NMC posted a very thorough analysis on the recent batch of Bobby DeLaughter motions. I’ll try not to cover the same ground, but I will make a few different observations.

They fileda 404b motion, which has nothing interesting.

However, the Jenks motion is telling in my mind for a couple of reasons.

1. First, they quoted and complained a bit about the Clarion Ledger article and the information in the public domain. That’s the surest way to get . . . more press coverage, which seems to be what they want. Remember, the Scruggs venue change motion – the one with the cartoon inside the pleading?

The defense does have access, however, to yesterday’s Jackson Clarion Ledger story by Jerry Mitchell which purports to describe the testimony of government witness Timothy Balducci, based upon deposition testimony Balducci purportedly gave in the Eaton v. F risby case. A copy of this story is attached as Exhibit A. Based upon this account, Balducci himself apparently will say that a critical order entered by Judge DeLaughter was so legally deficient that Dickie Scruggs supposedly settled the lawsuit “rather than risk exposure on appeal.” (Exhibit A, p. 2).

2. They filed it on a Friday, which is often a ploy to get Sunday newsprint coverage.
3. They tried to publicly pit the potential witnesses (Scruggs and Balducci) against each other and scrap at their credibility.

Moreover, this testimony, if it is Balducci’s testimony, would seem to fly in the face of the government’s convoluted motion in limine theory. While not having any more access to Balducci’s anticipated testimony, than the anticipated testimony of Dickie Scruggs, counsel are also privy, however, to a public pleading Scruggs filed, coincidentally or not, the very same day the Balducci story ran in the Clarion Ledger.

They also filed a Brady motion (seeking potentially favorable or exculpatory evidence) with two interesting tidbits.

1. They want the full motherlode on Ed Peters

Any reports, memoranda, notes, transcripts, tape or video recordings,correspondence, or other memorialization of known or suspected criminal activity in which a potential government witness has engaged, or is suspected to have engaged in, which has not resulted in prosecution or conviction. This request specifically includes, but is not limited to, investigations of the government’s
immunized witness, Edward Peters.

2. They indicate they will threated to drag Lott and Cochran into the fray.

Any handwritten notes, memoranda, correspondence, transcripts, oral or written statements, or other memorializations pertaining to persons interviewed by the government regarding their participation in the matters referred to in the case who have stated, in substance, that there was no quid pro quo with respect to any efforts to obtain a federal judgeship for Defendant, or that whatever efforts that were made were of no value or were no more than would be done for any prospective or interested federal judicial candidate. This request specifically includes, but is not limited to, any interviews of United States Senators Trent Lott or Thad Cochran.

In my opinion, things continue to look really bad for DeLaughter. I think he could make it all go away for 1 year in jail. If he rolls the dice at trial and loses, he’ll spend 6-8 years in jail. No federal judge will take it easy on a “crooked judge” at sentencing time. Even if the quid pro quo issue falls his way, he’s got three massive problems.

1. If the evidence is at it has been presented, he shoveled ex parte motions around in the Wilson case and may have done much worse in Eaton v. Frisby.
2. If it’s proven that he substantially lied or misled investigators under oath, that’s the ball game, regardless of this quid pro quo, I-may-be-a-dirtbag-but-I’m-not-a-felon, Paul Minor-esque argument that seems to have no legs whatsoever.
3. He will still be facing testimony from two people (Scruggs and Langston) that have specifically pleaded guilty to crimes associated with bribing HIM. It would be pretty hard to argue to a jury that they pled guilty and went to jail because they didn’t have anything better to do. Oh yeah, and Peters and Balducci are out there ready to testify, too.