The three, who had waived the right to have a jury hear the case, are scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 19. All could face prison time.
Daum and the Pashas declined to comment after the verdict.
“We are disappointed and surprised, given some of the findings,” said Iman Pasha’s attorney, Gladys Weatherspoon.
When Daum and the Pashas were indicted last year, the unusual charges sent shock waves through the local defense community. On Friday, Kessler said it had been “a difficult, almost painful trial” that went to “the heart of any lawyer’s obligation to uphold the law.”
Nevertheless, Kessler said during a 90-minute hearing that the evidence against Daum and the Pashas had been overwhelming. It included testimony not only from four “core witnesses” who participated in the conspiracy, but also from jailhouse phone recordings that implicated the defense lawyer.
The judge found Daum guilty of conspiring to obstruct justice, three counts of obstruction of justice and two counts of inducing perjury. She acquitted him of a count of witness tampering. The Pashas were convicted of conspiring to obstruct justice, the only charge they faced.
Kessler, who took a deep breath before issuing her ruling in a hoarse voice, said Daum orchestrated a conspiracy to help a 28-year-old drug dealer, Delante White, during a September 2008 trial on a charge of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
Just a few months earlier, D.C. police had raided the Northeast Washington apartment of White’s grandmother and seized 124 grams of crack cocaine, $2,000 in cash, a digital scale and a pair of Gucci boots. Authorities quickly pinned the stash on White, who faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison if convicted. (He would later admit that the drugs and supplies were his).
Daum, a gray-haired veteran of local and federal courts, tried to work out a plea deal, but White rejected it, according to trial testimony.
As the trial neared, Kessler ruled, Daum directed his investigators, White, and White’s girlfriend and relatives to create fake evidence and lie in court. The relatives and investigators, Kessler ruled, staged photographs meant to show that the drugs had belonged to White’s younger brother. They also forged a lease agreement to make it appear as if White was living somewhere other than where the raid occurred, Kessler said.
White’s girlfriend even made a last-minute trip to New York to buy a pair of Gucci boots to make it seem like the ones police seized belonged to White’s brother, Kessler said. The purchased boots, which were smaller than those police seized, were introduced at White’s trial by Daum. The lawyer instructed the girlfriend to lie when she testified that she had found the boots that very morning in her closet and that they had belonged to White, Kessler found.