasn't the target so he signed the agreement.
9:01AM Judge Edmunds says they will have quick voir dire of following witness before the jury comes in.
8:54AM Judge Nancy Edmunds enters the courtroom. Judge Edmunds says there is a legal matter to discuss at sidebar before the jurors enter the courtroom. Defense and government lawyers convene with the judge at her bench. Kwame Kilpatrick and his co-defendants Bobby Ferguson, Bernard Kilpatrick and former water boss Victor Mercado sit quietly as they wait.
About the author:
Alexandra Harland is a Princeton undergrad and has a masters degree in International affairs with Columbia. A Montreal native, she worked with the Daily Telegraph newspaper for a few years before transitioning to TV, when she worked at ABC News with Peter Jennings. Alexandra has also worked in newsrooms in both Detroit and Boston.