Law & Order (1990) Episode Scripts

N/A - Political Animal

NARRATOR: In the criminal justice system the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups, the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.
These are their stories.
(TECHNO MUSIC PLAYING) Sean? Cheers.
Or not.
Thanks.
This glass is empty.
Last chance.
Good food, rich people to schmooze.
Could be new clients.
No, not tonight.
I know what I'll do.
I'll get some liquor.
Dan? Open bar? See ya.
Sean? Cheers! (CAMERA CLICKING) Looks like this one got four in the chest.
(SIGHS) This one's got one in the head, and gun in his hand.
Murder-suicide? ED: Subscription to Gay New York.
Could be a love triangle.
Neighbors heard shots around 8:30.
They thought it was the TV.
Super found them this morning when he came to fix a faucet.
Did he say who's who? Todd Stewart is the one on the lease.
Sean Witt moved in around six months ago, and this one was new, camping out on the couch.
LUPO: Hey.
That's military.
LUPO: Yup.
Dan Pressman, Eleventh Armored Cavalry.
Just back from Iraq.
Maybe he came back and found his guy shacking up with another man.
So, they let him sleep on the couch till he snaps.
Well, they're sorry now.
When we moved in, Todd baked a cake and came over to introduce himself, like it was the 1950s or something.
Well, if it was the '50s, him and Sean wouldn't be living together.
They weren't living together.
I mean, Todd was gay, but Sean was straight.
Very straight.
He had a lot of friendly conversations with my boobs.
(CHUCKLES) What about Dan, the soldier crashing on the couch? Where was he looking? I don't know.
I think he was a friend of Sean's from like, junior high.
He only showed up a couple of weeks ago.
SARA: Some girl came looking for him yesterday.
I got the vibe that she was more than a friend.
She had some of his mail from his old address and she left it with me.
ED: Show me? WOMAN: Dan was my fiancé.
Ex-fiance.
I asked him to move out three weeks ago.
Do you mind if we ask why? The drinking, for starters.
He would just sit in my apartment.
He left the Army six months ago.
He went on one job interview, drunk.
He ever do anything that made you think he might be suicidal? He saw a lot of terrible things over there.
Here, have a seat.
(SOBBING) Okay, so, when he left your place, he moved in with his old friend, Sean? Mmm-hmm.
Who was living with Todd, who was gay.
Would Dan have a problem with that? I don't think so.
He knew how to say no.
Besides, lwent over there one time, and all Todd could talk about was this new guy that he was seeing.
Did he mention a name? He called him the MVP.
Some kind of inside joke.
Look, Sean was Dan's friend.
And Todd took him in when I threw him out.
He would never hurt them.
Turns out our gay love triangle has two straight guys in it.
Plus, your murder-suicide doesn't have a suicide.
M.
E.
's report.
"The spread of powder residue on Dan Pressman's scalp "indicates the weapon was at least two feet from his head.
" Plus, there's a partial print on the weapon that doesn't match any of the victims.
So, somebody staged the crime scene.
Yeah, after killing three people.
Who's your prime target? Let's see, we've got Sean Witt, financial planner with a string of one-night stands.
We've got Dan Pressman, angry war veteran who liked to drink.
And Todd Stewart.
He was a gay lawyer.
Well, who had the most bullets in him? TANYA: Todd did environmental law.
He was suing the National Park Service for letting in dirt bikes.
They don't kill people over stuff like that.
What about his personal life? Any trouble with boyfriends? TANYA: He didn't talk about it at the office.
ED: He ever mention the MVP? (SCOFFS) Todd didn't follow sports.
What about his day yesterday? Anything unusual? Meetings, phone calls.
Here's his schedule.
We bill in There's a blank half hour at 3:00.
Yeah.
He was on the phone.
Personal call.
Made him late for a meeting.
And Todd was never late.
Is this the phone number he called? I don't know.
But, when I came in to get him for the meeting, he told the person "I'll see you tonight," before he hung up.
