Stephen Yagman’s trial for money laundering, tax evasion, and bankruptcy fraud began yesterday in U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson’s courtroom downtown. The L.A. Times reports here.
Yagman will get a fair trial in Judge Wilson’s courtroom. I interviewed for a clerkship with Judge Wilson and found him to be an engaging, smart, and personable man.
Best of luck to the Government in this case.
Some time back, I wrote that the Democrats’ timeline on the Steven Biskupic/Georgia Thompson affair made no sense, because the prosecution of Thompson began in January 2006, and Biskupic was thought to have been added to the list in November or December of 2006.
Given those facts, the addition of Biskupic to the list appeared to contradict, rather than support, the argument that the Bushies were targeting U.S. Attorneys for political reasons.
But the Biskupic affair is potentially back on the table, because evidence has emerged that Biskupic was actually added to the list in 2005 — and removed in January 2006, just around the time of the Thompson indictment.
The evidence comes in the form of a graphic published by the Washington Post, which you can see here. It conveniently lists when all of the U.S. Attorneys appeared on the firing list, and at what times. Bookmark that one and save it. It’s a great resource.
From everything I’ve read about Biskupic, he’s a stand-up guy who wouldn’t bring a prosecution he didn’t believe in for political reasons. But the Bushies may well have added and removed him for political reasons. The evidence is becoming clearer that the Bushies used politics as a factor in some inappropriate areas — witness Monica Goodling’s testimony yesterday, for example, in which she admitted using politics as a consideration in hiring decisions. The timing on Biskupic now appears suspicious — just as the timing of Iglesias being added to the list has always seemed suspicious.
[Posted by WLS]
The LAT links through one of its blogs a stunning article — very well researched and documented — from the East Bay Express concerning the incredibly obscene use of campaign funds by East Bay State Senator Don Perata, the Democrat Leader of the California Senate. It must kill the LAT editors to see a small little local paper do this kind of political reporting, and the best they can do is to link the article in a blog. Maybe the blogger should go look at campaign finance reports like the real reporter named Robert Gammon did.
The Dems can raise hell all they want about Duke Cunningham — and he’s worthy of all the scorn heaped upon him — but they should be just as outraged at what Perata has done over the years with his campaign funds. First, some facts from the article as a set up:
Perata represents a district in the East Bay (Oakland-Alameda) when Dems have a voter registration advantage of 59.1% to 13.7%. No GOP candidate running against Perata in the general election has polled more than 16% in recent years. The only way he could ever lose his seat was in a primary race, but his power as Leader of the State Senate is shown in the fact the he hasn’t even had a token opponent in a primary election since 1998.
Yet, occupying the safest of safe seats, he still ranks at the top of the State Senate in campaign fund raising.
From January 2000 through December 2006, he collected at least $3.72 million for his personal reelection campaigns. That doesn’t include the $37.31 million raised by more than a dozen political action committees he’s been associated with during that period.