Most Current Posts
These are all the posts on the Don Siegelman Website listed from most current to least current posting.
Early release! As soon as this Wednesday!
Release From Oakdale Federal Prison Don Siegelman is Coming Home Soon Word on the street is that Don Siegelman will be released from Oakdale Federal Prison on the earliest possible release date, February 8, 2017. This rumor was supported by an article by Zach Tyler for the Anniston Star (paywall to article) saying that Don could be leaving the federal prison where he has been housed (on and off) since he was sentenced in 2007. WSFA News reported, quoting former Siegelman aide, Chip Hill, that Don Siegelman was told by prison authorities he would be released this Wednesday. Posts on the Siegelman Facebook site have been abuzz with hope, plans and speculation. We began counting down to the earliest possible date for release in our blog posts and emails last Fall, hoping that last Thanksgiving and Christmas were the last holidays Don would spend inside Federal Prison Camp Oakdale. We have suffered so many disappointments concerning Don’s prosecutions and appeals that we were reserved in our expectations, but pleased that this time the best possible outcome may be about to materialize. Still stinging from the disappointing news that the President would not exonerate or pardon Siegelman, his friends and supporters have been cautiously optimistic. Hard realities have tempered the exuberance of the Siegelman supporters in that the BOP, which has control over Don’s release can be heavy handed, sometimes whimsical. Last year, a prison staff approved radio interview landed Don in solitary for many weeks, so Friends of Siegelman are keeping their fingers crossed that there will be no slip ups to impede Don’s discharge from Oakdale. On the Day of Don’s Release from Federal Prison Les Siegelman, Don’s brother, disclosed by phone that he hopes that Don will wake up Wednesday morning, process out of Oakdale, board the transport to Birmingham and arrive sometime the afternoon of the 8th. He expects he will have to go straight to his probation officer to report when he arrives in Birmingham, leaving him little or no time to greet supporters who might want to welcome him home. The supervising probation officer will instruct Don about the rules and regulations of his confinement, which could include not talking to the media. His first hours after processing will be spent with his closest family members. The home confinement (could be six months) period will be strictly supervised, with Don wearing an ankle bracelet. Later he will be on supervised probation – possibly till 2020. All media enquiries should be directed to Chip Hill: Email email@example.com Phone 334.332.8225 Gathering to Celebrate Don’s Release Many people have expressed an interest in coming to Birmingham Wednesday to wave a ‘Welcome Home’ to him. If you are interested in gathering with others to welcome him, please private message the public figure page of Free Don Siegelman’s Facebook page. From there we will coordinate with you to make sure we can all come together to show Gov. Siegelman the love and support that awaits him!
A Final Plea to the President
One Last Plea to the President EXONERATION FOR GOVERNOR DON SIEGELMAN! To our most honorable President, You have one week left in the White House. It is a time of memories and farewells, but it could also be a time to strike one more blow against injustice. The wrongfully prosecuted and convicted former Governor, Don Siegelman, was the victim of a selective prosecution for political gain. It is a case many observers and experts alike deem the most egregious example of prosecutorial misconduct in recent American jurisprudence. As a Harvard educated lawyer, as a compassionate human being, as a man who knows something of selective prosecution, we appeal to your mind and your heart to return this innocent man fully to a productive and meaningful life. Please watch the video below of former Alabama judge, C.W. Clemon! He states that the Siegelman Case “cries out for the correction of an injustice!” He goes on to claim that the president “can’t make it right, but at least he can set an innocent man free!”
Don’s Last Winter Holiday in Prison!
Good News for the New Year! Donations tallied! We raised over $8,000! After a total of 10 days collecting donations, the contributions been tallied and the matching has occurred. Thanks to our 53 donors, and our friend who matched the donations, we have netted $8,740! We also want to thank everyone who assisted in sending out the requests for donations & posted the donor appeals on social media. You have helped make this a truly Happy New Year for Don Siegelman, his family and many supporters. News Year’s Greeting from Don in Oakdale Hope for 2017 Here’s to a great year for us and, God willing, humanity! There is always hope, so I’m optimistic. China gives me hope by not encouraging the killing of elephants for their tusks; this is an answer to one of my nightly prayers. I know it sounds kind of childlike to be praying for elephants, zebras, Silverback gorillas and Rhinos, lions like “Cecil”, but years in prison changed how I value all life now. I welcome the ceasefire and peace talks in Syria, because it gives me hope that the refugees, those suffering children who have recently fled Aleppo, may find relief from the slaughter they would surely face without a peace process and the eyes of the world upon them. Of course, I am looking forward to a new year personally so that my friends, who have worked so hard for me, and my family may get to spend more time on themselves instead of helping “Free Don”. I hope you enjoyed greeting the New Year, celebrating, the cheers, bottoms up, the fireworks. I hope you had one for me. I look forward to seeing you soon in this new year, Don Siegelman
Karl Rove: DECLARED IN CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS!
Karl Rove Spurns Subpoena, Found In Contempt! In Contempt of Congress and the Law We travel back in time to the Summer of 2007, when the Attorney’s General Scandal was reaching a boiling point. There were indications that the Bush White House – with direction from Karl Rove – was demanding that the Justice Department misuse their powers. Rove wanted the Attorneys General to use their bully pulpit to push for political prosecutions of their opponents. Moreover, Karl Rove and the White House staff would stifle investigations of their own party. Now Karl Rove and team were wanted for questioning. Rove avoided testifying under oath, therefore he defied the law and ignored subpoenas. He and his crew were even willing to risk being in contempt of Congress rather than tell what they knew. I Swear Dana Jill Simpson was a lifelong Republican political campaigner. Sometimes her campaign work involved oppositional research – spying on your competition or your opposition. Hence, she was often campaigning against democrat Don Siegelman. In fact, she had done “oppositional research” on Siegelman for Karl Rove in the past. Because Rove believed that Siegelman might be in a sexual liaison with one of his aides, he hoped that she might get photographs of the tryst. Jill Simpson agreed to take on this project. She found no evidence that Siegelman was in an affair of any kind. Then, around 2002, Simpson was working in Alabama to elect Bob Riley, Don Siegelman’s opponent. As big GOP players like Abramoff, Reed, Norquist, and Scanlan became more involved in the Alabama campaign to elect Bob Riley, Jill Simpson realized that the political “dirty tricks” were crossing lines, unconstitutional and illegal lines. She decided to blow the whistle. Whistle Blowing That’s when she swore in an affidavit that included revelations that Karl Rove was directing the Don Siegleman prosecution from the White House. That summer, Simpson’s affidavit became a cover story in TIME magazine. More stories appeared online (i.e. TIME/CNN), on radio, and in print (i.e. The New York Times.) The public outcry was electric and immediate. People wanted further investigation. Contempt for Congress and Law? Already, Karl Rove was wanted for questioning in the Valerie Plame affair and the Attorney’s General Purge. Now he was called to answer for the Don Siegelman Prosecution as well. In response to these invitations to testify, he did everything that he could to avoid questioning. Was he simply contemptuous of Congress and above the Law? This evasion would not have not gone unpunished for you or me. What is Rove trying to hide? The difference between the behavior of Jill Simpson and Karl Rove is remarkable. Jill Simpson readily gave sworn testimony, willingly traveled to D.C., happily gave hours of public testimony. She also provided boxes of substantiating evidence to support her statements. In a word, Jill Simpson’s freely produced a sworn statement and showed up when required. She did all this despite the high price she paid for speaking out. She lost a great deal including a hit to her reputation. Her testimony before the House was leaked by Jeff Sessions to the press, and select Alabama newspapers began to tear her testimony apart, calling her a liar. Despite all this, she continued to hold her position. What does Karl Rove’s evasive behavior tell you? In high contrast, Rove was evasive and defiant. He refused to show up for questioning when requested. Rove required special conditions to testify. He wanted his testimony be given in private, and he did not want to testify under oath. He was not willing to swear that what he was saying was true. He destroyed evidence in the form of millions of emails and documents. One excuse for not testifying was executive privilege; he could not reveal the confidential inner workings of the White House. This almost sounds like a confession that the President knew about the Prosecution in Alabama. As for his claim to executive privilege, the Judiciary did not require that he expose anything discussed with the President or anything threatening national security. House Issues Subpoena, Rove Defies the Law The Judiciary Committee eventually had to issue a subpoena; that is, they ordered – commanded in writing – that Karl Rove to come in for questioning. Nevertheless, he ignored the subpoena from the Judiciary Committee, requiring that he be found in contempt of Congress! Dan Abram’s: Bush League Justice features Siegelman Case Fox News: Rove denial Dan Abram’s Bush League Justice Alabama injustice: Political prosecution? Emails disappeared, 60Minutes episode featuring Siegelman is blacked out in AL, trial transcript withheld by Judge, GOP staff refusal to testify under oath in front of Congress; oh, my! At 03:28 Simpson claims to have worked for Karl Rove. In a Fox News video clip Rove states he “never worked with her. . . .” Jill Simpson counters his statemnet with the challenge to “Go and swear in front of the United States Congress and swear what he is saying is true.” Bush League Justice: Stonewalling Siegelman Case Dan Abram’s Bush League Justice Delays in the Siegleman Case Interview with Dana Siegelman, daughter of imprisoned former Governor, Don Siegelman. Stonewalls in the Siegelman Case included stalling the trial transcript necessary to file for appeal – Judge Fuller sits on the transcript for an unbelievable 18 months! __________________________________________________________ READ FURTHER 03.21.07 Fox News Bush Says He Will Oppose Subpoenas of His Staff in Matter of Fired Prosecutors Bush said he has given Gonzales, White House political strategist Karl Rove and former counsel Harriet Miers the go-ahead to talk to congressional committees — but not under oath — in the investigation of the firing of the eight U.S. attorneys. 03.21.07 Slate When Congress Makes You Swear Does it matter if Karl Rove and Harriet Miers testify under oath? by Melonyce McAfee On Wednesday, members of the House judiciary committee voted to compel sworn testimony from Karl Rove, Harriet Miers, and other White House aides regarding last year’s firing of eight federal prosecutors. President Bush has offered to have his aides give unsworn testimony instead. 04.13.07 TIME Inside the Bush E-Mail Scandal by Massimo Clabresi The White House inadvertently crashed the computers of Senate Judiciary Committee staffers Thursday night with another massive dump of e-mails about the firings of eight U.S. attorneys last year. 05.02.07 CNN Senator subpoenas Rove’s e-mails in attorney firings case CNN Politics Leahy has insisted Rove and other top aides to Bush must testify publicly and under oath before the committee about the prosecutors. He has rejected suggestions that Rove and other Bush officials be interviewed privately instead. 06.13.07 NBC News Miers subpoenaed in fired attorneys probe Associated Press Two congressional committees are issuing subpoenas for testimony from former White House counsel Harriet Miers and former political director Sara Taylor on their roles in the firings of eight federal prosecutors, according to two officials familiar with the investigation. The White House has repeatedly refused to make current and former officials involved in the firings available except in private interviews, without transcripts. Congressional investigators have refused that offer. 06.13.07 ThinkProgress Breaking: Top White House Officials Subpoenaed Over Attorney Generals Scandal Statement from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT): The White House cannot have it both ways — it cannot stonewall congressional investigations by refusing to provide documents and witnesses, while claiming nothing improper occurred. … Some at the White House may hope to thwart our constitutional oversight efforts by locking the doors and closing the curtains, but we will keep asking until we get to the truth. 12.14.07 Washington Post Rove, Bolten Found in Contempt of Congress by Paul Kane A Senate panel found former presidential adviser Karl Rove and current White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten in contempt of Congress yesterday for refusing to testify and to turn over documents in the investigation of the firings of nine U.S. attorneys last year. 12.16.07 New York Times In Contempt Opinion editorial They had no right to refuse. Congress has the legal power to call witnesses to testify, and presidential advisers are not exempt. Conservative lawyers like Bruce Fein agree that the administration’s claims of executive privilege are baseless. If the White House believes specific matters are privileged, it needs to make those limited claims.
