Rove Repeatedly Lies on Fox News About Siegelman Case

Republican money-man and strategist Karl Rove deflected a Fox News interviewer's questions about his financing this week with a lie-filled rant about Robert Bauer, counsel to President Obama's re-election committee, and Alabama corruption-fighter Dana Jill Simpson.

Karl RoveRove falsely told the Fox News audience that Bauer represented Simpson when she alleged in 2007 that former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman was framed by the Bush Justice Department. In fact, Bauer's name never previously surfaced in arguably the most prominent and notorious federal domestic prosecution of the decade. Rove is shown at left in his official photo as a Bush White House senior advisor from 2001 to 2007.

Simpson, portrayed at right in a 2008 CBS 60 Minutes show, denies she ever met Bauer, much less hired him.

Fox "On the Record" interviewer Greta Van Susteren listened herewithout challenge as Rove repeated his lies about Simpson, Bauer and Siegelman. Rove was responding to her question on whether the GOP-oriented Crossroads GPS deserves tax-exempt status. The group has overlapping leadership with the Super PAC  American Crossroads, which Rove co-founded.

Jill SimpsonRove's mis-statements regarding the Siegelman case are obvious to those who have followed the case and similar abusive prosecutions by the Justice Department nationwide stemming from the unprecedented political purge in 2006 of nine of the nation's 93 U.S. attorneys. The specifics are below in a transcript of Rove's Fox interview.

Rove's motives are even more intriguing at this point than the specifics of his false statements regarding Siegelman's prosecution, which the U.S. Supreme Court this month affirmed with no appellate review of Rove's reputed role. Siegelman is scheduled for resentencing Aug. 3 on corruption charges.

Rove's untruthfulness this week seems far from irrational. He could land in trouble if subjected for the first time to a thorough investigation. On June 20, the day of Rove's Fox interview, a protest march against him occurred. Attendees of the annual Campaign For America's Future convention marched to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce offices to demand that federal authorities arrest Rove. The protest was symbolic, with no charges specified.

In a similar vein, Rove critics active in the blogo-sphere have been claiming over the past week that one of Rove's colleagues is an ex-con who might be outed soon in a sex scandal. This is part of the ongoing back-and-forth war of nerves that political activists wage continually against one another, with lawsuits and claims of outrage by each side. Among the latter are GOP members of Congress seeking Justice Department prosecutions of liberal opponents.

 

In this context, it made sense for Rove to deflect attacks by claiming to Fox listeners that he has been cleared from any suspicions by previous investigations and that critics are partisans allied unfairly against him.

 

The full story of the Siegelman case involves, in my opinion, important financial, legal, national security, sex, drug and political scandals implicating many high-level officials. Among the latest developments are claims against Siegelman's judge by his estranged wife. She alleges adultery and other misconduct in a case being kept secret from the public under what appears to be an unstated but governing legal principle decisive in the state circuit court of Montgomery, Alabama: judges are above the law, with scandal allegations against them not  subject to open records procedures normal for everyone else.

The irregularities in Siegelman's 13-year prosecution are too vast to describe in today's column, even with links below pointing to material previously published.

So, today's focus is primarily on Rove's tirade, which partly overlaps with my work as a Washington-based attorney and investigative reporter. In September 2007, for example, I met Simpson and her Alabama-based attorney Priscilla Black Duncan when they came to Washington for Simpson's testimony before House Judiciary Committee staff. That gave me a ring-side seat for understanding last week's dispute.  And even at the time, I knew enough about Simpson's civic crusade to warn her that DC authorities and journalists alike tend to abuse whistle-blowers. That proved true for her, as for many others in the Siegelman case.

Later, I played a small role in the Crossroads saga. Simpson had often described to me the complex deal-making and political strategies of top Republican politicians and lobbyists, such as Rove and Stewart Hall, a well-connected former aide to Alabama U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, the state's senior Republican. In researching Hall's career later, I saw a news report in early January 2010 that he had left Ogilvy Government Relations to found Crossroads, a start-up. I mentioned this to Simpson but did not then see enough news in that to merit a news report by the Justice Integrity Project.

Simpson, suspecting that Rove might be heavily involved in a major new project, then encouraged political activists to look for "Crossroads" on state incorporation papers across the nation. The group's discovery of relevant documents prompted the activists to create a nationwide campaign claiming that Crossroads was raising campaign funds in a way that would hurt the public in U.S. elections. A vast struggle has ensued since between web-based activists on the right and left. Both sides claimed serious legal violations, including threats, invasion of privacy and sub rosa attacks on civic institutions.

High Stakes

With that introduction, let's examine what happened this week: Rove falsely claimed that Simpson has refused ever to swear to her assertions regarding the Siegelman case. But Simpson, an Alabama lawyer who describes in other contexts a half-century family history of political work with Alabama's Wallace family and with the Bush family, clearly swore out her allegations in 2007 in at least two ways.

On Fox this week, Rove also falsely claimed that Bauer arranged Simpson's appearance on a CBS 60 Minutes expose in 2008 that fostered national protests of the Bush administration's prosecution of Siegelman on corruption charges. Additionally, Rove claimed that Simpson has "disappeared."

"There are at least 50 lies in this broadcast by Karl Rove," commented Duncan, Simpson's main attorney during the height of her visibility as a Republican whistle-blower in 2007 and 2008. "He [Rove] seems obsessed with Jill Simpson and Gov. Siegelman," Duncan continued in an email sent to the Pam Miles list-serve reaching some 30,000 recipients of a Don Siegelman support group around the nation. "I don't recall Bob Bauer being anywhere around during those days."

Robert BauerVan Susteren's original question to Rove was whether Crossroads GPS deserves its tax-exempt status. Bauer, among others, has challenged that status by saying that Rove's fund-raising organization does not undertake "social welfare" work within the meaning of the IRS provisions enabling donors to obtain tax write-offs. Crossroads has boasted of an ability to raise $300 million for GOP candidates this year. Bauer, at left in a file photo via Wikipedia, is general counsel to the Democratic National Committee in addition to his work as a partner at Perkins Coie and as general counsel to Obama for America and for the Obama re-election committee.

Rove said the Crossroads organization he co-founded meets all relevant criteria to retain tax-exempt status because it functions much like liberal groups with that status. He then pivoted to a tirade against Simpson and Bauer. His rant was peculiar because it had no obvious relation to the interviewer's questions.

Rove's remarks also contained numerous questionable implications. Glynn Wilson, editor/publisher of the Locust Fork News-Journal in Alabama, explores Rove's claims in a column excerpted below:

There is no way this right-wing Republican political organization, American Crossroads, which is spending millions of dollars to try to defeat President Barack Obama in the 2012 election, is a “social welfare organization” just because they mention the deficit on their Website. Karl Rove worked for George W. Bush, the president who ran up the deficit. He is responsible for it, not this president. The lies on Fox News are so blatant that even legal host Greta Van Susteren seemed shocked that Rove would even bring up the Siegelman case — when the question was about a lawsuit filed to try to get him to disclose the names of his donors, since the Supreme Court recently ruled that political organizations must disclose their donors.