So, who did he see last night? Lots of people.
He went to a political fundraiser.
We've been told the government is bad, the politicians are useless or dishonest.
But, government is only as bad as you, the people, allow it to be.
I used to think business was exciting.
But, politics, campaigning, it's like the living heart of America beating in your hands.
That sounds terrible, doesn't it? (CHUCKLING) Yeah.
We understand you organized last night's fundraiser.
I'm doing three a week.
Tomorrow night's Melanie Carver for U.
S.
Senate.
$1,000 aticket.
Last night, Mr.
Vargas.
An event for Jim Gilles, State Assemblyman.
Fascinating man.
Very authentic.
And Todd Stewart was there? He was a Gilles supporter.
I couldn't believe it when I saw the news.
Did you see who Mr.
Stewart was talking to? I don't know.
I was talking to everybody myself.
I did see him talking to the candidate, probably about the gay marriage bill.
Gilles is from a very conservative district.
He had to vote against it.
I don't imagine that went over well with Todd, considering Todd was Yeah.
We know.
And this was an argument? It did seem a little intense.
Gilles has been under all kinds of pressure since he went Independent.
He's a swing vote in the Assembly.
That's why they call him the MVP.
It's a tragedy.
I just saw him last night.
He donated to my campaign.
Was that the full extent of your relationship? Excuse me? Was that the full extent of your relationship? Yes.
We chatted at one or two campaign events.
Yes.
See, the thing is, we heard your chat last night was a little intense.
We barely spoke last night.
What is it you want to know from me? Did you know Mr.
Stewart was gay? I accept donations from people of all sexual persuasions.
You mind telling us where you were at 8:30? My hotel.
I went there from the fundraiser.
I wasn't feeling well.
That would be the Hotel Victoria.
Anyone see you? Do I need an alibi? Let me make something very clear.
lam not gay.
We weren't asking all that.
But, now you know.
Don't you have some murders to solve? He just lost my vote.
It's hard to keep a secret these days.
(TYPING ON CELL PHONE) Jim Gilles.
Gay.
Search.
It's just rumors, of course.
But you put them on your web site? Well, of course.
That's what the Internet is for.
Didn't you go to school? Gilles is not the only queen in the castle, you know? Legislatures are the new gay bars.
Well, how did you hear Gilles was gay? Oh, sorry, gorgeous.
Ajournalist never reveals her sources.
Well, what did they say? I mean, was he involved with somebody? If he was, they broke up.
After that gay marriage vote, I'd dump his ass.
You don't actually know anything, do you? I know that Gilles' district is on Staten Island, 10 miles away, and yet he stays in a hotel in Manhattan.
Which one is it this time? The Victoria.
(SCOFFING) It's a dump.
But conveniently located across from Hellman's.
The department store? So what? He's gay because he likes to shop? Yes, but not in the store.
In the men's room.
Gilles says he barely knew Todd Stewart.
But, that long phone call that Stewart made the day he died was to Gilles's private phone number.
Well, maybe they were having a conversation about campaign contributions.
Gilles also said he got back to his hotel by 8:30.
A desk clerk saw him get in after midnight.
So, Gilles is in the closet, having an affair with Todd Stewart.
LUPO: Then he votes against gay marriage, Stewart doesn't like that.
He argues with Gilles.
He's thinking of calling a political reporter So, out comes Assemblyman Gilles, down goes his re-election.
So, Gilles takes care of him.
The roommates walk in, wrong place, wrong time.
Yeah, but, your whole theory is built on one assumption that Gilles is secretly gay.
Well, he's staying across the street from the cruising capital of midtown.
Okay.
Well, the only way to find out ifGilles actually takes advantage of that men's room Come on.
Unless you want to slip into something sexy and buy the guy a drink, you need to start arguing about who goes on stall duty.
(CLEARS THROAT) MAN: Oh my God.
It's done.
Sir, could you please come out of the stall? I I'm not finished yet.