Simpson testifies Judge Fuller recruited to “hang” Siegelman
Jill Simpson Testifies to GOP conspiracy Whistle Blower Simpson risks everything to expose conspiracy Earlier in the summer of 2007, an Alabama small town lawyer and lifelong republican operative, Jill Simpson, stepped up with a sworn affidavit that Rove was directing the Siegelman Prosecution in Alabama from the White House. The story of her sworn affidavit was published in the NYT and Time/CNN Online on June 1, 2007. On September 14 of that year, Jill Simpson testified before the House Judiciary Committee that the Alabama GOP conspired to defeat an unbeatable political foe, the popular Alabama democrat Don Siegelman, with a trumped up political prosecution complete with a hanging judge. Moreover, she claimed it was directed from the White House by Karl Rove. Electrifying Testimony: Selective Political Prosecution from 2 Sources Adam Zagorin wrote in the Time magazine article that Lanny Young confessed to supplying give-aways like tee shirts and coffee mugs, and signed blank checks to William Pryor, Jeff Sessions, and Don Siegelman. He writes “But the U.S. Attorney’s office chose to prosecute Siegelman in no small measure on the basis of Young’s word and chose not to investigate Sessions and Pryor — or their campaigns — on the basis of that same word.” That FBI transcript of Young’s sworn testimony was hard evidence of selective prosecution. Now, Simpson’s affidavit pointed the finger at Karl Rove. Rumors and innuendo swirled about Rove directing the Justice Department to prosecute political foes and let guilty political allies off the hook. Simpson’s testimony was an actual first hand witness account. She swore under threat of perjury that the selective and political prosecution of Don Siegelman was directed from the White House. Electrifying Testimony: Hanging Judge Selected for Siegelman In 2002, Bob Riley “beat” Don Siegelman in the Governor’s race. Believing that he had been unfairly beaten, Don Siegelman decided to run again for Governor against Riley. The Alabama GOP found out that Siegelman was planning another run at the Governor’s office and further, polls were showing that Don would win against Riley. Jill Simpson swore that Rob Riley, the Alabama Governor’s son, told her he was concerned that his father might lose to Siegelman. She claims that Riley further stated that he had been assured that the Siegelman problem would be solved by another trial held during the political campaign. This trial was assured to get a conviction because the right judge had been secured, a judge who “hated” Siegelman, Judge Mark Everett Fuller. The younger Riley claimed Judge Fuller was selected to “hang” Siegelman. Rob Riley: Jill Who? When Rob Riley got wind of Simpson’s sworn testimonies, Riley claimed that she was lying. He said that he had not seen her in years and never tried cases with her. Furthermore, he stated that the phone call she referred to in her original affidavit never happened. But that was not true, and Jill Simpson took boxes of evidence with her to back up the claims she was swearing to before the House Judiciary Committee. The story of Rob Riley and Jill Simpson’s relationship Rob and Jill went way back. They had known each other since college where they both attended the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. Back in 1987 they ran against each other for Student Government President. Even though Rob beat Jill in the election, she continued to be friends with Rob, based on common history and a deep commitment to conservative politics. They even worked together on legal cases. During the Bush years, they organized a lean and mean gubernatorial campaign for Rob’s dad, Congressman Bob Riley to defeat Don Siegelman. Jill threw herself into the campaign for Bob Riley’s primary, working on a shoestring budget, putting out signs and working her contacts. The hard work paid off when Congressman Riley beat the GOP favorite, Steve Wyndham, in the primary. Enter Stage Right – Abramoff, Norquist and Reed At that point, seeing Riley had a chance to beat Siegelman, the Beltway Lobbyist crowd entered the campaign. Abramoff brought his Indian Casino money, Norquist and Reed brought their shell organizations designed to launder the Casino money into the Governor’s race. They no longer needed Jill Simpson’s shoestring strategies, because the campaign did not need to raise a penny since all the money they needed was provided by Abramoff’s team. But they did continue to call on her for help with various projects. This brings us full circle to the famous phone conference in the affidavit. One of those projects involved a phone meeting with Rob Riley and other key GOP kingmakers. It was during this phone call that she heard the conversation where Canary assured Rob Riley that if Siegelman ran again for Governor, “his girls’ would take care of Siegelman” and “Karl’s talked to Justice.” In one of the conversations she had with Rob Riley he said that their campaign team had found a “hanging judge” to convict Siegelman. From here on out, the tricks got dirtier and Jill began to get uncomfortable with the work she was doing for Riley’s campaign. The Price of Whistleblowing Simpson said she paid a high price to be able to live with a clear conscience. She abandoned party loyalty to serve the law and found that the very republicans she helped to elect turned their backs on her. Her legal business dried up. Her house was burned and her car run off the road. The local press represented her as a liar. Her family suffered from the backlash too. “But I’ve done it, now,” she says. “And I will take whatever consequences that may come from it, because it was the right thing to do. I just couldn’t walk away from the fact–and there’s no doubt about it–it was a political persecution.” “I still believe that justice will always prevail in the end,” Ms. Simpson said. “Whether it prevails in time for Mr. Siegelman and Mr. Scrushy to avoid going to jail, we will see. But in the end, justice will always prevail. I really believe that.” ___________________________________________________________________ Image Attribution: Kok Leng Yeo of Singapore ___________________________________________________________________ 07.19.07 The Locust Fork News Journal Justice Off the Tracks in Alabama by Glynn Wilson Fuller has been a Republican activist since his days . . . at the University of Alabama in the 1980s, including a stint on the Republican Executive Committee. He worked against Siegelman’s election in past races. . . [he was] given a lifetime appointment as the chief federal judge in Montgomery by President Bush in 2002 — just in time to assign himself the Siegelman case. 07.20.07 The Locust Fork News Journal How Ms. Simpson Discovered A Corrupt Judge by Glynn Wilson After Siegelman and Scrushy were convicted, she remembered something Rob Riley had told her in a meeting in Birmingham in 2005. Riley had indicated after the first trial against Siegelman was lost that they had “found another judge” in Montgomery who might very well be able to put through a successful conviction. 09.14.07 U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY INTERVIEW OF DANA JILL SIMPSON . . . .And the few agreements that there are, basically . . . .You’ll have an opportunity to review the transcript that’s being made and correct any errors in it, and you’ll receive a copy of that transcript when it’s final. We all agree to hold the transcript confidential and it will only be released by a decision by Chairman Conyers . . . . 09.15.07 USA TODAY GOP lawyer deposed on Alabama case by Ben Evans, for AP Jill Simpson was called to the Capitol to provide sworn testimony about her claim that she heard discussions in 2002 suggesting that Rove, a former top White House political adviser, may have played a role in the corruption case against Siegelman. At the time of the alleged conversation, Simpson was a campaign worker for Republican Gov. Bob Riley, who defeated Siegelman in that year’s gubernatorial race. 10.08.07 The Locust Fork News-Journal Democrats Call for Sessions’ Recusal in Siegelman Investigation by Glynn Wilson “The Senator’s [Sessions] public statement discouraging Congress from looking into the Siegelman case was self-serving and could be perceived as an attempt to impede discovery . . . . In the interest of justice, impartiality, and to remove any hint that Senator Sessions’ service at a congressional hearing could taint the outcome, I publicly call for him to make a formal recusal from participation in these matters before the Senate Judiciary Committee.” 10.09.07 al.com Lawyer: Siegelman promised prosecution would end with 2002 election concession by Brett Blackledge and Mary Oorndorff A Rainsville lawyer told congressional investigators last month that former Gov. Don Siegelman conceded his 2002 election after Alabama Republicans promised to end a federal investigation of his administration. 10.10.07 Harper’s Online More from the ‘Bama Press by Scott Horton . . . colleagues [on the House Judiciary Committee] had taken a step to attempt to pre-empt the hearings that the Committee had originally scheduled for Thursday (now postponed), at which the Siegelman prosecution will appear center stage. They were . . . going to use a time-honored technique: the interview transcripts would be leaked to a reporter “who can be trusted to get our message across.” The Locust Fork News-Journal 10.10.07 House Judiciary Committee Releases Simpson Transcript by Glynn Wilson North Alabama attorney and GOP whistleblower Jill Simpson’s testimony expands on her sworn affidavit from May of this year. In the affidavit and in her statements to Congress, she documents the involvement of White House and Bush Justice Department officials in scheming to prosecute former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman to keep him from winning future elections. At the heart of this scheme lies Alabama Governor Bob Riley’s son Rob Riley, who told her in several conversations about a plan to recruit a Republican federal judge to handle the case against Siegelman. Times Daily 10.10.07 Governor’s son says he’ll refute lawyer’s testimony by Dana Beyerle The House Judiciary Committee is conducting a hearing on allegations that the Republican Justice Department targeted Democrats. Simpson said she believes the targeting occurred after Alabama Republicans got involved, including Rob Riley, Former Democratic Supreme Court Justice Terry Butts and Business Council of Alabama President William Canary, whose wife, Leura Garrett Canary, is the U.S. Attorney in Montgomery. Simpson said they discussed it in a phone call. Simpson said William Canary said he’d get White House insider Karl Rove to help. Canary denied Simpson’s version of events and Rob Riley challenged Simpson’s version. Legal Schnauzer 10.10.07 Exposing the GOP Slime Machine by Roger Shuler Part of the transcript of Dana Jill Simpson’s testimony before Congressional lawyers was leaked yesterday, and it is a historic document. . . .[The Birmingham News] never explain how they obtained an advance copy of the transcript. . . . An effort naturally is under way to discredit Simpson. Glynn Wilson, of Locust Fork World News & Journal reports that the entire transcript was supposed to be released today. But portions of it were leaked by Republican committee members to certain news organizations, evidently in an effort to discredit Simpson. The leak violated terms of an agreement Simpson had with the committee. 10.11.07 New York Times Partisanship Accusation Expanded in Alabama by Philip Shenon The son of Alabama’s current Republican governor boasted that a Republican judge would “hang Don Siegelman,” a former Democratic governor of Alabama, for partisan reasons, according to a deposition by a Republican lawyer from Alabama. 10.12.07 AmericanProgress.org Justice: The Rovian Touch by Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Satyam Khanna, Matt Corley, Ali Frick, and Jeremy Richmond (Contact Us) This week, House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) released the transcript from Simpson’s sworn testimony before the committee, further implicating Rove. Simpson told investigators that during Bob Riley’s 2005 campaign against Siegelman, Rob Riley — the governor’s son who also had ties to Rove — “told her that Rove had intervened again, this time going directly to the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice” to bring “corruption charges” against Siegelman. Rove allegedly assured the prosecution that Siegelman would face Mark Fuller, an Alabama federal judge who reportedly “hated” Siegelman. 10.12.07 Al.com In her own words: Jill Simpson interview excerpts by Bob Sims Simpson states again that her recollection of the phone call’s reference to Rove was done as factually as possible, and that did allow for two interpretations of the reference to Rove in the phone call. She reiterated that she personally believed it meant Rove orchestrated the Siegelman prosecution, but the statement made on the phone about Rove could be understood different ways. 10.12.07 Legal Schnauzer Attacking Jill Simpson by Roger Shuler Gotcha! the News seems to be saying. But wait. Several paragraphs later we learn this: “Simpson testified that she asked Aaron to help her write her affidavit. He gave her a draft that she didn’t like, she said, so she sat down with her secretary to write her own.” Let’s repeat, according to the News itself, “she sat down . . . to write her own.” In other words, she did it herself, just like she said all along. 10.24.07 The Nation A Whistleblower’s Tale by Glynn Wilson . . . .Four months after testifying in that affidavit, Simpson went to Washington and gave a sworn deposition to the House Judiciary Committee in which she shared further details about the call, including discussion of a plan to keep Siegelman out of future elections for governor–by threatening him with legal action if he ever ran again. At Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on three cases of selective prosecution involving the Bush Justice Department, Siegelman’s conviction and Simpson’s evidence were center stage. 08.20.09 OpEdNews My Response to the article “Closing in on Rove” by Dana Jill Simpson Karl also states in his article, “I also understand that Mr. Siegelman and Ms. Simpson refused to cooperate with the Justice Department’s review of his claim of political persecution, while I willingly gave sworn testimony”. It was announced on May 15, 2009, that Mr. Rove was subpoenaed to testify by Nora Dannehy of the DOJ about the firing of the nine attorneys in a criminal matter. I would hardly call that willingly giving sworn testimony. Further, he pointedly refused to agree to give sworn testimony to the House Judiciary Committee this summer and did not take a sworn oath before chatting with the House Judiciary lawyers that questioned him. I might add: I gladly and freely gave sworn testimony. Mr. Rove however has willfully misled the public in this article to think that I have refused to give sworn testimony to the DOJ in the case in which he was subpoenaed to testify.
