In Austin, Texas, tomorrow, on April Fool’s Day, a three judge panel will hear oral arguments for the appeal of Paul Minor. Oral arguments were requested by both Minor’s attorneys and the Government, so the fact that the judges are hearing them really can’t be construed as favoring one side or the other.
A three judge panel consisting of Justices Priscilla Owen, Catharina Haynes, and Will Garwood will hear oral arguments from the Government and Minor’s all-star defense team featuring Abbe Lowell (of Clinton impeachment defense fame) batting clean up.
There is so much water under the bridge on the ceaseless efforts to make this case something that it’s not, that it’s hard to know where to start. The only place I know to start is by putting out the data.
First, I put the Minor indictment out there. This was the bar the Government had to hit, and they did.
Second, I’ll put out Minor’s appeal.
Third, here’s the Government’s response to Minor’s appeal.
Finally, and this was just filed today, a letter from Hiram Eastland (of the Steve Patterson defense team juggernaut). This letter gently begs Judge Priscilla Owen to step aside due to her connections to Karl Rove.
Aside from some arguments in Minor’s appeal about jury instructions and the “quid pro quo” arguments, Minor’s defense team and its supporters have really been pushing public sympathy on the fact that Minor was hand selected to be prosecuted for political reasons.
There are two “conspiracies” peddled in the Minor universe.
1. That Minor was targeted by Karl Rove via the Justice Department for giving so much money to Democrats
2. That Minor was targeted by Dunn Lampton as “revenge” for the defeat of Judge Keith Starret, who Lampton campaigned for (before becoming US Attorney)
Though long on allegations and innuendo, no one has come up with anything other than circumstance in their pieces and no one has been charged with anything related to impropriety.
However, the case against Minor is well documented. For all of the column inches that the New York Times, RFK Jr., Raw “deal” Story, and even our own local moonbats at home have dedicated to these ridiculous arguments, not one of them have promoted the documentation of what was proven to 12 jurors in a court of law. In fact, just to show you the journalistic lunacy, one of these authors, Larissa Alexandrovna, even made a direct appeal for letters of support to Minor. That’s journalism in action! Unfortunately, that’s what were dealing with on shaping public opinion here.
Lowell will have his hands full. For someone who has defended legal giants like Bill Clinton, Jack Abramoff, Gary Condit and Dan Rostenkowski, Lowell has a huge problem in this case. Just as in the Clinton impeachment, for all of Lowell’s brilliance, he still ran up against that damn blue, stained dress. For all the fancy-lawyerin’, the evidence kept getting in the way.
The “little blue dresses” in this case are very clear patterns of evidence that Minor kept judges on the string so that they’d pay out, which of course they did. AND THEN, he covered his tracks through strawmen like Dickie Scruggs and other attorneys to hide what he did. Defendants that Minor litigated against walked into kangaroo courts, got their asses handed to them to the tune of millions of dollars while the judges and the plaintiff’s lawyers laughed all the way to the bank.
For instance, no one mentions (according to the government’s appeal brief page 17 ) that Minor in the Whitfield conspiracy guaranteed loans of over $100K so that Whitfield could help buy his then-girlfriend a house while he was getting a divorce. Whitfield then lies about that fact during his divorce under oath. Then Minor gets a case in front of Whitfield and on a bench trial, Minor’s client gets awarded over $3M without the other side knowing about the “loans”. To hide the transaction, Minor ghosts a phony loan payoff through an unwitting patsy in New Orleans and then has to undo that after the patsy figured out the scheme.
And no one certainly mentions about the Teel bribery scheme (on p23 of the brief) where Minor loaned Teel money, got a case transferred to him only to have Teel suggest a settlement figure of $1.5M without disclosing the fact to the defense that Minor had a loan guarantee for Teel and had been helping him with his criminal defense on other charges. And not many have mentioned that Dickie Scruggs was the strawman paying off the Teel loan. For those who have been living in a cave, Scruggs is doing seven years in prison for his role in bribing two other judges.
The hypocrisy of the Minor defense is really other-worldly. In fact, it seems like Eastland’s letter to get Owen to step aside may be a sign that they’re giving up early. On one hand, Minor asks us to believe that Judge Owen can’t be impartial because she knows Karl Rove. On the other, he says that Teel and Whitfield could totally divorce the fact that Minor had them on a string and just coincidentally found for millions of dollars for Minor’s clients without disclosing the relationships to the defendants. This logic is truly something to behold. Minor’s best and maybe only hope is to pray that enough pressure can build so that Prez-O gives him a commutation or full pardon.
Maybe Minor gets off in Austin. Candidly, having done the research, I seriously doubt it. The facts remain what they are. Though Minor’s appeal team (and their willing accomplices in the new media) can shade this as business as usual, this is another opportunity for the Feds to clean up Mississippi’s judicial bribery mess by keeping one of its greatest offenders behind bars. Hopefully, the judges on the 5th circuit won’t forget about Minor’s little blue dresses.