Stewart Defends Herself

Mistake, Not Crime, She Says

Lynne Stewart tells Mike Wallace she made a mistake two years ago by releasing information to the media for a client convicted of plotting to blow up New York landmarks but doesn’t deserve the indictment she was hit with last week for doing it.

In her first television interview, Stewart says she’s ready to let a jury decide. The interview is to be broadcast on 60 Minutes Sunday, May 5, at 7 p.m. ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

“I knew there was a possibility that the government would cut me off from [convicted terrorist Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman] for releasing this statement,” she says, but…[the sheik] wanted this statement to get out to his people,” she tells Wallace. “It’s a mistake, but is it an indictable offense? Is this materially aiding a terrorist organization? We’ll see what a jury thinks,” says Stewart.

Abdel-Rahman’s followers were convicted of bombing the World trade Center in 1993 and he was convicted of plotting to blow up New York landmarks like the United Nations Building. The government’s case against Stewart also claims secretly recorded tapes prove the sheik used communications with Stewart to pass messages to and receive messages from his followers.