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YP – Balducci Depo in Eaton v...

YP – Balducci Depo in Eaton v Frisby – mentions of Trent Lott’s call and DeLaughter’s reaction

By: Magnolia Tribune - July 22, 2009

With a hattip to IpseBlogit, yesterday, the Clarion Ledger put the Timothy Balducci deposition out in Eaton vs. Frisby.

It’s an interesting read where Balducci tells his side of how Scruggs, Langston, Peters and he conspired to influence Judge Bobby DeLaughter and how effective it was. He also talks some about the Trent Lott piece of when/how he was brought in by Scruggs to “make the call”. It’s a long read, but an interesting one.

We made one change to the depo – we OCRd it so that now it’s searchable. It can be found here.

Again, hattip to IPSEBLOGIT and the Clarion Ledger for helping get this out there.

There was some interesting testimony by Balducci about how Trent got involved and DeLaughter’s reaction.

A (Balducci). And throughout the case, and throughout
the case. As a matter of fact, I remember very
specifically late in the case, a conversation during
the meeting in Jackson at the airport where me,
Patterson and Peters were there, and DeLaughter had
been passed over, had not been included for
consideration in the most recent federal judgeship
process, nomination process.
And Peters delivering the message that
DeLaughter was very upset about that and wanted some
assurances about what was going on, that he had
exposed himself by helping Scruggs in the Wilson
case and was beginning to wonder if Scruggs was
essentially going to renege on him and not uphold
his part of the deal. And I remember that Patterson
and I and Peters all sort of laughingly agreed with
each other that he might, he might renege. He might
not do right like he had promised.

Q. Can you recall, relative to this July 6,
2006, date of this series of orders we looked at,
was it before or after that, or can you remember?

A. My best recollection is that it was
before, and the reason I say that is because I
remember us having an internal discussion that Judge
DeLauahter had made it clear throuah Peters that he < was not going to dismiss the punitive claim yet, that he was going to let that sort of linger out there, and Scruggs was highly offended by that. 1 He was mad about that, and Scruggs viewed that, DeLaughter's refusal to dismiss the punitive claim, Scruggs viewed that as Dehughter sort of trying to send a message to Scruggs and sort of holding out, maybe a chip in his favor to get Scruggs to do what he promised, and that is to put him -- get him put up for the federal judgeship. Q Did Peters sav how he was aoina to handle " - + the concern that ~cruggs might renege on the judicial appointment? A. He told us that -- that he was going to send a message back to DeLaughter, you know, what the party line was. And the party line at that time was that the last judicial nomination had been Thad Cochran's call, and that the next one to come along was Trent Lott's call. And that's the way that Trent and Thad did things, that they alternated, took turns on these type of appointments, and that the one that just came up it was Thad's turn. The next one was going to be Trent's turn, and that he assured Peters that -- that DeLaughter would be considered, would be put on the list for the next one. Q. Had Scruggs said he had caused Trent to put DeLaughter up for that spot? A. He had. Q. Who did he say that to? A. hey, Patterson, me. Not only did he say he would, he said he had. And Trent had called DeLaughter. And that was another thing --that was another point I had forgotten. That was -- it was after that conversation when we reported back to Scruggs that DeLaughter was nervous about his exposure and nervous that -- that Scruggs might not fulfill his end of the bargain. I t was after that that Lott called Delaughter. Q. How did you know that Lott called DeLaughter? A. Scruggs told us, and Peters told us. We got it from both ends. Scruggs told us that, yeah, Trent's called him to let him know that everything's going to be okay, and then Peters told us eventually, yeah, Lott called him and told him everything's going to be okay. And that sort of smoothed things over for a while. It sort of exhibited the good faith, if you will, of the arrangement. Q. So Trent called Judge DeLaughter at Scruggs' request? A. Absolutely.

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Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Y'all Politics staff.