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Newly Obtained Documents Show That Corporate Thugs and Justice Department Rogues Teamed up to Make the Donald Watkins Criminal Trial a Sham Proceeding

Posted on the 16 January 2023 by Rogershuler @RogerShuler

Newly obtained documents show that corporate thugs and Justice Department rogues teamed up to make the Donald Watkins criminal trial a sham proceeding

Donald Watkins


This marks the day Americans  celebrate the progress we have made on matters of race. It also, however, is the day a breaking story in Alabama reveals the disgraceful lengths the state's corporate power structure -- which is predominantly white, of course -- will go to destroy a prominent black attorney and businessman.

The story, which comes to us via the blog and the CDLU public charity and advocacy group, also shows that elements in our "justice system," which also is mostly white, hold little regard for constitutional concepts such as "due process" and "equal protection under law," especially as they should have applied to the 2018-19 trial of Donald Watkins.

In essence, this is a story about corporate power brokers and compromised justice officials working behind the scenes to ensure that the Watkins criminal trial of would be a sham proceeding. And that suggests, sadly, that America's progress on race still has a long way to go. It's another disgusting chapter for our blog, which since 2007 has written extensively about the rot that has settled in on our justice system at all levels -- state, federal; trial and appellate. 

K.B. Forbes, CEO of the CDLU, shines a white-hot light on recently obtained documents that reveal the ugliness behind the Watkins case. In a post titled "Sealed Documents Show Southern Company’s Law Enforcement Stooges Silenced Critics and Media," Forbes writes:

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we expose the appalling lengths to which Southern Company stooges went to go after and destroy an African American leader and his supporters.

Southern Company’s criminal enterprise not only greased and corrupted the judicial branch in Alabama to protect their wholly owned subsidiaries, but also corrupted the executive branch and law enforcement to silence critics and the media.

From the Newsome Conspiracy Case to the North Birmingham Bribery Scandal, obstruction of justice not only occurred in the court system, but some acts were sadly done by law enforcement officials.

The CDLU has anonymously received a bombshell: a sealed court document from the crimimal case against African American businessman and attorney Donald V. Watkins.

And the document is utterly devastating and demonstrates that the office of disgraced and now ex-U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town was indeed in Southern Company/Alabama Power’s pocket.

Town, a Donald Trump nominee, was confirmed as U.S. Attorney in August of 2017. It did not take him long to target Watkins, on matters that seemingly had already been put to bed, writes Forbes:

In October 2017, Town’s office opened a new federal criminal investigation into the same business transactions between Watkins and a handful of investors in his waste-to-energy business that had been probed by federal prosecutors in New Jersey from July 2015 to February 2016. These prosecutors cleared Watkins on all allegations of wrongdoing.

The move came at the same month as Southern Company’s $2-million-a-year consultant “Sloppy Joe” Perkins hand-wrote a detailed outline of an orchestrated smear campaign against Watkins.

[Sloppy Joe’s secret, hand-written notes from October of 2017 were published four years later in September of 2021 causing a firestorm.]

Perkins’ notes, at page 3, specifically referenced his knowledge of “federal subpoenas” involving Watkins. At the time, the only federal subpoenas involving Watkins were those issued by Town’s newly empaneled grand jury.

Newly obtained documents show that corporate thugs and Justice Department rogues teamed up to make the Donald Watkins criminal trial a sham proceeding

This is from Watkins' 2021 post about Perkins hand-written notes:

Perkins' notes called for Atlanta Attorney Mario Williams to be investigated after Williams successfully convinced top-notch New Jersey-based federal prosecutors in January 2016 to end their six-month grand jury proceedings into various business transactions between former New York Jets football player Bryan Thomas and me (and a handful of other professional athletes who were my personal friends and business associates). The grand jury review concluded that the business transactions in question complied with all federal laws. In his notes, Perkins described his planned outreach to these athletes. In October 2017, Birmingham federal prosecutor Lloyd Peeples, a homegrown bigot from Dothan, Alabama, commenced a new federal investigation into the same business transactions that were probed and cleared by the New Jersey federal prosecutors. Perkins specifically referenced the "federal subpoenas" in his notes. Unlike the polished career federal prosecutors in New Jersey, Peeples' grand jury leaked enough evidence to fill a water reservoir. In his notes, Perkins did not explain who leaked him information regarding "federal subpoenas."

Forbes provides insight on how all of this played out in the murky waters that run through the Hugo Black Courthouse in the Northern District of Alabama (Birmingham):

Watkins did not become aware of any federal grand jury proceedings or subpoenas issued by Town until February of 2018.

Why would Sloppy Joe know about subpoenas coming out of the secret proceedings of a federal grand jury?

Why, one would ask, was Sloppy Joe in the know?

We believe Southern Company’s criminal enterprise took immediate action against Watkins after he published critical stories about Perkins and his firm Matrix in September of 2017.

Watkins accused Perkins of allegedly targeting the family of a rape victim, Meagan Rondini, who committed suicide after law enforcement and others allegedly dismissed or ignored her accusations against the son of a prominent family in Alabama.

Eventually, Watkins was indicted.

As for the CDLU's newly obtained documents, they show Jay Town's disregard for fundamental rights goes beyond due process and and equal protection; it also goes to matters such as free speech and privacy. Writes Forbes:

The sealed documents that we received are alarming to First Amendment rights and privacy.

During the height of the criminal trial, Jay Town’s office filed a sealed subpoena demanding to know who was making counter arguments and critical comments about the prosecution and trial on the website comments area.

Newly obtained documents show that corporate thugs and Justice Department rogues teamed up to make the Donald Watkins criminal trial a sham proceeding

TheTruthHurts48 burned up Town and his team. 

Ripping up First Amendment rights like mobsters wanting to break one’s legs, Town’s office filed the subpoena on February 25, 2019. Three days later, Alabama Media Group, owners of, filed a motion to quash. The issue, according to court records, was resolved shortly thereafter but details are unknown.

Because of guaranteed freedom of speech and freedom of the press rights, U.S. Department of Justice guidelines are clear that there are mandatory consultation requirements and Jay Town and his office should have obtained authorization at least 30 days before issuing a subpoena to a media outlet like Alabama Media Group.

We doubt Town’s office did. Town was too busy sipping cocktails with Alabama Power CEO Mark A. Crosswhite, who resigned in disgrace this past November.

How did the recently obtained documents come light? Forbes provides insight -- and he does not intend to let the material just sit in a desk:

We received the anonymously sent, sealed court documents last spring. As whistleblowers, we have forwarded the documents to the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Recently we learned who TheTruthHurts48 is, and the person told us that they attended the Watkins trial everyday and believe the trial was an absolute miscarriage of justice.

TheTruthHurts48, who works remotely, used an IP address and VPN associated with their employer. After the trial, the person was unexpectedly fired by their employer for no reason. They believe Jay Town caused the abrupt termination.

Exactly one year after Jay Town’s office filed that subpoena, on February 25, 2020, Alabama Media Group published an “End of an Era” story and announced, “Beginning Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020 at 5 a.m. CST, we’ll eliminate website comments…”

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