Friday, July 31, 2009

"This is Over"

Finally, a staunch member of the Rove Republican Racket has raised the white flag.

After obtaining plea agreements from seven prominent Democratic supporters and jailing them, U.S. Attorney Jim H. Greenlee of the Northern District of Mississippi declared his long-term vendetta against Democrats has ended, declaring "This is over." Wisely, this Rove-Bush-Cheney appointed prosecutor sees his legacy coming to an end and an Obama replacement on the horizon.

His plea agreement against a state judge, Bobby DeLaughter, who was forced to resign, was an embarrassment yesterday. White supremacists and racists applauded Greenlee's actions since DeLaughter was best known for prosecuting and jailing a murderous white supremacist and Ku Klux Klan member, Bryon de la Beckwith (Pictured above, left).

According to news reports, Beckwith's son and a known white supremacist were seated in the gallery of the courtroom.

Raising a white flag while remembering men who wear white hooded robes! What a way out!
Read more here and here.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rove Had "Greater Role" in Firings

Breaking News from The Washington Post:

Political adviser Karl Rove and other high-ranking figures in the Bush White House played a greater role than previously understood in the firing of federal prosecutors almost three years ago, according to e-mails obtained by The Washington Post, in a scandal that led to mass Justice Department resignations and an ongoing criminal probe. The e-mails and new interviews with key participants reflect contacts among Rove, aides in the Bush political affairs office and White House lawyers about the dismissal of three of the nine U.S. attorneys fired in 2006: New Mexico's David C. Iglesias, the focus of ire from GOP lawmakers; Missouri's Todd Graves, who had clashed with one of Rove's former clients; and Arkansas's Bud Cummins, who was pushed out to make way for a Rove protégé.

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monstrous Mississippi Mistake

Breaking news: We recently wrote about the leaky U.S. Attorneys office in Northern Mississippi. Prosecutors were relying on the conflicting testimony of several convicted felons and the testimony of the Pied Piper Ed Peters, a corrupt DA who was given full immunity for pointing fingers, in an attempt to prosecute and convict a state judge named Bobby DeLaughter.

Tonight, it was announced that a plea was reached and DeLaughter will simply plead guilty to lying to the FBI. The other serious charges will be dropped.

Looks like the U.S. Attorney's Office finally figured out they made a monstrous, Mississippi mistake. These agents of the Rove Republican Racket gave Peters a free ride: 100-percent immunity in the DeLaughter bribery scandal and partial reimbursement of $1 million in proceeds from the same bribe.

After figuring out Peters was simply pointing fingers and that they truly had given Peters the keys to a "golden Cadillac," prosecutors cut a deal with DeLaughter and saved face.

Although we applaud these prosecutors for doing the right thing with DeLaughter, we only have harsh words for the deal they gave the Pied Piper Ed Peters: stupid, anserine, foolish, boneheaded, dumb, ridiculous, worthless, senseless.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Outrageous DOJ Defense

In a stunning news report today from Boston, attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice said the victims of a duo of brutal murderers--(the murderers were collaborating with a corrupt FBI agent)--had the responsibility to protect themselves.

The influence of the Rove Republican Racket's moral compass (there is none!) is evident in this proceeding. To blame the victims, who were killed because the murderers were in cahoots with an FBI agent, is an outrage and a waste of taxpayer dollars. The DOJ should simply settle the matter.

The headline reads, "DOJ says kin share blame with FBI in Whitey Bulger slays." The Boston Herald writes:
U.S. Department of Justice lawyers argued yesterday if the FBI had a responsibility to protect victims of serial slayers James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi from murder, so, too, did their families.

“They had a duty to protect themselves from harm,” attorney Lawrence Eiser said during closing arguments in the bench trial of three wrongful-death suits brought by the families to inflict financial pain on the feds for not containing the dangerous duo. Eiser’s theory did not sit well with U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young, who snapped at him, “Are you saying these people were asking for it?”

Eileen Davis, the sister of Flemmi’s slain girlfriend Debra Davis, wept as her attorney, Michael Heineman, described how Flemmi and Bulger - fearing Davis, 26, would reveal they were in cahoots with corrupt FBI agent John Connolly - duct-taped her to a chair in 1981 before strangling her to death and pulling out her teeth. The monstrous Flemmi “pulled her hair back, gave her a kiss and told her she was going to a better place,” Heineman said.

