The Process of Panic?
What does the release of Lanny Young mean in the evolving story of a corrupt Bush Justice Department? Young, a chief accuser of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, has been released by U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller.
That's the same Judge Fuller who has ensured that Siegelman and Richard Scrushy would be held in federal prison pending their appeals.
Larisa Alexandrovna, who is leading a Raw Story investigation on the Siegelman case, has an interesting take at her personal blog, at-Largely. Alexandrovna says Young's release could be a sign of panic among such GOP luminaries as Fuller and U.S. attorneys Leura Canary and Alice Martin.
And then there is federal prosecutor Steve Feaga. Alexandrovna makes an intriguing reference to Feaga and visits to Rosemary Beach (Karl Rove?). She goes on to state that Feaga might be the most likely candidate to pay a serious price if various investigations finally hit home.
Whither Noel Hillman?
The Emptywheel blog raises interesting questions about Noel Hillman, the former director of the U.S. Public Integrity Section and now a federal judge.
Emptywheel reports that Hillman has received a subpoena to testify in the Beam v. Gonzalez case in Chicago. Beam is the lawsuit that came from an apparent Justice Department attempt to target law firms that contributed to the John Edwards campaign.
You might recall, that we have wondered if the DOJ campaign against Edwards donors was behind the Paul Minor prosecution in Mississippi, the subject of many posts here at Legal Schnauzer.
It looks like Hillman's deposition actually did not take place as scheduled. But Emptywheel states that this apparently marks the first time that someone outside of Congress has subpoenaed someone alleged to have politicized prosecutions at the Bush DOJ.
Scott Horton, at Harper's, has reported that Hillman's fingerprints were all over the Siegelman and Minor prosecutions.
In fact, Emptywheel quotes a segment from Jill Simpson's testimony before Congress, in which she states that Hillman evidently was the DOJ contact that Karl Rove was arm-twisting to go after Siegelman.
Lott and State Farm
Emptywheel also has a most interesting post about U.S. Senator Trent Lott (R-MS) and his mysterious decision to retire at the end of the year.
A post from today presents significant evidence that Lott had an almost pathological hatred of State Farm in the aftermath of damage to his home from Hurricane Katrina.
This connects closely to our recent post noting that Lott might have a problem with possible extortion in his efforts to get back at the giant insurance company for failing to provide full coverage on the damage to his home.
Emptywheel is a new discovery for us here at Legal Schnauzer. Looks like that is a site that demands regular checks.
An Update on Animal-Cruelty Case
We have been following the case of Anne, the beagle in Cullman County, Alabama, who had to be euthanized after she was skinned over much of her body.
Investigators initially focused on a human culprit. But an examination by an Auburn University pathologist indicates that the skinning appeared to have been done by a machine and could have been the result of an accident. Officials said a mishap with farm equipment or some other kind of machinery could have caused Anne's injuries.
About $35,000 in reward money has been collected in the case. Officials said the case remains open, but the investigation has been scaled back.