Tell us again why you're retiring, Senator

Trent Lott's brother-in-law, who represented him in a Katrina settlement, is indicted on charges of trying to bribe a judge.

By Tim Grieve
November 29, 2007 6:59PM (UTC)
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What the headline in the New York Times says: "Lawyer Battling for Katrina Payments Is Indicted."

What the first paragraph says: "Richard F. Scruggs, a prominent trial lawyer who has been fighting insurance companies over payments for damage from Hurricane Katrina, was indicted yesterday by federal authorities on charges of offering a bribe of $50,000 to a Mississippi state judge in a dispute over fees with another lawyer."


What you'll find if you read all the way down to the eighth paragraph of the story: "Mr. Scruggs, who has negotiated settlements worth more than $100 million this year with State Farm and other insurers, is a brother-in-law of Senator Trent Lott."

What you'll find if you read down to the 11th paragraph of the story: "Mr. Scruggs represented Mr. Lott and Representative Gene Taylor, Democrat of Mississippi, in settlements with State Farm after the insurer refused to pay claims for the loss of their homes in Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Lott, who said earlier this week that he was planning to retire from the Senate before his term expires, and Mr. Taylor pushed through federal legislation to investigate the claims handling of State Farm and other insurers after Hurricane Katrina. The investigation is under way."

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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