The COVID-19 pandemic had already caused Judge Edward Davila to push the trial start date back to October. Davila indicated during a July 20 hearing held over Zoom that an October start was not going to happen, according to media reports.
Holmes’ lawyers used the Monday hearing to argue that the expansive nature of the government’s evidence — millions of documents and 150 or more witnesses — made the case difficult to defend against.
Davila declined to exclude evidence or witnesses but said prosecutors need to provide Holmes with more witness testimony information. “I think the court will ask for some additional specificity as to some of these categories,” he said, as recounted by Bloomberg.
Potential government witnesses include former U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who both served on Theranos’ board. Media titan Ruport Murdoch of News Corp. and The Wall Street Journal may testify about Theranos pressuring journalists not to publish negative news about the company.
Holmes and Theranos were once Silicon Valley darlings, with Holmes claiming that her company was set to revolutionize blood testing with technology that could analyze tiny amounts of blood. Forbes in 2015 even recognized Holmes as America’s richest self-made woman based on Theranos’ multibillion-dollar valuation at the time.
Investigative reporting, though, soon dismantled the claims Holmes was making about Theranos’ technology, raising questions about whether she and others had misled investors. The downward spiral culminated in the 2018 shutdown of the company, with the SEC criminally charging Holmes and Balwani over what it described as a “massive fraud.”