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November 27, 2007


I think this makes MarkC the winner in yesterday's round of What's the Real Story... In comment #1, MarkC asked, "Is there a chance he's being caught up in an investigation?". That didn't take long ;)

EW, you should lay in a supply of TNH coffee mugs and t-shirts to send commenters as door prizes for stuff like this...

On the possible topic of "political" prisoners, whether guilty or not, Oscar Wyatt was sentenced to 1 year and 1 day in federal court in Manhattan today, for participation on oil-for-food corruption payments - for some strange reason, I have not yet been able to find any proceedings against Halliburton for doing business with Iran during the late 90s - who was in charge of Halliburton then? :)

Interesting to note in Horton's original article that Minor only gave the Dem's $100,000, whereas Scruggs gave the Repubs $250,000. But Minor was prosecuted.

It also appears that the FBI agent (an accountant) was evidently 'reassigned' to Guantanamo after he raised questions about the Scruggs/Lott relationship. How many patterns will turn up where a qualified FBI agent was 'reassigned' so that Republican political prosecutions could target Dems? Scary.


That's a great suggestion. Though it's gonna have to wait a few weeks. ;-p

I don't know that much about the underlying facts of the case; literally not much more than is contained in this post. Lawyers making "loans" to judges just sounds wrong. I am going to go read the links on that part. My guess is that is is much more muddy than we might first think. I know that Mississippi was/is one of the focal points and test runs for big business in it's attempt to cram "tort reform" down the throats of Americans. I see that the "Chamber of Commerce" was after these judges; I'll hazard a guess that means big business was out to get good judges that actually protected the rights of harmed individuals to sue for their damages. If that is, indeed, the case; I have a little sympathy for Scruggs (Minor too if that was what he did also).

I will say this, Dickie Scruggs is one hell of a lawyer, and he has done a lot of good things in his practice (gotten quite rich doing it too). I can also personally relate that he is one hell of a nice guy. My mother was one of the first people to truly go after a tobacco company in a big way in the early 60s after the death of my father. She had big time lawyers (including Melvin Belli and John J. Flynn of Miranda fame) and, along with a couple of other plaintiffs they eventually worked together with, they actually put a pretty big scare into tobacco. Her case was dismissed due to lack of evidence of the direct link from cigarettes to cancer, but that effort led to the hazard to your health warning first being printed on cigarette packs. It was also, regrettably, a prime factor behind the various tobacco companies joining together as a consortium to fight such suits. In the mid 90s, it came out that the tobacco companies had illegally and unethically hid documents and research they possessed in the late 50s and early 60s proving exactly what they said did not exist when getting my mother's suit dismissed. On a lark, I called Dickie Scruggs (he and Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore were THE guys pounding tobacco right about then) out of the blue to ask him if I had any recourse on behalf of my mother, who by then was in very bad health. Scruggs could not have been nicer and more helpful even though I think he knew I was just emotionally pissed and would not really follow through. We talked at great length a couple of different times and i have nothing but good things to say about my interaction with him. So, despite being Lott's brother in law, I want to believe he is a decent chap. I guess I better go read the links now to see what he has really done....

I read Scott Horton's post. It's happened again, and one wonders when the significance of a corrupt DOJ will hit home with American citizens, if it ever will. Selective and corrupt prosecutions like this should make it an easy story to tell.

Just as in Alabama, the whole thing stinks. Like ROTL, I'm wondering how many more are out there.

bmaz, that was a great anecdote.

Isn't Scott Horton's blog great? I'm a fan.

Completely OT, but this:
It also appears that the FBI agent (an accountant) was evidently 'reassigned' to Guantanamo after he raised questions about the Scruggs/Lott relationship.

brings to mind that when they were picking a small handful of GITMO prisoners to charge, the lawyer they placed in charge of the defense of on was, IIRC, a reservist tax lawyer.

bmaz - I notice that Horton seems pretty uncertain that Minor (or Scruggs) should have been charged:

If the conduct that Minor engaged in was unlawful

Just that if you charge one, you charge the other.

There was a rumor floating the Toobz yesterday that Trent Lott got out of the Senate in a hurry because of boy trouble--perhaps something that Larry Flynt dug up. That rumor has since been denied by the boy in question.

"the boy in question"? Who might that be? Or is that a Lott joke of some sort? Or is that Flynt? Or is it Jerry/Jeff? Say what you mean.

Don't joke around with titillating (or the lack thereof) rumors.

