Political staffers of elected officials in Mississippi are breathing a huge sigh of relief this week as the Mississippi media roundly ignored the federal indictment of Rep. Bennie Thompson’s Chief of Staff, Lanier Avant. If you’ll remember, Avant had been charged previously with felonies related to not filing tax returns for multiple years. He pleaded to Class A misdemeanors and spent 30 days in prison plus a “weekend incarceration” program while still serving as Chief of Staff.
The latest charges resulting in a federal felony indictment stem from falsifying documents to obtain top security clearance.
Just to put this in context, you have a Chief of Staff of the Ranking Member of Homeland Security indicted for falsifying security records to obtain top level security clearance after having already pleaded to crimes related to not filing/paying taxes.
Any staffer of any Mississippi political official must be doing a “happy dance” because according to the Mississippi media, even federal indictments of top staffers don’t qualify as newsworthy. At all. So if staffers get a DUI, have a drug related arrest, don’t file taxes, falsify forms or whatever, there’s nothing to see here, right?
If this had happened to the staffer of a Republican, there would have been a lot more ink spilled here. But for now, the media establishment in Mississippi has laid down their marker.