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Breathtaking Climax

Then came, on May 12th, the climactic sequence to the entire, epic drama, building for a full year. Orval Viers, Oklahoma City attorney and accountant for Johnson, took the stand. He presented his detailed recounting of the justice’s financial dealings for the years in which he was under suspicion. Viers announced he had already provided the information to federal tax authorities. It appeared to account for all the income Johnson had earned and to preclude the possibility of undeclared and/or untaxed income.


Then, however, Connor began a meticulous, at times dizzying, even wearying, but relentless, needle-to-the-pole interrogatory. It aimed to demonstrate that Johnson had received many thousands of dollars through unknown, unaccounted-for sources. The 35-year-old solon advanced his case not through lecture or sophistry, but through a masterful, labyrinthine question and answer process. It stretched across two days.


Gradually but inexorably, at times weathering the obstruction of the witness, at other times the admonitions of Roy Grantham—the respected Democratic presiding judge of the court—Connor dismantled Viers’s seemingly impregnable fortress of facts and figures. Finally, he maneuvered the man into a stunning checkmate.


“And this figure is more than the salary drawn?” Connors concluded at the end, referencing the total dollar amount for one year that Johnson had netted, after all his expenses and payments for the year were subtracted from his income.


“Yes,” Viers replied.