Noel Hillman - Head of Public Integrity (PIN) Section


Well. OK. I have now read the links, Horton and a couple of other things; looks like my off the cuff guess on what was going on was uncharacteristically accurate. The prosecution of Paul Minor is complete BS. It is beyond belief that the DOJ and Us Attorney's Office is even involved in this. IL would argue, from what I have now read, that there is no evidence of a crime; at most, perhaps an ethics probe by the Mississippi State Bar. Given what I have seen so far, I don't even see the basis for a misconduct finding by the bar. I find the whole judicial election system unsavory, but it IS the system there in Mississippi. Jeebus, there is a more cognizable case against Scalia than there is against Minor and Scruggs. If this is what they are going after Scruggs on currently (it appears to be, but I am not totally clear on that), then it is just as BS as it is with Minor. Oh, and if you wonder why they are going after Scruggs, loyal Republican donor and bother in law of Lott; it is the same reason they went after Minor and the others to start with. It is STILL about "tort reform", stopping class action lawsuits and protecting big business and screwing consumers and citizens. Loyal Republican and relative of Lott aside, Dickie Scruggs is public enemy number one if these are your goals. Especially in Mississippi. Oh yeah; one other thing, Scruggs has been working tirelessly to expose what happened to Minor and turn the tables of justice on those who did it. The Bush Department of Injustice can't have that, now can they? The shit emanating from the Bush/Cheney Administration just never stops flowing....

bmaz - where did you get that Scruggs has been working tirelessly on behalf of Minor? I didn't see that, and would seem to back up your impression of him being a 'decent chap'.

randiego - From a friend that knows him well from class action litigation (against Firestone and, I think, also jet ski manufacturers). I have no other source on this, but have no reason to doubt it. Of note, I am also informed that Scruggs got along VERY well, was even a friend, of the Reno (Clinton) DOJ; of course, that would be another black mark for the current crew.

rukus: The denial in question is posted here: http://www.benjaminnicholas.com/blogger.html

Given a choice between gay-sex-scandal and FBI-raiding-the-brother-in-law's-office-scandal, I'd have to go with gay-sex-scandal. FBI raids may be a big deal to little people like you and me, but they don't seem to faze US Senators (see Stevens, Ted).

Thank you Mr. Probst. I had not made the aqaintance of Mr. Nichols before.

Airport bathroom raves and intimate personal blogs of political friends---I surf the tamer tides of the internets.


Suggesting that you've asked said friend in the last few hours?

bmaz, if you haven't checked it out: try this blog:


His examination of the Minor case (and Siegelman to a lesser degree) is exhaustive.

EW, re-gifting Christmas presents doesn't count ;)

Dickie Scruggs only gathered enough money to sue big tabacco by stealing money from his asbestos tort partner. He has settled twide in the past couple of years to small settlements (relative to what was owed) with his former partners in Mississippi. His prowess as a lawyer only extends to his back-room deals and network of judges he has secured in various way - i.e. "loans" - as most any trial lawyer in MS will tell you.

Yes. But randiego's question made me start looking around. It does appear that Scruggs did work somewhat together with the Reno DOJ on the tobacco litigation, but I can't find any support for Scruggs seeking to help Minor. I will try to talk to my friend again tomorrow to see what exactly he based that statement on. It just made sense to me, so I didn't doubt it; but now, I am not so sure. I say this because there was apparently talk of the prosecution calling Scruggs in the trials of Minor (there were two; first one was hung jury second convicted). I have found one report that Scruggs did not testify in the first trial, but did testify in the second after having refused the DOJ's offer of immunity to testify. This is one screwed up mess they got going. Some of the "loans" do look pretty darn goofy. My inclination is that the Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association is working to help Minor and that Scruggs is a driving part of that, but from behind the scenes because of his own personal situation; but that is just a guess. I dunno, I sure don't want to report anything that is not correct; so I will just say that is what I know at this point for what little it is worth.

Here is a good one though. Dickie Scruggs is holding a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton at his home in Mississippi, starring Bill Clinton, on December 15. I don't suppose that would raise any hackles at the Bush/RNC Department of Justice.....

Thanks bmaz - keep us posted on what you turn up.

Speaking of Alabama, I just went to Kos and this diary is in the #1 slot:

now I'll go read it.

Sorry for being obtuse. That Kos post is an open letter from Governor Siegelman's daughter, Dana Siegelman.

Marcy and phred,

I have a Cafepress store:


as well as art up at my own site and Renderosity

I may not know html, but I do know my way around fonts and templates and logo design (professional artist for close to 40 years). If The Next Hurrah could benefit from a logotype, I'd be delighted to design something suitable, or help set up a shop and products.

Sorry for being obtuse. That Kos post is an open letter from Governor Siegelman's daughter, Dana Siegelman.

Sorry for being obtuse. That Kos post is an open letter from Governor Siegelman's daughter, Dana Siegelman.

DCgaffer - Thanks for the cite; you are right, Legalsnauzer is pretty good on the Alabama/Mississippi stuff. Man what a mess they have going down there. It is ugly in every direction you look, but there is not much question that the sole reason the DOJ is so involved is sheer political mischief.

randiego - That piece makes you feel a little sorry for the Siegelma family. I will say this much, even if they were guilty (pretty debatable in it's own right) this bunk sure wasn't worth 7 years (Siegelman) and 11 years (Minor). Unreal.

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