Yeah, I think you are.
ED: You're under arrest for Public indecency.
You can wash your hands if you want.
This is harassment.
I just had to go to the bathroom.
Yeah, right.
So you walked to a department store? Your hotel didn't have indoor plumbing? (sum-nus) Please.
I have a wife.
I have children.
Right.
And you don't want them to read in the papers that you're gay.
Not to mention your constituents.
That's what Todd Stewart threatened you with, isn't it? I barely knew Todd Stewart.
We just ran the credit card from your wallet.
You used it to send gift baskets to Todd Stewart.
Thank yous for donating to my campaign.
Yeah.
You also used it for a double room at a resort on Nantucket.
Same weekend Todd Stewart was there.
So, it looks like you two were thanking each other's brains out.
(sums) All right.
We were friends.
It's crazy to think that I killed him.
You were arguing with him at the fundraiser.
We did argue, during the day, on the phone.
But, I told you the truth about the fundraiser.
We barely spoke.
Todd knew I had to be discreet.
So, where were you at 8:30? The truth this time.
I was with another friend.
We were together until 1:00 a.
m.
ED: Hey! Gilles' friend confirms his alibi.
And he wants to know when he can meet Lupes in the bathroom.
(SNICKERS) And Mr.
Gilles' prints don't match the partial on the gun.
Yeah.
So basically we just played "smear the queer" with an innocent man.
Well, I'll call him and tell him we lost his arrest record.
It never happened.
So, if he's telling the truth now, our witness was wrong about Todd Stewart arguing with Gilles at the fundraiser.
So, your witness made a mistake or he's lying.
Who is he? Victor Vargas.
He's a businessman.
Big contributor to Gilles, as well as Melanie Carver and a bunch of other Congressmen.
How big? ED: Millions.
He's what they call a bundler.
The law says that a person can only donate a couple thousand dollars to a campaign.
A person like Vargas gathers all the small amounts into one big fat pile.
He's still not answering his phones.
So you have the donor records for Mr.
Gilles? ED: Yes.
Well, they should list the home addresses of the contributors.
LUPO: This can't be the address.
This is the address, bro.
I wonder what kind of penthouse our millionaire lives in.
LUPO: Excuse me.
Does this building have a Penthouse Number One? Apartment one.
It's not much of a penthouse.
We're looking for a man named Victor Vargas.
He gave this address.
Victor.
He stays with me sometimes.
He's not here right now.
I don't know where he is.
ED: What's your name, sir? Michael Calderon.
Wait.
I saw your name on a list of campaign contributors, to a state Assemblyman named Gilles.
Yeah.
I like him.
LUPO: Yeah.
You and your family gave $20,000.
I don't remember exactly.
What's your relationship with Victor Vargas? Friends.
My son works in his jewelry business.
Victor's helped us out with all kinds of things.
Why don't you people just leave him alone? Has somebody been looking for Mr.
Vargas besides us? No.
ED: You know, allowing somebody to make a campaign contribution in your name is a felony.
We can go through your financial records, and immigration.
This guy- He told me to tell Victor to give him a call.
Josh Pearl berg.
Mandala Capital.
I met the son of a bitch at a Save the Planet benefit.
He was arm in arm with Melanie Carver.
So, I figured he was cool.
Did you actually know Bob Dylan? PEARLBERG: I financed one of his concert tours.
I used to know a good investment when I saw one.
So, you invested with Victor Vargas? Oh, yeah.
Bridge financing for his semi-precious stones.
Amethyst, aquamarine, topaz.
They're huge on Columbus Avenue.
Vargas buys them in Brazil, gets a discount for cash.
But, doesn't get paid till they get to New York.
So, I put up the cash, for a 40% return in 60 days.
That sounds too good to be true.
That's what lthought.
So, I put atoe in.
$75,000, and it worked.
So, I invested halfa million.
It worked again.
Then 20 million.
And there was a problem.
Many problems.
Shipping delays, customs issues, the dog ate my letter of credit.
