Lawyers for Moultrie — as well as Musgrove staffers — are bristling at any use of the word “bribery,” which they say is legally reserved for quid-pro-quo transactions. This money for that action.

Tom Freeland, attorney for Moultrie, put out this statement:

“Robert Moultrie has pleaded guilty to a charge in a one-count information that he paid an illegal gratuity to a state official by a campaign contribution to the official.

“This is a charge that he made the contribution intending to influence and reward the official for the performance of official duties should the public official’s assistance be needed on any potential problems on the Mississippi beef project.”

In other words, according to the attorney, this wasn’t bribery because Moultrie didn’t know what specific deed he might require a governor to perform. This was more like a purchase on the futures market.

AJC Political Insider