Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lethal Evidence Against Siegelman Prosecution

In the case of former Gov. Don Siegelman, Time via Talk Left has all the mind-boggling details Judiciary Chairman Conyers unearthed during his investigation.

If you recall, the lead prosecutor in the case was U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, Leura Canary who happily happened to be the wife of political operative scumbag William Canary who was best pals with Karl Rove.

Conyers says the evidence raises "serious questions" about the U.S. Attorney in the Siegelman case, who, documents show, continued to involve herself in the politically charged prosecution long after she had publicly withdrawn to avoid an alleged conflict of interest relating to her husband, a top GOP operative and close associate of Bush adviser Karl Rove. Conyers' letter also cites evidence of numerous contacts between jurors and members of the Siegelman prosecution team that were never disclosed to the trial judge or defense counsel.


When the House Judiciary Committee looked into the Siegelman affair earlier this year, the DOJ issued statements, placed in the Congressional Record, maintaining that the case had been handled only by career prosecutors, not political appointees, and that [U.S. Attorney Leura] Canary had recused herself in 2002, "before any significant decisions ... were made."
Siegelman was convicted of bribery and mail fraud in June 2006; and before he could wave good bye to family and friends, he was shackled and hauled off to federal prison. Now more information reveals that at least one of Canary's girls continued to "give advice to the prosecutors handling the case" in contravention to previous statements by her.

In one of Leura Canary's e-mails, dated Sept. 19, 2005, she forwarded a three-page political commentary by Siegelman to senior prosecutors on the case. Canary highlighted a single passage, which, she told her subordinates, "Ya'll need to read, because he refers to a 'survey' which allegedly shows that 67% of Alabamans believe the investigation of him to be politically motivated." Canary then suggested: "Perhaps [this is] grounds not to let [Siegelman] discuss court activities in the media!"

Prosecutors in the case seem to have followed Canary's advice. A few months later they petitioned the court to prevent Siegelman from arguing that politics had any bearing on the case against him. After trial, they persuaded the judge to use Siegelman's public statements about
political bias — like the one Canary had flagged in her e-mail — as grounds for increasing his prison sentence. The judge's action is now one target of next month's appeal.

Emptywheel has even more information; go check it out.

Finally, this is one case where kumbayas and can't we all get along won't do; it was willful misconduct of the highest order. And in cosmic justice, the judge, prosecutors and political hitmen who perpetuated this outrage need to be shackled and sent to the very same remote prison where Gov. Siegelman spent almost two years of his life to keep inmate Karl Rove company.

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