Disgraced former Sen. Jeff Smith is jockeying for less time when he is sentenced Tuesday, Nov. 17, but none of us are going to be able to tell just what reasoning Smith and his lawyer are using in their efforts.
Following the same formula applied Thursday to the sentencing memorandum filed by former Rep. Steve Brown, D-St. Louis, Judge Carol Jackson sealed Smith's sentencing memorandum, which according to the docket, included 13 supplements.
Brown, of course, has become notorious since information about his guilty plea was first revealed, for his willingness to put the blame on dead colleague Artie Harris. From the Aug. 25 Turner Report:
Not knowing that his conversation was being overheard by the feds, Sen. Jeff Smith, who resigned his seat and pleaded guilty to two felony counts of obstruction of justice, tried to talk his co-conspirator, Rep. Steve Brown, into blaming everything on the late Artie Harris.
During a June 30 meeting at Starbuck's Cafe in Clayton, Smith told Brown, "Can you put it on Arnie?" Smith asked. "If you can just put it on Arnie." Arnie Harris, a key member of Jeff Smith's 2004 Congressional campaign, died shortly after being interviewed by the FEC about accusations, since proven to be factual, that Smith's campaign worked with Milton "Skip" Ohlsen on the direct mailing of attack literature against the eventual winner of the Democratic primary, Russ Carnahan.
Smith continued to take that cowardly approach during another meeting with Brown and 2004 campaign treasurer and co-conspirator Nick Adams June 30 at Smith's home, again with the FBI listening in.
Smith and Adams tag-teamed Brown to get him to lay the entire blame on Harris. Adams said, "I'm alive and Artie's dead. Can was emphasize this was Artie's deal?"
Smith added, "Artie would totally want us to throw him under the bus here."
Smith, not realizing his conversation was being monitored by an FBI wiretap June 1 confirmed his connection to an unsuccessful backdoor attempt to derail Russ Carnahan's successful primary bid for the House seat being vacated by Richard Gephardt:
"Did I know (Milton Ohlsen) was going to do something/" Smith told his co-conspirator, Rep. Steve Brown during the telephone conversation. "Yeah, I mean I thought he was going to do something. If I didn't think he was going to do something, hen I would have said to Artie (Harris) and Nick (Adams) don't waste your time talking to that guy."
"I vividly remember somebody being like well (Ohlsen) wants to do this, and I was like, well, f------ let him do it, sweet. And they're like, well, he's going to need the money to do it, he'll need to get it from your donors, and I said, like hopefully, my donors will give it to him."
The court documents indicate another conversation between Smith and Brown, this one face to face was also monitored. During that conversation, Smith talked about what evidence the FBI had against him "I don't think he (Ohlsen) taped any phone conversations with me. I mean, I pray he didn't. I may have had a phone conversation with him where I acknowledged what he was doing."
Smith then admitted he was fully aware of what Ohlsen was doing. "I'm assuming that I broke the law by having knowledge of what (Ohlsen) was going to do. I don't know how they could prove that."
Smith then told Brown to lie to investigators. "Don't do anything stupid," he said. "Stupid would be telling them that things that are happening in your brain."
Smith said when he was interviewed he would be "Ninety percent honest."
(Randy Turner's new book, Newspaper Days, is available at Amazon.com.)