Attorney Ann Donovan, representing Marion Hussey, whose daughter Deborah Hussey, 26, Flemmi molested for years while living with her mother, said Bulger broke Deborah’s ribs in 1985 trying to squeeze the life out of her with his legs while simultaneously choking her to death.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sex, Drugs, and the Rove Racket

When the Rove Republican Racket targeted former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, they went the extra distance.

Now comes explosive testimony accusing Rove's henchmen of intimidating and possibly blackmailing a witness with an alleged sex and drug scandal.

From the Huffington Post:

The top government witness [Nick Bailey] in the 2006 federal conviction of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman on corruption charges is providing new evidence that prosecutors failed to fulfill their legal obligation to provide the defense with all records documenting witness-coaching....Even more explosive than an alleged failure by prosecutors to comply with federal trial procedures is a sworn statement by Bailey's current employer Luther "Stan" Pate, another Alabama businessman. "Nick was told that the government was working to prevent the publicizing of an alleged sexual relationship between Nick and Don Siegelman," Pate wrote. "Nick also told me that one of the agents working the Siegelman/Scrushy prosecution asked him whether he had ever taken illegal drugs with Governor Siegelman or had a sexual relationship with him. These comments had a dramatic effect on Nick, and, in my observation, added significantly to the pressure he felt to go along with whatever the prosecutors wanted him to say."

Read the entire story here and the sworn statement here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Better Prosecutions of Environmental Crimes

The W.R. Grace environmental crimes case in Montana was a perfect example of how the Rove Republican Racket bumbled the case by engaging in prosecutorial misconduct. As you may recall, W.R. Grace executives were acquitted in part due to the non-disclosure of the government's relationship with a star-witness.

Now James O'Toole, Jr. (pictured), a prominent attorney from the City of Brotherly Love and Chair of the Environmental and Toxic Tort Group of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney is reassuring the public that the failures in Montana won't effect prosecution of environmental crimes in the future. We say, Thank God! O'Toole, in a company news release, states:

"The government took it on the chin with [the star-witness]", O'Toole said. "When a judge says that your main witness can't be trusted, that can't help your cause. This case was difficult when it started but became all but impossible when it came to light that the government had failed to adequately disclose its relations with the star witness." Despite the outcome, some believe — including O'Toole — that this particular case will not set a precedent for future cases dealing with the EPA."I don't believe you're going to see the Justice Department or the EPA shy away from criminal prosecutions in the future simply because of some of these missteps in the past. The agency's proposed budget is going to have at least a $600 million increase, with $32 million for enforcement alone. They're going to hire 30-plus additional positions just to handle enforcement and investigation: When you have a robust budget and a focused agency, and a commitment supported by the administration, you can't help but think there's going to be greater scrutiny and enforcement across all environmental programs."

Read the full release here and more about O'Toole here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Prosecutorial Misconduct in its Highest Form

Meet Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Damm of Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2008, he was ripped a new one by the 9th Circuit for prosecutorial misconduct. Now he's caused a new controversy.

From last year's National Law Journal:

Roundly denouncing a Las Vegas federal prosecutor for withholding 650 pages of evidence potentially helpful to two lawyers charged in a stock fraud case, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld dismissal of all 64 charges and refused to allow a retrial. "This is prosecutorial misconduct in its highest form; conduct in flagrant disregard of the United States Constitution; and conduct which should be deterred by the strongest sanction available," wrote Judge Kim Wardlaw. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Greg Damm, identified in court records as the trial attorney, assured the defense and the trial judge that he had turned over all documents. But one day before trial in 2006, he announced that the case agent, who was not on the witness list, would testify. None of his statements, memos or notes had been disclosed to the defense. When the trial judge demanded proof the records were given to the defense, Damm said he could not verify the claim and kept no log of the 400,000 pages of discovery given to the defense.

Now, last month, Damm made headlines after subpoenaing the Las Vegas Review Journal when folks commented on a news story about a tax evasion case Damm was prosecuting. Damm demanded to know names, addresses, phone numbers, ip addresses, and all pertinent information about each and every commentator.