Leura Canary’s Undocumented Recusal: Was She lying? Where are the papers?
Leura Canary’s Undocumented Recusal Was Leura Canary Lying about her Recusal? Where are the papers? It has been been 14 years since Leura Canary held a press conference stating that “out of an abundance of caution” she had decided to recuse herself from the Don Siegelman Prosecution. But the Siegelman/Scrushy team have never been able to uncover any recusal papers whatsoever in these many years. These procedures and its documentation are supposed to be public domain. All FOIA requests concerning these documents have been utterly ignored or sidelined. What is the DoJ hiding? The Department of Justice played a cat and mouse game with the Siegelman Defense team. In response to FOIA requests, first the DoJ said there were no documents. Then they said that there were over 500 documents but that a 2 page summary would be all that they would be given. A Siegelman attorney appealed again in 2007, and almost two years went by before the DOJ released 187 pages of . . newspaper clippings! And nothing else. If there are 500 pages of deliberation about the Canary recusal, you have to wonder why. “I know why it took 514 pages. It’s because it was not a routine decision,” Siegelman lawyer, Vince Kilborn understated. When asked about the insult of receiving the newspaper clippings instead of the documentation requested, Kilborn said “How stupid does the government think we are to be satisfied with a . . . press release?” Unlawfully Withholding Documents Scott Horton summarizes. “The bottom line? It seems the DOJ can’t keep its stories, or its numbers, straight while unlawfully withholding documents that Siegelman. . . and the public are entitled to see.” _____________________________ . . . prosecution of your political rival is the best campaign promotion ever. _________________ Why is Leura Canary’s Recusal Problematic? Let’s throw back to the Spring of 2002 when Leura Canary notoriously announces to the press that she is recusing herself from the Siegelman prosecution. She states in a very public press conference that since she has no real conflict of interest in the case, she does not really need to recuse herself. However, she goes on to claim that despite the material lack of conflict, “out of an abundance of caution” she will step aside and give the case to her employee, Louis V. Franklin. She clearly assumes that no one really knows what a recusal is. Giving the case to an employee who reports directly to you is not a recusal. You are not removing yourself from participation. Calling in an impartial U.S. attorney from a neighboring district or state and completely removing yourself from the chain of command is recusing yourself. This was not a real recusal. Completely Upside Down Let’s look at the statement that Canary made to the press about her wholly undocumented recusal. It was outrageously upside down. The appearance of a conflict of interest is the primary reason that an attorney decides to recuse herself from a case, not a gracious afterthought. More significantly, her conflict of interest was not harmless, but remarkable and material. Her self interest was primarily using her public office to protect and enable the political & financial interests of her GOP superstar husband. To the point, her husband was representing Governor Don Siegelman’s political opposition for Governor. The ancient and corrupt principal at work here is that a public prosecution of your political rival is the best campaign promotion ever. Not only is it taxpayer funded, the media coverage is free! So Leura Canary should have been off the case, and we thought that surely she was. Then no one could find her recusal papers. Where are the Recusal Documents, Anyway? On top of the outrageous claim of no real “conflict of interest” the standard recusal documentation that Canary was required to submit to officially step down from the case cannot be found. Anywhere. Until this day. So did Leura Canary actually recuse herself? There’s good reason to believe she stayed intimately involved in the Don Siegelman Case despite the charade of the undocumented recusal. (More, much more on that later.) ………………………………………………………………………………………………. Accreditation Image Blind Justice by Tim Evanson ………………………………………………………………………………………………. Timeline Summer 2001, The Siegelman investigation was initiated by William Pryor, then Attorney General of Alabama with his assistant, Leura Canary. When Leura was appointed by George Bush to be AG, William Pryor handed the investigation over to Leura Canary. Winter 2002, David Cromwell Johnson, an attorney for Siegelman, filed paperwork with the Justice Department asking for her recusal. Spring 2002 Press Statement by Leura Canary: “As to any matters pertaining to any current investigation of [Governor Siegelman] which may be underway, the Department of Justice has advised me that no actual conflicts of interest exist. However, out of an abundance of caution, I have requested that I be recused to avoid any question about my impartiality.” Scott Horton writes for Harper’s Online “The standard that applies is whether there would be an ‘appearance of impartiality,’ not ‘actual conflict,’ so the Canary statement misstates the rule. Nonetheless, here the situation passes far beyond ‘appearance of impartiality’ and reaches an actual conflict.” Winter 2006 What deliberations by the DoJ did her ‘recusal’ entail? Attorney John Aaron wanted to know the answer to that question. He filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Justice on February 6, 2006. He asked for all the conventional papers usually prepared in connection with a recusal. Summer 2006 DoJ finally replies to request saying first that there were no documents “responsive” to the request. Then that statement was revised to say there were over 500 documents “responsive” to the request, but that no documents would be provided.Instead they offered a 2 page summary of the documents. The reason given was that Leura Canary desired confidentiality. Apparently, the DoJ wanted to keep the contents of the documents secret. The House Judiciary Committee next requests documents concerning 3 U.S. Attorneys, including Leura Canary. The other 2 U.S. Attorneys comply in full with the requests. Leura Canary responds by refusing to comply. What is she hiding? 2007-2009 Aaron again appealed in 2007, and almost two years went by before the DOJ released 187 pages of newspaper clippings–and nothing else. Another Siegelman attorney, Vince Kilborn speculated as to why it would have taken 516 pages of documents to come to the decision that Canary should recuse herself. “I know why it took 514 pages. It’s because it was not a routine decision,” Kilborn said. Reacting to the DoJ’s submission of newspaper clippings instead of the requested documents, Kilborn asked “How stupid does the government think we are to be satisfied with a five-year-old press release?” 2009 May Exasperated, John Aaron filed a lawsuit seeking the FOIA documents. During the course of the lawsuit, Aaron learned that more than 1,000 documents exist that are responsive to his request–and they were not disclosed until the lawsuit was filed. This is against the law. ___________________________________________________ Other FOIA requests denied in the Siegelman Case 2008 Conyers went the Department of Public Integrity to explore allegations of “selective politically motivated prosecutions” of Governor Don Siegelman in Alabama. They gave him a Cliff Notes summary of the case but did not give him the full report of its investigation, which has never been made public. 2014 Siegelman’s Son, Joseph, filed a Freedom of Information Act asking for documents concerning his father’s case. To date, none of these requests has been honored. _____________________________________________________ Bill Canary William Canary was a long time pal of Karl Rove. It is said that Rove helped him get 2 powerful positions with the RNC working under both HW Bush and G Bush. In ’94 it was Bill Canary who invited Rove to come to Alabama to commandeer the Alabama Supreme Court for the Republicans. 1995 article, Time Magazine’s Michael Kramer called Bill Canary a “legend in Republican circles” and in the same article, former RNC Chairman Rich Bond described Bill Canary as an “expert political paratrooper” and “someone you dropped into a state where something needed fixing and it got fixed.” In this case, that something that needed to be “fixed” was the successful political career of Don Siegleman. Mr. Canary was the architect of a special relationship between the Alabama G.O.P. and the Business Council of Alabama that provided the financal pipeline for many Alabama G.O.P. election campaigns. He was widely described as the G.O.P.’s Alabama “kingpin.” ………………………………………………….. READ FURTHER The Harper’s Blog 09.14.07 The Remarkable ‘Recusal’ of Leura Canary by Scott Horton The Decatur Daily 09.22.07 Request denied for 514 pages on recusal in Siegelman case by Bob Johnson AP writer TuscaloosaNews.com 09.23.07 Siegelman’s case bolstered by refusal editorial Harper’s Blog 11.20.07 U.S. Attorneys Scandal: Removal of Canary Sought as Paulose Resigns by Scott Horton USA TODAY 11.14.08 Recused US attorney discussed Siegelman case by Ben Evans, Associated Press Writer Conyers [head of Judiciary Committee] cites one e-mail in which Canary forwarded prosecutors a letter from Siegelman to his supporters. “Ya’ll need to read because he refers to a ‘survey’ which allegedly shows that 67 percent of Alabamians believe the investigation of him to be politically motivated,” she wrote. “Perhaps grounds not to let him discuss court activities in the media?” The whistleblower, a legal aide in Canary’s office named Tamarah Grimes, also is quoted as saying Canary “kept up with every detail of the case.” POGO 12.11.14 Justice Department Downplays Evidence of Politics in Probe of Governor by Adam Zagorin Legal Schnauzer 01.13.15 Oral arguments in Siegelman case might be overshadowed by reports about magistrate’s deceit by Roger Schuler PDA Criminal Injustice 01.26.15 More than 1,000 documents about Leura Canary’s “recusal” in Siegelman case are hidden from public by Roger Shuler, Legal Schnauzer
Last Thanksgiving in Oakdale Federal Prison
Last Thanksgiving in Oakdale Federal Prison (hopefully) Don writes through Corrlinks to all who have stood by him all these years. Even from the depths of my dismal circumstances, I have so much to be thankful for. My friends and family are always first to come to mind. I am Blessed to have family members who have stuck by me and worked for my freedom, and friends like you who have done so much for me in every way possible for so long. I wish I could repay the many “gifts” you gave me Now, as my time draws near, my release date approaches, I wish I could somehow repay you for what you have meant to me. Even if I wasn’t broke, I would be hard pressed to find the time, energy, money to give back to you what you have done for me. I know the “gifts” you gave were not just for me, but for the sake of justice and our democracy and were not attached to strings or expectations of getting a return on your investment. Still, I am overwhelmed by the support I have received. [There are 76 days from Thanksgiving to the earliest possible release date of 02.08.17.] President Obama’s last day in office is our last hope We are just a few steps from the prison cell door, February 8th, but there is another deadline looming. D.J.T’s Inauguration day in DC. President Obama’s last day is our last hope. He is only person who can, with his signature, right the wrong that I, and so many of us, have been seeking. “How to Contact the White House” page. Click here. So maybe, if I ask you to send a special word or thought to President Obama, maybe, just maybe he’ll hear our collective cry, if so, that will be another Blessing for which we can all be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving, and eat some pie for me please! All my best to your kin and kindred spirits, Love, Don
Rove and Gonzales Resigned White House Posts
Rove, Followed by Scandal, Resigned The Architect of the Bush presidency resigned! Shocked White House watchers wonder how Bush 43 would function without Karl Rove. Chief Advisor to the president, Rove claimed he was leaving to spend more time at home. Most believed that impending investigations from the Senate Judiciary Committee dogging Rove as he vacated the West Wing were the real reason for leaving. He was wanted for questioning about his role in purging U.S. Attorneys who weren’t willing to bring partisan prosecutions for the championship of the republican party. As of June 2007, the Committee now wanted to question Rove about the Don Siegelman Prosecution, a prime example of political abuse of the Justice Department by “loyal Bushies.” Alberto Gonzales Resigned 2 Weeks Later Alberto Gonzales resigned exactly by two weeks after Karl Rove did. Both men had scaled great heights, each in a fabled rags to riches climb to power. Now they were plagued by scandal and at a crossroads. Rove under his buddy and president, George Bush, directed the politicization of the federal government, especially the Justice Department. U.S. Attorney Gonzales, a life-long loyal Bushie, faithfully approved the dismissal of U.S. attorneys when they refused to use their office for republican party’s purposes rather than justice. Rove and Gonzales feared prison for themselves and exposure for their boss as subpoenas were issued and investigations got underway. Gonzales would fade from the national scene, while Rove would reinvent himself and go on to be a 4-star general in the radical-right dark money revolution. Politics is the primary consideration. . .The rule of law goes out the window The influence of Rove’s government politicization was much wider than the Justice Department. Protecting Rove’s big-tobacco client was one such influence. The lead prosecutor in a landmark lawsuit against tobacco, Sharon Eubanks, accused the Bush Justice Department of obstruction. She claimed that Bushies in Alberto Gonzales’s office worked to let tobacco companies off the hook by spoiling the government’s claim that big tobacco had deliberately lied to US smokers. Tobacco was a major dark money contributor to the Bush/Rove campaign. Failed to Represent the interests of the American public “Political interference is happening at Justice across the department,” Eubanks said. “When decisions are made now in the Bush attorney general’s office, politics is the primary consideration . . . . The rule of law goes out the window. . . . And because of that, we failed to zealously represent the interests of the American public … ” ………………………………….READ MORE…………………………………. TIME 05.10.07 Inside the Scandal at Justice By Karen Tumulty and Massimo Calabresi “The Attorney General is extremely upset with the stories on the U.S. Attorneys this morning,” his spokesman Brian Roehrkasse wrote in an e-mail. The papers that day were full of news . . . . regarding the firing last year of eight U.S. Attorneys.” Politico 08.13.07 Rove Resigns from the Bush Administration Associated Press Karl Rove, President Bush’s close friend and chief political strategist, plans to leave the White House at the end of August, joining a lengthening line of senior officials heading for the exits . . . . Salon 08.27.07 Why did Gonzales resign? Sidney Blumenthal In the weeks leading up to his resignation, Gonzales was undoubtedly aware of the various investigations into his activities, the avenues being pursued and the witnesses questioned, not all of them in public. NYT 08.28.07 The House Lawyer Departs Editorial In many ways, Mr. Gonzales turned out to be the ultimate “loyal Bushie,” a term his Justice Department chief of staff used so incredibly inappropriately to describe what his department was looking for in its top prosecutors. The Guardian 08.28.07 New blow to Bush as attorney general resigns by Ewen MacAskill In a short statement in Texas, Mr Bush . . . said: “After months of unfair treatment that has created a harmful distraction at the justice department, Judge Gonzales decided to submit his resignation and I accepted his decision. Washington Post 09.14.07 Rove to Leave White House Post By Peter Baker and Michael A. Fletcher Rove, 56, who holds the titles of White House deputy chief of staff and senior adviser, said he had been thinking of leaving for more than a year and has wanted to spend more time with his family. Although he is the object of multiple investigations by the Democratic Congress, Rove scoffed at the notion that they prompted his decision. IndieStar (USA Network) 11.15.16 What’s Mike Pence hiding in his emails? by Fatima Houssein “Mike Pence wants his communications limited from public access. Experts say this sets a “dangerous precedent.”