You can fool some of the people some of the time. How many times will Americans allow themselves to be fooled by this unethical political animal?

For your information Karl, Jill Simpson is still an attorney in Rainsville, Alabama working on a graduate degree and getting on with her life after you libeled and slandered her to try to save your own butt. It didn’t work....I just talked to Jill Simpson, who is in Arizona training in civil disobedience....“Mr. Bauer is not my lawyer. I’ve never met him,” Ms. Simpson said. “It’s just another lie Karl Rove is telling on me. He lied on me. He lied on Don Siegelman. And now he’s lying on President Obama.”

“I told the truth,” Ms. Simpson said. “I’ve now moved on with my life.”

At every stage of the prosecution, the Obama Administration led by Attorney General Eric Holder has supported the prosecution of Siegelman, Alabama's most popular Democrat for years before Republicans targeted him. The presumed scandal of Siegelman's conduct and conviction has helped turn Alabama into a solid Republican bastion on all levels.

His appeals and family finances are apparently exhausted after millions of dollars in legal expenses following his 13 years under investigation. The probe has cost taxpayers at least $25 million by my estimate for a case that 113 former state attorneys general recently described as unmerited.

Siegelman is scheduled Aug. 3 to face resentencing by U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller of Montgomery. The judge was a state prosecutor, CEO of Doss Aviation Inc. and a longtime Republican activist before his elevation in 2002 to the federal bench following claims he was trying to bilk his state's pension fund out of $330,000, as I reported for the Huffington Post in 2009 in, Siegelman Deserves New Trial Because of Judge’s ‘Grudge’, Evidence Shows,

 

Mark FullerFuller is shown at right barely suppressing his glee in a 2006 photo by Alabama free-lancer Phil Fleming taken minutes after the jury broke a deadlock to convict Siegelman on fewer than a third of the felony counts in his indictment. Fleming says he urged the judge not to look so happy for the formal portrait that the rarely photographed Fuller requested in order to commemorate the occasion.

As we have often reported:

Simpson swore in her Judiciary Committee testimony that in 2002 she heard William Canary, CEO of the Business Council of Alabama and a longtime political ally of Rove, say that his "girls" would remove Siegelman as a political threat to Republicans. Canary's wife, Leura, was the Bush U.S. Attorney from 2001 to 2011 in Montgomery whose office successfully prosecuted Siegelman in 2005. Earlier, a federal judge in Birmingham thwarted the initial Bush DOJ prosecution of Siegelman because the judge thought the charges the most unmerited he had seen against any defendant in nearly three decades on the federal bench.

Simpson swore also that she heard a fellow Republican say in early 2005 that Siegelman, who thought he was free of all charges and could campaign for re-election in 2006, would be indicted later that year and that the case would be steered to Fuller because the Republican judge "hated" Siegelman for trying to prosecute him regarding the attempted pension fraud.

So, according to Simpson's testimony on what she heard, Fuller would "hang" Siegelman after Bush authorities brought new charges. Simpson also provided documents from her research showing that Fuller was enriched by $300 million in no-bid Bush contracts to Doss Aviation, a company Fuller secretly controlled on the side while providing many pro-prosecution rulings on the vast number of irregularities in the Siegelman case.

The Obama administration has endorsed all Bush-era decision-making in the case. Thus the Obama DOJ opposed Siegelman appeals, including claims that the judge should have recused himself. Under both Obama and Bush, the DOJ has ignored for purposes ofthe Siegelman case the still-current Supreme Court holding that a judge is required to disclose to litigants factors that might create the potential fear of bias. The alternative, of course, to the court's 1988 ruling would be that litigants would have to mount full-scale investigation of judges in advance of litigation to ferret out any hidden bias factors with potentially intrusive private-eye searches.

But normal legal rules have gone out the window because of the scale of official misconduct that apparently must remain hidden regarding the Siegelman travesty of justice. Thus, the Obama DOJ retained Canary until last year and fired a DOJ paralegal on the Siegelman case who cited DOJ irregularities, primarily by Canary and her closest aides.

Also, the Obama administration via White House Counsel Gregory Craig brokered a deal with Republicans in 2009 whereby Rove would not undergo public testimony under oath when the House Judiciary Committee staff questioned him in July 2009. What purported to be a rigorous, Democratic-led inquiry was thus a whitewash: Committee staff never undertook preliminary interviews, asked tightly framed questions or followed-up leads with further questions. The con job on the public was doubtless made easier because Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Michigan) was under pressure. His wife pled guilty in June 2009 to federal bribery charges. Meanwhile, Conyers and prominent staff have long been under investigation also, reducing their role to figurehead status while the typical concerned citizen falsely imagines they are free to investigate wrongdoing.

In such ways, conventional wisdom is that justice was fully served in the Rove and Siegelman cases, as typical in such matters.

Yet it need not take a science fiction writer to imagine a few other possibilities. One is that Rove, with a long career of high-level contacts that include work for former CIA Director George H.W. Bush, might think he knows enough about one or more leaders in the Obama administration as to be protected against any unwanted disruption of his privacy.

Under that scenario, Obama officials would have the incentive to keep coddling Rove and avoid any pre-election unpleasantness this year, as always, especially if there are national security factors far more important than the fate of prosecutorial abuse victims such as Siegelman and his family.

That possibility of national security intrigue is not far-fetched given the unusual number of military-related factors that arose in the case. The anti-Siegelman prosecution team was headquartered at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, for example, with the lead prosecutor a colonel in the Air Force Reserve. The key interrogations of suspects were at the base, adding to a fear factor. To be clear, that means the case's para-military and police-state patina as authorities interrogration their chief witness up to 70 times without required disclosure tothe deefnse, and threatened to expose him as a homosexual and put him into prison for up to 10 years unless he shaped his testimony against Siegelman in the ways they needed to frame him.

The judge's company Doss, which he reportedly controlled with up to 43.75 percent of shares according to documentation Simpson unearthed, trains Air Force pilots and refuels Air Force planes. Also, it provides uniforms for all branches of the service and for many federal agencies. Among other activities Doss trained pilots from Saudi Arabia and Iran pre- 9/11.

In 2009, the Obama White House Counsel Craig brokered the deal with Bush negotiators to let Rove and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers avoid tough questioning on their roles by Judiciary Committee staff that summer. The parties cited Executive Privilege as requiring deferential treatment for Rove and Miers, even though the so-called privilege has been described by scholar Raoul Berger as a "Constitutional Myth" created in recent times by White House officials who want to keep secrets.