The ACLU stepped in to defend their first amendment rights. The legal community was abuzz. After the subpoena was narrowed in scope, the newspaper finally agreed to give information on two commentators who allegedly made "threatening" comments.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Double Jeopardy for Paul Minor?

Paul Minor, the successful Democratic fundraiser, who was targeted by the Rove Republican Racket, not once but twice, in the State of Mississippi may finally be vindicated.

His truly only crime was being a Democrat during the Rove-Bush-Cheney Administration.

From the Clarion Ledger:

[T]he 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to allow Minor and two former judges to file court briefs addressing points the Supreme Court made in a possible double-jeopardy case that has some similarities to the Minor case. In both the Minor case and the one that was the subject of a Supreme Court ruling, the defendant was retried on charges in which the jury could not reach a verdict. The key is whether the charges on which jurors couldn't reach reach a verdict are based on the same essential facts as the charges on which they were acquitted.

"We are very encouraged and gratified," said Hiram Eastland Jr., one of Minor's attorneys on his appeal. "It's very unusual for the court to ask for a supplemental brief." In 2007, a federal jury in Mississippi convicted Minor and two former Gulf Coast trial court judges - Wes Teel and John Whitfield - of corruption. Prosecutors said Minor helped guarantee or pay off campaign loans of the judges who heard some of Minor's cases. The verdict came two years after a jury deadlocked on some counts in the same case while acquitting then-state Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz Jr. of all charges.

In the first trial in 2005, jurors acquitted the three men on some corruption charges and failed to agree unanimously on others. In Minor's case, he was acquitted on six
counts, but jurors couldn't agree on eight others. Whitfield was acquitted on one count, but jurors split on four others. They could not agree on any counts against Teel. Minor and Whitfield were reindicted with some new charges added. The June 18 ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court
.... reversed the 5th Circuit and remanded the case to the lower court. The high court's decision said the hung jury on [other] charges shouldn't have figured into the 5th Circuit's decision.

"Because a jury speaks only through its verdict, its failure to reach a verdict cannot - by negative implication - yield a piece of information that helps put together the trial puzzle," according to the Supreme Court ruling. Eastland said the reversal in the case gives additional hope for Minor in his appeal.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Lying Assistant U.S. Attorney

Now we have solid proof that members of the legal and political arm of the Rove Racket, the bias appointees of the U.S. Attorney offices, lie to entrap.

From the Fulton County (GA) Daily Record:

A pretrial hearing last week explored how far federal prosecutors and agents in middle Georgia were willing to go to secure the 40-count indictment of Columbus attorney J. Mark Shelnutt. During two days of testimony, a federal prosecutor acknowledged that he had lied to Shelnutt, and federal agents testified that they enlisted at least one criminal defense attorney as an undercover informant in order to elicit evidence that might be used to prosecute Shelnutt....[The federal judge], who spent much of the hearing interrogating both witnesses and counsel from the bench, said he was troubled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason M. Ferguson's admission that he had lied to Shelnutt as the two prepared for a meeting about one of Shelnutt's federal defendants. Ferguson said he told Shelnutt that he did not intend to record the meeting when he secretly was doing so already. When Ferguson claimed that he had permission from his supervisor, the criminal chief of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Macon, to lie to Shelnutt, [the judege] responded, "I'm shocked. ... There's got to be some policy about when a U.S. Attorney can lie."

Ferguson became an Assistant U.S. Attorney after Rove and Bush took over the White House in 2001.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Holder Seeks Pain Relief in Kansas

When federal prosecutors targeted a pain relief physician in Kansas, they never thought a freedom-loving political activist, Siobhan Reynolds, and her group, the Pain Relief Network, would come to his defense with legal aid and a grassroots media blitz.

Playing hardball, members of the Rove Republican Racket at the U.S. Attorney's office in Wichita then went after Reynolds and her group, based in New Mexico.

Now Reynolds has fought back and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is listening. From last week's Kansas City Star:

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has referred to the Justice Department's internal watchdog a complaint alleging prosecutorial misconduct filed by a political activist targeted in a federal obstruction investigation in Kansas.

