Perhaps Dunn Lampton's strongest motivation for pursuing the Paul Minor case, through two trials, was revealed on May 17, 2007.
That's the day the Washington Post reported that Lampton had been among 26 U.S. attorneys listed as candidates for firing by the Bush administration.
The Post obtained unreleased government documents showing that the roster of candidates to be fired was much longer than previously acknowledged. When Lampton was asked what he was doing to bring the ire of the Bush administration, he said, "I don't have a clue."
Is it possible that Lampton pursued the Minor prosecution in order to get back into the good graces of the Bush White House?
And keep in mind, it was widely reported at the time of the trial that U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate was a candidate for a spot on the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. That decision would be made by the Bush administration, and Wingate wound up not getting it.
So you had a prosecutor whose position was threatened by the Bush White House. And you had a judge who was up for a promotion, a decision that would come from the Bush White House.
Did that color the prosecution? Our research indicates the answer to that question is a resounding yes.