Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said the Mississippi Northern District U.S. Attorney job was not part of the discussion he had today with Assistant U.S. Attorney Curtis Ivy, who has been mentioned as a candidate for the position. Ivy met with Thompson on Thursday, while the prosecutor was in Washington for the DOJ’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and Asset Forfeiture Program (OCDETF) national leadership conference.
The congressman said in a interview with Main Justice that the meeting was “private” and had “nothing to do with the U.S. Attorney” position. He declined to comment on what the two discussed.
We reported last week that Oxford criminal defense lawyer Christi McCoy, the Thompson-backed candidate for Mississippi Northern District U.S. Attorney, appeared to have run into trouble during the vetting process.
McCoy’s professional relationships with two figures in the Dickie Scruggs case is thought by Mississippi legal figures to be behind the White House’s apparent skittishness. Scruggs, the brother-in-law of former Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), is a trial lawyer who became enormously wealthy suing the tobacco companies in the 1990s. He pleaded guilty in connection with two sets of charges alleging he attempted to bribe judges in Mississippi. McCoy once worked at the law firm of Joey Langston, who pleaded guilty to conspiring with Scruggs to bribe a judge. McCoy also represented former State Auditor Steve Patterson, who pleaded guilty in another Scruggs-related judge bribery case.
Thompson said in the interview today that he continued to support McCoy. Thompson is playing a leading role in Mississippi U.S. Attorney recommendations because the state’s two senators, Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, are Republicans.