Craig's high-profile career has included a heavy national security experience. He represented former CIA director Richard Helms, and Craig's longtime law firm, Williams and Connolly,  at various times has represented Rove, Holder and multiple members of the Bush, Clinton and Obama families. One of my sources claims that Craig and Rove became friendly in the 1970s when their respective bosses, firm founder Edward Bennett Williams and his friend George H.W. Bush, played tennis together regularly.

It is, of course, difficult for outsiders to learn the full facts, especially when official proceedings are compromised or secret. The latter is the case currently involving Fuller's divorce proceedings. Alabama Circuit Judge Anita L. Kelly sealed them at Fuller's request over the objection of his wife. Our Justice Integrity Project has sought so far unsuccessfully to require at least a hearing in view of Alabama and United States law holding that court proceedings are presumed to be public. Also, we have attempted without success to obtain comment from Fuller, just as we sought comment unsuccessfully from Rove.

The Fuller proceedings raise particular public interest concerns for several reasons, including the judge's notoriety in the Siegelman case and the never-resolved claims that he should have been impeached and prosecuted for attempted fraud against Alabama's pension system.

More recently, Fuller's wife claims that he has been involved in adultery with a woman identified by a Montgomery newspaper editor as a married court clerk he supervised. Fuller's wife suggested also in papers seeking access to pharmaceutical records that he may have been involved in the excessive or otherwise improper use of drugs. Scott Horton, a human rights law and longtime critic of Fuller, suggested recently on my weekly radio show and in a column that serious public interest questions arise from claims of a federal judge's longtime adultery with a court clerk under his supervision and potential abuse of drugs.

Most importantly from a taxpayer perspective, the divorce court's unwarranted secrecy clamp-down deprives the public of learning more about what Doss Aviation reported last year as billions of dollars in military contracts due the company in years to come. Public disclosure of marital assets is a normal feature in divorce proceedings, but apparently not in Fuller's case.

Conveniently enough for secrecy enthusiasts, a hedge fund led by former 9/11 Committee Member John F. Lehman, a former Reagan Secretary of the Navy, bought Doss last December in advance of the Fuller divorce action. The purchase price was kept confidential, and Lehman's company stripped the Doss website of most of its previously announced information.

In sum, it's no secret that those running government both federally and locally like to keep secrets from the public. But one thing is for sure: Rove was lying on Fox News last week about whether Simpson had been working with Bauer.

Oddly enough, however, Rove's nationally televised screed might prompt Bauer to urge his client pay attention, at long last, to one of the greatest scandals in recent American history.

 

 

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Update: Harper's No Comment, Scott Horton, June 25, 2012. The Supreme Court rejected Don Siegelman's efforts to secure review on the issue of quid pro quo bribery.  However, today the Supreme Court struck down a Montana law, refusing even to allow oral argument, holding that the First Amendment precluded state-law efforts to restrict corporate politicking on corruption grounds.  Justice Breyer in dissent pointed out the obvious:  the Supreme Court's majority was issuing a green light to quid pro quo bribery--as long as it was carried out by corporations (and generally involved donations to the G.O.P.)  The ruling is preposterous; but juxtaposed against the Siegelman case it points to one of the most clear-cut cases of juridical schizophrenia I've ever seen. In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Court concluded that “independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.” … I disagree with the Court’s holding… As Justice Stevens explained, “technically independent expenditures can be corrupting in much the same way as direct contributions.” Indeed, Justice Stevens recounted a “substantial body of evidence” suggesting that “[m]any corporate independent expenditures . . . had become essentially interchangeable with direct contributions in their capacity to generate quid pro quo arrangements.”  Given the history and political landscape in Montana, that court concluded that the State had a compelling interest in limiting independent expenditures by corporations... Thus, Montana’s experience, like considerable experience elsewhere since the Court’s decision in Citizens United, casts grave doubt on the Court’s supposition that independent expenditures do not corrupt or appear to do so.  --Stephen Breyer, dissenting in American Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Bullock, June 25, 2012.

Fox News "On the Record," Rove: Obama campaign trying to intimidate my Crossroads GPS group with 'thuggish behavior,' Host Greta Van Susteren interviews Karl Rove, June 20, 2012.This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 20, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: The Obama campaign wants names. It is demanding that Crossroads GPS, co-founded by Karl Rove, disclose the names of all of its donors. Now, right now, Crossroads is spending millions and millions to defeat President Obama, and the Obama campaign wants to know what rich people want the president out. The Obama campaign is so intent on getting those names that its lawyer just filed a complaint with the FEC [Federal Election Commission].

Why now? Well, last week, a federal court upheld laws requiring non- profits to reveal their donors, but only if the group's major purpose is politics.

KARL ROVE is back with us. Karl, once again, you're in the news again. So the big question is, Crossroads GPS -- is it a political committee or a social welfare organization? And how do you know?

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR/FORMER BUSH SENIOR ADVISOR: Well, it's a social welfare organization because it spends the vast preponderance of its money in furtherance of its social welfare goals. It's an issue advocacy group.

For example, it's talking right now about the need to change our policies on spending and debt, how we've got to rein in the debt because we're -- our debt is growing at $4 billion a day and we need to begin to demonstrate some fiscal responsibility.

So it meets these tests. It has met so for the last two years. And we have some of the best lawyers in the country both on a tax side and on the political side, political law -- election law to make certain that we never get close to a line that would push us into -- make GPS a political group, as opposed to a social welfare organization.

VAN SUSTEREN: So what's -- what do you think is sort of the message you're getting by the FEC complaint?

ROVE: Well, Bob Bauer is -- the counsel for the Obama campaign, is filing a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, with a commissioner who is his former law partner. And you'll notice he did not include the Democratic 501-C-4 groups that run ads on issues like the NAACP Voter Fund, which ran an ad in the 2000 campaign saying that George W. Bush was a bigot, using 501-C-4 dollars, the League of Conservation Voters, the National Abortion Rights Action League, the Sierra Club, not even America's Priorities, which has a 501-C-4.

None of those were mentioned and all of them are social organizations just like GPS. This is an attempt to intimidate people who might otherwise contribute to GPS, and this is, frankly, thuggish behavior.

You know, earlier, we were talking about the time that I went up to the Congress to testify. One of the accusers was Bob Bauer, who was the attorney for a woman named Dana Jill Simpson (ph), who alleged that I had encouraged her to investigate -- a woman I've never met in my entire life - - and that I asked her to investigate the sexual shenanigans of Democratic governor Siegelman of Alabama.

And you know, Bob Bauer was an attorney, got her on "60 Minutes." Big hoo-hah about it. And when I -- when I was in -- when I went before the hearing on the -- before the Congress after all this hoo-hah on her, it turned out they considered -- the Democratic staffers told me she was an unreliable witness and they weren't going to call her. And she refused to cooperate with the Justice Department investigation of the charges that she and Governor Siegelman made.

