“At the grand jury, he can be asked about his political affiliations and the nature of their political beliefs”
A representative from Jerry’s support committee, David Silverberg, said Koch supported “activists, OWS protesters and all kinds of political dissidents. He did this not just for his friends, but also for strangers. He spent hundreds of hours waiting in court and gathering bail money to get people out of jail, even those he did not ideologically agree with.”
One of the correction officers at Manhattan central booking even mistook Jerry for an attorney because he was there so much, often dressed in a suit and carrying a briefcase full of paperwork and bail money, Silverberg recalled.
It is this prominence, his support committee argues, that lead to the State’s interest in him. At the grand jury, he can be asked about his political affiliations and the nature of their political beliefs. Even if he were to talk, he risks federal perjury charges if he withholds the truth or makes some other misstep. Essentially, all the information gained in Jerry’s nearly half-decade of legal support in New York will become an open book for prosecutors.
“If you don’t say anything, it’s civil contempt, and they can imprison you if they think it will make you talk,” Silverberg said. “It’s meant to be coercive, not punitive.“