Stonewalled! Emails Scrubbed and FOIA Requests Blocked
Rove’s Own Email Scandal and Other Stonewalls Back in the summer of 2007, a White House email scandal turned up the heat on Karl Rove. In the month of June that summer, Alabama was reeling from the Jill Simpson Affidavit which outed Rove’s direction in the Siegelman Prosecution. Furthermore, the draconian treatment during the sentencing of Siegelman and Scrushy by Judge Fuller added evidence of hidden agendas in the case. Karl Rove even began to hint that he may retire. A few months earlier, news hit the stands that Karl Rove was stonewalling requests for emails concerning the Attorneys General Scandal and the outing of Valerie Plame. Reports had surfaced that White House emails had been improperly housed and 22,000,000 emails had been erased. Investigations would continue for months. The House Judiciary Committee issued Subpoenas only to find them ignored. Department of Justice Stonewalls FOIA requests for documents Rove and the Department of Justice insisted they were above investigation. It was in this environment the Department of Justice stonewalled the Siegelman/Scrushy defense team when they requested documents concerning Alabama AG, Leura Canary. She made a very public show of recusing herself from the Siegelman Case, but there was reason to believe that she had stayed intimately involved in the case. Scott Horton writes in Harpers Online: “First a FOIA request was submitted, and Justice responded with a blanket denial, and added that there were no documents . . . . another in the long line of falsehoods to be peddled by Mrs. William Canary’s office in connection with this case. Then Congress demanded the documents in support of a hearing focusing on the now well-substantiated allegations of politically corrupted prosecution. . . In the face of this, the Justice Department arrogantly asserts it is immune from oversight.” Today At this time, the Siegelman/Scrushy FOIA request is still being ignored. As of today, neither the Rove emails nor the documents concerning the Siegelman/Scrushy case have been released. No investigation took place. …………………ROVE EMAILS SCANDAL………………… NYT 04.12.97 Bush Advisors’ Approach on Email Draws Fire by Sheryl Stolberg “The present official is political czar Karl Rove, . . . some kind of cutting-edge genius, who seems to have the darnedest time figuring out this newfangled e-mail stuff.” THE HILL 05.02.07 Rove e-mails subpoenaed The Hill Staff “Political advisers to President Bush may have improperly used their Republican National Committee e-mail accounts. . . . Of the 1,000 White House officials with political duties, 22 — including Karl Rove, the chief political strategist — have Republican National Committee accounts PBS Washington Week 04.13.07 Missing White House Emails By Gwen Ifill “…It was revealed that potentially 22 million emails were deleted, which was considered by some to be a violation of the Presidential Records Act.” Newsweek 09.12.16 THE GEORGE W. BUSH WHITE HOUSE ‘LOST’ 22 MILLION EMAILS By Nina Burleigh The supposedly lost emails also prevented Congress from fully investigating, in 2007, the politically motivated firing of nine U.S. attorneys. When the Democrat-led Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed related emails, Bush’s attorney general, Alberto Gonzalez, said many were inaccessible or lost on a nongovernmental private server run by the RNC and called gwb43.com. The White House, meanwhile, officially refused to comply with the congressional subpoena. …………………REQUEST FOR DOCUMENTS DENIED………………… Birmingham News 08.17.07 Justice Department holds onto Siegelman documents WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Justice has not yet complied with a request from Congress to release documents about the criminal case against former Gov. Don Siegelman and negotiations are ongoing, a spokeswoman with the House Judiciary Committee said Friday. Four members of the panel, including Rep. Artur Davis of Birmingham, initially asked for the records to be delivered three weeks ago, on July 27, but the department was granted more time. Harpers Online 09.10.07 Leura Canary’s Stonewalling is Exposed by Scott Horton “First a FOIA request was submitted, and Justice responded with a blanket denial, and added that there were no documents responsive to the request. . . . another in the long line of falsehoods to be peddled by Mrs. William Canary’s office in connection with this case. Then Congress demanded the documents in support of a hearing focusing on the now well-substantiated allegations of politically corrupted prosecution [the Don Siegelman Case]. . . In the face of this, the Justice Department arrogantly asserts it is immune from oversight.” Al.com 01.20.16 Joseph Siegelman files lawsuit seeking documents on father’s case By Mike Cason Joseph Siegelman has sued the Department of Justice Office of Professional Responsibility seeking documents about the prosecution of his father, former Gov. Don Siegelman. Joseph Siegelman, a Birmingham attorney, claims in the lawsuit that the OPR is wrongfully withholding documents about an inquiry into allegations that his father’s case was tainted by prosecutor misconduct and political influence.
Shackles, Handcuffs, and Explosive Sentencing
Siegelman, Scrushy led off in shackles and cuffs Marshals applied shackles, chains and cuffs to Richard Scrushy’s and Don Siegelman’s ankles and wrists as though they were violent criminals. Don writes from prison that he “. . . could tell from Fuller’s anger and demeanor from the bench that he was going to sentence me to some prison time. When he said eighty-eight months, and before I couldn’t even divide it by twelve, I was being taken out a side door, shackled, chained and handcuffed. . .“ A stunned courtroom watched Don Siegelman and Richard Scrushy rushed out of the courtroom directly after the sentencing. Scrushy’s wife, Leslie and his children cried quietly upon hearing the sentence. Lori Siegelman, Don’s wife, left abruptly. A dazed Siegelman lawyer was left standing with Siegelman’s belt and jacket because prisoners are not allowed them. From the courthouse Scrushy and Siegelman were taken directly to a Maximum Security Prison without getting to hug their kids or kiss their wives good-bye. Mark Fuller, the hand picked “hangin’ judge” ordered Siegelman dragged in front of TV camera in manacles—not even allowing him say goodbye to his wife and family. Then Siegelman was sent, reports Scott Horton “around the country, destination unknown, to find a prison for him that was unreachable for his family, attorneys and friends—while his attorney’s office was being broken into and her Siegelman-related files rifled.” He was manacled and shackled like a crazed killer. Now what does that tell you? Observers who accused the prosecution of being a political hit job by a “grudge judge,” pointed to the extreme sentencing and draconian treatment as indication of a hidden agenda. As Grant Wood stated in his 60Minutes interview, “He was manacled and shackled like a crazed killer. Now what does that tell you?” Extreme Sentencing, Draconian Treatment On Thursday evening, June 28, 2007, Judge Mark Fuller sentenced Don Siegelman to 88 months and $50K in fines and Scrushy to 82 months with $150K in fines. Judge Fuller refused to grant the customary 45 days to report to prison to put their affairs in order, a consideration commonly granted to non-violent white collar convictions. Judge Fuller, who in 2007 was not yet publically exposed as a serial spouse and substance abuser, rationalized his harsh sentencing: “I must impose a fair punishment to reassure all that come before this court that justice is blind.” Assistant Attorney General Fisher, at the Department of Jusitce, defended the extreme sentencing by writing “The sentences imposed on Don Siegelman and Richard Scrushy reflect the high priority placed by the Department of Justice on the enforcement of our anti-corruption laws.” The prosecution team, lead by Feaga and Franklin, asked Fuller to severely punish Siegelman and Scrushy to send a message that “government corruption won’t be tolerated.” But when a Republican Alabama Governor pockets $200,000. . . Feaga, the lead prosecutor in the Siegelman Case presided over the trial of another Alabama Governor in the early nineties. That Governor was republican Guy Hunt who was found guilty of pocketing over $200,000.00 for his personal benefit. In that case Feaga recommended, not thirty years in prison, but a period of probation. As a result, the republican governor did not spend a day in prison. Links to Related Articles & Documents Advisor 06.2007 Sarcasm Justice in Bama By David G. Bronner Department of Justice Archive 06.28.07 Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and Former Healthsouth CEO Richard Scrushy Sentenced on Bribery, Conspiracy and Fraud Charges Associated Press 06.29.07 Siegelman, Scrushy Get Prison Terms By Bob Johnson NYT Editorial 06.30.07 Questions About a Governor’s Fall Birmingham News 09.26.09 Leslie Scrushy tells Fox about hardships Justice Integrity Project 12.29.14 Shackled Siegelman Typifies White House ‘Human Rights’ Charade by Andrew Kreig JIP Director Links to Siegelman Articles at Harpers.com Harper’s Online 06.09.07 Abramoff and “Justice” in the Heart of Dixie By Scott Horton Harper’s Online 06.17.07 U.S. Attorneys Scandal–Birmingham and Montgomery By Scott Horton Harper’s Online 06.18.07 Of Missing Emails and 18-Minute Gaps By Scott Horton Jn18 Harper’s Online 06.26.07 Prosecution Continues to Disintegrate in Siegelman Case By Scott Horton Harper’s Online 06.28.07 Siegelman Sentenced; Riley Rushes to Washington by Scott Horton Harper’s Online 11.01.07 Siegelman Updates by Scott Horton
Explosive Affidavit Swears the Man behind the Curtain is Rove!
