Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs probe: Son’s lawyer slams feds for ‘dirtying’ jury pool, leaks


Jeffrey Lichtman, the prominent defense lawyer retained by Sean “Diddy” Combs‘ son Justin, accused federal investigators of leaking details about the search warrants served on the hip-hop billionaire’s mansions in Miami and Los Angeles and attempting to influence public opinion with a show of force.

In the most recent episode of “Beyond the Legal Limit,” an hour-long show that covered a range of topics from landline telephones to the Israel-Hamas war, Lichtman spent about six minutes on the Combs case.

His client was seen on video of the raid escorted out, forced to walk backward with his hands on his head.

“The government is not always good and not always honest and doesn’t always play by the rules. In fact, it oftentimes does not play by the rules,” he said on the latest episode.

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Sean “P Diddy” Combs carries a wine glass and holds a cigarette on the waterfront side of his Star Island mansion March 30, 2024. The home was raided earlier in the week as part of a sex trafficking investigation. (Backgrid/Mega)

“What bothers me the most about it is not so much the search — the overboard search that occurred on Puff Daddy’s two homes — but the fact that the press was certainly told about it either immediately or right before,” Lichtman said.

“They were all there, ready to record it. They were all there, told about it and breathlessly reporting what anonymous agents of law enforcement are telling them about what they’re looking for, evidence of sex trafficking,” he added. “That’s bad because that’s just an evil thing for our government or law enforcement to do.”

One former federal law enforcement officer argued that the Combs searches created an unnecessary risk, recalling the infamous ATF raid on the Branch Davidians‘ Waco, Texas, compound in 1993, which resulted in more than 70 deaths inside the compound and injuries to 20 agents.

Diddy and Juston Combs shake hands at a party

Diddy and Justin Combs attend “The Love Album” listening party Sept. 15, 2023, in New York City. (Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

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“David Koresh jogged alone every morning. He went to a Starbucks for coffee every day,” said Dave Katz, a former DEA special agent. “He could have been taken very quietly and privately.”

Instead, the standoff became a “press event” that ended in tragedy.

“I don’t know who got the idea to publicize these sorts of things, but it is outrageous,” he said.

No one was hurt in the Homeland Security Investigations raids on Combs’ properties, and many experts argue the show of force was necessary to protect the safety of the agents and local police.

Rodney Jones Diddy Thanksgiving

Diddy accuser Rodney Jones’ lawyers included this image in a lawsuit. According to court filings, it was taken at a Thanksgiving party with Jones pictured on the left sitting next to Sean “Diddy” Combs. (Southern District of NY)

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“They had a good idea what was in those residences before they raided them,” said David Gelman, a defense attorney and former prosecutor who has been on both sides of the issue. “They have to take precautions, but this was way overboard, and you have to have your head in the sand not to see this being just as much if not more for publicity’s sake.”

On the one side, recent allegations in a series of lawsuits allege Combs had guns in the home and that there could be armed individuals on his property, lawyers have noted, creating a need for law enforcement agents to be protected with tactical gear and large numbers. On the other hand, critics argue safety could’ve been achieved with fewer dramatics.

Men in uniform with massive guns hangout around Diddy's home in Beverly Hills

Law enforcement agents were photographed outside Diddy’s Beverly Hills estate March 25. Homeland Security raided several of the rapper’s properties.  (HIGHFIVE/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images)

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“It’s not like they’ve done anything wrong. It’s just the optics of it,” said Lara Yeretsian, a prominent California defense attorney whose past clients have included the late hip-hip icon Nate Dogg and Michael Jackson. “I don’t know what evidence they’ve gathered and what stage of the investigation that they’re at, but we know that what we’ve watched made it seem like they’re going after a bin Laden. “

The raids sent a clear message, she added. 

“Someone thought that it was necessary for the media to cover it – and because there was a message,” she said. “And the message is we treat him as the highest level of criminal.”

HSI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

HSI agents stand outside Diddy home at night with a police K9

HSI officials searched Diddy’s home in Miami.  (Getty Images)

Lichtman, who previously represented John Gotti Jr. and the cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, argued that government leaks poison the public perception of defendants before trial.

“By using the press to leak what they’re looking for, they’re just dirtying a potentially future jury pool,” he said, in response to reports that law enforcement sources had confirmed the search warrants were part of a human trafficking investigation.

Combs has also been accused of trafficking in a series of lawsuits, including one from a girl who alleges she was in the 11th grade when a pair of Bad Boy Records executives flew her in a private jet from Michigan to New York City to meet Combs for a night of drugs, alcohol and sexual assaults.

Singer and model Cassie Ventura and Rap mogul P Diddy

Singer and model Cassie Ventura and rap mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs arrive for the Clive Davis party on the eve of the 60th Annual Grammy Awards Jan. 28, 2018, in New York. Ventura sued her ex-boyfriend Combs in November, alleging sexual assault and physical abuse. They settled a day later, but then more accusers came forward with similar claims. (Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images)

Lichtman also tore into another lawsuit, in which Justin Combs has been named a co-defendant, as “utterly bonkers.” Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones, a music producer who worked on Diddy’s latest record, “The Love Album,” is accusing the music mogul of sexually assaulting him, covering up a shooting and other misdeeds.

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“It’s clearly written in an effort to get as much publicity as possible, not only for the case, but for the lawyer whose name I don’t even remember, literally some maniac,” Lichtman said. “And the feds, the idea that they’re taking that stuff as gospel, which it very well may be they are, is almost hard to believe.”

Jones’ attorney, Tyrone Blackburn, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Armored vehicles approach Diddy's mansion with tactical officers inside

Tactical vehicles approach Diddy’s mansion in this still from surveillance video posted to Instagram by his ex, the fashion designer Misa Hylton. (@misahylton/Instagram)

“It was also smart for Diddy’s son to get Jeff Lichtman involved,” Gelman said. “It doesn’t matter if he is charged or not. The feds will certainly try and question him.”

Hiring a lawyer, he noted, doesn’t prove guilt or innocence.

Despite the federal investigation, Combs has not been charged with a crime and denied all accusations of wrongdoing. 

His attorney called Jones’ lawsuit “pure fiction.”

Tactical officers detain men inside Diddy's mansion

Officers in tactical gear and carrying rifles removed the sons of Sean “Diddy” Combs during the execution of a search warrant last week in this still from surveillance video posted to Instagram by their mother, the fashion designer Misa Hylton. (@misahylton/Instagram)

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“Lil Rod (Rodney Jones) is nothing more than a liar who filed a $30 million lawsuit shamelessly looking for an undeserved payday,” Combs’ lawyer, Shawn Holley, previously told Fox News Digital. “His reckless name-dropping about events that are pure fiction and simply did not happen is nothing more than a transparent attempt to garner headlines.”





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