ARGUING THE CASE AGAINST BUSH: George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley, in an interview with Legal Times, lays out what he considers are the two obvious crimes that Bush administration officials committed: the torture of detainees and the warrantless surveillance program. "Despite the effort to pretend that there is some ambiguity or uncertainty on these crimes, the law is quite clear," Turley tells Legal Times. Turley, a constitutional law scholar and commentator, says politicians need to "get out of the way" and allow a special prosecutor to "take this investigation wherever it would lead."
PAYING OUT: Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, has agreed to pay between $352 million and $640 million to settle more than 60 wage-and-hour based lawsuits that are pending in state and federal courts across the country, reports the Associated Press via law.com. The discount retailer was accused of forcing employees to work unpaid hours, erasing hours from time cards, and preventing lunch breaks. Lawyers tell The New York Times that the settlement is the largest ever for wage violations. Wal-Mart has more than 1.4 million employees.
A PARDON FOR THE DEPARTED: President Bush's latest round of pardons came out late yesterday, and here's The BLT piece on the names that made the list. The New York Times and The Washington Post profiled one man on the list, Charlie Winters, a Boston-born Protestant businessman who interjected himself in the fight for a Jewish state by selling decommissioned bombers to the Haganah resistance group. Winters, who was sentenced in 1949 and served 18 months in prison for violating the Neutrality Act, became a hero among Israelis. Winters died in 1984 at the age of 71. Steven Spielberg and members of Congress were supporting the clemency campaign. The Times piece is here; the Post article is here.
HOOKED AND BOOKED: The New York Law Journal reports that a broker who allegedly helped Mark Dreier push millions of dollars of sham promissory notes was arrested this week. A criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday in the Southern District of New York alleges the broker, Kosta Kovachev, posed as the comptroller of the real estate developer Solow Realty when Dreier tried to sell a hedge fund $115 million in notes that Solow purportedly issued. Kovachev is charged conspiracy to commit wire fraud.