Then Vargas stopped returning my calls.
The guy who introduced me to him was having the same problems.
Who was that? It was Sean Witt, Todd Stewart's roommate.
We were looking at the wrong victim.
Witt managed investments for a small circle of clients, and he put five million of their dollars into Aztec Gemstones Limited.
A Victor Vargas company? Yeah, buried under several layers of corporate names, but yeah.
He reels in suckers by paying back their initial investments with other suckers' money.
And, they believe he's respectable because they see him with prominent politicians.
And he pumps up his importance with the politicians by donating extra funds through fronts like Michael Calderon.
The more money he steals, the more respect he buys.
The more money he can steal.
It's beautiful.
And Sean Witt was on to him? Well, that's just what we're gonna ask Vargas.
It's almost time for his Melanie Carver fundraiser.
See you later.
No.
Bigger, grander, presidential.
(ED WHISTLES) Detectives, you're on my to-do list.
I've just been crazy getting everything perfect for tonight.
I wish Melanie were here.
I'd introduce you.
You are supporters? Yeah.
I love a woman in a pantsuit.
Look, we need to talk to you about Sean Witt.
You never mentioned yesterday that he did business with you.
I didn't think it mattered.
I met him through Todd Stewart.
I didn't know him well.
Well enough for him to give you $5 million.
It was an investment.
Yeah.
We hear some of your investments don't work out too well.
We talked to Josh Pearlberg.
Josh.
Did you like the beard? (CHUCKLING) He is so impatient.
Like a child.
Well, I guess waiting for $20 million can make a person nervous.
I don't mean to be rude, but I have to deal with some last-minute R.
S.
V.
P.
s.
I think we finally heard from Jack McCoy.
Do you know the new District Attorney? Where were you At the event.
It was my party.
ED: It ended at 8:00.
There was cleanup.
And I met Franklin Slater there.
The Lieutenant-Governor candidate? Incredibly dynamic.
Have you heard him speak? No.
Look, I really have to find the chef.
This may be New York City, but I don't do chopped liver.
Lupes, let him go.
This vase is coming with us.
I'm giving the flowers to my mom.
Don't report me to l.
A.
B.
(CHUCKLING) What are you going to do for us? Give you good news.
That's why I exist.
A thumbprint on the vase is consistent with the partial on the murder weapon.
Consistent, but not a slam dunk? But, a perfect match for this.
Iran it through the system.
Coral Gables, Florida, 1996.
Victor Montero was convicted of defrauding investors in an imports racket.
Montero? That's our boy.
How long did he serve? Zero.
Jumped bail before sentencing.
There's an open bench warrant.
What's that? Inquiry report.
Someone accessed this record three days ago.
Sean Witt made the inquiry.
He hired a commercial search service.
He knew about Vargas.
Yeah, and it looks like Vargas knew he knew.
Sean's LUDs show a call to a cell phone owned by Aztec Gemstones two hours before he was killed.
He wanted his money back, but Vargas had a better idea.
He knows we're sniffing around.
Is it enough to arrest him for the murders? Doesn't need to be.
We've got a fugitive warrant.
Melanie, you look like you're ready to rule the world.
I love you too, Victor.
(PHOTOGRAPHERS CALLING) So, how much are we raising tonight? Excuse me, ma'am, would you step aside, please? Victor Vargas, you're under arrest.
Hands behind your back, please.
Victor, is there something you should be telling me? Yes.
Remind the manager to set up the rope for the VIP section.
(CLAMORING) Your Honor, this is a misunderstanding.
Actually, it's pretty clear.
Mr.
Vargas is being held pursuant to a bench warrant from Florida, where he failed to show up for sentencing after being convicted for fraud.
It was a dispute over a small amount of money.
It was cleared up years ago.
Well, someone forgot to tell the state of Florida.
Pending the extradition application, People request the defendant be remanded to the custody of the Department of Correction.
My client is entitled to bail.
He has ample means.
