The ‘Murdaugh Murders’ crime and corruption saga marched on this week with new indictments handed down in connection with the financial crimes component of the investigation. Indictments were issued against the former CEO of Palmetto State Bank, Russell Laffitte – the first time he has been criminally charged – while additional indictments were handed down against alleged co-conspirator Cory Fleming and Alex Murdaugh himself.
The civil side of the the case also continued via a contentious court hearing in Lexington County. The court appointed receivers in the matter — attorneys John T. Lay and Peter McCoy – argued in front of S.C. circuit court judge Daniel Hall as to why they should be allowed to continue controlling Murdaugh’s assets prior to the resolution of the pending litigation.
Murdaugh’s attorneys — including “bulldogs” Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin — have been “pulling out all the stops to regain full control of Alex’s finances.”
We reported a lot of drug news this week, too, managing to piss off both the left and the right in doing so …
Starting off with the Democrats: It was reported this week that a top party operative in the Palmetto State is allegedly involved in a national drug trafficking ring. According to reporter Collin Anderson of The (Washington, D.C.) Free Beacon, Democratic operative Jason Belton was arrested back in 2018 in connection with a California-based drug ring dubbed the “Inland Empire.”
Belton is a top advisor to state representative (and U.S. Senate candidate) Krystle Matthews. He is also a former staffer to billionaire Tom Steyer, who ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.
Our reporting on this issue wasn’t universally well received … and trust me, you’re just going to have to watch the show to see what I mean on that one …
Meanwhile, “Republicans” in the S.C. House of Representatives used a procedural gimmick to avoid having to debate (let alone vote) on the issue of medical marijuana. The bill in question S.150 – sponsored by S.C. senator Tom Davis of Beaufort, S.C. – would have created a heavily regulated medical marijuana program in the Palmetto State, one in which pharmacists would oversee the distribution of cannabis to select patients based upon the recommendation of their physician.
Davis has referred to his legislation as “most conservative medical marijuana bill in the nation,” and he is absolutely correct.
S.C. senators debated and resoundingly passed the bill only for it to languish in a house committee for months. Once the bill finally made it out of committee, S.C. speaker pro tempore Tommy Pope – backed by unelected clerk of the House Charles Reid – ruled it out of order, arguing that the state constitution requires revenue-generating bills to originate in the House.
Why did lawmakers allow the bill to advance this far only to rule it unconstitutional at the last minute? Wouldn’t one of the senators have seen (and raised) this obvious contradiction of the rules?
This question was raised in the Senate debate, and after examining the issue the chamber’s legal counsel concluded that so long as the bill’s primary purpose was not to generate revenue – it may originate in the Senate.
The law clerk of the senate probably didn’t have to do much digging to come to this conclusion since the office of S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson and the S.C. Supreme Court have consistently supported this interpretation.
Pope and his GOP cronies clearly interpreted the rules dishonestly so that they read in their favor.
Not only that, as our founding editor points out in the video, he was dishonest in his description of what the medical marijuana bill actually does.
Speaking of House Republicans … newly elected speaker Murrell Smith came under fire this week for his legal representation of an abortionist accused of botching an abortion that was allegedly performed without his patient’s consent.
SHOW NOTES …
State Grand Jury Indicts Former Bank CEO Russell Laffitte. More Charges for Murdaugh and Fleming
Judge Sets Bond At $1 Million For Alleged Murdaugh Co-Conspirator Russell Laffitte
‘Murdaugh Murders’ Civil Case: Battle Over Alex Murdaugh’s Assets Rages On
South Carolina Democrats: ‘Cocaine Is A Helluva Drug’
South Carolina House ‘Republicans’ Kill Medical Marijuana Bill With Procedural Gimmick
MURRELL SMITH ABORTION
Murrell Smith: Abortion Case Comes Back To Haunt South Carolina’s New Legislative Leader
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
(Via: Coleman Rojhan)
Dylan Nolan is the director of special projects at FITSNews. He graduated from the Darla Moore school of business in 2021 with an accounting degree. Dylan primarily covers education when he isn’t producing video content. Got a tip or story idea for Dylan? Email him here. You can also engage him socially @DNolan2000.
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