Siobhan Reynolds, president of the Santa Fe, N.M.-based Pain Relief Network, is being investigated by a federal grand jury in Topeka for her role in the case of a Kansas doctor whose clinic has been linked by prosecutors to 59 overdose deaths.

Reynolds told The Associated Press on Friday that she has been informed that Holder read her complaint June 22 against Assistant U.S. Attorney Tanya Treadway, and that it was referred to the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility. The office examines possible ethics violations by Justice Department employees....

Reynolds' group has supported Dr. Stephen Schneider and his wife, Linda, who were indicted in December 2007 on 34 counts accusing them of unlawfully prescribing painkillers and overbilling for services at their clinic in the Wichita suburb of Haysville.

The Pain Relief Network, which opposes what it sees as federal efforts to crack down on chronic pain treatment, has helped the Schneiders line up attorneys and expert witnesses, and has put up billboards supporting them.

The Justice Department has issued a grand jury subpoena for Reynolds and her group seeking all correspondence and other documents related to the Schneider case, including Reynolds' interactions with attorneys, patients, Schneider family members, doctors and others.

Reynolds has refused to comply with the subpoena. She said Friday that she has not yet been found in contempt of court.

"Ms. Treadway's conduct in the case has been nothing short of shocking and ruthless; she has in fact displayed the kind of 'win at all costs' mentality that you have publicly stated your department will no longer tolerate," Reynolds wrote in her June 18 letter to Holder.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Manipulating the Jury Pool

Our post from yesterday was right on target. We concluded that federal prosecutors in Mississippi appear to be leaking information out to the media to manipulate the jury pool in a judicial bribery case.

Our take on the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi was reaffirmed today in the Jackson Clarion Ledger.

As you may recall, that particular office in Mississippi is a hillbilly branch of the Rove Republican Racket and has successfully prosecuted "them Democrats" like the segregationists before them prosecuted "them colored folks."

One way is to stack the jury.

The Ledger writes:

Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter wants the jury pool for his federal corruption trial pulled from the entire northern half of Mississippi so he has a better chance of finding jurors not tainted by media coverage....Jurors for federal trials in Oxford usually come from a 17-county area, but DeLaughter wants that expanded to the entire 37-county northern district because of media attention in the case.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder should use his power over the U.S. Attorney's Office in Northern Mississippi and end the prosecutorial misconduct and gross injustice by Rove and his hillbilly friends.

Read the full article here.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Leaky Feds in Mississippi?

Last week's filing in the bribery case against Judge Bobby DeLaughter in Mississippi, an interesting footnote is found. DeLaughter's attorneys allude to irregularities and possible prosecutorial misconduct by remnants of the Rove-Bush-Cheney racket.

The brief states:

In addition, it has recently come to undersigned counsel’s attention based upon prejudicial articles published in the Jackson Clarion Ledger, that further irregularities may well have occurred in the conduct and supervision of the grand jury in this matter.

The footnote states:

These articles are: (1) an extremely misleading and inaccurate June 10, 2009, story regarding the existence of plea negotiations between Defendant and the government attorneys; (2) an ad hominem July 5, 2009 story regarding the fact that Judge DeLaughter remains suspended with pay that incorrectly suggests that this is the doing of Judge DeLaughter; and, (3) a July 9, 2009, article detailing a deposition transcript of Co-Schemer Timothy Balducci taken by the lawyers for the Frisby Corporation in the matter of Eaton orporation, et al., v. Jeffrey D. Frisby, et al., Civil Action No. 251-04-642-CIV, currently pending in the Hinds County Circuit Court.

This suggests that federal prosecutors or staffers from the U.S. Attorney's office have been leaking internal or circumstantial facts to manipulate the jury pool.

This kind of media manipulation caused a federal judge in Boston recently to grill prosecutors and demand detailed briefs on the "public relations" effort by the Boston U.S. attorney's office.

Is this slew of anti-DeLaughter media coverage part and parcel of a orchestrated media relations campaign from the good old boys in backwards Mississippi? Sho' looks like it.