The only reason that he's here now, is because he skipped out on bail before.
We don't even know his real name.
Is it Vargas, or Montero? It's Victor Vargas Montero.
The Latin custom is to put one's mother's name after one's father's.
Fascinating.
Bail is set at $3 million.
We'll reconvene on extradition in the morning.
(BANGS GAVEL) All I can say, Jack, is that in his dealings with me, Victor Vargas has displayed nothing but decency and integrity.
You weren't with him in Florida I don't know what happened there, but he certainly isn't acting like a fugitive.
He's had his picture taken with me a hundred times.
Well, for what it's worth.
See you next Sunday? It's on my calendar.
You a Melanie man, Jack? Compared to the alternatives.
Did she happen to mention that Victor Vargas raised more than $2 million for her campaign? Public information, Connie.
What happened with Vargas? Bailed himself out.
Posted $3 million in 30 minutes.
Probably money he swindled from Josh Pearlberg.
If that's true, it's going to break a lot of politicians' hearts.
Letters of support from a dozen public servants.
I gather Mr.
Vargas is important to all of them.
There's nothing here from Franklin Slater.
Should there be? Vargas was one of his biggest donors.
Vargas told the police he was with Slater around the time of the murders.
Find out why Mr.
Slater isn't jumping on the "We love Vargas" bandwagon.
Yeah.
I picked up Victor after the Gilles fundraiser.
He met with me and my people, and then I took off for upstate.
I just came back for this debate, which starts in 16 minutes.
(CHUCKLING) I'm supposed to be practicing my witty ad-libs.
Well, I'll try not to keep you.
Listen, exactly when and where did you pick Mr.
Vargas up? At the fundraiser, a little before 9:00.
What's this about? Atriple homicide.
Homicide? Mmm-hmm.
Victor? (LAUGHING) No.
No, I think he might kill for a chance to sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom, but otherwise Well, it happened the night you saw him.
Listen, is there anything out of the ordinary that you noticed? Well, Victor was jazzed.
But he's always jazzed when he's around a candidate.
And when I picked him up, the fundraiser had just ended.
Was there anyone else at the restaurant? Some waiters, cleaning up.
Look.
Victor got in my car.
We drove to our meeting, with a quick stop at Peter Elliott.
Why? Victor ran in to buy a clean shirt.
He said he'd been sweating.
Mr.
Vargas is a regular.
Everything custom.
One arm is slightly longer.
Do you remember that night? Of course.
He called ahead and I told him I'd wait for him.
Does he usually buy emergency shirts at closing time? (LAUGHING) No.
But I did once sell atuxedo to a young man on the way to his wedding.
We had to staple the cuffs.
Oh, I'm sorry.
Did Mr.
Vargas tell you why he needed a shirt just then? He wanted to look good.
He always likes to look good.
What didn't look good about the way he was? Cocktail sauce, a spot, right here.
He didn't want to walk around like that.
Cocktail sauce? The timeline works.
The fundraiser ended at 8:00.
Vargas said he stayed to clean up, but he could've slipped out.
The victims only lived a few blocks away.
So, he went over there, killed them, got back in time to meet Slater.
And went to Peter Elliott when he realized there was blood on his shirt.
It's more than we had before.
And I don't like him running around free.
Well, his hearing on the Florida extradition starts in 20 minutes.
Screw Florida.
Let's arrest him for murder.
What is this? A motion to recover the $3 million Mr.
Vargas posted with the court yesterday.
JUDGE KIFNER: That was his bail.
That wasn't his to give.
That money was stolen from my client, Mr.
Pearlberg.
It belonged to him.
Actually, as of six minutes ago, it belongs to the state of New York, since Mr.
Vargas failed to appear.
Miss Standish, do you have any idea as to your client's whereabouts? He assured me he'd be here.
Your Honor, I move that bail be revoked and a bench warrant issued forthwith.
We already have one bench warrant.
How many bench warrants do we need? (KNOCKING) Come in.