Affidavit Reveals Rove as Puppet Master Today, with 103 days to Don’s earliest release date, we will remember the Jill Simpson Affidavit that rocked the nation and started a media fire. We will time travel through the eyes of the media to one of the most explosive days in the Siegelman Case: June 1st, 2007. The Explosive Affidavit that spawned a Media Storm When Alabama lawyer, Jill Simpson’s, explosive affidavit went public, it riveted the nation’s attention on Alabama. Siegelman defenders believed Siegelman’s prosecution was tied to the Attorneys General Scandal, and thus Karl Rove, but had no solid evidence to support the claim. This affidavit hit the newsstands with a sworn statement that exposed the man behind the curtain. Signature on affidavit given by Jill Simpson New York Times 6.01.07 Ex-Governor Says Affidavit Shows Politics in Bribe Case by Edmond L.Andrews The New York Times had quoted the affidavit concerning the Siegelman Case in its morning edition. Once it secured the actual document, it declared that the full affidavit was “far more explosive than first indicated.” Why? Because it points right to the White House. Further, it points to the guy in the White House who called the shots in the Federal prosecution of the Alabama Governor. Specifically, It pulls the curtain back on the shots director – Karl Rove. The affidavit was sworn by Jill Simpson, a lifelong republican who practices law in Alabama. She stated in her affidavit that she heard Bill Canary, a key republican political operative, say that Rove told him “not to worry — that he had already gotten it worked out with Karl and Karl had spoken with the Department of Justice and the Department of Justice was already pursuing Don Siegelman.” TIME/CNN 6.01.07 Rove Named in Alabama Controversy by Adam Zagorin/Washington According to Simpson, Rob Riley said, “Siegelman’s just like a cockroach, he’ll never die. . . .” Ms. Simpson said Bill Canary, an advisor to Governor Riley, assured the son, Rob Riley, not to worry, “his girls would take care of” Mr. Siegelman.” “His girls” were his wife, Leura Canary, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, and Alice Martin, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. And yes, in fact, both of “his girls” brought convictions against Siegelman in their districts. Mr. Franklin, one of Leura Canary’s prosecutors whom she appointed to lead the prosecution, claimed that he was responsible for the prosecution, not Leura Canary. He said “that responsibility for the indictment should be mine. I made the decision”. …………………………………………………………… Further Reading: Documents [PDF] Affidavit of Dana Jill Simpson Dana Jill Simpson Sworn Statement re: Siegelman/Scrushy – Terry Butts conflict of Interest [PDF] House Judiciary Committee Interview Transcript of Dana Jill Simpson INTERVIEW BY THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY, WASHINGTON, D.C. [PDF]Department of Justice Official Response to the Simpson Affidavit by Prosecutor Louis Franklin STATEMENT OF LOUIS V. FRANKLIN, SR., ACTING U.S. ATTORNEY IN THE SIEGELMAN/SCRUSHY PROSECUTION Further Reading: Articles Locust Fork Journal 06.20.07 Jill Simpson’s Affidavit May Help Justice Prevail in the Siegelman, Scrushy Case 5 part series by Glynn Wilson Harpers Online 07.07.07 Cracks in the Dam in the Siegelman Case by Scott Horton Legal Schnauzer 07.21.07 Simpson affidavit revisited by Roger Shuler The Nation 10.24.07 A Whistleblowers Tale by Glynn Wilson …………………………………………………………… NEXT WEEK The draconian sentencing that shocked the nation In the background, the sentencing loomed. The prosecutor in Don’s case, Steven Feaga, had prosecuted Alabama Governor Hunt a few years earlier. Governor Hunt had actually pocketed $200,000, the strict definition of bribe. Feaga asked for community service for Hunt. Because of that, Don thought that he would be sentenced to community service since he had not personally benefited from the so called “bribe.” Stay tuned to learn of the contrasting treatment between the 2 Governors.
Early 2007: Looking Back, Looking Forward
Looking Back at 2007: The Calm Before the Storm Remembering how the South’s only progressive Governor became America’s #1 political prisoner. For the next 107 days we will travel back in time, through the eyes of the media concerning the Don Siegelman Case to try to figure out what happened, how it happened, and whether it is happening in your state. (Don Siegelman’s earliest release date is on February 8, 2017. The BOP has final say on the date of release.) The Calm before the Media Storm The media – from the mainstream to the alternative – covered the Don Siegelman Prosecution with enthusiasm. However, that coverage did not start in earnest until the summer of 2007 when a republican lawyer blew the whistle on Karl Rove’s involvement in the Siegelman case. Back in early 2007, that had not happened yet. Early 2000’s The Kiplinger Letter 3.28.01 In early 2001, The Kiplinger Letter posted that Governor Don Siegelman is the dark horse candidate who could wreck the Republican Southern strategy and emerge as the Democratic nominee “IF he wins reelection in 2002.” There were already forces underground that were working to keep that from happening. Local Media: Eddie Curran In early 2007 the Alabama media was largely more sympathetic to the prosecution team in the Siegelman case. We all were. Our Justice Department would never set up a politician for prosecution to effect the outcome of an election! That is the methodology of dictators and despots! Exemplifying this local reporting was Eddie Curran at the Mobile Press Register (reporter ’88 to ’08.) Curran’s pieces attacking Siegelman began to appear back in ’01, a year after the investigation of Siegelman began in Alabama Attorney General, William Pryor’s, office. He wrote to convince readers that Siegelman was criminal, Bob Riley was the ethical candidate, the Siegelman prosecutors were sincere, and U.S. Judge Mark Fuller was honorable. The negative journalism about Siegelman in the Alabama newspapers did have an impact on his career. His previous landslide victory gave way to a neck to neck battle against Republican contender, Bob Riley. Nevertheless, despite little backing from the local press, Siegelman won, albeit with a razor thin victory. That is, he was declared the winner until a computer glitch gave the race to to Riley. The glitch was discovered after all the poll workers had gone home, and only changed the votes in the Governor’s column. But that is another story. On the National Front Far away in Washington, DC, the media was reporting on the Attorneys General Scandals. Allegations were made that Karl Rove directed the firings of AG’s for refusing to prosecute political enemies of the Republican party. McCain Slams Abramoff at Senate Hearing 6.22.05 On another seemingly unrelated front, Abramoff and Scanlon were being investigated by the U.S Indian Affairs Committee. John McCain, who headed up the committee, questioned Abramoff about laundering $20M from the Mississippi Choctaws to …. where? And for what in exchange? That was buried in the Congressional notes. It later came out that that money was laundered into the Alabama Governor’s race to defeat Siegelman and his lottery. The Quid Pro Quo was that Governor Riley would protect the Mississippi Choctaw’s gambling interests by keeping the education lottery and other gambling out of Alabama. PLURIBUSMEDIA 2.18.07 The Political Profiling of Elected Democratic Officials: When Rhetorical Vision Participation Runs Amok In February of ’07 Epluribus Media published a survey that revealed under the Bush presidency, democratic officials are prosecuted 7x more than republican officials. This anomaly exceeds even racial profiling statistics. Anniston Star 5.30.07 Editorial: Did Siegelman Receive Justice? paywall The rare editorial, like this one in the Anniston Star saw a connection between the Attorneys General Scandal and the Siegelman Case. The editorial opined that “. . in the Recent Justice Department e-mails and public statements from the key players in the Bush DOJ indicate that loyalty often was measured by the number of Democratic politicians a Bush-appointed prosecutor could drag into an investigation prior to election day. NEXT The explosive testimony of Jill Simpson that set the media on fire.
Countdown the days. Travel back in time.
The countdown has begun! There is a 114 day countdown till Don Siegelman’s earliest release date in February 8, 2017. The good news is there is a possibility that “the Gov” won’t have to spend another birthday in prison! If Don is out on his birthday (the BOP has final say in this matter) what a party we will have! Until his Release While we countdown the days till Don’s release, Friends of Siegelman continue to push for exoneration for the former Governor. We plead for petition signatures, appeal to legal recourse, write letters & emails to the White House, post on social media, write blogs, and so on. Sometimes we are despondent because these efforts seem to go nowhere. After all, “the gov” will have served his unjust sentence in Federal prison. Despite our failed efforts, we refuse to give up hope. Surely this false imprisonment will come to some good purpose! Certainly the former Alabama Governor can return to the political career that he was called to follow. How the South’s Only progressive Governor became America’s #1 Political Prisoner. We will use this time until “the Gov” returns to remember how the South’s only progressive Governor became America’s #1 political prisoner. As we look back at what happened to Don Siegelman and reverse engineer the tactics & strategies used to falsely imprison this promising progressive politician. These tactics not only destroyed Don Siegelman’s life and deeply hurt the lives of his closest family, friends and allies, it thwarted the electoral will of the people of Alabama. Time Travel In the following months we will go back over the media attention that the Siegelman Case received. This media review will start around 2007 until the present. We will look at the timeline of events as well as the players and the tactics used in the prosecution. We will defend the accusations that Karl Rove was the mastermind of the Siegelman case. We will support our conspiracy “theory” with facts. Finally we will comment on the disillusionment and loss of faith in our justice system that results from this case and other cases like this. Come along with us on this journey. Participate. Forward the media articles, radio interviews and videos that I may have overlooked. And of course, feel free to comment. Friends of Siegelman
Trump to Hillary Clinton: You would be in jail.
