I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

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What Ed Peters said about the judicial appointment in the grand jury

In the hearing this week in Scruggs II, Ed Peters’s grand  jury testimony and one of his four FBI interview statements were placed in evidence in lieu of his testimony. [1]. The interview memo is from an interview of 12/11/07, the day before DeLaughter’s first interview with the F.B.I. and , and would be Peters’s first statement to them.[2] I’ll post later about what I see in that one.

I did an earlier post about the grand jury testimony (and the 9/9/08 FBI interview notes) that summarized them.  While the 9/9/08 interview has lots to say about the judicial appointment,[3]. it’s not in evidence in the hearing this week, and so I won’t focus on in here other than in the footnote.   This post focuses on what’s in evidence  from the grand jury testimony, particularly on the judicial appointment issue.

You learn several things from the grand jury testimony (which was on October 21, 2008).

  • Peters remembers the judicial position coming up in the first meeting with Paterson and Langston.  While he remembers them saying there was no linkage with the help on the case, he made clear that, in his mind, help with a judicial position was one of the reasons that DeLaughter was influenced.
  • Peters remembers DeLaughter saying “you won’t believe this” when he called to tell Peters about the call from Trent Lott.  It sounds like he was both surprised and pleased.

The real argument in the hearing was whether DeLaughter got something, the other end of the exchange.  Scruggs made two arguments:  That the help on the judicial appointment and the help on the case weren’t linked, and that the help on the judicial appointment didn’t mean anything.

Peters says he told Scruggs’s team about DeLaughter’s ambition to be a judge.  He believes he told Patterson.  They gave him the impression they would help on the judicial appointment.

Continue reading What Ed Peters said about the judicial appointment in the grand jury