Hopefully, Judge Biggers will catch the slight of hand trick when he reads the Government’s Response to Zach Scruggs’ Motion for Depositions – admittedly, I missed it on my first read and only read it again after catching Patsy Brumfield’s story on NEMS360.com this morning: Feds insist Scruggs request ‘reckless’ to question key figures under oath.
Prosecutors say Zach Scruggs’ request to take sworn statements from 11 key judicial-bribery case witnesses is “reckless, speculative and legally ineffective.”
Their motion filed late Friday argues that the only people the court should subpoena for live testimony should be Scruggs’ four original co-defendants in the 2007 judicial bribery case that rocked Mississippi’s legal community…
Here’s the trick – the Government wants to substitute affidavits given to counter Zach’s Bar Complaint against his former attorney, Anthony Farese, for the depositions Zach requested in his Motion for Depositions. While the names may be the same – Langston, Dawson, Sanders, and Norman – Zach’s Motion goes much further than his complaint against Farese. Not only that, the Government tosses in the affidavits of Oxford attorney Kenneth Coghlan and former Langston law partner Ron Michaels – both supporting Farese in the matter before the Bar, to make the slight of hand trick more believable to Judge Biggers.
However, there are far more significant issues before the Court than those addressed in Zach’s Bar Complaint against Farese – and the Government’s response ignores those issues all but in total. For example, the Government’s position is Judge Lackey should be given a free pass (another one!):
Whether or not Mr.Balducci “ever offered him a bribe” is well established and beyond dispute. “Who first conceived of there being a bribe” relates to the entrapment issue that was previously litigated, decided by the Court and not appealed. “Whether or not Mr. Balducci ever implicated petitioner” in his conversations with Judge Lackey is irrelevant. Petitioner’s assertion that Judge Lackey has knowledge of exculpatory discussions with federal authorities concerning the petitioner is wildly speculative and untrue, with no basis in fact. Judge Lackey simply has no knowledge one way or the other regarding what Zach Scruggs knew or didn’t know.
Apparently, the is a dispute about whether Balducci ever offered Judge Lackey a bribe – and it’s definitely not up to the Government to decide that or any other matter before the Court. Nor can the Government simply ignore the allegation that Norman withheld evidence and simply substitute his affivadit on a different matter as a defense – but it did just that, seemingly assured Judge Biggers would likewise ignore the omission.
As Brumfield’s story reports, “Biggers set the hearing for Scruggs’ motion, saying he would hear ‘all issues’ “. Obviously, the Government doesn’t want that – so, the question becomes “what is the government hiding behind this slight of hand trick to distract Judge Biggers?”.
As soon as Zach’s attorney file their Rebuttal, SLABBED will have it up. Meanwhile, Zach’s Motion for Depositions and the Government’s Responseare reposted in Scribd format below as well as linked here and here.
[scribd id=50029212 key=key-1fqfizsz2mpft40hr502 mode=list]
[scribd id=50562648 key=key-28j6a3u2omnu884l80vb mode=list]