Claiming federal authorities are retaliating against him “for his vigorous representation of criminal defendants,” a Columbus, Ga., attorney is fighting back in court pleadings that accuse federal prosecutors of “outrageous governmental misconduct.”

In one of a series of motions seeking to dismiss a federal indictment charging him with laundering illegal funds generated by a drug trafficking ring operated by his clients, Columbus lawyer J. Mark Shelnutt says federal authorities interfered with protected attorney-client relationships by recruiting not only his clients, but also criminal defense lawyers representing co-defendants of his clients and federal prosecutors with whom he was negotiating on behalf of clients, to secretly record his personal and telephone conversations.