This week, the House Judiciary Committee, led by Rep John Conyers (D) released a report outlining what the Democrats on the committee believe to be the political nature of prosecutions by the Justice Department for public corruption.
One of those prosecutions mentioned on Page 26 was that of Judge Oliver Diaz and Paul Minor, a local Coast plaintiff’s attorney, and local judges Wes Teel and Paul Whitfield (cue local apologists). What the MSM or the local alt-types decline or even go out of their way to avoid telling you is that these prosecutions were a good thing.
To indict means to bring charges against. To convict means to prove. If you by definition convicted everyone you indicted, there would be no reason to go through the process of a trial. Minor, Teel, Whitfield were all found guilty. Judge Diaz’ wife Jennifer pleaded guilty to tax evasion. Judge Diaz was ultimately acquitted. All of those things seem to be in line with the facts. They are explained in Minor, Teel & Whitfield’s second indictment, which the apologists have not read and definitely want you to. Minor and these other plaintiff’s lawyers were just stringing these local judges along.
Here is just a taste . . .
24. On or about July 12, 2000, defendant, WHITFIELD, sitting as a Circuit Court Judge, ruled in favor of defendant MINOR’s client, Marks, in the case of Diamond Offshore, by entering a $3,750,000 judgement in favor of defendant MINOR’S client, Marks.
25. In or about July 2000, The People’s Bank notified defendant WHITFIELD that the full amount of approximately $140,000 in two loans were due to be paid off in full or renewed.
26. In August or September 2000, an employee of The Peoples Bank telephoned MINOR law offices seeking MINOR’s assistance in getting the loans made to defendant WHITFIELD, and guaranteed by MINOR, paid off in full or renewed.
27. On or about September 8, 2000, defendants MINOR and WHITFIELD signed loan renewal documents, securing a six-month renewal of two loans totaling approximately $140,000.
From the records of the case, here is what we know as facts.
1. Minor guaranteed loans and used straw-men and patsies(like Dickie Scruggs) to pay them off to keep his fingerprints off of them
2. Minor strung along Teel and Whitfield and was renewing loan agreements just days after he had decisions in his favor come down in their courtrooms.
3. Minor urged a local lawyer to “to channel $20-40,000 to state Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz Jr., implying a connection between such assistance and Diaz’s help in preserving a multi-million-dollar award for one of Dallas’s clients before the high court”.
4. Jennifer Diaz was taking $5000 cash in a paper bag from Dickie Scruggs’ secretary with the clear impression of “there’s more where that came from”.
The bottom line is that if you have a judge with this kind of foolishness going on around him, it is imparative to at least bring the charges. To not have done so would be to essentially condone that sort of foolishness. As we know, the then AG Mike Moore wouldn’t bring the charges because Minor and Scruggs were his boys, too. (Are you seeing a familiar theme here?) Judge Diaz was exonerated, and though I can only imagine the nightmare of the government coming down after you, there was a legitimate case to be made. There was certainly enough to bring charges. The system worked. He was found not guilty.
That brings us to the “politicized” charges alleged in the report which quotes such unbiased sources as the New York Times and the Jackson Free Press to make their case. What they would have you believe is that this was US Attorney Dunn Lampton run amok. The reality of any public corruption charge of this type is that it has to run the full gamut of internal Justice Department checks from career (not political) prosecutors. The locals US Attorneys had to make a substantial case to theoretically unbiased prosecutors from DC, who likely had a hand in shaping the exact nature of the charges filed.
The end result is that the right things happened. Minor was clearly guilty as were Teel and Whitfield – so said a jury. Oliver Diaz was acquitted. Though there was smoke around him, 12 people on a jury said there was no fire, and you have to respect all of that. Since, he has protested his prosecution mightily, but when you look at the facts, bringing charges even against him was the right thing to do. But you also have to respect the process that got it to that point. That’s something Mississippi’s MSM or alt-types will never be able to get their brains (or their political courage) around.