While today’s NFL indictment charging Tom Brady with conspiracy asserts that New England Patriots brass was unaware that the star quaterback and his codefendants were deflating balls, the team engaged in some obstruction of justice as league investigators zeroed in on targets.
According to the report authored by attorney Theodore Wells and his Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrrison cohorts, Patriots lawyers repeatedly refused to make locker room attendant Jim McNally available for a crucial follow-up interview.
The Wells report offers compelling evidence that McNally deflated footballs before January's AFC Championship Game, and that he did this in conjunction with Brady (seen in the above mug shot) and John Jastremski, the team’s equipment assistant.
The 37-year-old Brady was interviewed once and was accompanied to the Q&A by his “agents and lawyers,” Wells reported.
Since McNally was one of the first Patriots employees interviewed by Wells & Co., the investigators sought a second meeting after they had conducted a series of subsequent interviews and developed other information. In fact, NFL investigators made five separate written requests to the Patriots for a follow-up interview with McNally.
The Patriots, however, declined to produce McNally and even “communicated an unwillingness even to advise McNally of our request for a follow-up interview.” The Wells report adds that, “We do not know definitively whether McNally was, in fact, informed of our request.”
The team’s stonewalling ran counter to its “public pronouncements of full cooperation with the investigation,” and amounted to a violation of league rules, Wells concluded.