Two profoundly important posts today from Scott Horton, of Harper's, shining much needed light on the machinations of the Bush Justice Department.
First, Horton addresses the prosecution of attorney Paul Minor and judges Wes Teel and John Whitfield in Mississippi. "In many respects the case against Minor looks like a rehashing of the prosecution of Governor Don E. Siegelman next door in Alabama," Horton writes.
Horton highlights several key points about the Minor case:
* The charges brought by the government were sloppy and almost incomprehensible. Most public-corruption cases involve a quid pro quo, but that was not present here and was not even required by the judge.
* Circumstances around the selection of Judge Henry Wingate were "mysterious," and Wingate's conduct of the case was "aberrational." (Much more on this coming in Horton's blog and here at Legal Schnauzer.)
* Mississippi lawyer Richard Scruggs, like Minor, made loans to Mississippi judges but was not prosecuted. Of course, Scruggs tends to support Republicans more than Democrats (Minor is an ardent Democrat), and Scruggs' brother-in-law is U.S. Senator Trent Lott (R-MS), who might have played an improper role in protecting Scruggs.
* FBI special agent Matthew Campbell, a forensic-accountancy expert, was reassigned after questioning Scruggs' ties to Lott. Campbell was replaced by Kevin Rust, who according to campaign-finance records, supported a Chamber of Commerce-supported judge.
(Note: Since one of the pluses of having a blog is getting to toot your own horn from time to time, we feel compelled to mention that Horton kindly references the Legal Schnauzer in today's post. The mention comes in blurb/footnote No. 3.)
Horton's second major post today focuses on Time magazine's report about the Don Siegelman prosecution in Alabama.
This information jumped out at your humble blogger? Horton says he knows of at least three cases where people have raised complaints about Republican wrongdoing in Alabama only to be ignored by the Justice Department. If the complainant persists, he or she begins to receive threats.
You can add me to that list. I've had that very experience, and I will be providing readers with the details very soon.