This is the kind of kind of Bob Bauer is. I know what he's doing. It's not going to -- it's not going to change us in one way, shape or form from doing exactly what we're entitled to do under the law, and that is to advocate on behalf of a conservative agenda, which is exactly what GPS will continue to do.

VAN SUSTEREN: So I mean, I must admit I'm surprised by -- I mean, I didn't expect to hear all that. I didn't know about that background. I'm curious. So this is -- I guess so this is personal?

ROVE: No, I...

VAN SUSTEREN: On his part. I mean...

(CROSSTALK)

ROVE: On his part. I mean, you know -- I mean, yes, and it's amazing. Literally, when we met with the Justice Department, because she stepped forward and made these accusations and Governor Siegelman stepped forward and made these accusations, the Justice Department's obligated to begin an investigation in an office called the Office of Professional Responsibility.

And we met with their investigators and they asked me about these charges that Bauer's client had tossed up. They were frankly snickering at his client. And they asked me, Do you think -- do you know where we can find her? She's now disappeared. She refused to participate with our investigators because if she participated, she'd have to say what she said under oath. It's one thing to say it on "60 Minutes" and it's another thing to say it under oath because if she made these statements under oath and if Governor Siegelman made these statements under oath and been found to be untruthful, they would have been prosecuted.

And so she disappeared. And I said, Well, why don't you go talk to her lawyer, Bob Bauer, who was then, I believe, at the White House by the time this all happened, as the general counsel to President Obama before leaving again to become his counsel of this campaign.

But look, I mean, you know, this is a way these guys -- it's the Chicago way. You know, go out there, and you know, throw a lot of stuff against the wall. Throw a lot of mud and hope it sticks. But it's not going to work in this instance.

And you know, it didn't work, as well, in the instance of Dana Jill Simpson and Governor Siegelman. The Supreme Court just refused to hear Governor Siegelman's request for a new trial, and he's about ready to go back to the federal penitentiary.

And Dana Jill Simpson, Bob Bauer's client -- God knows where she is. Maybe Bob can help dig her up. Maybe he can find her and have her talk to the Office of Professional Responsibility about the accusations she made on "60 Minutes" and -- and -- and you know, and then disappeared.

VAN SUSTEREN: Karl, thank you. All I can say, never dull. Thank you, Karl.

ROVE: Never dull.

VAN SUSTEREN: Never dull.

ROVE: You bet, Greta.

Update:

Legal Schnauzer, What Prompted Karl Rove To Go Off On a Fact-Free Rant About Don Siegelman and Jill Simpson? Roger Shuler, June 25, 2012. No thinking American ever would take anything Karl Rove says as the truth. But the former Bush White House strategist issued a string of lies on Fox News the other night that was prodigious, even by his standards. Greta Van Susteren initiated an interview that was supposed to be about the tax-exempt status of certain right-leaning PACs. For reasons that seemed to escape even Van Susteren, Rove took the question and turned it into a diatribe about the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. Much of Rove's vitriol was directed at Rainsville lawyer Jill Simpson, a former GOP operative who told Congress she was involved in a conference call about a plan to bring bogus charges against Siegelman, apparently with Rove's approval.
Van Susteren either was too timid or too stunned to point out to her audience that almost everything Rove said about Simpson, and her role in the Siegelman, case was false.

Locust-Fork News-Journal, Karl Rove Lies on Fox News Again, and Again, Glynn Wilson, June 21, 2012. Why would Karl Rove lie so blatantly on Fox News about the Siegelman case when the question was about his political organization? There is no way this right-wing Republican political organization, American Crossroads, which is spending millions of dollars to try to defeat President Barack Obama in the 2012 election, is a “social welfare organization” just because they mention the deficit on their Website. Karl Rove worked for George W. Bush, the president who ran up the deficit. He is responsible for it, not this president. The lies on Fox News are so blatant that even legal host Greta Van Susteren seemed shocked that Rove would even bring up the Siegelman case — when the question was about a lawsuit filed to try to get him to disclose the names of his donors, since the Supreme Court recently ruled that political organizations must disclose their donors.

Huffington Post, Bob Bauer, Obama Campaign's Top Lawyer, Demands Retraction From Karl Rove, Sam Stein June 21, 2012. The Obama campaign's top lawyer fired off a letter to Karl Rove Thursday, demanding a retraction of a "mystifying" comment Rove made and raising questions about his upcoming appearance at a Mitt Romney campaign event. The letter is the second that Bob Bauer has sent to Rove this week. The first argued that Rove could no longer insist that his advocacy group, Crossroads GPS, was policy oriented -- a distinction that allowed it to shield the names of its donors. The follow-up letter, obtained by The Huffington Post, makes that same point, arguing that there is no "social welfare" component to the group's operations. But it also challenges Rove in more direct terms. Bauer hints that Rove, the chief strategist to former President George W. Bush, is colluding with Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, by homing in on Rove's presence at a Romney retreat in Utah this upcoming weekend. He also expands the scope of his complaint to Rove's role with American Crossroads, the super PAC arm of Crossroads GPS.

Huffington Post, Nancy Pelosi Says Contempt Vote Against Eric Holder Is Really About Voter Suppression, Jennifer Bendery, June 21, 2012. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made a bold accusation on Thursday about what is driving Republicans to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress: a desire to suppress Democratic voters in November. Pelosi's office later provided materials to back up her charge. It cited cases in 2007 where Bush administration officials fired U.S. attorneys for not pursuing "bogus" voting fraud cases in which the administration wanted action. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was asked to respond to the voter suppression charge at his weekly briefing, but he declined. Instead, he pushed back on Pelosi's claim that Republicans are going after Holder as a diversion from their lack of work on pressing matters. Republicans are "heavily engaged" in getting a deal on the transportation bill, Boehner said. As for the Holder contempt charges, he said people "deserve the truth" about what happened with the Justice Department's bothed Fast and Furious operation.

WVKO-FM (Columbus, Ohio) / Fight Back with Bob Fritakis, Clifford Arneback Interview on Karl Rove's latest, June 23, 2012. Fight Back starts 6:34 minutes into the recorded segment. Discussion of massive 1988-2008 red-shift; Discussion of the posse visiting American Crossroads to deliver indictment of Karl Rove begins at 45:00 minutes;  Discussion of Jill Simpson's role the travails of Karl Rove begins at 51:06.

Dan Froomkin, Karl Rove: Too Clever For His Own Good With Crossroads GPS Secrecy? Huffington Post, June 20, 2012. Measures that secretive political groups keep coming up with to avoid disclosing donors may eventually backfire, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said Wednesday. "These organizations are doing all sorts of gymnastics to try to prevent voters from knowing the sources of their funding," Van Hollen said at a conference on "Shadow Money" hosted by the Center for Responsive Politics. "I think they're already becoming too clever for their own good."

