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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Bentley and Mason are expected to face federal public-corruption charges, and efforts to attack citizen journalists went farther than first thought

Robert Bentley and Rebekah Mason
(From nytimes.com)
Governor Robert Bentley and former advisor Rebekah Caldwell Mason are expected to face federal public-corruption charges, a prominent Alabama lawyer says. Also, Bentley's efforts to obtain incriminating evidence against citizen journalists (including me) went beyond ordering the unlawful use of federal and state criminal databases.

Meanwhile, State Rep. Ed Henry (R-Hartselle) today outlined articles of impeachment against Bentley. Henry said he hopes to have a vote on his resolution next week.

As fort he federal investigation, other members of the Bentley administration and campaign team could face charges, attorney Donald Watkins reports on his Facebook page, but the probe is expected to focus on the governor and his advisor/mistress. The investigation is under the direction of the U.S. Justice Department's Public Integrity Section, based in Washington, D.C., Watkins reports:

Our Facebook news team has confirmed this afternoon that federal prosecutors in Washington are expected to bring public corruption charges against Governor Robert Bentley and his mistress/political consultant, Rebekah Mason. Other gubernatorial and campaign staffers may be charged as well.

The focus of the federal probe is on Bentley and Mason, and it is intense. Mason’s involvement in the corruption scheme was more extensive than what has been publicly reported.

As for Bentley's efforts to sic law enforcement on Watkins and me in retaliation for our accurate reporting about his affair with Mason, that also was more extensive than has been publicly reported. Writes Watkins:

In violation of federal laws, the governor also ordered state law enforcement officials to use the federal National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and the Law Enforcement Tactical System (LETS), as well as data banks of other state and federal regulatory agencies, to find any incriminating evidence that might be used against Legal Schnauzer blogger Roger Alan Shuler and me. Accessing the national criminal databases for the purpose of retaliating against the governor’s critics and political adversaries is a federal offense.

Earlier reports indicated former Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) chief Spencer Collier refused to carry out Bentley's order to seek dirt via the NCIC and LETS. But Watkins reports that Bentley went beyond seeking criminal data, and that raises this question: Did Bentley find someone to carry out his unlawful mission against Watkins and me, and if so, who was it?

Prosecutors apparently do not expect the Bentley/Mason case to be particularly challenging. Writes Watkins:

Prosecutors have determined that they do not need the assistance or cooperation of Rebekah Mason in bringing the expected criminal charges. They have determined that the Bentley-Mason public corruption was widespread, ingrained, and fairly open. Staffers who tried to reign in this corruption were chastised by the governor and, in some cases, fired and later smeared.

Bentley appears to be in an unstable state of mind, and that could lead prosecutors to turn to an unusual tactic:

This morning, Bentley announced that he has asked God to forgive him. He again asked the people of Alabama to forgive him. Bentley did not specify why he needed forgiveness. Federal prosecutors, however, are not expected to forgive the governor.

Despite a mountain of evidence that Bentley personally directed or approved specific acts of public corruption, the governor has refused to resign. Individuals with close contact with the governor say that Bentley is erratic, delusional, and paranoid at this juncture. For this reason, federal prosecutors are considering expediting the initiation of the criminal justice process by filing of a prosecutor’s “complaint,” as opposed to using the longer and more standard criminal indictment process.

Our news team was not able to confirm when the criminal charges against Bentley and Mason will be filed.

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Vindictive for you........ a sweet taste which follows a bitter pill.

Anonymous said...

Has someone set the thermostat on high heat?

Anonymous said...

LS, has the Department of Justice contacted you? Do you expect to hear from them?

legalschnauzer said...

The DOJ has not contacted me, and I have no expectations one way or another as to whether they will. By confidence in the justice system is so slow that I've learned it's best to have zero expectations.

Anonymous said...

Get som rest Roger. You have mispelled a word in the comments section in the last two articles----Something I have never noticed before.

legalschnauzer said...

Yes, I do need "som" rest. Looks like this spelling problem is spreading.

Seriously, we all need editors, and I get going too fast sometimes. Thanks for the heads up.

Anonymous said...

If Bentley is proven to have targeted you and Watkins, he really needs to "fry" (at least politically) for that. His behavior already is deplorable, but that is right from the Richard Nixon textbook.

Steve said...

Any chance of you being able to recover damages from Bently? That would be so sweet seeing him in an orange jumsuit and handing you his bank account :-)

Anonymous said...

Why are people from Alabama so ugly?

Anonymous said...

Another question is pose was anyone holding this above his head? Was there any blackmail involved. I wouldn't think so but it leaves u wondering.

Anonymous said...

David Bynes, is involved giving his history and the recent discovery of the two hundred thousand dollars moved from the dark money account to his church foundation. Also, remember colonial bank.

Anonymous said...

Also Neal Morrison.

legalschnauzer said...

Have to take issue with you on this, @4:16. Robert Bentley might be hideous, but Alabama has some of the most beautiful women you will see anywhere. The South, in general, is way ahead of all other regions of the country in that department--at least that's my opinion.

As for the men, I will have to leave that determination to someone else. But I think we all can agree that Bentley is icky.

Rebekah Mason has proven that Alabama women can be good looking, but that does not mean they have good judgment.