Putting political opponents in jail is another thing you like about Putin. Right, Donald? The USS Trump is sinking. While the ship’s orchestra plays on, below deck some dark elements of the Republican Party are plotting to obstruct and derail the presumptive presidential winner. There is one tried and true strategy that works consistently in a pinch; partisan prosecution. In fact, it is not only a reaction to crisis, judging from the picture above, it has been the plan all along. Sure, jailing your opponent is SOP for dictators and despots, but they are not democracies. Even the Chinese Communist paper The People’s Daily states that in the USA the fair election of leaders is anything but. Many people would be surprised to know that jailing your political opponent is a strategy used right here in our country, too. For a prime example, look at Alabama. Political Prosecution: Made in the USA One outstanding example of Made in the USA political prosecution took place in Alabama. It was used on the unbeatable former Governor, Don Siegelman, and succeeded. When victory in an election is unlikely, some elements in the GOP investigate, prosecute and jail political opponents! Apparently, the tactic is growing in boldness and popularity. Paul Krugman tweeted during the second Presidential Debate “Let’s be clear: a candidate for president promised to put his opponent in jail if he wins. Everything else is secondary.” (Italics mine.) Krugman zeroed in on Trump’s promise to abuse the Justice Department during the debate Sunday to punish political opponents. Furthermore, he noted how central that concept is to the abuse of our Democracy. Let’s be clear: a candidate for president promised to put his opponent in jail if he wins. Everything else is secondary.(@paulkrugman) Friends of Siegelman believe that when it comes to the abuse of the Judiciary, Trump will make good on that promise. He will prosecute his political opponents, commercial competition and anyone whom he deems a detractor. We have several reasons to believe this. Judge Pryor conspired to jail Siegelman This Judge is an Old Hand at Partisan Prosecution One clue that Trump intends to use partisan prosecution in his presidency is his Supreme Court nominee short list. On that list is 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge William Pryor. William Pryor played a pivotal role in Siegelman’s political downfall. Siegelman was an Alabama progressive who had a promising political career stretching out before him. Because of Pryor and his GOP cartel, the innocent former Governor is presently in Federal Prison, no longer a political threat. One key element of the take-down featured Pryor using his office at Justice to politically assassinate his Governor. Trump pledged that if he was president he would sic his justice department on Clinton and put her in jail. This shocked viewers and commentators. We don’t do that in this country! We are, as Adam Smith claimed “a country of laws not of men.” We have a constitution and a president, not a king or despot. Political Prosecution in America? Sadly, if you follow the Don Siegelman story, you will discover that we already prosecute political opponents in this country. Under the radar, there are 100s of politically motivated judicial prosecutions. This is what the Attorneys General Scandal was about! Slowly these cases are coming to light, casting doubt on the justice in the Justice Department. But hopefully, that light would also show us ways that we can revitalize our national ideals and regain our faith in the Justice Department. Let’s stop putting innocent, non-violent people in jail. https://free-don.us/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Presidential-Debate-Hillary-Clinton-vs.-Donald-Trump-_iMovie.mp4 Trump threatens Hillary during the debate stating if he were president: . . . you would be in jail. Image:”Clinton for Prisondent”, source:Hang the Bankers
In 122 Days Don Siegelman Could be Out on Early Release
“The Gov” may be out on Early Release as soon as February Through the Early Release Program, former Governor Siegelman might be “breaking out” of Oakdale Federal Prison Camp in four months to the day, February 8, 2017. From Early Release he will graduate to House Arrest in Birmingham. Then a probation of 3 years, ending 8.17.2020, will follow. Of course, the BOP has discretion in this matter, and the earliest release date may not be the actual release date. We can hope, nevertheless, that we will have The Gov back in Alabama early next year. Anticipating Home Confinement/House Arrest He wrote of his reservations about House Arrest in an email to his friends via Corrlinks, the prison email. “Having been locked up for several years, being sequestered among inmates has an impact whether one wants to admit it or not. Here are some of the issues I am expecting to face on House Arrest/Home Confinement. . . . “Some inmates turn down Home Confinement or a Halfway House. Maybe you can see why after reading this. “Being around, close to, shaving, showering, sleeping, eating with a wide variety of male only humanity for several years straight has an impact. I have written about . . . the nick names, the lack of educational opportunities and the impact it has on inmates. I have written about the kinds of jobs, the pay, the scarcity of good food, the absence of loved ones to hold, hug or talk to. . . . The absence of news of what’s happening to those one cares about and limits of knowing what’s really happening in the free world. The price of a cup of coffee or the cost of a tasty meal. “For me, not having a job, any income, or retirement benefits…I have no health insurance, no car, or a way to pay for one, or the insurance on one….a cell phone and laptop that’s five years stagnant…everyday things that I will somehow have to cope with concerns me.” Disappointing Journey – Happy Homecoming. We Friends of Siegelman have our regrets and concerns as well, because we failed to get the Supreme Court to overturn Don’s conviction. Furthermore, the President has yet to exonerate Don. Despite the fact that we raised quite a ruckus, we failed. Even though we wrote letters to Congress, called the White House, and gathered signatures on petitions we fell short. An unprecedented number of former Attorneys General wrote an amicus brief for Don’s case. Journalists wrote in papers from the NYT to the LA Times. Producers featured the case on mainstream and alternative tv and radio. Bloggers blogged. Authors featured the case in their books on Politics. We even got under Karl Rove’s skin, because he dedicated 8 pages to Don Siegelman in his autobiography! We did not succeed even though we raised our voices online, in social media, on audio and video – to little avail. Experts in Judicial Ethics condemned Don’s treatment. Whistleblowers exposed irregularities. Journalists and supporters were physically and mentally harassed for telling the truth. And yet we have not got the justice and exoneration that we seek! We have our concerns too, Gov, but we look forward to your Early Release! We eagerly await the day you will breath Alabama air again, even if you can’t leave the house. It’s been a long and painful ride, Gov. Let’s make it mean something.
Spending Another Labor Day away from Family
ANOTHER LABOR DAY INSIDE Every Labor Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving spent in prison away from friends and family hurts. This is because time with family is so vital to the heart. This is true for all prisoners, guilty and innocent, and especially for our friend, the former Governor Siegelman. FRIEND TO LABOR While Governor Siegelman is known as a friend to education, it is good to remember on Labor Day that he was also a friend to labor. He stood on the shoulders of Jim Folsom in building Alabama into a car manufacturing center, called by some the Detroit of the South. For a while, when Don was governor, automotive plants were moving to Alabama in record numbers as he tried to bring jobs to Alabama. CELEBRATE LABOR DAY BY SIGNING OUR PETITION Celebrate Labor Day by signing Dana’s petition for her dad! Carry us forward toward the goal of 100,000 signatures! We only need another 23,000 to reach our goal of 100,000! Ask your friends. Ask your neighbors. Ask your family. This Labor Day weekend, as you lift a glass to the American workers who have so faithfully contributed to our extraordinary material quality of life, as you enjoy your rich time with family and friends, take a minute to make a difference. If you know someone that cares for justice, ask them to sign the petition! As we near November and soon following the election, we will be asking each of you to call, write, or visit with your members of Congress in order to push President Obama to do just that. And we will also be asking for contributions to Dana’s travel expenses to D.C. But our first efforts are to reach 100,000 signatures before November 8th and that’s a big job! If you have not signed one of Dana’s petitions, please do so. If you have already signed, please ask a sympathetic friend to sign. (See the “Forward to a Friend” button at the bottom of the page.) Thank you again for your friendship, and please keep the Siegelman’s in your prayers as we move forward with these final efforts. Friends of Siegelman
A Breakout from Oakland Prison Camp
Last Sunday, There was a Breakout from Oakdale Federal Prison. This is a story of prison life, the rescue and breakout of a prison hound, pieced together by several of Don’s friends and family, we thought you would enjoy. Especially you animal lovers out there! About a year ago, this starved, half hound looking mutt, maybe 40 lbs, staggered into the Oakdale camp. Some prisoners at the camp there fed and bathed him. He stayed around eventually coming and going until one morning he looked as if he’d gotten into a fight with a big raccoon. His face had been bitten from his left eye to his mouth. Ear bleeding. It was certain he’d lose sight in that left eye and he looked and acted all but dead himself. Somehow, someone, no doubt one of the Southern White Boys, named him “Leroy”. Anyway “Leroy” looked like a Leroy and it stuck. Leroy is handsome, has the colors of a thoroughbred Pointer, white with brown splotches, brown ears, the body of a hound…kind of. The prisoners nurtured him back to health. Our favorite inmate at Oakdale, Don Siegelman, put antibiotic cream on his wounds and started caring for him. Others pitched in. After a couple months Leroy’s skeletal ribs weren’t showing quite so much. Soon the prisoners were giving him whatever food scraps the prisoners could come up with or purchase from the commissary. Prison can be hard on animals too. One day, two cages from the Pound were sent into the camp. Several pets were taken, but Leroy ran, a hound dog prison breakout. They said “We’ll come back for that one.” Don had been told by an inmate who works at city hall that dogs are given a one week reprieve to see if anyone claims or wants to adopt them, then they are put to sleep. The “executioner” came and took three dogs. Don promised to find Leroy a home, so he was spared. The “executioner” took the other dogs and cats to the Oakdale City pound. _______________________________________________________________ Not All Prisons are Hostile to Pets. 2 Programs where Pets are Teaming up with Prisons New Leash on Life Prison Pet Partnership _______________________________________________________________ The Plan Don wanted to save Leroy from this fate. He contacted a friend who is an animal lover, Carolyn Haines, and she volunteered to keep Leroy for Don until he could find him a good home. Carolyn and another friend Barbara, joined forces and before they knew it Barbara had recruited a friend, Cindy, to come with her on the rescue. The Rescuers: Roads flooded and closed, rain was fierce! On Sunday it happened! After much planning, phone calls, emails and effort, cooperation, money, flights from Minneapolis to Atlanta to Mobile, van rental in Mobile, a trip to see Carolyn in Mobile, then a fourteen hour drive to Oakdale it happened. The roads were flooded and closed, the rain was fierce. So this morning after a few hours sleep, Barbara and Cindy came for a short visit and gathered up Leroy. Cindy and Barbara both have had experience in rescues. They used to pick up children in Asia who were up for adoption and fly the children back to the states when the new parents couldn’t afford the trip. The night before Leroy had a six-hand bath and re-bath. Between his toes and under elbows, everywhere. He is such a calm dog. He just stands and enjoys the experience. The inmates hand picked every visible flea…there were no ticks. He will still need the Frontline between the shoulders but he was cleaner than any dog west of Alabama and had been towel dried after shake/spraying three nearby inmates. Everybody wanted to feed him because they know it’s his last night…Don took him out for a last late night walk. Sunday two inmates brought Leroy prancing through the hallway of the dorm out the front door. He was wagging his tail and smiling as Barb and Cindy helped him into the back of the rented van for the transport back to Alabama where Carolyn lives with her family of rescued cats, dogs and horses. Breakout complete!
Dana Siegelman Launches a New Petition
A NEW PETITION Alabama station CBS 42 WIAT broadcast the announcement last week that Dana Siegelman has launched a new petition appealing to the White House on behalf of her Dad. This new petition, which can be found at DIY ROOTS ACTION provides an alternative to, and is in addition to, the Change.org petition which has almost 64,000 signatures. If you have not signed one of the petitions yet, please sign the new petition today. If you have already signed one of the petitions please ask your sympathetic friends and family to sign right away. We still need more than 36,000 signatures to get the attention of the White House! Help us reach our goal of 100,000 signatures! Don still sits in Prison! Friends of Siegelman have made a number of appeals to the White House. These appeals include successful “Call the White House” campaigns and hand delivered letters* asking that Don Siegelman be released from prison and have his innocence and good name restored. Citizen journalists all over the web post stories on their blog, share on Facebook, and tweet on behalf of Governor Siegelman in unprecedented numbers! Despite all this, Former Governor Siegelman still resides in Oakdale, LA. in a federal prison serving out a six and a half year sentence in prison resulting from a trumped up conviction on federal corruption charges. Our hope is that 100,000 signatures on the Change.org petition and the Roots Action petition combined will move the White House to act! Sign the petition of your choice, and learn more on the Don Siegelman website. We believe Don Siegelman is a political prisoner. Many legal scholars and former Attorneys General across the country have signed letters agreeing that his prosecution was political and an affront to American ideals of democracy and justice. Click here to view a CBS 42 News Special Report on Don Siegelman and Oakdale FCI.
The Recent SCOTUS Decision & Siegelman’s Case
The Recent SCOTUS DECISION: HOW DOES IT AFFECT THE DON SIEGELMAN CASE? The Legal Schnauzer asks: “. . . U.S. Supreme Court overturns white-collar corruption convictions of former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell, but what about Don Siegelman, of Alabama?” Governor McDonnell was released by a SCOTUS decision because there was no “official action” taken in exchange for the lavish gifts he was given by businessman Williams. In other words, since a bribe must legally contain a “quid-pro-quo,” a something-in-exchange-for-something-else, the McDonnell case did not have all the parts to qualify for a bribe. In the Williams case there was no “quo”, no “official action” given in exchange for the gifts received by the Governor and his wife. What happened was that McDonnell arranged meetings for Williams, but that is the job of a Governor anyway. How can you make your job duties a crime? Did Governor Siegelman Perform an “Official Action?” Maybe not. The Schnauzer asks : But what about a SCOTUS DECISION on the Siegelman case? Evidence at trial showed Scrushy did not even want anything from Siegelman. Here is how a 2006 Associated Press story, written by the late Bob Johnson, put it: Former Alabama Power Co. CEO Elmer Harris, the chairman of Don Siegelman’s transition team when he was elected governor in 1998, testified Monday that Scrushy said he had no interest in serving on the Certificate of Need Review Board. . . . Harris was called by the defense to challenge testimony [that] said Siegelman told him that Scrushy had agreed to arrange the campaign donations in exchange for a seat on the CON Board. Elmer Harris, a respected CEO in Alabama, has stated that he was befuddled that a jury would believe a convicted felon’s testimony over his own. The Schnauzer is also befuddled. For an in depth analysis of the ruling in comparison with the SCOTUS decision in the Siegelman Case go to the Legal Schnauzer Blog, click here. ***
Solitary Confinement Ended after a Week in the SHU!