New York Times, Obama’s Lawyer Demands Information on Group’s Donors, Michael D. Shear,June 19, 2012,  The lawyer for President Obama demanded on Tuesday that Crossroads GPS disclose its donors, saying in a complaint to the Federal Election Commission that the group is plainly a “political committee” subject to federal reporting requirements. In the complaint, obtained by The New York Times, Robert F. Bauer, the campaign’s chief counsel, writes that the group — founded by Karl Rove, among others — can no longer shield the identity of its donors by defining itself as a “social welfare” organization.

Washington Post, Obama campaign asks Crossroads GPS to disclose donors, Amy Gardner, June 19, 2012. President Obama’s reelection campaign is demanding that Crossroads GPS, the independent Republican group spending millions to defeat the incumbent Democrat, disclose who its donors are. In a letter to Crossroads — and a complaint to the Federal Elections Commission — the president’s lawyer, Robert F. Bauer, demanded that Crossroads divulge its donors because it is a political committee and not, as it calls itself, a “social welfare” organization.

WBC, (Birmingham), Siegelman's re-sentencing to be held August 3, Alan Collins, June 20, 2012.  Today, the former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman learned Wednesday that his fate will be decided August 3. Siegelman was convicted of accepting a bribe from HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy and was sentenced to more than seven years in prison. Siegelman has been free since 2008, serving only nine months behind bars pending his appeal. The U.S. Supreme Court recently rejected the former governor's last appeal.

Associated Press, Siegelman backers seek pardon for ex-Ala governor, Bob Johnson, June 17, 2012. Some backers of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman want President Barack Obama to grant a pardon that would prevent the ex-Democratic officeholder from returning to prison for his 2006 bribery conviction. Siegelman is out of prison on an appeal bond. But the U.S. Supreme Court this month rejected his latest appeal, and he may soon face a new sentencing by U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller of Montgomery.

USA Today, U.S. Chamber joins BofA in denying ties to disinformation campaigns, Byron Acohido, Feb. 11, 2011. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- like the Bank of America -- is scrambling to distance itself from a cache of stolen e-mails that continue to disgorge stunning details of how high-stakes, corporate-backed disinformation campaigns get birthed. The chamber and BofA are embroiled in mirror-image controversies stemming directly from the spontaneous hack last Sunday of HBGary Federal, a digital intelligence firm. The hack was pulled off by the elite global hacking group known as Anonymous.

Salon/Unclaimed Territory, The leaked campaign to attack WikiLeaks and its supporters, Glenn Greenwald, Feb 11, 2011. The only unusual aspect here is that we happened to learn about it this time because of Anonymous' hacking.

 

US Chamber of Commerce, Another Smear from the Center for American Progress, Tom Collamore, Feb. 11, 2011. The U.S. Chamber never hired or solicited proposals from HBGary, Palantir or Berico, the security firms being talked about on the web. HBGary’s proposal, which has been written about by ThinkProgress, was not requested by the Chamber, it was not delivered to the Chamber, and it was never discussed with anyone at the Chamber. The leaked e-mails appear to show that HBGary was willing to propose questionable actions in an attempt to drum up business, but the Chamber was not aware of these proposals until HBGary’s e-mails leaked.

Think Progress / Center for American Progress, US Chamber’s Lobbyists Solicited Hackers To Sabotage Unions, Smear Chamber’s Political Opponents, Lee Fang,  Feb. 10, 2011.   ThinkProgress has learned that a law firm representing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the big business trade association representing ExxonMobil, AIG, and other major international corporations, is working with set of “private security” companies and lobbying firms to undermine their political opponents, including ThinkProgress, with a surreptitious sabotage campaign. According to e-mails obtained by ThinkProgress, the Chamber hired the lobbying firm Hunton and Williams. Hunton And Williams’ attorney Richard Wyatt, who once represented Food Lion in its infamous lawsuit against ABC News, was hired by the Chamber in October of last year. To assist the Chamber, Wyatt and his associates, John Woods and Bob Quackenboss, solicited a set of private security firms — HBGary Federal, Palantir, and Berico Technologies (collectively called Team Themis) — to develop tactics for damaging progressive groups and labor unions, in particular ThinkProgress, the labor coalition called Change to Win, the SEIU, US Chamber Watch, and StopTheChamber.com.

BLT / Legal Times, Former Ogilvy Lobbyists Set Up New Shops, Carrie Levine, Jan. 5, 2010. Lobbyists who left Ogilvy Government Relations over the past few weeks are setting up their own shops, even as Ogilvy changes its leadership.

Roll Call, Street Talk: Lobby Shop Ogilvy Now Faces Uncertain Future, Kate Ackley, June 24, 2012. The old Federalist Group had a certain MOD squad charm about it. The all-Republican lobby shop’s clients included gun, liquor and tobacco interests. And its partners, some with a folksy Southern drawl and all with impeccable connections, might just as easily talk huntin’ as leadership races on Capitol Hill.

 

Siegelman Case Background

 

Siegelman Case Summary (As of June 23, 2012)

To recap, Don Siegelman took office in 1999 as Alabama's governor and most popular Democrat after winning three top offices previously. But Siegelman promptly became the target of an investigation by Alabama Attorney Gen. William Pryor, a Republican favorite of the ultra-right who now sits on the federal appeals court weighing any Siegelman claims of unfairness. Pryor's probe reached massive proportions as the Bush administration assumed control of the Justice Department in 2001 and created a joint state-federal probe located at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery to topple Siegelman and his associates.

Investigative leaks tarnished Siegelman's reputation and an estimated $10 million from Jack Abramoff clients alone was funnelled to his Republican challenger. In 2002, Siegelman narrowly lost his re-election campaign to GOP candidate Bob Riley amid unproven claims that an operative from Riley's campaign trained in election software fraud changed 6,000 votes in Baldwin County after poll watchers went home for the night following AP's declaration of a Siegelman statewide victory. Siegelman vowed to compete again in 2006, but was indicted on corruption charges in 2004. That year, Chief U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon of Birmingham presided at the trial. The judge came to believe the charges were the most unfair he had seen in his nearly 30 years on the bench.

Fearing acquittal, the Bush DOJ then aborted the trial and persuaded Siegelman's top lawyer to waive the protections for Siegelman in the federal statute of limitations. Bush prosecutors then created a revised, secret indictment focusing on Siegelman's 1999 reappointment of businessman Richard Scrushy to a state regulatory board. The DOJ arranged for a new, secret indictment in 2005 to take avantage of the xended statute to limitations, and to be secretly transferred away from Clemon via a still-mysterious process.

