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The Bush Justice Department’s efforts to prosecute high-profile Michigan lawyer Geoffrey Fieger ended today when the jury returned a verdict of acquittal on all counts following a twenty-day trial. Fieger was prosecuted for raising funds for Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards. Under the prosecution’s widely-criticized theory, Fieger had offered to reimburse staffers for donations they made to the Edwards campaign.
The case was one of more than a half dozen comparable cases the Bush Justice Department brought against Democratic attorneys who raised funds for Edwards or current Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton. No comparable cases were brought against individuals who raised funds for Republican causes, and the prosecutions were criticized as a scheme designed to stifle Democratic fundraising from trial lawyers.
Former Macomb county prosecutor Carl Marlinga, another Democrat charged in the case, was also acquitted on all counts. Marlinga told the Detroit Free Press that the Bush Administration “had corrupted justice to its own political ends,” and that “this mini reign of terror is probably over.”
I previously discussed the Fieger prosecution and the issues with it in “Another Political Prosecution in Michigan,” and “A Political Prosecution Goes Under the Microscope,”. The open question: how much money did the Justice Department expend on this political campaign, and who authorized it?
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”