Go-To DC Defense Attorney Dead At 90
September 29, 2019
Plato Cacheris, a son of Greek immigrants who became Washington’s premiere defense lawyer, has died of pneumonia. He was widely-respected for his civility and the forthright way he sought the best possible deal for some not very sympathetic clients. “My client is insensitive, a fool, an ass, a boor,” Cacheris once told a jury, “but he is not a coldblooded strangler.” The case ended with a hung jury and was settled out of court. In the scandal involving the crooked bank B.C.C.I., he represented Sheik Kamal Adham, the former Saudi intelligence chief. In the scandal known as Abscam, which featured a cast that included federal agents masquerading as wealthy oil sheikhs offering bribes to members of Congress, he represented then-Rep. Ozzie Myers. He also had a number of clients who were accused of espionage, including Aldrich Ames of the CIA and Robert Hanssen of the FBI, both spies for the Soviets, and most recently, Edward Snowden. Most famously, Cacheris represented former attorney general John N. Mitchell in the Watergate scandal. In later years he and his white-collar defense lawyer friends often played tennis on what he called the John Mitchell Tennis Court, which Cacheris claimed was paid for with the fees he got from representing Mitchell, who testified against his former boss Richard Nixon.
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