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Monday, February 15, 2016

Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman blasts Donald Trump's notion of nominating Bill Pryor to the Supreme Court, calling Pryor "evil and pernicious"

Donald Trump
What does former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman--now residing at a federal prison in Oakdale, Louisiana, because of perhaps the most notorious political prosecution in U.S. history--think of Donald Trump's idea of nominating U.S. Circuit Judge Bill Pryor to the U.S. Supreme Court?

Here are Siegelman's thoughts, straight from the former governor himself. Few people have seen Pryor operate in an up-close-and-personal way as Siegelman has. The mere thought of Pryor being elevated to the nation's highest court apparently makes Alabama's most successful Democrat of the past 25 years want to vomit. It also might cause many Americans to wonder about Donald Trump's sanity.

What's Bill Pryor really like? Here are Don Siegelman's thoughts.

by Don E. Siegelman
Governor of Alabama, 1999-2003 
"Evil and Pernicious Jurist To Replace Scalia?" . . .  "Richard Pryor Rather Than Bill Pryor" . . . "Big Tobacco not to blame: Poor People Who Smoke Die Faster, Costing Medicaid Less" . . . "Suppressed The Black Vote" . . .  "Thought the Klan Was A Pretty Good Group Of Guys" . . . "Lock'em Up And Throw Away The Key" . . . "An Unfounded Criminal Case...Totally Without Merit" . . .  "Pro Death Penalty and Pro-Life Stands Could Scare Pope Francis . . ."
An involuntary scream came from my gut causing heads to turn as inmates also heard Bill Pryor's name drip from Trump's lips. Trump on Saturday night's Republican Presidential debate, named perhaps the most evil and pernicious jurist as Trump's choice to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Bill Pryor is on the ultraconservative 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. 
Pryor's background: Slipped in as a recess appointment of Bush. A protege and political client of Karl Rove, a state attorney general linked to Karl Rove's tobacco clients and large corporate interests refused to join in the national suit against Big Tobacco. His reasoning: 
"Poor people who smoke die faster, so they cost Alabama's Medicaid less money." Republican Arizona Attorney General, Grant Woods, later Co-Chair McCain for President, responded publicly saying: "Alabama would be better off with comedian Richard Pryor rather than Bill Pryor as its attorney general." 
Bill Pryor has all the right credentials for a Right Wing nomination: an original member of the Federalist Society, an early supporter of the harshest mandatory minimums for the smallest felonious infractions, Karl Rove's client and political mouthpiece in Alabama, someone who started an investigation against me to damage my chances for reelection (and did). The presiding U.S. District Court Judge, U. W. Clemon, described the Pryor instigated prosecution as "the most unfounded criminal case over which I have presided in my entire judicial career (some 30 years)...totally without merit."[see letter to Eric Holder, May 9, 2009, by Judge U.W. Clemon]. The Department of Justice has confirmed in a letter to the Chairman of the House Judiciary committee that Pryor's lead prosecutor "in charge of the Siegelman prosecution communicated directly with the campaign manager of Mr. Siegelman's gubernatorial opponent” and "several" other officials acted improperly.[see report of “Project On Governmental Oversight", December 14, 2014] 

Bill Pryor
Yet, Pryor is most frightening because of his closeness to: Karl Rove and Jeffrey Beauregard Session. 
Pryor is from Mobile and is a close friend and protégé of Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions. Sessions was a racist U.S. Attorney, using his position to suppress the black vote by getting his agents to round up Alabama "Black Belt" African American political leaders and threatening them with prison if they ever crossed the line in soliciting absentee votes. Just to show he meant business, he prosecuted two older ladies (one a 72 year old retired school teacher, and a dear friend of mine) and finger printed and photographed others. It worked. 
In 1994, Session beat out the Democratic nominee to become Alabama's radical Attorney General using his new position to launch him into the U.S. Senate in 1996. Pryor was Sessions's top deputy. Earlier when Sessions was making a play to be a federal judge himself, Senator Ted Kennedy forced Sessions to admit under oath, on the record in a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, that Sessions had said: 
"I always thought the Klan was a pretty good group of guys . . . until I learned they smoked pot." [see U.S. Senate Judiciary Hearing] 
Sessions also had a penchant for prosecuting Democratic officeholders, white or black. 
Recently, Mr. Donald Trump went to Mobile, Alabama, where he proudly cuddled Sessions on camera before a crowd of exuberant voters. Then he announced that Sessions's advisor, would become Trump for President "Senior Policy Advisor". Now, we hear in the most recent debate from Trump's own mouth that he has found the perfect possible replacement for Justice Scalia: 
Bill Pryor, Session's creation, Karl Rove's client, a protector of corporate interests, a man who puts political prosecutions ahead of the truth and justice, an outlaw who orchestrated illegally certifying bogus elections results to ensure that Karl Rove's and Jack Abramoff's candidate for governor won in 2002, a Right Wing, "lock'em up and throw away the key" blinded, fanatical anti-Roe v. Wade pro-life, pro-death penalty Catholic. He is still not an equal to fill Antonin Scalia's shoes who exclaimed in the Sorich case in 2012: 
"It is simply not fair to prosecute someone for a crime that has not been defined until the judicial decision that sends him to jail." 
Bill Pryor's bent mind could never comprehend such a judicious decision seeking true justice. Pryor's lust to put people in prison has no bounds. Pryor's criminal justice logic is itself a unique work of injustice. 
The real danger is that Pryor is young and is just beginning his descent into the bowels of partisan injustice.


