Is the Bush Justice Department planning an indictment in hopes of having an impact on the U.S. Senate race in Mississippi between Democrat Ronnie Musgrove and Republican Roger Wicker?
We raised that question in a post last week. And Johnny Edwards, a reporter with the Augusta (GA) Chronicle, adds to the growing body of evidence that suggests the answer is "yes."
Edwards reports today that former Georgia legislators Charles Walker and Robin Williams have been returned to federal prison in Estill, South Carolina. Edwards earlier had reported that Walker and Williams had been transferred to another facility under a federal writ, meaning they were to testify in a criminal case.
That prompted our report that the Justice Department probably was using their testimony to help prepare an indictment against Musgrove related to the Mississippi Beef Processors case. That case has produced three guilty pleas from Georgia businessmen who had donated to Musgrove's failed 2003 campaign for governor against Republican Haley Barbour.
The Musgrove-Wicker race reportedly is tight, and a Musgrove victory would send a Mississippi Democrat to the U.S. Senate for the first time in 25 years. Our sources tell us that the Bush Justice Department wants to ensure that does not happen by bringing a politically timed and motivated criminal case against Musgrove between now and the November 4 election.
Will that, in fact, happen? Did the mysterious Walker/Williams transfer have anything to do with Musgrove?
Well, Edwards reports that Walker and Williams were held from July 28 to September at the Lafayette County Jail in . . . Oxford, Mississippi. And Oxford just happens to be the site of the Mississippi Beef Processors case. The Lafayette County Jail holds federal inmates during trials.
Oxford-based U.S. Attorney Jim Greenlee is heading the Mississippi Beef Processors case, and a spokesman for his office would not comment on the reasons for the Walker/Williams transfer.
Walker and Williams have been back at Estill, South Carolina since last Friday.