Josh Pearl berg? I got a package for Sylvia Standish.
And Michael Cutter.
Yeah, thanks.
"So sorry for all the trouble.
"Pledge full compensation to my investors.
"Just have to fly to South America to straighten things out.
" It's the politest notice of jumping bail I've ever seen.
I've been looking at flight manifests, and there is no record of Victor Vargas or Victor Montero.
But a Michael Calderon bought a one-way ticket to Rio de Janeiro on Avianza Airlines.
Flight 11.
When does it leave? Well, you're not in South America.
No.
Did you give Victor Vargas your passport? No.
Do you know where he is? I haven't seen him.
(GLASS SHATTERING) Who's back there? Move.
Hey! What? LUPO: Can you stand up? I'm all right.
ED: Mr.
Vargas, please stand up.
Get up, Mr.
Vargas.
Tell the Congressman I'm sorry I'm late.
Come on.
(DIALING CELL PHONE) We need an ambulance at 1423, Park Avenue.
VICTOR: No.
I'm fine.
I'm fine.
Melanie! I knew you'd believe in me.
Hey! Hey, hey, hey.
hey- Docket number 14267.
People against Victor Vargas.
Three counts of Murder in the Second Degree.
JUDGE KIFNER: Plea? Not guilty.
Don't bother asking for bail.
VICTOR: No problem, Your Honor.
I'd advise you to let your attorney speak.
She's not my attorney.
I'm firing her.
I want to represent myself.
YourHonon I don't believe that's wise.
The defendant has been hospitalized.
There was a suicide attempt.
It was an accidental overdose of a painkiller.
I can bring a note from my doctor.
There's more to defending yourself than being in good health, Mr.
Vargas.
I did attend law school.
We have no record of that.
It was under another name, and I was disbarred for stealing client funds.
But I think I'll remember enough.
If you're looking for a deal Why would I want a deal? Then what are we doing here? I'm giving you a chance to get out of this gracefully.
(SCOFFS) You are full of surprises, aren't you? Your whole history as a crook, it's all relevant to this case.
Everyone's gonna know exactly who you are.
So, I've been a bad boy.
But, what have you got against me for murder? A partial fingerprint? A red spot on a vanished shirt? Your lies to the police, your proximity to the crime.
Not to mention your four-star motive.
What? Sean Witt was worried about a few million dollars? Why would I kill him? I could have just repaid him.
I have the money.
Mmm.
Because you stole it from other investors.
Exactly.
You're making my point.
Maybe you should testify for me.
(CHUCKLES) CUTTER: Was the car heated? Yes.
It was pretty warm.
But Mr.
Vargas kept his coat buttoned anyway.
Yes.
As if he was concealing his shirt until he could buy a new one.
Yes.
How are you, Franklin? Objection, relevance.
He might not think it's important, but I do.
Do you have a question, Mr.
Vargas? Yes.
What did Sean Witt say when he called you a few hours before he was murdered? Objection, assumes facts not in evidence.
Excuse me.
Mr.
Slater, did Sean Witt call you on the day he was murdered? Yes.
You didn't mention that call to the authorities, did you? No.
Is that because it gave you a motive to kill Mr.
Witt? Objection! Where is this leading? Surely I am entitled to offer other theories of the crime.
Only if they have some evidentiary basis.
That's what I'm trying to get to.
I'll allow you some latitude, Mr.
Vargas.
Don't abuse it.
What did Sean Witt say when he called? He said that I shouldn't spend the money that you donated to my campaign.
Because I'd stolen it from him and he wanted it back? Something like that, yes.
How much had I brought into your campaign? I don't know offhand.
If I said it was more than a million dollars, would you believe it? Yes.
At that point in your campaign, could you have given up more than a million dollars? If I had to.
You would have had to cancel advertisements, travel, polling.
I would have had to cut back somewhere.
And would it have helped or hurt your chances of being elected, if it came out that your major fundraiser was a crook? (CHUCKLES) I think I'm about to find out.