The new case landed before a longtime political enemy of Siegelman, Middle District Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller of Montgomery. The secret indictment was announced a half year later just as Siegelman geared up for his re-election campaign. Despite years of preparation, authorities were able to convict Siegelman of only a few charges in his second trial, with Fuller holding the jury until it avoided deadlock and reached a compromise verdict. The charges centered on Scrushy's reappointment to a board after he donated to a non-profit whose advocacy Siegelman supported. Prosecutgors successfully argued that the circumstances of the appointment suggesting that Scrushy's contribution to the non-profit was in effect a bribe.

Simpson stepped forward in the spring of 2007 to swear that she was a longtime, behind-the-scenes Republican political operative in Alabama who participated in a strategic discussion in 2002 led by Business Council of Alabama CEO Bill Canary focused on how Republicans would remove Siegelman from politics by prosecuting him.  Also in 2007, she disclosed that the presiding judge, Fuller, secretly controlled a company, Doss Aviation. Also, she provided documentation that Doss (and thus the judge) was being enriched by $178 million in no-bid Bush contracts for the company shortly before the trial -- a sum that would grow to $300 million overall in Bush contracts for the period 2006 to 2009.

The judge and Justice Department maintained that the contracts for the judge's company and the massive irregularities he approved with pro-prosecution rulings during the trial were irrelevant to the convictions, despite a 1988 Supreme Court ruling that a judge must apprise litigants of any financial issues that create even the possibility that someone in the public might suspect bias. The judge ordered seven-year prison terms for the two defendants, who were taken away in chains to begin serving their terms immediately without the customary appeal bonds customarily allow for white-collar defendants, especially in complex cases.

Thanks to Simpson, the Siegelman case became a national scandal, in part because it seemingly illustrated precisely the kind of abuses feared from the 2006 Bush DOJ political purge of nine U.S. attorneys. Most of those nine were removed because the DOJ and White House regarded them as too unwilling to use their vast powers to prosecute Bush political targets. In contrast to those attorneys fired for not undertaking dubious prosecutions, Siegelman's prosecution was run jointly from DOJ headquarters and the office of Middle District U.S. Attorney Leura Canary, whose husband, William, was a longtime Rove friend and former campaign manager of Riley, Siegelman's Republican opponent.

Authorities placed Siegelman in solitary confinement that prevented communications with family and supporters. Simpson persisted even though she said she never supported Siegelman during his political career because she was a Republican. She testified to Democratic-controlled House Judiciary Committee staff in a lengthy disposition in September 2007. That's when I met her.

She also sat for an interview then with CBS 60 Minutes. Other interview subjects CBS presented on its Feb. 24, 2008 show included Grant Woods, a GOP former Arizona attorney general and a co-chair of that year's national campaign for the party's nominee John McCain. Woods told the CBS audience that the prosecution of Siegelman was an obvious political prosecution -- and so flawed that he co-signed an unprecedented petition of former AGs protesting the charges as unfounded.

Simpson's testimony claimed that she heard from Riley's son in 2005, even before Siegelman's second secret indictment, that the Democrat's prosecution was in the works and would be steered for maximum impact to Fuller because the judge "hated" Siegelman and would "hang" him.

Riley and other Republicans named denied her allegations. But none of their comments were under oath subject to cross-examination, as were her responses. Addtionally, all of her paperwork checked out on such arcane and then-secret matters as Fuller's controlling ownership of the privately held Doss. Paperwork from such obscure sources as Maine's Secretary of State office showed that Fuller held 43.7% of Doss shares. The company trains Air Force pilots and refuels Air Force planes, making it a significant part of the nation's military-industrial complex.

At a critical juncture in late 2007, Democrats in Congress and in the Obama administration systematically undermined Simpson and other critics of the prosecution, according to our research at the Justice Integrity Project. Alabama Congressman Artur Davis, the state's most senior Democrat and a member of the House Judiciary Committee at first championed Siegelman's cause in 2007. But Davis, a friend of President Obama and contemporary at Harvard Law School, quit the Judiciary Committee and prepared for a 2010 gubernatorial run by seeking to distance himself from Siegelman's plight.

Davis badly lost his party's primary in 2010, with many Alabama Democrats citing his disloyalty to Siegelman as among the factors causing Democrats to support his opponent, who nonetheless lost in the 2010 state and nationwide rout of Democfratic candidates, especially "Blue Dogs" like Davis who sought alliances with Republicans. In developments parallel in time but with different motivations, Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Michigan), now 83, was weakened by his advancing years, the imprisonment of his wife for bribery and by the election of a Democratic administration. All these factors tended to make him support the Obama administration's tepid and deferential investigation of Rove and his Bush colleagues alleged to have interfered improperly in prosecution decisions.   

Simpson was vulnerable in a number of ways. As an attorney, she was trained to rely on the integrity of the system and the fairness of the media, even though she as a longtime political opposition researcher should have known more about the byzantine deal-making motivating even respected office-holders and private organizations. Also, it was easy for others to deny meeting her and to otherwise disparage her since her work was behind the scenes and otherwise secret. Finally, my research identified how powerful financial incentives caused ostensible allies to double-cross her, much as they had done to Siegelman and his co-defendant, Scrushy.  Among the factors at work were abject sell-outs by Democrats greedy for career rewards available by rubber-stamping irregularities within the legal system.

Some of these Democrats worked within the Justice Department or were influential from the outside in its decision-making. In that environment, it often made little sense for whistle-blowers like Simpson -- or others protesting irregularities in the Siegelman case -- to subject themselves repeatedly to sworn testimony when the DOJ hierarchy showed no inclination to submit its own personnel or former outside officials such as Rove to similar treatment. As a practical matter also, witnesses who testify first within oversight agencies of dubious ethics in effect provide a roadmap for subsequent witnesses to adjust their testimony.

In one of the parallel developments to Simpson's ordeal, Holder fired former DOJ paralegal Tamarah Grimes in 2009, for example, after she submitted sworn statements describing serious irregularities in the Siegelman prosecution. The DOJ earlier threatened Grimes with criminal prosecution on suspicion of false statements. But Obama and Alabama Democrats continued in office the Bush-era prosecutor Leura Canary until 2011. Remarkably, the DOJ under Obama resisted a 2006 Siegelman request for documents showing that she in fact recused herself from the Siegelman prosecution.

Thus, the Obama administration has generally refrained from probing law-breaking by the Bush administration. Instead, it has implemented Obama's "look forward" mantra that protected the Siegelman prosecution team and judge, among others, from hard questions. Obama's appointees thus argued before appellate courts and elsewhere that there were no irregularities in the Siegelman prosecution. Similarlly, a much-touted probe by Connecticut prosecutor Nora Dannehy of the the 2006 Bush political purge at DOJ was a once-over-lightly whitewash that failed to interview key witnesses, as we reported at the time.

