Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Dog Ate My Homework

If you are interested in the Don Siegelman prosecution in particular, and the Department of Justice scandal in general, Scott Horton's No Comment blog for Harper's Magazine is can't-miss reading.

Horton is half way through an eight-part series of posts on Mark Fuller, the judge in the Siegelman case. Parts 1 through 4 have been most revealing, and the series continues on Monday.

The DOJ scandal, so far, has focused largely on the firings of nine U.S. Attorneys around the country. But Horton's series on Fuller stands out because it spotlights the critical role a compromised or ethically challenged judge can play in the courtroom, whether the case is criminal or civil.

Our case here at Legal Schnauzer, of course, involves state courts, not federal, and it will focus some on prosecutorial misconduct. But the primary focus of our case is on the judicial side, and it is heartening to see Horton expose the mindset behind a Republican judge who claims to be about the "rule of law" but acts in a partisan and unlawful manner.

Fuller is hardly alone in that sort of thinking among Republican judges in Alabama. Shelby County Circuit judges J. Michael Joiner and G. Dan Reeves are of the same mindset, as our their Republican cohorts on Alabama's appellate courts. We will be shining a spotlight on their misdeeds in the near future.

Meanwhile, in a post today, Horton looks into a couple of interesting matters:

* Leura Canary, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama and wife of Republican operative Bill Canary, continues to default on demands from the U.S. House Judiciary Committee for documents related to her prosecution of Siegelman. A Justice Department source tells Horton that Mrs. Canary's office and the Public Integrity Section of the DOJ gave false information in response to a Freedom of Information Act request which had sought data relating to her alleged recusal.

* Horton notes a battle between two new Web sites in Alabama. One,, supports the former Alabama governor and was started by retired political consultant Claibourne Darden and his wife, Anita. The origins of the other,, are unclear, but the site certainly is not friendly to Siegelman. Harper's conducted a search that indicates similarities between the new site and one put together by the Bob Riley gubernatorial campaign. This suggests, Horton notes, that the site has been constructed by people who worked on the Riley gubernatorial campaign.

Gee, I wonder if that could include Riley campaign "consultant" Dax Swatek, whose father Bill Swatek initiated the bogus lawsuit against me and has been the beneficiary of numerous unlawful rulings by Republican judges in Alabama? Much more about the Swateks coming here at Legal Schnauzer.

From doing a quick check of, it appears to be mostly a compilation of stories by Mobile Press-Register reporter Eddie Curran, who was credited by Acting U.S. Attorney Louis Franklin for providing the spark that initiated the Siegelman prosecution. The same information is available here, so not sure what purpose the "truth" Web site serves.

* Finally, Horton notes a conversation with a Washington-based GOP campaign advisor. Karl Rove, it seems, was concerned about Republican ties to corporate scandals such as Enron. So Rove's instructions in 2006 were for Republicans to link Democrats to corporate scandals. "Like Scrushy, HealthSouth, and Siegelman?" Horton asked. "Exactly," said the source.

Interestingly, Rove is taking the Leura Canary "dog ate my homework" path. The GOP guru is not responding to a Congressional subpoena regarding the DOJ scandal.

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