More Odd Details in the Donald Reynolds, Jr. Case
Since our original article on the case of Donald Reynolds, Jr, a few more important details have surfaced that add to the picture.
TAC has obtained a lawsuit Reynolds filed in 2008 in Knox County chancery court against Albert Baah, a car dealer in Knoxville he was doing business with. The lawsuit contains evidence that, contrary to the U.S. Attorneys’ assertions at the trial, Reynolds’ businesses were legitimate.
The 2007 Cadillac Escalade that is the subject of the lawsuit was impounded after the arrest of Nathaniel Smith, originally Reynolds’ co-defendant who gave, then disavowed a statement saying Reynolds had no knowledge of his drug-related activities. Baah then repossessed the car from impound. Reynolds argued it was still his, the lawsuit arose from that, and it was still in progress when he was arrested. You can read it here.
At the risk of stating the obvious, this would be an extremely strange lawsuit to file if Reynolds was a drug dealer. One would think, if his drug-dealing associate had just been arrested, it would be bad operational security to try to take possession of the car he was arrested in via the civil justice system.
Baah was one of two confidential witnesses investigators relied on to obtain the search warrants on Reynolds’ home and that of his parents. Property from the elder Reynolds’ house was seized as proceeds from a drug operation and not returned, despite them not having been charged with anything. Neither raid found any drugs, and one wonders what AUSA Tracee Plowell told the grand jury in late 2008.
Baah testified at the trial that he didn’t know anything about Reynolds’ alleged drug dealing, and he had to be called as a witness by the defense. The other confidential witness used to obtain the search warrants did not testify at all. At the time of Reynolds’ arrest, Baah was being sued by him.
TAC has been told that Smith has been warned not to try to communicate with Reynolds’ parents.
In the waning months of the Trump administration, I communicated with several White House officials in an effort to seek clemency for Reynolds. His parents wrote the clemency letter, but their emails to the same White House officials I was able to communicate with without any problems, mysteriously bounced when they tried to do the same, so I sent it on their behalf. TAC has copies of the return messages to them. According to a letter from the Office of the Pardon Attorney this February, he no longer has a petition pending, if he ever did.
The previous story detailed other odd happenings with tracking slips for physical mail related to Reynolds’ case. TAC spoke to a clerk at the Cincinnati appellate court who said mail meant for them had sat idle in the Terre Haute prison for quite some time without moving. If this sounds paranoid, remember the point of a Communications Management Unit is to manage communications.
Reynolds is serving a life-plus-75 sentence in a prison meant for terrorists, despite a near-total lack of physical evidence connecting him to the drug dealing for which he was convicted. Whether the Biden administration’s vaunted new approach to criminal justice might lead to a reevaluation of his case, it’s too soon to say.
“The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Tennessee has no comment” about the sentence or the harassment by federal officers faced by Reynolds’ parents, spokeswoman Rachelle Barnes told TAC.
Update: TAC has also obtained Smith’s affidavit denying Reynolds’ involvement in drugs:
Here is the affidavit from his original co-defendant Nathaniel Smith, which wasn’t allowed to be presented at the trial, where Smith says Reynolds wasn’t involved in any criminal activity. pic.twitter.com/g1JWiX5dyo
— Arthur Bloom ?? (@j_arthur_bloom) March 26, 2021