(PEOPLE CHUCKLING) But if Mr.
Witt was silenced, none of those bad things would happen, would they? No more questions.
Mr.
Slater, did you murder Sean Witt? No.
Then why didn't you mention that phone call to the authorities? I believe we've just heard some of the reasons.
Now I see that that was an error in judgment.
Yes.
Thank you.
By the way, I've got the rest of my witness list ready.
I've been subpoenaed to testify by Victor Vargas.
There's a limit to what I can discuss with you, Melanie.
If I say the wrong thing, call a cop.
(CHUCKLES) Oh, can't you make this go away? Ifthejudge approved your subpoena I don't mean the subpoena.
I mean the trial, that turd, Vargas.
It's a triple murder.
We don't sweep those under the rug.
He has to be crazy, right? He tried to kill himself.
Send him to a mental institution.
He's not pleading insanity.
No.
His defense is that I did it, or Franklin Slater or one of the other candidates he so generously backed.
Jack, have you heard of a group called New Yorkers for Good Government? They want you to run for a full term at the next election.
They do? Mmm.
They admire the fact that you're not a politician.
So, they want me to become one? (CHUCKLING) Ironic, isn't it? If you want to continue your fight for truth and justice, you will have to get elected.
I'll consider it when the time comes.
Victor Vargas already considered it.
He thinks you're his kind of guy.
He's contributed $10,000 to New Yorkers for Good Government.
You could be next on his witness list.
Maybe you murdered Sean Witt.
Melanie, Vargas isn't proving anything.
He's flailing.
And bringing down good people, Jack.
We're not monsters.
We want to do good things.
Just like you.
So, I should ship him to a mental institution without atrial? This isn't Communist Russia, Melanie.
Truth and justice.
There's nothing I can do.
MELANIE: Sean Witt never called me.
I didn't know you swindled him, and I didn't know the truth about you.
Are you sure he didn't call? I'd given more of his money to you than I did to Slater.
I thought that you were awealthy businessman with wealthy friends.
That's what you told me.
So, you had no idea I wasn't telling the truth? No.
I showed up out of nowhere.
If you'd done a simple Internet search, you would have found out that five years ago Victor Vargas did not exist.
Objection.
The defendant is testifying.
Sorry.
Did you run a background check on me? There didn't seem to be any reason to.
Because I brought $2 million into your campaign? Is that why there wasn't any reason? Because you seemed to fit in.
You liked to talk about politics, you even gave me a memo that you wrote on health insurance for immigrants.
Did you know the addresses I gave you didn't check out? No.
Did you know I brought your campaign $24,000 from the family of a janitor? No.
What's your IQ? (SCOFFING) I don't know.
What universities did you attend? Princeton, Harvard, London School of Economics.
You knew, didn't you? Isn't that why you didn't check me out? You knew, but didn't want to see the proof, because you wanted my money.
Objection.
And you didn't want anyone else to see the proof, either.
If Sean Witt was going to blow the whistle, that was a problem for you.
CUTTER: Objection! Sustained.
VICTOR: The District Attorney is protecting you, isn't he? Isn't Jack McCoy your political ally, yourffiend? JUDGE: That's enough, Mr.
Vargas! Take your seat.
JUDGE: Mr.
Cutter? No questions.
You didn't even cross examine? The accusation is outrageous.
Really? How many people think Hillary Clinton had Vincent Foster murdered over Whitewater? I didn't want to dignify that kind of thinking by asking her to deny it.
You could have made some effort.
Sure.
I also could have asked her "How could you possibly be as dumb as you're pretending to be?" But I didn't think that was gonna help, either.
CONNIE: Vargas is right, isn't he? About the money? It's all about the money.
They call it free speech, but apparently, it's very expensive.
He is right.
Nobody wanted to know.
So nobody wanted Sean Witt to tell.
Now, you're making Vargas's case.
Why didn't he run when hejumped bail? He could have made it to South America.
