The evidence is building that the pathology in the Bush Department of Justice (DOJ) is so deep that politically motivated prosecutions are likely to continue.
White House strategist Karl Rove and Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez have stepped down, apparently in no small part because of their roles in the DOJ scandal, which started with the firings of nine U.S. attorneys. The U.S. House Judiciary Committee has initiated an investigation, focusing on cases of selective prosecution in Alabama (Don Siegelman), Mississippi (Paul Minor), Wisconsin (Georgia Thompson) and Pennsylvania (Cyril Wecht).
Committee chairman, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), has been stonewalled at every turn in his efforts to obtain documents related to the DOJ scandal.
Now we learn that not only are the Bushies artfully stonewalling the investigation, they are continuing on their merry path of prosecuting for reasons of politics, not justice.
Scott Horton, of Harper's, reports today that Dunn Lampton, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, is planning a third set of charges against Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz. Lampton initiated the Paul Minor case, and Diaz already has been acquitted on two sets of charges, one involving bribery and mail fraud and the other involving tax evasion.
Lampton, with a huge assist from Republican-appointee judge Henry Wingate, managed to get convictions on Minor and former Mississippi judges Wes Teel and John Whitfield. And we have shown through an extensive series of posts here at Legal Schnauzer, that Minor, Teel, and Whitfield were convicted for crimes they did not commit.
A jury found them guilty only because Wingate unlawfully disallowed expert-witness testimony for the defense and gave incorrect jury instructions on the two key charges--bribery and honest-services mail fraud. Did Wingate do this accidentally? Seems hard to believe, considering that he was up for a spot on the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals at the time. Wingate evidently coveted the post, and convictions in the Minor case were likely to help him with the Bush White House. (Ultimately, Wingate did not get the promotion.)
Also, we've shown that Lampton had long-running conflicts involving Diaz and Minor, but he was allowed to oversee the case anyway. And now he evidently is still going after Diaz.
The pathology of the Bush DOJ also is evident in Alabama. Horton reports that U.S. Attorney Leura Canary, who initiated the Siegelman prosecution in Alabama, is preparing another highly questionable case against an adversary of a prominent Alabama Republican. Horton says details are expected to emerge about this case in the coming week.
Sounds like he is referring to the case of John W. Goff, the Montgomery insurance executive who sued Governor Bob Riley and others for actions that allegedly damaged one of Goff's companies.
Horton has reported that Riley was greatly agitated at the notion of having to testify under oath in the Goff case and turned to Canary for help in making the case "go away." Looks like he found the help he needed.
We've noted several times that a curious form of sociopathy seems to have infected segments of the Republican party, particularly when it comes to justice-related issues. I know that sounds like extremist language on my part. But in my own case here in Alabama, I've witnessed strong evidence of sociopathy (antisocial personality disorder) in several central characters.
The key trait of these individuals is that they have no conscience, no empathy for the rights and feelings of others. Another trait of these folks: They are extremely difficult to treat and are highly resistant to change. Why? They can't recognize the condition in themselves.
This latest news provides even more evidence that sociopathy is rampant in the Bush DOJ. I hope members of the House Judiciary Committee, including key members Artur Davis (D-AL) and Steve Cohen (D-TN), will keep this in mind as their investigation progresses.
Davis and company will have to be extremely tough and diligent because this particular bug is going to be very hard to flush out and kill. On the surface, their investigation seems to be about the justice system. But beneath it all, I think the real problem is a psychological disorder.
I truly think the committee needs to consult with an expert in antisocial personality disorder. The future of our justice system, something Americans used to take pride in, might depend on it.