Monday, April 21, 2008

Monsters and Motivations: The Saga Begins to Unfold in Greater Depth

Some of Judge Henry Lackey's testimony or abridgements or paraphrases of the testimony can be found at Folo (I did not know the kind of monster we were dealing with . . .). Here is an interesting chunk. Cal Mayo is doing the questioning (but not very well it should be added, but maybe not all the questions and answers were reported), he is the attorney for Dick Scruggs.
Q: In May, Balducci had made no quid pro quo?

[A.] He was lying to me and I was lying to him, was what was happening.

[Q.] Did you have any discussions about recusal with FBI or US Attorneys office about your recusal before you did it?

[A.] Sent letter recusing myself, my decision. Did not feel I was getting anywhere, was frustrated with the situation. I reported it to the FBI agent.

[A.] After talking to the FBI agent and after realizing what a monster we were dealing with and the lives he had probably destroyed and the young lawyers and their families he had destroyed, I got back in it.

[A.] The monster was Dickie Scruggs.

Q. Who told you he had destroyed those lives.

A. I did not realize what a monster we were dealing with fully until now. I realize what he has done to destroy our profession, more than anything in my lifetime. Tim Balducci had told me Scruggs knew.

A. Did not discuss the lives Scruggs had destroyed at that time.

It seems clear Judge Lackey had an agenda of his own in this matter. That it was an agenda which preceded his contact with the US Attorney. Before he went to the "FBI agent" (did that come after he had talked with the US Attorney?) he said, "[d]id not feel I was getting anywhere, was frustrated with the situation."
What was the situation? It was, Lackey said, in "May, Balducci had made no quid pro quo?“He was lying to me and I was lying to him, was what was happening.” That is, Lackey had formed and intent to get something out of Balducci which would give him some power over Balducci. But it was not forth-coming, he was frustrated.

Lackey seems to have had the opinion that Dick Scruggs was a "monster" and had "destroyed lives" and "destroyed" "young lawyers and their families." He was going after him, Dick Scruggs, and he was going to use his friend Balducci to get to him. To get to the monster who had destroyed lives and destroyed young lawyers and their families.

Lackey had an agenda, a purpose, in this. Balducci's contact with him in March gave him a pretext to pursue that purpose and a pretext to destroy his friend Balducci in the process (war is justified by the presumption that the object of war is evil). One cannot be sure from what one knows of the Lackey testimony but it would seem there is more than a hint of the Judge's relish in going after Dick Scruggs -- the words, monster, destroy lives, destroy young lawyers and their families indicate more than objective interest.

"So what," you might say.

Let me explain myself. That Lackey may have had a personal agenda in this, a mission of his own, is certainly of interest regarding the entrapment issue, which as you know is of importance to me. But more interesting and in line with what I said in my last post, Lackey's motivations seem to make for a more interesting story, seem to express more depth about the "set piece" of the Scruggs Matter. There is greater depth to the history.

Just as Dick Scruggs creatively with friends and compatriots pursued the asbestos cases (I had an early part in the defense of some of the non-Scruggs, non-Motley, asbestos cases in Eastern Washington but got out of them and handed them off to one of my partners), just as Dick Scruggs with Attorney General Moore and various attorneys general (AG Christine Gregoire of Washington was one of the major players) pursued big tobacco, just has Dick Scruggs "got his rocks off," pursued his career, pursued success, pursued his desire to advance himself, pursued justice, so Judge Lackey creatively sought an object which would benefit him, satisfy his urging: to wit, the destruction of Dick Scruggs.

I think Lackey saw the destruction of Dick Scruggs as a worthy goal and one which would advance his reputation. Each of Scruggs and Lackey took their energies, their libido, their creativity and pursued objects the control or conquest of which would have payoff or gain to them.

And, just as Dick Scruggs seemed to push to the outside of the envelop doing things others more ethical would not have done, Judge Lackey has seemed to push the outside of the envelop to gain his objective, that is the cajoling of his emotionally manic and morally weak friend, Tim Balducci, into a crime of bribery proposed by the Judge himself which would very rapidly trap Dick Scruggs and bring his downfall.

In the lives of these two players, Dick Scruggs and Henry Lackey, there is much interesting material as to motivation and instinct. This makes the story of the Scruggs Matter much more interesting and indeed, much more instructive to those who might be interested in more than the usual comic book theme of war between good guys and bad guys. The matter is not that simple, nor that inconsequential.

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