Part of the argument is transparent bull, particularly for anyone who has become considered (or wanted consideration) for the federal bench (e.g. any federal judge who might hear this motion):
The only thing (tangible or intangible) that Count One alleges Judge DeLaughter accepted or agreed to accept is “consideration for appointment to a federal judgeship then open in the Southern District of Mississippi.” Indictment at 4, ¶ 9.h. But any qualified attorney could obtain such “consideration for appointment” for free. The evidence will show that almost three weeks before Senator Lott’s courtesy call, Judge DeLaughter had availed himself of that free “consideration for appointment” by sending his resume to Senators Lott and Cochran and expressing interest in the open judgeship. Absent an offer by Senator Lott to assist Judge DeLaughter in obtaining the judgeship–which Count One does not allege and the evidence will not show–the alleged March 29 offer of “consideration for appointment” had no “value.”
In a large way this is where this motion goes off the cliff. I think the argument that DeLaughter needs to have known that Peters was getting $1M is a good one. The argument that a courtesy call from a Senator isn’t a thing of value seems less serious, and reaches to facts outside the indictment (the argument talks about what the proof will show about the senator’s practices, thus reaching outside the indictment). A fascinating argument because of point one, but my bet is count one survives on this one.
Here’s the Motion to Dismiss Count One.