|Alyona Minkovski at HuffPost Live|
"I don’t understand Eric Holder not cleaning this mess up, if he’s any kind of man at all," Scrushy told Alyona Minkovski on HuffPost Live. "All you have to do is read the e-mails between the prosecutors. If the president of the United States would look at those e-mails, he would pardon the governor and let him out immediately. I can’t believe he would let it go another day, with the corruption that is in this case."
It was Scrushy's second interview since being released last summer from an almost six-year term in federal prison. His first was with San Francisco-based radio host Peter B. Collins in April. I participated in the Collins interview, and helped arrange it, so it was encouraging to see that Scrushy is continuing to speak out about injustice in the Siegelman prosecution--this time before the Huffington Post audience.
Scrushy focused last night on a petition that he has pending before the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. Scrushy's lawyers are seeking discovery on documents that they say will prove widespread misconduct in the case. Much of it, Scrushy says, focuses on Bush-era U.S. Attorney Leura Canary and members of her staff:
We have internal documents, e-mails between prosecutors, talking about having contact with jurors. We have Leura Canary e-mails, with her directing the case after she had recused herself. That is before the Eleventh Circuit right now. . . . We are asking for the rest of discovery to prove the additional corruption. . . . Why would Eric Holder not step in immediately and fire those people who were involved in this? Making contact with a jury . . . come on, help me, please! Tell me why they would allow any of these people to continue to work, and why has this case not been thrown out?
Craig Unger, author of the 2012 book Boss Rove: Inside Karl Rove's Secret Kingdom of Power, and Huffington Post justice reporter Ryan Reilly participated in the discussion. Unger did not mince words about the origins of the Siegelman prosecution:
Absolutely, it was political. Look how Rove came to power . . . the judiciary always has been part of it. When you control the courts, you get huge donations from corporations. He took over Texas courts, and he did the same thing in Alabama.
Unger also pointed at that the allegations against Siegelman and Scrushy never fit the definition of a crime under any statute:
What Siegelman was accused of isn’t really a crime. There are thousands of instances where people give campaign contributions and end up in political appointments. Pres George W. Bush appointed more than 140 contributors to be ambassadors and so forth.
Scrushy noted that he hardly knew Siegelman until they were locked up together, post conviction, for two weeks at a federal prison in Atlanta:
As a businessman in Alabama, I would run into Don Siegelman. But I didn’t hang out with him; he wasn’t my friend. We were locked up in Atlanta . . . in chains; they threw us in a cell together . . . like it was a dungeon. We spent two weeks together there. We spent a lot of time in prayer. We were on our knees a lot. We worked out together, we talked about our children, our wives, our lives. You learn about people.
Corruption in our justice system needs to be addressed, Scrushy says, and it needs to start with his pending appeal before the Eleventh Circuit:
I’ve done my time, what do I have to gain, other than the world knowing [I was] innocent? But let’s get the governor out. I’m back with my family, back with my children . . . but I’m not the only person who has done time that was innocent. While I was in prison, I met a lot of people who are innocent, especially in the white-collar area. I met a lot of young men brought in on some of the most ridiculous . . . deals you’ve ever heard.
The way our prosecution system works is through a "snitch process." I was asked to snitch on the governor, and they were going to let me out. But I would have had to lie and I said, "No, I’m not going to get up there and say a man did something he didn’t do." It’s a sad situation for our country.