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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Siegelman: A Victim of Break-Ins

Don Siegelman's home was broken into twice during the former Alabama governor's trial on corruption charges.

That is just one of many intriguing insights from Siegelman's daughter, Dana, in an interview reported today at Raw Story. The Dana Siegelman interview is the second installment in Raw Story's five-part series on the Siegelman case.

The revelation about the break-ins came after Ms. Siegelman was asked about legal bills the family is facing in the wake of her father's prosecution. She notes that the family is receiving financial help, but she does not want to disclose the benefactors' identity for fear it might put them in danger.

Ms. Siegelman notes the fire at the home of whistleblowing Alabama attorney Jill Simpson and a break-in at the office of one of her father's lawyers. Then she says her family's home had been broken into--twice.

"We figured it was Big Brother dropping in for a visit. A plug here . . . a plug there . . . this happened twice during the trial. Nothing was stolen."

Other highlights from the interview:

* On the morning after the 2002 election:
"My dad's opponent, Bob Riley, came on Alabama statewide television announcing that he had won, and that there had been an error with the ballots in Baldwin County. How he had news of this and my dad, the governor, did not, is beyond me."

* On the role of Bill Pryor, then Alabama attorney general, in deciding the election:
"Needless to say, my dad conceded the election to Bob Riley. The reason for this had a lot to do with who was in the attorney general's office during this time . . . (Pryor) put my dad in a catch-22. Either my dad asked for another recount, in which he knew Pryor would reward Riley and therefore make my dad look like a schmuck, or my dad had to concede the election with his dignity."

* On her father becoming a political target:
"My dad was the first governor to endorse Al Gore in his campaign against Bush, and that was enough to keep (Karl) Rove after my dad."

* On the importance of the story:
"This isn't just a sad story or a bump in the road for politics. This is the corruption of the United States Justice Department. This is a criminal conspiracy for political reasons at best . . . I hate to use this as an example because it upsets me, but truth be told, this is cancer, not a cold."

There is much more interesting stuff in the interview, but I'm going to leave it right there because that is one of the best quotes I've seen about the scope of the problems in our justice system: "This is cancer, not a cold."

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