Sunday, December 2, 2007

Secrecy and Abramoff

The charade to hide documents related to the Department of Justice scandal continues unabated.

Pete Yost of Associated Press reports that the Bush Administration is laying out a new secrecy defense in an effort to end a court battle about White-House visits by now imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff. This comes after the administration had agreed last year to produce all records on the visits without redactions of claims of exemptions.

Guess the Bushies have changed their minds. And Scott Horton, of Harper's, provides insight into what might be behind their thinking. The administration seeks to use the "state secret" privilege as a "get out of jail free" card, Horton writes.

The critical documents would be communications between Abramoff and former White House strategist Karl Rove. And that e-mail trail, Horton writes, would almost certainly lead to Alabama and the prosecution of former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman.

Abramoff sidekick Michael Scanlon was a former Washington aide to current Governor Bob Riley. Abramoff and Scanlon funneled money from their gambling interests to support Riley's campaign against Siegelman, who wanted to start an education lottery in Alabama.

I wouldn't be surprised if this e-mail trail included references to another Riley crony, former campaign manager Dax Swatek. Horton already has reported about Swatek's ties to Abramoff. And Swatek once worked for Bill Canary, who was at the heart of Jill Simpson's affidavit about the political motivations behind the Siegelman prosecution.

The name Swatek is an important one here at Legal Schnauzer. William E. Swatek, who is Dax Swatek's father, is the ethically-challenged attorney who filed a bogus lawsuit against your humble blogger. That legal document set off a trail of judicial chicanery that led to the blog you are now reading.

I have overwhelming evidence that William E. Swatek and numerous Republican judges in Alabama--J. Michael Joiner and G. Dan Reeves in Shelby County, GOP members of appellate courts--were involved in a conspiracy to commit honest-services mail fraud under 18 U.S. Code 1346. This was the charge that made up two-thirds of the case against Siegelman.

These charges, of course, led to a prosecution and conviction of Siegelman, a Democrat. And the evidence is overwhelming that the charges never should have been brought against him.

But Bill Swatek, Mike Joiner, Dan Reeves, and company? There is no question that they used the U.S. mails in furtherance of a fraudulent scheme, depriving Alabama citizens of the judges' honest services. That's textbook mail fraud. But these folks are Republicans, and Bill Swatek's son (our guy, Dax) is close buds with Bob Riley and Bill Canary. So Birmingham-based U.S. Attorney Alice Martin ignores that wrongdoing.

We've recently discovered new information about Dax Swatek that shines light on why Alice Martin is trying to cover up wrongdoing in the Legal Schnauzer case. That will be coming your way soon.

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