In the interest of full disclosure, Bill Pryor, Karl Rove's client, as Alabama's newly elected Attorney General, started an investigation of me on March 19, 1999, just days after I was sworn in as governor in January, 1999. He then joined with the Bush U.S. Attorney to prosecute me, while the U.S. Attorney's husband was running my opponent's campaign. Despite an all out offensive by Karl Rove and the Pryor smear campaign, I won but only to wake up the next morning to find out that enough votes had been stolen to swing the election to the Rove- Abramoff backed candidate. (See Mark Crispin Miller's book: "Loser Take All") When I asked for a hand recount, Bill Pryor threatened anyone who touched the ballots with jail, then surreptitiously took the bogus results to Montgomery and certified them two full days before Alabama law allowed, thus ending my ability to get a recount. 

Don Siegelman
After my Republican opponent was sworn in, Bill Pryor was nominated and confirmed to a seat on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals during a Congressional recess, after which U.S. Senator Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions stated publicly and on the record: 
"We would have moved faster and gotten Pryor on the bench earlier but we needed a Republican governor in place first." 
The 11th Circuit is the court through which all my appeals had to first be screened. While Pryor did not directly participate, his coffee break and cocktail conversations no doubt poisoned the well for my appeals. At an 11th Circuit Court Judicial Conference for all U.S. District Court and 11th Circuit court judges, a prominent Atlanta attorney, Buddy Darden, overheard Judge Pryor telling those within listening distance his opinion about me. Mr. Darden told me he had pulled Judge Pryor aside and asked about the ethics of his statements. 
My Republican opponent, Congressman Bob Riley, was hand picked by Michael Scanlon and Jack Abramoff to run against me. In Abramoff's own words, we had to "stop Siegelman...[and my lottery-gaming proposal]...at a cost of approximately $20,000,000 to the tribe" [The Mississippi Choctaw Indian casinos to protect their gambling monopoly in the Southeast. See pages 187-194 of Abramoff's book, "Capitol Punishment".] 
Millions of Indian casino dollars were illegally laundered into Alabama to defeat me by Rove and Abramoff's friends, Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist, according to "Capitol Punishment" and the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs report:"Gimmie Five", authored by U. S. Senator John McCain. 
This Indian casino money flowing into my opponent's campaign was never investigated. The Rove generated prosecution only investigated a single contribution in support of my proposed ballot initiative. One that would have sent all Alabama high school graduates to college for free, but instead sent me to prison for 88 months. 


Anonymous said...

Trump has packaged himself as an anti-establishment candidate that has tapped into the anger and frustration of a lot of Americans. He deviated from that notion when Pryors name came up. Im sure Karl Rove chuckled to himself about Pryors mention as did I. Jeff Sessions maybe the guy he's trying to appeal to and its also worrisome. I hope he doesn't close ranks with the establishment. He will have to even if he doesn't take their money they will still own him someway. Even some commentors on Al.com picked this up about Pryor being not so good of a pick. Bad Judgement for Trump. It's highlighted his ignorance along with the mainstream picking up on a Ted Cruz quote about Trump wanting to appoint liberals to the Supreme Court.

What the common folk like about Trump is his anti-establishment stance and big mistake here for him. The media can keep hammering that he's too liberal all day long but it won't work. You can look for the truth in there somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Bill Pryor is a tobacco whore, first and foremost.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Siegelman have a black belt in karate? I would love to see him kick Pryor's ass and leave him in little pieces.

legalschnauzer said...

Siegelman is quite accomplished at martial arts, and I think he practices karate. Not sure if he's a black belt, but I would not want to mess with him.

Anonymous said...

Pryor is exposed