Read the full brief here.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Alabama Retaliation

July 4th is over but political fireworks were shot into the sky yesterday in Montgomery, Alabama. The whistle-blower for the U.S. Department of Justice who revealed prosecutorial misconduct in the case against former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman was fired from her job last month. The action was labeled immediately as retaliation.

She had provided evidence that members of Rove Republican Racket were engaged in repugnant legal conduct. Now the Racket has fired her.

From the Daily Kos:

A U.S. Department of Justice whistleblower has been fired from her job after speaking out about wrongdoing in the Middle District of Alabama. Tamarah Grimes, who served on the prosecution team in the case against former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy, received notice of her termination on June 9....Grimes provided documents to Justice Department watchdogs showing that Leura Canary, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, had stayed on the Siegelman case long after she had supposedly recused herself. Grimes also provided evidence of improper contacts between jurors and members of the prosecution team.
Read the full story here and the New York Times story here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bean Town Bra Bribes

The Rove Republican Racket thought they were clever. In 2007 and 2008, they targeted two allegedly corrupt Democratic politicians in Boston. Investigators caught the politicians on tape and on film stuffing bribes in a bra.
Then came the grand standing!

Now a federal judge wants to know why a high profile news conference was held right after the arrests and photos from the investigation released. The news conference and photo incidents happened last year.

From the Associated Press:

A federal judge has ordered prosecutors to produce affidavits explaining why photographs were released and any news conferences held following the arrests of two Boston politicians on corruption charges. Judge Douglas Woodlock said Thursday at a pretrial hearing that he wants to evaluate whether prosecutors tried to "gin things up" among the public following the arrests last year of former Sen. Dianne Wilkerson and Boston city councilor Chuck Turner. Woodlock said he wanted affidavits by July 16 from anyone involved in the decision-making process, potentially including former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan.

Sullivan is part of the Rove-Bush-Cheney machine and now has a well-paying job with former Bush Attorney General John Ashcroft. The indicted and arrested politicians, Turner and Wilkerson, both prominent Democrats are also alleging they were targeted for being high-profile leaders in the African-American community.
Although both these politicians may go to jail, the Rove Racket arrogantly showed-off.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Rove Deposed by House Judiciary Committee

Breaking news from Politico:

Rove deposed in U.S. attorney probe

By: John Bresnahan and Josh Gerstein July 7, 2009 07:29 PM EST

Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove was deposed Tuesday by attorneys for the House Judiciary Committee, according to Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the panel’s chairman. Rove’s deposition began at 10 a.m. and ended around 6:30 p.m, with several breaks, Conyers said. Conyers would not comment on what Rove told congressional investigators, what the next step in the long-running Judiciary Committee investigation would be or whether Rove would face additional questioning. “He was deposed today,” Conyers said in an interview. “That’s all I can tell you.”

Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, declined to confirm or deny that his client had appeared before the committee. Luskin said there was an agreement that the depositions would remain confidential until they were completed. However, in a court filing Monday, the Justice Department indicated that the deposition set for this week would be the committee's last.Conyers’ panel had first subpoenaed Rove in 2007 as part of its probe into the firing of nine U.S. attorneys.

But the Bush White House, citing executive privilege, refused to make Rove or White House Counsel Harriet Miers available for any deposition. Conyers’ panel responded by filing a civil lawsuit against the White House and prevailed in district court last year but the appeals court had yet to address the issue. With an agreement between the Obama White House, the Bush White House and House Judiciary Committee, the current Justice Department avoided having to choose sides in court and risk an appeals court precedent which could undercut executive privilege or Congress's right to investigate alleged government malfeasance. Miers was interviewed by Judiciary Committee staffers in June.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Talk About Stupid

From the Post-Tribune of Northwest Indiana:

Newton County Prosecutor J. Edward Barce, who is serving as special prosecutor in a case involving a Gary lawyer charged with trafficking with an inmate, let his law license go into inactive status for more than three years. Until four months ago, Barce's license had been on inactive status since Aug. 5, 2005, according to Donald Lundberg, executive secretary of the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission. Barce reactivated his license on Feb. 23, Lundberg said. Barce's license status was one of the reasons cited by Jerome Taylor in seeking the dismissal of the trafficking with an inmate case Barce filed in June 2007 against Taylor's client, Gary attorney Carl Jones.