RENO — Imprisoned federal judge Harry Claiborne has been granted a hearing on whether there should be a third trial on newly discovered evidence involving his tax evasion conviction.
Claiborne, appointed to the federal bench in 1978, was convicted of tax evasion in 1984. He entered federal prison at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala., in May to begin a two-year sentence. His refusal to resign from his $78,000 judgeship prompted the House to impeach him, setting up a trial by the Senate that is now expected in September.
U.S. District Judge Walter Hoffman approved the hearing but no date has been set for arguments. Claiborne contends that he is entitled to a new trial because of newly discovered evidence that the FBI engineered a break-in at his Las Vegas house in which information was gathered. The FBI has denied it was involved in any illegal entry.