Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Selective Wingnut Justice

Howling Latina is certain that Republicans gamed the justice system one more time and as a result, a former Democratic governor sits in prison as she writes this post.

No niceties of a long good-bye for family of the Scooter Libby kind. As soon as U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller sentenced former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, he was carted off to prison in shackles.

Siegelman was initially charged and indicted with nearly every imaginable felony short of conspiracy of killing all Republicans of voting age and their children. And after all was said and done, a clueless jury convicted Siegelman of soliciting $500,000 on behalf of Alabama's lottery foundation.

Now why this would be a federal crime, HL doesn't understand for EVERY public servant accepts zillions of dollars for this charitable foundation or that one; this new crusade or that one.

Equal to the case of Georgia Thompson of Wisconsin, a low-level state employee who was indicted and convicted under the most flimsy of evidence in a political hit job that was later overthrown by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the case of Siegelman is filled with Republican cloak and dagger work of the Rovian special with the U.S. attorney's office fingerprints all over the corpse.

Ms. Thompson, a purchasing official in the state’s Department of Administration, was accused by the United States attorney in Milwaukee, Steven Biskupic, of awarding a travel contract to a company whose chief executive contributed to the campaign of Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat. Ms. Thompson said the decision was made on the merits, but she was convicted and sent to prison before she could appeal.
Hmmm, sound familiar...?

Yep, just like Thompson, the former governor was sent to prison immediately after sentencing with prosecutors even clamoring for the judge to sentence Siegelman for crimes the jury acquitted him of.

Wikipedia has a nice summary of the outrage.

In June 2007 a Republican lawyer signed a sworn statement that she had heard five years ago that Karl Rove was preparing to politically neutralize Siegelman with an investigation headed by the U.S. Department of Justice. Siegelman defenders point out that over 100 charges were thrown out by three different judges, and the investigating U.S. Attorney was the wife of his political opponent's campaign manager.

The Republican activist, lawyer Dana Jill Simpson of Rainsville, Alabama, filed a sworn statement saying that she was on a Republican campaign conference call in 2002 when she heard Bill Canary tell other campaign workers not to worry about Siegelman because Canary's "girls" and "Karl" would make sure the Justice Department pursued the Democrat so he was not a political threat in the future.
Canary refers to Mrs. Leura Canary, the U.S. attorney for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama who stepped aside in the case but not before she brought the indictment and marching orders to staff.

Well, thank the dear Lord the Dems will look into prosecutorial malfeasance by Rove, Gonzo and the entire Justice Department. It's just further evidence of the politicalization of justice for any Dem star who has the temerity of winning at the ballot box; or any poor sap who volunteers for the party, especially in swing states or the South.

The Los Angeles Times yesterday reported that a whole slew of folks were asking Congress to please look into the matter.
Forty-four former state attorneys general have sent a petition to Congress asking legislators to investigate the Justice Department's prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman on corruption charges."We urge the Congress to take immediate action to investigate this entire matter so that the public may be assured that the outcome is just," the former officials wrote in a letter sent Friday to the House and Senate judiciary committees.
Today we learn via TPM Muckraker that Congress has indeed decided to look into the shameful matter. Three Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee, including its chairman, have asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to turn over documents related to the Siegelman case as well as two others that smell of political foul play.
The 2006 conviction of Alabama’s former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman for bribery, conspiracy, and mail fraud has raised serious concerns. Mr. Siegelman was indicted in 2004, two years after losing the governor’s race by a mere 3,200 votes in the closest governor’s election in Alabama state history. In May, 2007, Jill Simpson, a Republican attorney in Alabama who had worked for Mr. Siegelman’s 2002 Republican opponent, swore in an affidavit that in 2002, a former protégé of Karl Rove told a small group of Republican political operatives that Karl Rove and two U.S. Attorneys in Alabama were working to “take care of” Mr. Siegelman. The Rove protégé, Bill Canary, is married to Leura Canary, who President Bush appointed in 2001 to be the U.S. Attorney in the Middle District of Alabama. In 2005, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Alabama indicted Mr. Siegelman (Ms. Canary recused herself from participating in the Siegelman case in 2002). In her affidavit, Ms. Simpson said that Bill Canary told her and two colleagues that “Karl [Rove] had spoken with the Department of Justice and the Department was already pursuing Don Siegelman.” The phone call that Ms. Simpson was referring to occurred in November, 2002, when Mr. Siegelman was seeking a recount of the vote he had just lost, and when Republican operatives were concerned that Mr. Siegelman could be a significant political threat in future elections.
Chairman John Conyers of Michigan and Reps. Linda Sánchez of California and Artur Davis of Alabama want the Justice department to send whatever documents they have on Georgia Thompson and Dr. Cyril Wecht, yet another Dem indicted by a U.S. attorney that NEVER found cause to investigated illegality by a GOPer under its Pennsylvania swing state jurisdiction.

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