“Out of Solitary Confinement! Prison Official States: Never seen this happen before!” Released from Solitary! This weekend, without an explanation, former Alabama governor Don Siegelman was told that the charges against him for donating a t-shirt to support the documentary Atticus v The Architect – The Political Assassination of Don Siegelman were dropped and his record expunged, according to family sources. Don said he was not given a reason for the warden dropping the charges, and said that it even puzzled some of the prison officials, with one commenting, “I’ve never seen this happen before.” Don also said, “I want to thank Congresswoman Sewell for taking her recent leadership role in my pardon efforts,” stating that he didn’t know if the two events were related but, “I’m sure grateful for both.” AL Congresswoman Terri Sewell “Miscarriage of Justice” Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell released a statement in response to her former Governor spending time is solitary yet once again. It read: “After almost ten years, the unjust conviction of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman continues to be a miscarriage of justice and a blemish on the integrity of our nation’s justice system. Enough is enough. “Our ultimate goal remains the early release and subsequent pardon of Mr. Siegelman so he can return to his family and once again contribute to the State of Alabama.” “Mimi says: Call the White House! It Helps!” Mimi Kennedy, star of the CBS hit sitcom MOM, emailed us that : Omigod I just called the Comments Line and the man who answered asked a few questions, and I spelled Don’s name and gave a short summary (mentioning Rove’s name in the end.) He said “Get all your friends to do this too. It really helps when it gets up to the White House.” I said I would. “Let me get off the phone so I can circulate this and post it!” And he laughed and said, “I’m trying, I’m trying! Have a good day.” At any rate he said “Call, it helps!” Learn More about how to contact the President!
Congresswoman Sewell goes public with support for Siegelman
Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell recently released a public statement in response to Siegelman’s Solitary Confinement again. She stated “After almost ten years, the unjust conviction of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman continues to be a miscarriage of justice and a blemish on the integrity of our nation’s justice system. Enough is enough.” Sewell Comments on Siegelman’s Release from Solitary! Don was placed in solitary last week. He was put in solitary, coincidentally, around 4 hours after the Washington Post published an article by Robert Barnes. The offending article included an interview with Don. The interview did not surprise the prison, because the interview was prison approved! Then Post ran a story about Don’s visit to solitary and, again coincidentally, he was released the next day. Egregious and Arbitrary or Coincidental? Long-time friend and former Siegelman aide, Chip Hill, stated this week, “The treatment Don is receiving is not fair and certainly does not appear to follow any standard procedure or protocol. It is egregious and arbitrary. This latest situation is just the latest instance of coincidental timing in Don’s case. “It joins the timing of the indictment in the middle of a campaign. A trial date set weeks before the Primary election. The Government resting their case merely days after the Primary. “It is an insult to the intelligence of justice-loving people everywhere to believe that this many examples of improper and illegal activities could merely be coincidental. 113 former Attorneys General believe Don Siegelman has been wrongfully convicted, as do the nation’s foremost legal experts, and many members of the national media, including many Republican and conservative commentators. “But, I’m sure that’s just another coincidence.” Miscarriage of Justice “Our ultimate goal remains the early release and subsequent pardon of Mr. Siegelman so he can return to his family and once again contribute to the State of Alabama.”
What the SHU? The Gov is in Solitary again!
SENT TO THE SHU AGAIN Former Alabama governor Don E. Siegelman was sent to the SHU again this week. Former Alabama governor Don E. Siegelman was sent to the Special Housing Unit, called solitary confinement or SHU, this week at the Louisiana facility in which he is imprisoned on political corruption charges, according to his son Joseph Siegelman. Siegelman, 70, was quoted extensively in a Washington Post article this week on former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell, whose 2014 conviction on public corruption charges was reviewed by the Supreme Court on Wednesday. This case is similar to Governor Siegelman’s case in that the definition of political bribery is so loosely defined that there is a danger of rogue prosecutors using it for the wrong reasons. “During the interview with The Post, the former governor said he had spent 27 days in solitary confinement last year. . . “ . . . .Siegelman was transferred to solitary confinement at the federal correctional institution at Oakdale, La., on Monday after the story was posted online, according to his son, who said he found the timing suspicious. But Bureau of Prison officials, who refused to confirm that the former governor was in solitary confinement, said that there was no link. Read the Washington Post Article. Click Here! In an earlier Washington Post article this month, also written by Barnes, Andrew P. Miller, a former Virginia attorney general, states that he wants to see more clearly defined Political Bribery laws for both “Siegelman, a Democrat, and McDonnell, a Republican. Miller [who] helped drum up support for both men as they presented their cases to the Supreme Court._ “I’m bipartisan in my concern about this,” he said. The similarity he sees is that both men were rising stars in their respective parties brought down by prosecutors appointed by the president of the opposite party.” Read the Washington Post article that quoted Don Siegelman from Prison.
Bidding is Closed! Final Bid $4500!
Final Bid Closed at $4500! Really! Congratulations, BBPCB, on getting this piece of history! The final bid of $4,500.00 was submitted after a fast and furious competition ensued for the prison garb worn by former Governor Don Siegelman. Friends of Siegelman RIPPED THE SHIRT OFF HIS BACK to raise money for Steve Wimberly’s documentary, Atticus v. the Architect. Don Siegelman literally sold the shirt right off his back! The shirt was auctioned on EBay for considerably more money that was anticipated. Not many people have an authentic prison T-shirt worn by a “America’s #1 Political Prisoner”? Well, bidder bbpcb just paid $4500.00 to own this piece of history. Don Siegelman literally sold the shirt right off his back! Governor Siegelman was sentenced to 88 months in 2007 and has worn this T-shirt as he walked countless laps around the prison asphalt track thinking how he could help prevent this from happening to others. He has worn this shirt through hard times, when his lawyers told him “No, your appeal will not be heard by the Supreme Court.” He had this shirt on when he was thrown into solitary confinement because he gave a radio interview in support of criminal justice reform. T-shirts are not prison issue, they are available for purchase from the prison commissary. T-shirts are only allowed to be worn at certain times, during exercise and personal time after 4pm when work is done for the day. The prison T-shirt is one of the few things that a prisoner can really own in prison, one of the only pieces of clothing that does not belong to the government. They are made by fellow prisoners who work hard for $0.23 cents an hour. This particular T-shirt has traveled across the country, has been processed, sewn and stenciled by other prisoners who toil around the clock to earn enough money to buy what is needed at their own commissary, and send the rest home to their family. Once the T-shirt was made, it was shipped to the Oakdale Federal Corrections Complex, where it arrived at the prison warehouse, also run by prisoners. From the warehouse the shirt made it’s way to the Oakdale commissary, where Governor Siegelman stood in line waiting, waiting and waiting to purchase it. The stenciling does not come with the shirt – that is something that has to be done for you, as a favor from another inmate – for vanity, partly, and because no one can steal your shirt. While Governor Siegelman is out of legal appeals, he still has one option… US! There is a documentary being developed by Steve Wimberly called “Atticus v. The Architect” and it MUST get the attention of President Obama and all funds raised from the shirt sale will go toward making the film. To help with this effort, Friends of Siegelman have literally “SOLD THE SHIRT OFF HIS BACK”. We have auctioned off his only piece of property…his worn, gray prison T-shirt. The T-Shirt is NO LONGER available to bid on EBay. But you can still help! If you did not bid on the shirt, please give what you can to the production of the Documentary, even $5.00, will help complete the documentary. The easiest way to give is by going to the IDA Website and fill out the private/secure information form. All Donations are Tax-Exempt and 100% CONFIDENTIAL. Contributions can also be made by check, made payable to the IDA and mailed to: IDA Attention: Fiscal Sponsorship Donations 3470 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 980 Los Angeles, CA 90010 (“Atticus v. The Architect” MUST BE WRITTEN IN THE MEMO LINE OF YOUR CHECK)
“Pardon Siegelman” asks 100 AGs, Reported by NPR
New Hope! Student Reporter Allison Mollenkamp writes “There may be new hope for former Alabama governor Don Siegelman. 100 former state attorneys general are pushing for the former governor’s release.” She reports on Alabama Public Radio that 100 former Attorneys General are petitioning President Obama to pardon Don on the grounds that his prosecution was politically motivated. Read/listen to Allison’s program at Alabama Public Radio’s All Things Considered. Perversion of Justice An Anniston Star editorial quotes the letter from the former state attorneys general as saying: “Although nine years have passed, Gov. Siegelman’s unjust conviction continues to eat away at the integrity of the justice system. . . . Many legal scholars as well as the public at large believe that the prosecution of Gov. Siegelman was a perversion of justice.” The letter was delivered to the White House on Wednesday, April 13. We urge President Obama to heed the letter from the bipartisan collection of former prosecutors and pardon Don Siegelman. *** Call the White House This Week! Click here to learn how! *** In The Media? If you are in the media and you wish to post something about the AG’s petition to President Obama for a Pardon for Don Siegelman, contact Pam Miles for more information. *** Mimi says: Call the White House! It Helps! Mimi Kennedy, star of the CBS hit sitcom MOM, emailed us that : Omigod I just called the Comments Line and the man who answered asked a few questions, and I spelled Don’s name and gave a short summary (mentioning Rove’s name in the end.) He said “Get all your friends to do this too. It really helps when it gets up to the White House.” I said I would. “Let me get off the phone so I can circulate this and post it!” And he laughed and said, “I’m trying, I’m trying! Have a good day.” At any rate he said “Call, it helps!” …………………….. WHITE HOUSE PHONE NUMBERS Comments: 202-456-1111 Switchboard: 202-456-1414 …………………….. Help Pardon Siegelman! FOR MORE DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS FOR CONTACTING THE WHITE HOUSE! CLICK HERE! The White House Switchboard will be open this MONDAY.
Don is selling the shirt off his back!
Governor Siegelman is SELLING THE SHIRT OFF HIS BACK! Imprisoned Governor Siegelman is selling the shirt off his back to raise money for Steve Wimberly’s documentary, Atticus v. the Architect. The shirt is being auctioned on EBay. How many people do you know have an authentic prison T-shirt worn by a “America’s #1 Political Prisoner”? Governor Siegelman was sentenced to 88 months in 2007 and has worn this T-shirt as he walked countless laps around the prison asphalt track thinking how he could help prevent this from happening to others. He has worn this shirt through hard times, when his lawyers told him “No, your appeal will not be heard by the Supreme Court.” He had this shirt on when he was thrown into solitary confinement because he gave a radio interview in support of criminal justice reform. T-shirts are not prison issue, they are available for purchase from the prison commissary. T-shirts are only allowed to be worn at certain times, during exercise and personal time after 4pm when work is done for the day. The prison T-shirt is one of the few things that a prisoner can really own in prison, one of the only pieces of clothing that does not belong to the government. They are made by fellow prisoners who work hard for $0.23 cents an hour. This particular T-shirt has traveled across the country, has been processed, sewn and stenciled by other prisoners who toil around the clock to earn enough money to buy what is needed at their own commissary, and send the rest home to their family. Once the T-shirt was made, it was shipped to the Oakdale Federal Corrections Complex, where it arrived at the prison warehouse, also run by prisoners. From the warehouse the shirt made it’s way to the Oakdale commissary, where Governor Siegelman stood in line waiting, waiting and waiting to purchase it. The stenciling does not come with the shirt – that is something that has to be done for you, as a favor from another inmate – for vanity, partly, and because no one can steal your shirt. While Governor Siegelman is out of legal appeals, he still has one option… US! There is a documentary being developed by Steve Wimberly called “Atticus v. The Architect” and it MUST get the attention of President Obama. To help with this effort, Governor Siegelman is literally “SELLING THE SHIRT OFF HIS BACK”. We will auction off his only piece of property…his worn, gray prison T-shirt. The T-Shirt is available to bid on EBay.
Bob Dylan Song Nails It!