 

Who's Who Chart Prepared by Siegelman Supporters

Siegelman Case Relationship Chart

 

Background News Clips (Latest First)

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Montgomery circuit court seals file in U.S. district judge's divorce proceedings, Amanda Simmons, May 29, 2012. Three journalists requested access to the sealed file of an Alabama-based federal judge's divorce proceedings wrought with accusations of domestic violence, drug abuse and the judge's alleged affair with his court bailiff. The journalists and other legal watchers have expressed concern that the court quietly sealed the records without taking the standard procedural steps. Citing security reasons, U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller of Montgomery, Ala., moved to seal the file of his divorce proceedings on April 20 despite his wife's objections. Without providing an explanation, a judge in the domestic relations division of Montgomery County Circuit Court granted the request on May 15.  Last week, Andrew Kreig, director of the Justice Integrity Project in Washington, D.C.; Bob Martin, editor and publisher of The Montgomery Independent and The Millbrook Independent in Alabama; and Roger Shuler, online content provider of the Alabama-based website Legal Schnauzer, submitted their request for public access.

Montgomery Independent, Judge got $18 million in Doss Aviation sale; Fuller divorce records have been sealed by judge in case, Bob Martin, May 31, 2012.  Montgomery Circuit Judge Anita Kelly has sealed the records in the divorce matter involving U. S. District Judge Mark Everett Fuller and his wife, Lisa.  Fuller’s lawyers had requested that the file be sealed, however Mrs. Fuller had initially objected to the entire file being sealed. The Independent, Justice Integrity Project in Washington and Lgal Schauzer in Birmingham have filed a request seeking the file to remain open to the public. udge Kelly waited some three weeks after the case was filed before sealing the records.

The Independent reported last week that Judge Fuller and his partners sold Doss Aviation, located in Denver last December. We have now learned that the company which was moved from Enterprise to Colorado, brought $42 million and some change. If that is the correct number Fuller’s 43.75 percent share of the business earned him slightly more than $18 million. The company’s income has come primarily from U. S. Government contracts and once listed its mailing address at the United States Federal Courthouse, shortly after Fuller was appointed a judge by President George W. Bush. Doss Aviation  was a major source of Fuller’s income, probably the main source and its primary income came from government contracts or from those who received government contracts. Doss Aviation benefited from a steady stream of Department of Defense and other federal contracts some awarded on a no-bid basis under highly suspicious circumstances.

Washington Post, Is it bribery or just politics? George F. Will, Feb. 12, 2012. All elected officials, and those who help finance elections in the expectation that certain promises will be kept — and everyone who cares about the rule of law — should hope the Supreme Court agrees to hear Don Siegelman’s appeal of his conviction. Until the court clarifies what constitutes quid pro quo political corruption, Americans engage in politics at their peril because prosecutors have dangerous discretion to criminalize politics....In 2009, a bipartisan amicus brief by 91 former state attorneys general urged the Supreme Court to use Siegelman’s case to enunciate a clear standard for establishing quid pro quo bribery. Today’s confusion and the resulting prosecutorial discretion chill the exercise of constitutional rights of political participation and can imprison people unjustly.

Young Turks, Obama Admin With Karl Rove Against Don Siegelman, Cenk Uygur, Feb. 20, 2012 (Video). Conservative columnist George Will thinks Democratic Alabama Governor Don Siegelman was unfairly convicted of bribery. Why does the Obama Administration?

Legal Schnauzer, George Will, Of All People, Stands Up for Justice in the Don Siegelman Case, Roger Shuler, Feb. 12, 2012. Who could have imagined that George Will would prove to be more progressive than Barack Obama on fundamental matters of justice? Will, probably the nation's foremost conservative columnist, writes in his most recent piece that the U.S. Supreme Court should review the convictions of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and codefendant Richard Scrushy to ensure that overzealous prosecutors are not criminalizing standard political behavior. The Obama Justice Department, meanwhile, has stated that the Siegelman case was correctly decided and should not be reviewed by the nation's highest court. That presents a disturbing scenario for Democrats as they think about heading to the polls in November: George Will actually is more enlightened than Barack Obama on constitutional issues of profound importance to many progressives.

Pam Miles List-Serve, Don Siegelman, Esther Davis, Feb. 12, 2012. A brilliant, determined young man, a Rhodes scholar and karate black-belt, Donald Eugene Siegelman worked work his way through law school and eventually became the only Alabamian ever to be elected to four state-wide office, including the governorship.  As Lieutenant Governor, in 1997 Lieutenant Governor Don Siegelman  joined other states in a lawsuit against tobacco companies. Attorney General Bill Pryor and Alabama Republican Bill Canary fought the lawsuit. Siegelman accused Pryor, a close personal friend of Karl Rove, of being too friendly with the tobacco industry. This disagreement served as the spring board for Pryor and his friends to launch an on-going investigation that would ultimately end Siegelman’s political career. Bill Canary was known as  “a legend in Republican circles” and  “someone you drop in a state when something needs fixing.”  He and Rove developed a strategy to turn around the court system in Alabama by hand-picking GOP candidates, spending million of dollars to get them elected. The strategy worked. Not one Democrat serves on the Alabama Supreme Court.  At the same time, there remained the problem of the popular Democratic governor. There was always the possibility that he would one day run for president.  In 2001 Bush- appointed US attorney, Leura Canary, wife of Bill Canary, and former assistant to  Bill Pryor, federalized Pryor’s on-going investigation of Siegelman. Subsequently,  Siegelman was indicted and dragged into court in 2004, 2005 and 2006. He was dogged his entire political career by a cabal engineered from Washington, which included Pryor, Karl Rove, who had been  Pryor’s campaign manager, and Canary, who had been  Bob Riley’s campaign manager, and Leura Canary. Through the years, they would bring more than 100 indictments against him.

Legal Schnauzer, Why Did Karl Rove and His GOP Thugs Target Don Siegelman in Alabama? Roger Shuler, Feb. 6, 2012. (1) Why did Karl Rove and his pro-business GOP thugs target Alabama Democratic Governor Don Siegelman? (2) Why did the Bush administration proceed with what has become the most notorious political prosecution in American history? Those questions are particularly powerful now because Siegelman last week filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court for review of his 2006 convictions on bribery and obstruction of justice charges. This appears to be Siegelman's last crack at appellate review, and if it is denied, he probably is headed back to federal prison. I've probably written more words about the Siegelman affair than just about anyone on the planet, so I might as well take a crack at answering those questions.

Montgomery Advertiser, Don Siegelman asks U.S. Supreme Court to review bribery conviction, Brian Lyman, Feb. 1, 2012.  Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman Wednesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review his 2006 conviction on bribery and obstruction of justice charges. The 116-page petition for writ of certiorari requests the court to consider when a political contribution becomes a bribe, a key element of the former governor’s case. In their appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, Siegelman’s attorneys ask the court to settle the matter, citing different rulings by different U.S. circuit courts on the issue.

