Officials in the Bush administration initiated an unlawful harassment campaign against Alabama whistleblower Dana Jill Simpson, and a news report indicates that Karl Rove started the campaign in an effort to defend himself against charges of using the Justice Department for political purposes.
Simpson, a north Alabama attorney and former Republican opposition-research volunteer, testified under oath that GOP operative William Canary had worked with Rove to instigate the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.
Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen now reports that Rove and Alabama U.S. Attorney Alice Martin are behind a harassment campaign against Simpson that has been going on for months.
Multiple sources have reported that the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is investigating Martin and fellow Alabama U.S. Attorney Leura Canary for their roles in the Siegelman case and other apparent political prosecutions.
But according to the Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), OPR actually is conducting an unlawful investigation of Simpson, looking into the adoption of her 4-year-old daughter in 2004, her taxes, her previous rental properties, and legal cases she argued as a defense attorney. Several of Simpson's legal clients, business associates, and even her ex-husband have been questioned by federal officers, including FBI agents.
The goal, apparently, is to find information that could assist Rove, Martin, and Canary in defense of charges that they used the Justice Department for political purposes.
How could this happen? Madsen reports that the person charged with "investigating" Martin was one of her subordinates, Alabama Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Sullivan. In fact, Sullivan is considered one of Martin's top criminal investigators.
But instead of scrutinizing Martin, Sullivan has been investigating Simpson. And he has received assistance from William Causey, assistant counsel for OPR, Madsen reports.
OPR is legally authorized to investigate only possible corruption by government employees. Use of the office to investigate Simpson, a private citizen, would be an unlawful abuse of government resources, Madsen reports.
Madsen also has harsh words for U.S. Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL), who is scheduled to announce his run for governor today in Birmingham:
WMR has also learned that one of Simpson's early supporters, Representative Artur Davis (D-AL), a member of the House Judiciary Committee who spent Super Bowl Sunday with Barack Obama at a White House party, has decided to abandon his defense of Simpson because he has gubernatorial ambitions. Davis, who would be Alabama's first African-American governor, has decided that it is more important to gain the support of the Business Council of Alabama, headed up by Leura Canary's husband Bill Canary, a major Republican official in the state and ally of current Republican Governor Bob Riley, than in getting to the bottom of the Siegelman's prosecution.