Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Siegelman Inquiry Hits the Spotlight

The congressional investigation into the U.S. attorneys scandal, centering on the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, is on the national stage today.

Adam Nossiter, of The New York Times, reports on the case and notes the Justice Department's refusal to turn over documents on the Siegelman prosecution to the House Judiciary Committee.

Nossiter includes interesting quotes from some legal experts. "It's unusual to see a bribery prosecution where the payment wasn't to the defendant," said David A. Sklansky, who teaches law at the University of California. "It seems to me the conduct in this case was similar to a lot of what we take as normal for politics."

Stephen Gillers, a professor of law at New York University, had a different take. "I think the government reply brief demolishes Siegelman's legal argument on the current case law."

Hmmm, I know Nossiter was limited by space, but I wish he had been able to provide some examples of what Gillers is talking about. Would be interesting to see the Republican reply brief and compare it to Siegelman's argument. I presume Gillers is talking about documents that have been filed for an appeal.

As usual, Scott Horton, of Harper's, cuts to the chase. "Why the cold sweat and panic over at the Justice Department and in Mrs. (Leura) Canary's office. There is an inference, which any reasonable citizen can and should draw from these extraordinary efforts to hide the facts and avoid accountability. And that is that the information which would be produced will expose Mrs. William Canary (U.S. Attorney, Middle District of Alabama) and the career staffers she has pushed out front in this affair as liars. . . . The persucutors here want to continue living under a rock in a slimy environment they find most congenial. What this matter needs is the searing light of the sun."

A toast to Mr. Horton. And let's not forget another slimy environment, where ugly creatures live under rocks. I'm talking about Alabama's state courts. And we at Legal Schnauzer will endeavor to shine sunlight on those nasty critters.

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