 

Artur DavisLegal Schnauzer, Artur Davis Must Be the Sorest Loser In the History of American Politics, Roger Shuler, Feb. 1, 2012. Former Alabama Congressman Artur Davis [left] has been conducting a world-class whine-fest ever since he got spanked in the 2010 Democratic primary for governor. Davis says standing up for Siegelman made him appear soft on crime, and by questioning the actions of the Bush Justice Department, Davis called his own integrity into question. If you are a coherent, rational human being, that paragraph will leave you scratching your head. Davis, in so many words, is saying that he now regrets appearing to have principles -- he now regrets suggesting that federal prosecutions should focus only on actual crimes, not the political affiliation of the accused. Artur Davis is saying that he regrets standing up for due process and equal protection under the law -- that if a man has to choose between fundamental constitutional rights and his own political career, he should choose the career stuff every time.

Justice Integrity Project, Judge Denies Siegelman Co-Defendant Scrushy New Trial, Andrew Kreig, Jan. 24, 2012.  An Alabama federal judge imposed a reduced 70-month prison term for former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy Jan. 24 on a 2006 corruption conviction after denying Scrushy’s request for a retrial based on new evidence. Middle District Chief U.S. District Judge Mark E. Fuller resentenced Scrushy for bribery, conspiracy and fraud charges involving the one-time billionaire’s donation of $500,000 beginning in 1999 to the non-profit Alabama Education Foundation at the request of then-Gov. Don Siegelman.

 

 

Appendix of Cited and Follow-up Reports

2011

Legal Schnauzer, Obama Nominee Should Be Rejected for Key Justice Department Post, Roger Shuler, April 6, 2011. The U.S. Senate should thoroughly grill and then reject the Obama administration's nominee for a controversial U.S. attorney position, according to a report out this morning from the Justice Integrity Project (JIP).

Birmingham News, Federal prosecutors in the bingo vote-buying case need to get their act together, Editorial Board, April 5, 2011. Federal prosecutors involved in the bingo vote-buying case are apparently off to a bad start, if a hearing last week is any indication. U.S. Magistrate Judge Wallace Capel Jr. sharply scolded the government's team for not giving the 10 defendants information they are entitled to have about federal wiretaps. He threatened sanctions and issued a special rebuke for lawyers from the Justice Department in Washington, D.C., who are leading the prosecution. "This is supposed to be some elite unit coming down from D.C., and how this case has been conducted is ridiculous," Capel said.

Legal Schnauzer, Obama Proposes a Wretched Nominee for Controversial U.S. Attorney Post, Roger Shuler, April 1, 2011.
Just when you think the Obama administration's performance on justice issues in Alabama can't get any worse . . . it does.  Now we know why Obama waited more than two years to nominate a replacement for Bush appointee Leura Canary in the Middle District of Alabama. He apparently planned to nominate someone who is almost as bad as she is . . . so, why rush it?  George Beck, from the Montgomery firm of Capell and Howard, is the administration's choice, according to a press release issued yesterday. Sources tell Legal Schnauzer that the White House would have needed to strive awfully hard to come up with a worse choice than Beck. The Alabama Democratic Party issued a statement supporting the nomination, which speaks volumes about why Democrats can't win a statewide race in "The Heart of Dixie" to save their souls.

Birmingham News, Alabama judge threatens sanctions against bingo prosecutors, Kim Chandler, April 2, 2011. A judge on Friday said federal prosecutors acted with arrogance and "blatant ignorance" of the law by failing to turn over information about wiretaps to defense lawyers in the bingo vote-buying case. U.S. Magistrate Judge Wallace Capel Jr. said he is considering sanctions against prosecutors for their repeated delays in sharing documents.

2010
Nieman Watchdog, New Questions Raised About Prosecutor Who Cleared Bush Officials in U.S. Attorney Firings, Andrew Kreig, July 25, 2010.

2009
Legal Schnauzer, Lawyers Rake In Almost $28 million in Fees On Scrushy Case, Roger Shuler, Dec. 17, 2009.

Nieman Watchdog, Covering Prosecutors Calls For Tough-Minded Reporters, Andrew Kreig, Oct. 18, 2009.

Huffington Post, Siegelman Blasts DoJ and Judge In ‘Final’ Reply Seeking Hearing, Andrew Kreig, Sept. 21, 2009.

OpEd News: Explosive New Interview: DoJ Whistleblower Slams Siegelman Case, Parts I & II, Andrew Kreig, Sept. 16 & 18, 2009.

Huffington Post, Did DoJ Blackmail Siegelman Witness With Sex Scandal? Andrew Kreig, July 21, 2009.

Huffington Post, As Rove Testifies About Firings At Justice, Why Did DoJ Fire Whistleblower? Andrew Kreig, July 8, 2009.

C-SPAN, June 26, 2009 (3 hours, 4 minutes), Video: C-SPAN. Thirteen speakers describe political prosecutions in the United States during a breakthrough forum on the topic at the National Press Club organized by the Justice Integrity Project's predecessor coalition, following revelations about such prosecutions as Siegelman's, Oliver Diaz in Mississippi and Charles Walker, Sr. in Georgia.

Huffington Post, Alabama Decisions Illustrate Abuse of Judicial Power, Andrew Kreig, June 10, 2009.

Huffington Post, Siegelman's First Trial Judge Blasts U.S. Prosecutors, Seeks Probe of 'Unfounded' Charges, May 21, 2009, Andrew Kreig.

Huffington Post, Siegelman Deserves New Trial Because of Judge’s ‘Grudge’, Evidence Shows….$300 Million in Bush Military Contracts Awarded to Judge’s Private Company, Andrew Kreig, May 15, 2009.

Huffington Post, Probe the Past to Protect the Future, Andrew Kreig, March 4, 2009.

2008
Truth in Justice, It Does Happen In America: The Political Trial of Don Siegelman, Paul Craig Roberts, Feb. 28, 2008.

CBS 60 Minutes, Did Ex-Alabama Governor Get A Raw Deal? Scott Pelley, Feb. 24, 2008.

U.S. House Judiciary Committee

2007

Alabama Public Television, For the Record hosted by Tim Lennox, With guests George Beck, Barbara Bobo, Bob Martin and Dave White, June 29, 2007.

 

Investigative Archives:

Harper's / No Comment by Scott Horton

Legal Schnauzer by Roger Shuler

Locust Fork News-Journal by Glynn Wilson: Siegelman/Scrushy Archive

Wayne Madsen Report by Wayne Madsen (Subscription only)

U.S. House Judiciary Committee Democratic Majority (By Then-Chairman John Conyers of Michigan)

5. “Allegations of Selective Prosecution” Joint Hearing Materials (2007)