I must admit, I am loathe to write this. There is so much other stuff in the very fertile landscape of Mississippi political corruption that merits coverage and focus right now. However, not refuting the absurd is the quickest way to let the absurd become believable. I candidly don’t understand the alternative media’s love affair with corrupt trial lawyers and the judges that love them and their nearly ceaseless efforts to invent excuses for their behavior or obfuscate their bad deeds. Maybe they’re true believers. Maybe it’s just professional courtesy.
In this week’s Jackson Free Press, Adam Lynch writes a story entitled “The Sour Smell of Corruption” which bemoans the alleged influence of Karl Rove and other political influence in the prosecution and conviction of Paul Minor. As I will shortly demonstrate, bitching about Karl Rove with regards to the corruption of Paul Minor is like bitching about the smell of a pile of crap a mile down the road while you’re standing on a skunk. Regardless, their messaging mimicks that of “the mothership” . . . the New York Times.
Lynch goes through great lengths to preface the pre-prosecution and post-conviction scenarios taking potshots at everyone from Dunn Lampton (who also indicted and prosecuted James Ford Seale without any insinuation of corruption from the JFP) and Federal District Court Judge Henry Wingate (who presided in the Seale trial again with no insinuation of wrongdoing by the JFP). However, for all the fairy-tales and rainbow chases that Lynch engages his readers on, there is a little thing he forgot along the way . . . the evidence against Paul Minor, Wes Teel and John Whitfield.
Though we have exhaustively documented the evidence that was brought up at trial, the second indictment pursued by the Public Integrity Division at the US Department of Justice laid out the case extremely well against Minor, Teel and Whitfield. It is absolute must-read material (start on page 6 and read to the top of page 16). In it, the prosecution laid out a meticulous accounting of events that have not been refuted by anyone in the press trying to come to Minor et. al.’s aid. In fact, the dates and facts as laid out in the indictment either have to be precise or completely invented out of “whole cloth” (with apologies to Mike Moore). According to the indictment . . .
In November 1998, Minor guaranteed a loan to Whitfield for $100K. Whitfield uses this money to give to his girlfriend (that he would later marry) to buy a house. Whitfield meanwhile testified falsely under oath and did not disclose the loan to his then-wife or to the Chancery Court.
Whitfield carried this and another Minor guaranteed loan through the middle of 2000 with it periodically guaranteed by Minor repeatedly as the bank called the note. Then, Whitfield was assigned a case in which the plaintiff was represented by Minor. Neither Whitfield nor Minor alerted the defense of these loan guarantees. In June 2000, Whitfield rules in a bench trial (no jury) for Minor’s client for $3,750,000. The note is subsequently renewed and partially paid down by Minor several more times until in late 2002, Minor has an “Intermediary” in New Orleans sign a fraudulent promissory note and then pay off Whitfield’s note for $118K. Minor then wires the Intermediary $125K to cover the tracks of the transaction.
Teel’s story was nearly identical and I strongly encourage you to read for yourself. The only difference this time is that the “Intermediary” that paid off the strawman loan was Dickie Scruggs. Just in case you missed it, Dickie Scruggs just coincidentally is currently serving a five year sentence at a federal corrections facility in Kentucky for his admitted role in bribing a state court judge in a completely unrelated matter, but I digress.
The real question at hand seems to be . . . Was there credible evidence (as laid out in the indictment) to bring charges against Minor, Whitfield and Teel? I don’t know how an honest thinking person could read the indictment and believe there was not. There was obviously a trial of these three before that was also combined with former MSSC Judge Oliver Diaz. Diaz was acquitted, but remember that his wife had pleaded guilty to tax evasion in large part due to a campaign loan guaranteed by Dickie Scruggs (there’s that name again) and then forgiven and was subsequently not properly reported as income.
Again, I know it’s not en vogue for the alternative media to live with the decision of 12 hayseed jurors when dealing with such nuanced activities as high finance and judicial influence. I mean, really, how could a bunch of hicks from Mississippi possibly be able to comprehend when it’s OK to carry $140K in debt over a judge that rules in your favor while neither of you tell the other side? That’s just good lawyerin’, ain’t it?
As I have said countless times, this is twenty years of backwater politics coming home to roost. This whole judicial bribery/influence scandal involves the same players who have intermingled their money and influence for two decades. Tobacco . . . Asbestos . . . SKG . . . ICEPAC. Some really bad stuff happened. A lot of it has been admitted to. The rest, judges and juries have had to hash out. But all the excuses or wishing in the world ain’t gonna make it go away.
And there’s more coming . . . soon.