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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Joe Biden Provides Hope That Obama White House Finally Will Get Serious About The Siegelman Case


Dana Siegelman on HuffPost Live
The Obama administration's performance on justice issues has been dismal so far, but Vice President Joe Biden recently provided a glimmer of hope that the White House might be starting to get serious. And that could have an impact on the case of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, which generally is seen as the most blatant political prosecution in U.S. history.

Biden recently told Dana Siegelman, Don's father, that he supports freedom for her father, according to a new report from Huffington Post. Dana Siegelman is the driving force behind free-don.org, an online-petition Web site devoted to seeking a presidential pardon for her father.

How did Joe Biden enter the picture? Well, it happened because Dana Siegelman is an articulate, aggressive spokesperson for justice--and she crossed paths with the vice president at a Washington, D.C., meeting of Democratic party chairs on the day after inauguration. Lindsay Wilkes-Edrington, of Huffington Post, describes the encounter:

Siegelman's daughter Dana recently spoke to HuffPost Live about the fight to free her father, who is currently being held on bribery charges despite a six-year battle to overturn his conviction. Siegelman discussed an encounter she had with Biden during a meeting of the Democratic party chairs in Washington D.C.

"I was able to sneak up and shake his hand, I held it tight and told him I was on a mission to free my dad," she told HuffPost Live. "His eyes got very big and he generally announced to the people around me, and to me, 'I am too.'"

Dana Siegelman said Biden's words "meant the world" to her and seemed to indicate that the White House is aware that the Department of Justice hasn't been doing a thorough job.

So we finally know that someone in a high place is aware that the Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder is performing poorly? Can we get an "Amen"?

Former Alabama Congressman Parker Griffith appeared with Dana Siegelman on an episode of HuffPost Live. Griffith said former Bush White House strategist Karl Rove had "his hands all over" the Siegelman case. Griffith also said that U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller, who presided over the trial, was not qualified to sit on the federal bench and clearly should have recused himself from the Siegelman case.

A direct link to the HuffPost Live segment is available here.

Don Siegelman is a long way from being out of the woods, and his daughter acknowledges that politics remains a tricky part of the equation:

Dana Siegelman told HuffPost Live that she thinks politics continue to play a role in why her father remains in prison.

"The president is aware he has to work with Congress over the next four years," she said. "The last thing he wants is a kickback from overturning a lot of these Bush appointees that are still there. I believe only 30 percentage of the Department of Justice has been replaced with Obama appointees. So you still have 70 percent. We don't know if they're pledging allegiance to the former president or not, but it is disheartening to see people who 10 years ago approved the prosecution against my father being the same ones denying his freedom now."

Joe Biden has been known to be a verbal loose cannon. He even has been known to draw the ire of Obama advisers for speaking off script. But the vice president is on target in this case. He finally is showing that the White House has a sense of moral authority, and Obama would be wise to follow suit.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is encouraging news. Thanks for reporting on it. Your determination to stay on top of this story has been most welcome. Please keep up the great work.

Cheryl said...

Dana Siegelman for president!

Bo said...

Gotta love Joe Biden. The man actually has a pulse and a heart. Sometimes it's hard to tell if his boss has either.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't Parker Griffith have balls like this when he was in office? If he'd stayed a Democrat and spoken out like this, he would still be in DC--and he probably would be a strong contender for governor in 2014, if he had chosen that path.

Anonymous said...

Legal Schnauzer for attorney general!

legalschnauzer said...

A lawyer guy from Rutgers University has some insightful comments on the HuffPo video. I hope folks will check it out.

Anonymous said...

Boy, Parker Griffith rips Mark Fuller a new one. I love it.

Anonymous said...

I hope and pray daily to see Gov. Siegelman free SOON.. but can you trust Biden? I hope to goodness he was honest and not playing politics!

James Greek said...

I hope that Joe Biden doesn't pull an Artur Davis and disappoints us. If he doesn't I will be voting for him for president in 2016!

Redeye said...

"The president is aware he has to work with Congress over the next four years," she said. "The last thing he wants is a kickback from overturning a lot of these Bush appointees that are still there. I believe only 30 percentage of the Department of Justice has been replaced with Obama appointees. So you still have 70 percent. We don't know if they're pledging allegiance to the former president or not, but it is disheartening to see people who 10 years ago approved the prosecution against my father being the same ones denying his freedom now."

If this is true it means President Obama is afraid to do the right thing. I HOPE and pray that is not the case, because if it is, we should ALL be afraid of the very department that is supposed to protect our rights.

jeffrey spruill said...

Only 30 percentage of the Department of Justice has been replaced with Obama appointees?
***
Rhetorical question:
Is that the reason we're still watching Karl Rove- the fat,baldheaded doughboy throw childish fits of rage of Fox?
***
August 6, 2009
Thank you for your e-email expressing your concern regarding criminal behavior conducted by Karl Rove. I appreciate you apprising me of your views on this issue.

Please be assured that I will keep your views in mind as this issue comes before me. Please feel free to contact me in the future on other issues which may be of concern to you.

Very Truly Yours,
ROBERT C. “BOBBY” SCOTT
Member of Congress

***

Friday, July 31, 2009: E-Mails Show Larger White House Role in Prosecutor Firings:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/30/AR2009073002023.html?hpid=topnews

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to have to point out that Uncle Joe Biden says a lot of things he can't do..don't get your hopes up...

e.a.f. said...

It would be nice if Biden does do something. From the looks of things the republicans aren't going to do anything in the congress or senate to make things easier for Obama and his agenda. Biden might as well set his own and spend the next 4 yrs providing some justice for a lot of people in the U.S.A.


He can make his own legacy and have some fun. Sitting here in Canada, I can say I actually like Biden. He seems to be fairly human.

The democrats may have the White House but they haven't been able to drive their own agenda and those republicans would rather let the country go up in smoke than do anything to improve the country if it means agreeing with obama. Seeing as they won't be running for re election they might as well just go for it and do as much as they can to change things with the powers they do have. Biden is well suited for this type of work.

Anonymous said...

If I were Dana, I'd be pissed at you for posting this pic!

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