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DA Bonnie Dumanis, Bob Filner Subpoenaed In Azano Trial

Former San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announces she is releasing three videos from officer-involved shootings, May 6, 2016.
Nicholas McVicker
Former San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announces she is releasing three videos from officer-involved shootings, May 6, 2016.

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and other San Diego politicians have been subpoenaed to testify in the illegal campaign finance trial of José Susumo Azano Matsura, his attorney told KPBS on Wednesday.

DA Bonnie Dumanis, Bob Filner Subpoenaed In Azano Trial
DA Bonnie Dumanis, Bob Filner Subpoenaed In Azano Trial GUEST:Amita Sharma, investigative reporter, KPBS News

Our top story the high-profile trial of José for alleged illegal campaign contributions may be getting even more high-profile. Two political figures have been subpoenaed to testify by the defense and they are Bob Filner and Bonnie Dumanis. With other subpoenas reportedly pending. Investing a reporter jointer from federal court. Welcome. Thank you. Tell us why the defense might want to question these witnesses. I spoke with the him earlier today and he says that they will be able to testified that it was not hit that was interested in the politics. It was his security employee who saw an opportunity to be a player in local politics by getting involved in fundraising. You will recall that he is a retired police detective who older private security business. He was also charged in the case that caught a plea deal early on in believed to have cooperated with the government. His lawyer also has subpoenas and wants to serve Manchester. He was involved in a development project on the waterfront. He wanted a Mayor who could help them turn San Diego baseline into Miami West. His lawyer wants Manchester testify how completely insoluble it is for a Mayor to have any influence over the waterfront is basically who has control over that plan. The reporting about this trial has mentioned the fact that the absence of Bobby to Manis was conspicuous. Remind us why Bonnie Dumanis is so pivotal in this case. The Governor went to his home in 2011 asking for crucial financing for 2012 run. They also said that he sent word to Bobby to Manis that he would contribute what her thousand dollars. They said he made a promise and open a pack in the company and put the won her thousand dollars in it. Prosecutors also submitted that in evidence an email from Bonnie Dumanis speaking about it covers call she had with Azano and she wrote she wanted her to be the man and that man prosecutors the is -- who did what her thousand dollars worth of work for her and her campaign and never recorded the work and prosecutors believe that he bankrolled that works so the 60 for thousand dollar question has always been did Bobby to Manis know that he was a for national without -- which made it illegal for him to get to her campaign. What options does Bonnie Dumanis have to what are the implications of that? She could always and focus is a right not to incriminate herself by that would be a career killer. I think what needs to be pointed out here is that Bobby to Manis is super savvy. Even though the trial started more than two weeks ago the first indictments came out to an half years ago. So Bonnie -- if she takes a stand and she is probably have the answers that are mine. If she does answer the questions, she can see I meet literally hundreds of people with Mexican Can't possibly real -- it is possible with her lawyers will move to have her answer the questions outside of the jury. We will have to see how this all unfolds. You know that anytime you have a DA called to testify in a trial, it is big news. What we know about what we other person who's been subpoenaed are the defense in the case. What might he add to this case quick select I think the defense is hoping for the same thing in hoping for with Bonnie Dumanis is not the politicians -- it is not Azano who was interested in sending a politics. It was his employee. It was him that forest into me with Azano. Sold be transferred for defense is based on the idea that he was never interested in contributing to the campaigns of any of these candidates and what would make it illegal is the fact that he is a Mexican national without a green card and therefore forbidden to make any kind of campaign contribution. Right. Azano is a international businessman specializing in security and technology and he could not eat less and send it all politics. It is is employee who had -- for Sandeno canids. I should mention that his offense has asserted all along that it was [ Indiscernible ] because of a dispute that he had with the company in Baja California. What do we expect the defense case to start and perhaps to say the witnesses on the stand? In it is running longer than expected. The government was supposed to wrap up testimony this week but it is likely to continue into next week. It is possible that the defense may not even -- until August 23. I have been speaking with an executive reporter. Thank you so much.

DA Bonnie Dumanis, Bob Filner Subpoenaed In Azano Trial
The attorney for José Susumo Azano Matsura said others he expects to subpoena in the political corruption trial include Rep. Juan Vargas, San Diego developer Douglas Manchester and San Diego Union-Tribune Publisher and Editor Jeff Light.

Also subpoenaed are ex-Mayor Bob Filner and Rep. Juan Vargas, both Democrats, the attorney said. Dumanis is a Republican.

Her spokesman said on Wednesday that Dumanis would not be commenting “on this pending criminal matter.”

San Diego developer and hotelier Douglas Manchester, who previously owned The San Diego Union-Tribune, also has been ordered to testify in the Azano case, as has the current publisher and editor of the newspaper, Jeff Light. Manchester is a well-known Republican who financially supports GOP politicians and initiatives, including Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Light told KPBS he has not been served with a subpoena.

Michael Wynne, a Houston attorney representing Azano, released the details of the latest people to be subpoenaed in the high-profile federal corruption case.

Azano is a Mexican billionaire accused of illegally funneling $600,000 of foreign money to political action committees that supported Dumanis and Filner when they made mayoral bids in 2012. Filner won but was forced to resign amid a sexual harassment scandal. Foreign nationals are barred from contributing to U.S. political campaigns.

Also indicted in the case are campaign web services company owner Ravneet Singh, lobbyist Marco Polo Cortes, and Azano's son.

Federal prosecutors say Azano got involved in the mayor’s race because he wanted support for what he called “Miami West,” a plan to build a yacht marina and five-star hotels on San Diego’s waterfront.

The news of Dumanis’ subpoena was first reported by freelance journalist Ed Peruta in a tweet Tuesday night.

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