Brett Favre has a hired a new, high-powered attorney to represent him in the Mississippi welfare fraud scandal: Eric Herschmann, who helped clear former Pres Trump in his first impeachment trial. Herschmann has “concluded Favre shouldn’t be indicted.” https://t.co/wxJlOZMSRm
— Michele Steele (@MicheleSteele) October 3, 2022
Context: Herschmann, 58, based in Austin, was one of Trump’s most trusted aides, and represented Trump at his first impeachment trial. His White House title was senior adviser…
He has been subpoenaed by the federal grand jury investigating the Jan. 6 attack.
Herschmann and Favre were connected by mutual friends.
Dave Roth at Defector, back in April, on “Brett Favre And The Thin Line Between “Making Plays” And “Massive Fraud”“:
It was generally to his credit, and essential to his appeal, that Brett Favre played football like someone who might eventually wind up implicated in some kind of sprawling fraud. This had less to do with any latent thread of malice in him than it did with a sort of profound and even heroic incapacity for forethought, though that the latter opens the door for the former does tend to diminish the charm a bit. As a football player, Favre gave a lot and took away a bit less, but he was sufficiently charismatic to be graded on a curve that accounted for his inherent heedlessness; he was great enough that how and who he was came to qualify the moments in which he fell short for increasingly predictable reasons, in increasingly predictable ways.
Favre’s mythos is only helped by the fact that so few people in any line of work get this kind of dispensation. The American Dream has always, at its heart, been about not just being able to do whatever you want to do, but about being able to get away with it. It’s a lot more fun to imagine the liberation of living that way than it is to live in the wreckage that sort of behavior reliably leaves behind. When a critical mass of neighbors and bosses and leaders are operating like that, you are not and will never be safe, primarily because you will never be taken into consideration at all. All that manic playmaking and Having Fun Out There is done not just in defiance but denial of the very existence of consequences. And so everyone who is not the prime mover—the person making plays—is a potential enemy, or opponent, or just someone who might notice that they are being harmed and then get mad about that. For those who see themselves as the protagonists of reality, the thing is to take your shots downfield, because that is where the points are, but also to insist upon being absolved of any accountability once the ball leaves your hand. You were simply trying to make things happen, as winners do; it would be unfair, it would be un-American, to be held accountable when, as a consequence, those things actually happen. If this is a reckless way to play quarterback, it is a much worse way to do anything more consequential or important than that.
If there is a defense to be made for any of the many people implicated in a massive case of public fraud in Mississippi, it is that none of them really seemed to think very long or hard about what they were doing. This cast of characters—which includes Favre and former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, as well as two generations of pro wrestling’s DiBiase family, the former Mississippi State linebacker Paul Lacoste, and former Mississippi high school football prodigy and college football cautionary tale Marcus Dupree, along with the usual assortment of creepy local fixers and real estate developers and quackish all-purpose grifters—took tens of millions of dollars in federal funds that were supposed to be spent on the state’s neediest citizens and spent them in all the prosaic and useless ways that such people tend to spend stolen money: on mortgage and car payments, on luxury vacations and luxury rehab stints, and on the churches and fitness boot camps that these local heroes owned. In Favre’s case, that money became both an investment in a scammy biomedical startup and the funds behind his donation towards a new facility for the women’s volleyball team at Southern Miss, on which his daughter Breleigh played.
This was all made possible through serial and systemic corruption in the state’s Department of Human Services and facilitated by the creation of a vast and inverted infrastructure of nonprofit institutions that worked tirelessly, for years, to make sure that money did not reach the people it was intended to help, and instead disappeared into the pockets and projects of various well-heeled and well-connected parties. Those parties did all this as oafishly and overtly and lazily as possible—that is, in ways that suggested they did not believe they could possibly get caught, or that it would matter if they did. So far, they’ve been right…
In 1996, when Bill Clinton signed welfare reform into law, 33,000 adults in Mississippi received federal assistance. Within a decade, that number was 8,500. In 2017, the Mississippi Department of Human Services accepted just 1.42 percent of welfare applications, the lowest figure in the nation. That year, 11,700 families applied for Temporary Assistance For Needy Families funds and 167 were approved. In 2018, fewer than four percent of Mississippi children living in poverty received any TANF benefits. Wolfe told the former Mississippi congressman Ronnie Shows that just 208 adults in the state received TANF in 2021; benefits for a family of three are currently capped at $260 per month. Given the volume of federal funding that sluiced through the state’s Department of Human Services, and given that the department and the broader state apparatus was determined not to give that money to anyone who needed it, it is difficult to imagine any kind of non-corrupt outcome…
Consequences, qualifications, justification—those were for other people, the less-deserving and leverage-less, who would simply have to try to navigate a wilderness of rules that had been built specifically to exclude them. The various narrowing hoops through which the intended recipients of those funds had to pass in order to get their monthly pittance were part of what the politicians in charge sold to their voters; this was called accountability. And if no poor family was deserving of those $260 per month, then the people in charge would simply use it in ways that would benefit the greater good, for instance by letting Brett Favre shore up his Girldad credentials…
Mississippi’s largest public corruption case in state history involves millions of misspent dollars earmarked for families.
The lawsuit involves a number of sports figures, including NFL great Brett Favre. Here are the sports figures named in the lawsuit. https://t.co/ZUrBMmbzN8
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 3, 2022
Not-so-fun fact: Mississippi, the poorest state, is one of just 13 with a grocery tax—and has the highest at 7%.
During Tate Reeves' 8 years as Mississippi Senate president, multiple bills to end Mississippi's grocery tax died even as he led the charge to slash corporate taxes. https://t.co/9XGNWqLVMq
— Ashton Pittman (@ashtonpittman) October 2, 2022