He's such a good con man, he conned himself.
He thinks he can beat us.
Maybe now.
But what was he thinking when he tried to commit suicide? That's the Victor Vargas you want the jury to see.
Thank you very much for coming.
So, going over your man, Cutter's head, eh? Because of what I said about you and Melanie? I just need to take one phone call before we talk.
It wasn't personal, Mr.
McCoy.
I'd be proud to support you in the next election.
I'm really a tremendous admirer.
Thank you.
If you want to freshen up while you wait.
I'm sure it's not too pleasant being in jail.
MELANIE: Victor? Melanie? How did you McCoy.
Just like you said, Victor.
He's pulling the strings.
Trying to protect you.
He was.
Now he's protecting himself.
You've got him in a bind.
He has political ambitions.
He says he doesn't.
You know better.
You know what it's like.
You've linked me to you and to these murders.
You've linked him to me.
In order to preserve his squeaky-clean image, now he has to come after me.
He's going to indict my campaign as a corrupt enterprise for knowingly accepting stolen money.
That's not what I wanted.
But, that is what you said I did.
I had to defend myself.
This is the end of my political career, Victor.
I thought you genuinely admired me.
I do.
I thought you genuinely wanted to help.
I read your memo about health insurance.
It has some excellent ideas.
You think so? Yes.
Yes! Please, Victor.
Do the right thing.
Not just for me, but for the people of New York, of this country.
Everything that I want to do, everything that we want to do.
It's not going to happen because of these lies that you're telling.
I'm sorry.
I really am.
I'm sorry.
But it's part of the game.
You understand.
Just like you said.
Hmm.
VICTOR: (ON RECORDER) I'm sorry.
But it's part of the game.
You understand.
Just like you said.
What was part of the game, Mr.
Vargas? That was a trick.
She tricked me.
CUTTER: Why shouldn't she? You accused her of murder.
But that was just a game, right? Why don't you play what came after on the tape? There is no more.
That's where it ends.
Do you really believe Melanie Carver or any candidate you supported killed Sean Witt and his roommates? No.
Because you did.
Isn't that right? No.
Because Sean Witt was going to expose your fraud and send your politician friends running from you like the plague.
They weren't friends.
They were my cover.
They made me seem legitimate.
Just your cover? Well, then all you had to do was show up at their parties with a checkbook.
You didn't have to write a memo about health insurance for immigrants.
That was part of playing the role.
We just heard the tape, Mr.
Vargas.
There's no role left to play, but you're still discussing your ideas with the candidate.
She brought it up.
And you enjoyed it.
Are you denying it was interesting to be discussing public policy with a possible future president of the United States? No.
Of course it was.
Of course it was! But Sean Witt was going to take that away from you.
I didn't have to kill him.
I could have just paid him back.
How? Josh Pearlberg was on to you.
Your investor pool was drying up.
I had other potential investors.
But Sean Witt didn't want to wait to get his money back.
I only needed a few days.
But he didn't believe you, did he? Because he knew better, so you shot him.
As his roommates walked in at the wrong time, so you shot them, too.
No.
Because he was gonna bring it all to an end.
Your hobnobbing with political superstars.
The imaginary life you'd come to believe in.
It wasn't imaginary.
She liked me.
You heard her.
She was tricking you.
You just said so.
But she didn't have to say that.
You believed your own lie that you mattered to them.
It wasn't a lie.
That's why you killed him.
They liked me.
That's why you tried to kill yourself.
They really did! Tell them, Melanie.
You liked me.
Tell them you liked me.
Guilty, guilty, guilty.
Congratulations, Jack.
I was just wondering.
Our little bathroom tape? It didn't completely nail him, but he fell apart anyway.
He was off his game.
Borderline personality, Jack.
And your man, Cutter, played him just right.
Vargas said something about the rest of the tape, but there was no rest of the tape.
Did you stop it? (CHUCKLING) The Primary's next Tuesday.
Don't forget to vote.
(SCOFFS)