Remember Dicky Scruggs? It turns out he and those involved in his judicial corruption scandal operated closely with the Biden family in Mississippi and Washington.

Professor Curtis Wilkie writes a lot about the Bidens in his book “The Fall of the House of Zeus” which details the “rise and ruin of America’s most powerful trial lawyer.”

The judicial corruption scandal entangled Scruggs, former state Auditor Steve Patterson and attorneys Timothy Balducci and Joey Langston, among others.

Steve Patterson was a regional director in Joe Biden’s first presidential run in 1987 and afterward, as Wilkie writes, “Patterson stayed in touch” and became acquainted with members of Biden’s family, the nucleus of his political operation.

Patterson and the Biden family played an important role in Scruggs’ efforts to force a national settlement against Big Tobacco.

Wilkie writes that Patterson “opened doors” to Senator Joe Biden during the tobacco settlement. While Joe Biden “generally opposed Big Tobacco” he was “skeptical of any settlement – such as the one Scruggs seemed to be forging – that might immunize the tobacco industry against future lawsuits.”

Wilkie continues, “It helped that Scruggs agreed to Patterson and Blake’s suggestion to hire the senator’s brother Jim Biden as one of those assigned to the ‘legislative, executive, political and social’ campaign in Washington on behalf of the anti-tobacco team.”

Before the struggle ended, Scruggs would pay thousands of dollars – he was never sure exactly how much – to Jim Biden’s lobbying operation, Lion Hall Group.

In the midst of the judicial bribery conspiracy, Balducci and Patterson were in negotiations about forming the “dream firm” Patterson, Balducci and Biden. Even during the conversation with a judge in which Balducci handed over the bribery money, he was bragging about an event in Washington he had planned with members of the Biden family to help them enlist a Clinton Administration Ambassador to Tanzania to join the dream firm. The black-tie event sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus would include Sen. Joe Biden.

After making the bribe and driving back to Oxford, Balducci got a call from Jim Biden who wanted Scruggs to make two calls: one to Jim to “bless” the dream firm and perhaps lend the Scruggs name as an investor for the clout it carried in Washington; the second call was to a Swiss attorney “who might be helpful in securing lucrative international deals.” Later, Balducci called Patterson to say Scruggs had made both calls.

In 2008, Patterson, Balducci and Scruggs co-sponsored a fundraiser (which raised nearly $70,000) in Mississippi for Joe Biden who was again running for President. Biden’s brother Jim accompanied him on the trip “to cement plans with the Mississippians to open a Washington office that would capitalize on the name Biden.” 

Sara Biden (Jim’s wife), an attorney, would be a named partner. “Hunter’s going to be involved, and Jim Biden, too,” Balducci tells Scruggs in the Wilkie book.

Balducci and Patterson created a slick brochure to promote their dream firm with the Bidens which noted “a Venezuelan associate with ties to the oil industry” and “a native of Argentina” as a “litigation consultant and interpreter” as well as Sara Biden who the brochure noted was married to Sen. Joe Biden’s brother.

Langston also worked to make a relationship with Joe Biden and on one occasion “paraded” the Senator around Oxford on Game Day, and later took Biden up to Scruggs’s skybox. On one occasion, a Florida lawyer spoke with Joey Langston about his work to “unlock money won in a $187 million judgment against the government of Cuba.” 

The lawyer asked Langston if he had influence with power in Washington. Wilkie writes, “Langston knew of one: Joe Biden, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.” 

Langston initiated discussion with Biden’s office about the case. Talking with key members of the Delaware senator’s staff, Langston helped line up Biden’s support. For his troubles, Langston told his colleagues, he was paid several million dollars.

There was never a suggestion that the Bidens knew anything about the judicial corruption conspiracy that would send Scruggs, Langston, Balducci and Patterson to jail. But the Bidens were willing to get involved with this crew and leverage Joe Biden’s name to profit in Europe, Africa and South America.

It isn’t a stretch to think something similar also happened in the Ukraine with the Bidens profiting.

The key question behind President Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian President is: “Did Joe Biden or his son Hunter do anything improper in the business deals in the Ukraine while Joe was Vice President?”