Joey Langston exculpated Zach Scruggs on the Wilson case


Paul Quinn noted in comments that Zach’s lawyers argued that he did not hear what Balducci said. Here’s an excerpt of Page 30 of the transcript of the November 1st meeting (which I posted about here on Folo) between Balducci, Backstrom, and Zach Scruggs:

see transcript here

In his motion to dismiss the indictment (I posted it on Folo), Zach Scruggs had argued a couple of things about this passage: First, that he was near the door and, just before it talking to his secretary. Second, that it shows Balducci is only addressing Backstrom because Balducci shifts from saying “ya’ll” to saying “you.” That’s actually not so. For the prior 10 pages or so, Balducci was talking to both and consistently saying “you.” Then, his argument suggested that he hadn’t heard the key part of this conversation:

At this point in the conversation, it is clear that Zach Scruggs is leaving the room and not involved in – if in fact he even heard – what was being said. As the transcript plainly indicates, Zach Scruggs does not even acknowledge anything Mr. Balducci says on the subject of “sweet potatoes” or paying for anything with so much as a “uh huh.”

This part of this conversation is going to play a huge role in the hearing in two weeks. Presumably, Sid Backstrom is going to testify that Zach Scruggs did not hear the key part– thus the Government’s remark in its pleading that Backstrom and Zach Scruggs both failed polygraphs on this point. Presumably, given his grand jury and trial testimony, Balducci will testify that Zach was in the room and listening. That will raise a fact issue about whether Zach Scruggs has proved actual innocence. Given how easy it is to join a federal conspiracy, and evidence that Zach helped draft (via ex parte contact) an order “you paid for” and heard in the same conversation about the judge’s need for more “sweet potatoes,” all with total awareness that Balducci had been earwigging the judge for months on end (a fact his lawyer freely admits), it’s going to be an interesting hearing.