FBI informer Hazel Diane "Rasheeda" Moore testified yesterday that she violated federal agents' instructions for the Vista Hotel sting when she tried to interest D.C. Mayor Marion Barry in cocaine after he told her he was not interested.
Moore, who lured Barry to her hotel room as part of an undercover drug sting on Jan. 18, said under cross-examination that FBI agents had told her beforehand not to try to persuade Barry to use drugs, not to suggest it to him and not to initiate drug activity.
Defense lawyer R. Kenneth Mundy asked Moore whether she thought she was going beyond her "mandate from the FBI not to influence, not to persuade, not to invite" Barry to take drugs.
"I did," Moore said. "I did get overwhelmed and carried over," she said, adding that it was not out of a "zeal to get Mr. Barry," as Mundy had suggested.
Moore, who wore a narrow-brimmed white hat and a conservative navy blue suit, completed almost four hours of cross-examination yesterday, and she faces the prospect of another full day on the witness stand Monday, as the defense plans to replay the full 83-minute Vista videotape.
Meanwhile yesterday, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson barred Bishop George Augustus Stallings Jr. from court, ruling that Stallings's presence was potentially disruptive to the trial and potentially intimidating to the jurors. Stallings broke with the Catholic Church last year to form his own congregation, and since has been excommunicated.
On Thursday, Jackson used the same reasoning to bar Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan from the trial. Mundy said yesterday that Jackson's decisions would be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Outside the courthouse, Barry told reporters that Jackson's decisions about Farrakhan and Stallings were "totalitarian," and said, "It's like Nazi Germany." He also said that many of his supporters have complained that the judge allotted only 18 seats to the public, while granting the media 55 or so.
In his cross-examination of Moore, Mundy sought to show that she was motivated "to get him" by jealousy and resentment, because of a time she said Barry beat her during an argument in 1988. Additionally, Mundy challenged her on specific details as he led her through a line-by-line analysis of part of the Vista sting transcript.
Mundy asked why Moore persisted in trying to get Barry to use drugs after Barry, in Mundy's words, "just said no."
The exchange, which occurred after Barry had been in the room about 20 minutes, came in response to a question from Moore: "So what, you want to do something?"
Barry responds, "Not tonight, naw."
Mundy asked: "Was there anything you can point to -- anything -- that shows he wanted you to get him drugs?
"No," Moore said, adding that she continued to steer the conversation toward drugs because "I was there for a purpose."
Thrusting both hands toward Moore and raising his voice for effect, Mundy asked, "You were there to get him to use drugs, even against his will, weren't you?"
"No," Moore replied.
Mundy challenged several of Moore's interpretations of the conversation at the Vista, starting with a question the mayor asked within the first two minutes of his visit.
Moore asserted in testimony on Wednesday that Barry mentioned drugs almost right away when he asked Moore if she had "been good." The phrase "being good," she testified, meant abstaining from cocaine.
Under questioning yesterday, Moore said that there was no follow-up by the mayor on the subject, and that when she tried to reintroduce the question of drugs a few minutes later, Barry wanted instead to talk about sex.
Mundy's questioning of Moore fell into two categories. First, Mundy sought to question her credibilty in general, asking her about lies she told during two grand jury appearances and about her possible motives for acting as an informer.
Second, he attempted to pick apart her testimony about the Vista sting and emphasize her testimony about a 1986 trip she took to the Virgin Islands. Mundy apparently focused on the trip to attack the Vista cocaine possession charge and one of the felony perjury charges against the mayor.
Yesterday's cross-examination of Moore ended the second week of testimony in the drug and cocaine case against the mayor. He is facing the three perjury charges, 10 misdemeanor counts of cocaine possession and one misdemeanor count of conspiring to possess cocaine.
Mundy opened his cross-examination with questions about the Virgin Islands and Moore's trip there with Barry in June 1986. Charles Lewis testified last week that he, Moore and Barry used cocaine on that trip, but Moore testified that she saw no cocaine while she was there.
That discrepancy could become important when jurors have to decide whether Barry lied to the grand jury when he testified that he was not aware Lewis was involved in drugs -- one of the perjury counts against him.
Mundy, known for his sometimes stinging cross-examination, was variously calm and combative in questioning Moore. The former model fought back several times.
At several points, Moore asked for a look at a transcript, and often gave her own interpretation of the passage. Once, Mundy tried to catch Moore off guard by switching subjects abruptly, from her role in the Vista sting to her motivation for becoming an FBI informer.
Mundy, referring to a night in 1988 when Moore testified Barry hit her at the Hyatt Regency Hotel asked, "Did you tell Lydia Pearson, who was your friend, that you were going to get Mr. Barry, after the slapping incident, one way or another?"
"No, I didn't," Moore said.
Earlier, Mundy tried a similar tactic, asking whether Barry had once tried to get her off of drugs.
"Was there ever a time when you were really so deeply in the throes or grasps of using crack cocaine that Mr. Barry offered to pay your way into Seaton House, Providence Hospital, in order for you to recover and be rehabilitated?
"No, he didn't," Moore said.
"Did Mr. Barry give you $6,000 in order to clean yourself up, clean your debts so you could get your life straightened?" Mundy asked.
Six thousand dollars?" Moore replied.
"Five? Am I off a few thousand?" Mundy asked.
"No, he has never given me even $5,000," Moore said.
The barrage was the first indication that Barry had offered money to Moore during their relationship.
Earlier, Moore said that she brought up drugs in the Vista sting by asking about Rose Marie "Maria" McCarthy, a friend she had introduced to Barry. When Barry did not pick up on the subject, Moore tried again, she said, while Barry was trying to talk her into making love. Moore's focus on drugs was a recurring theme in Mundy's line of questions. At the outset, he asked about Moore's inviting Barry to her room instead of meeting him in the hotel lobby, as Barry suggested.
"It was obvious Mr. Barry didn't have drugs on his mind, is that correct?" Mundy asked. "If he was planning to meet you in the lobby for a drink or a talk, right?"
"That is correct," Moore said.
Mundy also asked Moore about her last action in the sting: asking Barry whether he wanted a third drag from the pipe just before the agents burst into the room.
"You said that one of the reasons that you decided to cooperate was Mr. Barry's health, is that correct?" Mundy asked.
"That is correct," Moore said.
Why, then, Mundy asked, did she ask Barry to take another hit from the pipe when she knew he had almost passed out from smoking crack in the past?
"The only reason I can say I did something like that was because of the anxiousness inside of me," Moore said.
"Ma'am, wasn't it really because you disliked Mr. Barry?" Mundy asked.
"Of course not," Moore replied.
Staff writers Matthew Lee and Saundra Torry contributed to this report.