Conservative journalist Charles Johnson has a theory on the latest development in the bizarre and ever-changing saga of alleged vote-buying in the Mississippi Republican runoff for U.S. Senate.
Johnson told TPM on Wednesday that he believes self-proclaimed pastor Stevie Fielder was motivated to change his story yet again because he felt threatened by Mississippi’s attorney general.
Fielder, who told Johnson last month that he was given money by incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R-MS) campaign to bribe black voters, recently offered yet another wrinkle to the story when he was questioned by state investigators.
Fielder apparently told the office of Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood (D) that he was paid by a spokesperson for state Sen. Chris McDaniel, Cochran’s defeated tea party challenger, to do the interview with Johnson.
McDaniel’s spokesperson, Noel Fritsch, denied the accusation and told TPM in an email that it was Johnson who paid for the text messages allegedly sent from a Cochran staffer to Fielder.
Johnson, who has never denied that he paid Fielder, told TPM in an earlier email on Wednesday that it’s “utter bullshit that anyone other than me paid Fielder for his text messages.”
And in a subsequent email to TPM (posted below), Johnson offered his take on Fielder’s latest claim.
I believe Reverend Fielder, who confessed to a crime of working with the Cochran campaign to buy votes on tape at Gotnews.com, was intimidated after he met with Attorney General Jim Hood’s office.
Fielder repeatedly called me beforehand asking me to help him find an attorney and said he was concerned for his safety. I called some lawyer friends to help find him pro bono representation and then I didn’t hear from him. I’ve since learned he met with Hood without an attorney present.
Then Sam Hall, former executive director of the Mississippi Democratic Party who now blogs at the Clarion Ledger, coached Attorney General Jim Hood to lie and say that I paid him to lie, a claim that’s straight up ridiculous.
Now they are saying Noel Fritsch, communications director of the McDaniel campaign, paid Fielder some money.
What you are witnessing is the dying throws of a corrupt media and government class in Mississippi that needs to be abolished.
There are many, many people, including federal law enforcement, who know that the story at GotNews.com is correct.
That’s why you’ll never see Jim Hood subpoena anyone.
You can go to Gotnews.com and listen to the interview yourself and draw your own conclusions, which is apparently something the Mississippi elite fears more than anything else.
All the best,