” . . It won’t be over till they clear his name.” From Bob Dylan’s song Hurricane How can the life of such a man Be in the palm of some fool’s hand ? To see him obviously framed Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land Where justice is a game. Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties Are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot cell An innocent man in a living hell That’s the story of the Hurricane But it won’t be over till they clear his name And give him back the time he’s done Put him in a prison cell but one time he could-a been The champion of the world. LINK TO THE COMPLETE LYRICS
Civil Rights Icon Writes Obama
” I recognise injustice when I see it. I see it in the case of the criminal prosecution and trial of my friend, Don Siegelman.” That’s what Fred Gray, lawyer for Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, wrote to President Obama. What right gives Fred Gray a claim to identifying injustice? From the Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame Website: Fred Gray became synonymous with the Civil Rights movement during the late 1950’s, rising to prominence while working with notable civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and E.D. Nixon. Gray was successful in his litigation against the city of Tuskegee in restoring district lines to once again bring African Americans into the city limits, thereby granting them a voice in politics. He is best known for representing the victims of the Tuskegee experiments, where African American men were unknowingly infected with syphilis. Gray was instrumental in the desegregation of public schools and universities in the state of Alabama, which helped launch a movement of desegregation all across the American South. And Don Siegelman was his friend and fellow soldier in the Civil Rights movement. So he wrote President Obama to ask him to Pardon Don Siegelman, he has done no wrong!
WHY IS DON STILL IN PRISON?
Obama should Pardon Don without consulting DOJ! The Washington Spectator featured an article recently asking President Obama to pardon Don Siegelman while bypassing the DOJ, suggesting that there are people in that august body who want to keep irregularities in the Siegelman Case out of the spotlight. Scott Horton, the author of the article, is a specialist in political prosecution. He had been consulting with the State Department to prepare US Justice liaisons in former Soviet nations learn “How to Spot Political Prosecution” when the Siegelman case showed up on his radar. A contributing editor at Harper’s, Scott has been writing about Don Siegelman’s Case for nine years now, ever since 2007, concerned early on by the stark similarities between the prosecution of Don Siegelman and Political Prosecution in Soviet block countries. Since Scott Horton first began writing about the Siegelman case nine years ago, the story has continued to unfold. Failed appeals have left supporters bewildered while an innocent former Governor endures an unjust imprisonment punctuated by a lengthy stint in the SHU. We have seen a notorious key player in the Siegelman case, Karl Rove, both retire as White House consultant to avoid investigation into his role in this case and fail in his attempt to regain the White House with yet another Bush presidency. Another infamous key player in the case, Judge Mark Fuller, under pressure from his friends and enemies, retired from the bench for conduct most unbecoming a Judge. If Siegelman’s guilty, then so, too, are most of the politicians in Washington! This story is far from finished. There are several little known facts revealed in this article that make it worth reading. To learn which high level career attorney obstructed investigations into the Siegelman Case read the Scott Horton article now. President Must Issue Pardon Horton concludes that the President must pardon Don Siegelman without consulting the DOJ because the Department is too conflicted to do the right thing. Horton quotes a source saying that the “way DOJ managed this case, if brought to light, would do real harm to the reputation of the department.” No kidding.
Four Days of Myth Busters – Day One
Prisoner #24775-001“When we were young and naive, back in the day before the Bush Years, we consumed the government and American history text books that told us how the judicial branch of government is supposed to be above politics.” But today we see around us the a growing distrust in the impartial process of justice, and the Don Siegelman Case is a prime example of that. Glynn Wilson writes in his blog, The New American Journal, that there are 4 reasons that Don Siegelman should not be in prison. Here is the first: Myth Buster One – Don was not bribed! The lottery-education money went to the bank, not to Don’s pockets. “One, there was no explicit proof of a quid pro quo for Siegelman’s appointment of Scrushy to the state hospital regulatory board. This exchange was supposedly for contributions of $500,000 to pay off the debt on an attempt to create an education-lottery in the state, a campaign which failed largely due to the flood of millions of dollars in competing gambling money coming into the state through Ralph Reed, [Grover Norquist] and . . . Jack Abramoff. None of the lottery-education money went into Siegelman’s pocket. The bank got all its money back. The people lost a chance at millions to improve public education.”
Siegelman Case QUIZ – Fuller Impeachment
Did you take the first quiz? How did you do? Were you shocked that the multi-million dollar Air Force contract was awarded to Judge Fuller’s company, Doss Aviation, the day the prosecution rested its case? Coincidental? There’s more! Read on. Test your knowledge. See if you can answer these questions about the Don Siegelman case. The answers include links that will lead you deeper into the topic. QUESTION #1 Can Judge Fuller be impeached? That is yet to be seen. The New York Times published an article 9.18.15 stating Judge Fuller could be impeached. “A high-level committee of federal judges told Congress this month that lawmakers had reason to consider impeaching Mark E. Fuller. . . ” But legal analysts say that would be unconstitutional; he cannot be impeached because he resigned. Is the committee of federal judges willing to defy precedent because Fuller’s misconduct was so severe? After all, his offenses include spousal abuse and perjury after years of accusations that he was a partisan in the Siegelman case. The article ends with this quote by Senator Grassley (R). “The fact remains that the current practice of self-regulation of judges with respect to ethics and the judicial code of conduct has time and again proven inadequate.”
What do you really know about the Siegelman Case?
You have been following the Siegelman Case for a while now, and for some that means for more than a decade. Do you know as much about the Siegelman Case as you think you do? Test your knowledge. See if you can answer these questions about the Don Siegelman case. The answers include links that will lead you deeper into the topic. QUESTION #1 Where is the Siegelman Judge today? Well, he is no longer on the bench. Under threat of impeachment, Mark Fuller resigned effective Aug 1, 2015, for beating his wife in an Atlanta hotel. The assault was captured on audio when his wife phoned 911 for help. It can be heard here.Photo – Fulton County Sheriff’s Office – U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller. QUESTION #2 Was the Judge in the Siegelman case fair and open-minded? No. When Mark Fuller assumed his position as Federal Judge, Governor Siegelman’s office found that Fuller had misappropriated over $300,000 in Retirement funds in his previous post as District Attorney. Although the audit was routine and no charges were filed, Fuller was professionally embarrassed. He blamed Siegelman. The trial provided the perfect opportunity for payback. Fuller had also provided significant support to Gov. Siegelman’s political opponents during the previous race for Governor of Alabama. Despite these glaring conflicts of interest, Fuller refused to recuse himself from the trial. Read More. QUESTION #3 Did the judge also have private business interests that might cloud his judgement? Yes. In fact, Judge Fuller was one of the wealthier men in the courtroom. For example, at the time of the trial, Mark Fuller was one of the primary stockholders in Doss Aviation. Doss Aviation’s main customer was the U.S. Air Force and the FBI, both active in the prosecution of Siegelman. See Here. QUESTION #4 Which contract awarded to Doss Aviation was its largest ever? When was it awarded? Judge Fuller on the day the prosecution rested their case against SiegelmanThe day the prosecution rested in the Siegelman case, the government issued a single Air Force Training contract to Doss Aviation with a total value of over $178 Million. See Here. QUESTION #5 Who in D.C. might have influence over this matter? Anyone in the Bush White House, including Karl Rove, because of the notorious reputation held by that administration for mixing military and business interests with politics.
Mr. Trump, the “Mother of Exiles” is crying.
I wonder how Mr. Trump feels watching the Statue of Liberty cry? Our “Mother of Exiles,” sees the pain and tragedy unfolding on distant shores – migrants, refugees from war ravaged lands, leaving behind their elderly and weak – those who slip quietly into the night, praying dawn will bring peace. With the world’s back turned against them, most leave for the sake of their children. The men would rather stay and fight but the imbalanced war gives them little chance. They leave, spending what they have and risking their lives. They make for our “golden doors” to freedom on far off shores. But we sit in comfort, watching the worn and weak and helpless fall victim to freedom’s siren call. The “Mother of Exiles”, our Lady, our Statue of Liberty remembers when she was younger, when America’s leaders were crying out: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!.” Now her tears bear witness to the pain, but what she finds most troubling is our silence. “Are we so poor we cannot share with those who suffer more? Are we so comfortably complacent that their life and death struggles do not penetrate our collective soul?” she asks. “Remember your ancestors! Your fathers and mothers came and I greeted them and gave them comfort. Now is the time again to reach out to the huddled masses seeking to breathe free,” cries our “Mother of Exiles.”
Rollback the Incarceration Industry!
Our Justice System is Broken. One out of every 100 Americans is behind bars. The U.S. spends $80 billion a year on incarceration. Seventy million Americans have a criminal record. In too many neighborhoods, young people of color are more likely to go to prison than college. We have a critical moment of opportunity. Members of Congress just announced the most comprehensive federal justice reform legislation to date! _The SAFE Justice act_ implements broad based, system-wide reforms to curtail over-criminalization, enhance rehabilitation, and support individuals’ re-entry into society. Together, we can push Congress and President Obama to pass major legislation and get crucial bills signed into law by the end of 2015. Join the thousands who have put their name onto this petition through JusticeReformNOW.org, Credo Action, and MoveOn.org! Demand that Congress take action to roll back the incarceration industry in America. This petition is led in partnership with #cut50’s #JusticeReformNOW campaign. You have the power to create change. START SHARING AND WATCH YOUR IMPACT GROW! As you can imagine this is an issue near and dear to my heart. Please [sign the petition](http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/821/450/374/)and share with your network! _Don E. Siegelman_ Governor of Alabama, 1999-2003 Lt. Governor, 1995-1999 Attorney general, 1987-1991 Secretary of State, 1979-1987 PO Box 5010 Oakdale, LA 71463
Atticus v. Architect
Siegelman Media 2007
- Roved Linked to Alabama Case – TIME/CNN
- Selective Justice? – TIME
- Selective Prosecution – NYT
- The Mark of Rove – WSJ
- The Strange Case – NYT
- Leura Canary’s Stonewalling – Harper’s
- Testimony about DoJ Investigation – YouTube
- Comments on Jill Simpson’s Testimony – Legal Schnauzer
- Bush League Justice: Part 1 – MSNBC
- Bush League Justice: Part 2 – MSNBC
- Bush League Justice: Part 3 – MSNBC
This has to be one of the worst case of political prosectution that only happens in countries like North Korea and China!
Don has been punished beyond belief and now this for exercising first amendment rights? Something is awry. This is unbelievable.
If in your heart, you truly do not know whether you believe Don Siegelman is guilty or not, do not hold that against those of us who have fought for years believing in this injustice and the message behind his conviction.
. . . most people could care less about you and don seigleman . by the way did he promise you one those boats, cars,trucks or something else in return for your council .
Josh Moon: “It doesn’t matter why Don Siegelman is in solitary confinement at a Louisiana federal prison. . . . because Don Siegelman shouldn’t be in prison at all.”
This is a joke, right?
We want you out! Home with your family! You should never have been incarcerated!!
Governor, you are a good man. Life seems to throw lessons at good people. . . . I think of you often and daily wish the best for you.
I’m at a loss for understanding why he [the President] hasn’t pardoned Don after all this time.
Siegelman served Alabama well which is something republicans who hurt him can’t say.
Free Don! Hey Jerry, . . . If it can happen to Don it could easily happen to you and in your case they could throw away the keys.
Yes! I am disappointed that President Obama has pardoned some who were serving life sentences for drug offenses, yet passing over Governor Siegelman. Senseless and really sad.
I don’t understand why Don is still in prison. He should never have been there–and he should be out. The president could make this happen with a stroke of his pen.
I remember in October 2012 . . . . when Siegelman’s daughter introduced herself, the audience gasped. That’s the feeling most in the room had about the whole case.
Don was there for me and my 1200 co workers when we went out on strike back in the 1980’s . He was the only one in the state Alabama to stand by us. He is the real deal . The people who put him where he is today are evil people .
Give him 10 more years please !
Wish he could be our governor again!
Siegelman was a crook convicted by a jury in a court of law. End of story.
This whole story of unprecedented political prosecution and grave injustice has become an inconvenient truth to the media, to the legal establishment to politicians and to name brand Democrats including the President. . .
Met Dana Siegelman in ’12 and she’s the real deal and has worked so hard for her Dad….
I hope he runs for Governor again…if he was dishonest he wouldn’t be sitting in prison.
God bless you and your family! Thanks for all you did and still do! Stay strong!
Frustrated for you.
Hope the Dumbocrat crook rots in prison