Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Siegelman Prosecutors Lash Out at Whistleblower

The prosecution's response to a Motion for a New Trial in the Don Siegelman case is an ugly document, filled with irony, hypocrisy, distortion, and deceit.

Much of the ugliness is not aimed at Siegelman or codefendant Richard Scrushy; it's aimed at Tamarah Grimes, who lost her job after blowing the whistle on prosecutorial misconduct in the Siegelman case.

No wonder prosecutors are uncomfortable with Grimes. She has shown the world what kind of dysfunctional ship U.S. Attorney Leura Canary has been running in the Middle District of Alabama.

Like most bullies, Canary's henchmen attack the person who stands up to them. But Grimes appears to be prepared to fight back. In a statement issued yesterday, Grimes said:

I have been advised that the response filed by the government late Thursday evening relies heavily on my alleged lack of credibility. From my perspective, this is nothing more than the latest attempt in a series of failed attempts by the government to impugn my integrity, beginning with the unsuccessful attempts to prosecute me in March and May 2008.

I challenge the government to make those allegations against my integrity under oath and to provide legally admissible evidence to support its allegations. I will do the same. I am certain of what I saw and heard. I will gladly provide testimony under oath to the appropriate oversight authorities.

What is the main beef that prosecutors seem to have with Grimes--other than the fact she has unmasked them as a bunch of rogues? It's--get this--that her allegations have not been made under oath.

Consider this attack on Grimes from the government's response:

Grimes’s new claims were set forth in a 10-page letter to Attorney General Eric Holder dated June 1, 2009, more than three years after Grimes’s limited involvement with the Siegelman/Scrushy team, and after she had retained Martin Adams, Scrushy’s son-in-law (and criminal defense attorney) to represent her. D. 486 (Adams becomes counsel of record for Scrushy on October 27, 2006). This recent letter makes clear that Grimes is prepared to make (or repeat) virtually any allegation against her former employer. But not under oath.

Notice that prosecutors seem to have a problem with Grimes being represented by Richard Scrushy's son-in-law. These are the same prosecutors who seem to have no problem with the Siegelman case being overseen by Leura Canary, the wife of one of the former governor's most prominent political opponents.

Prosecutors also portray Grimes as someone who is too cowardly to make statements under oath. Never mind that Grimes has made her allegations to multiple watchdogs in the U.S. Justice Department, as a federal employee is supposed to do. And she supported them with hard evidence, e-mails that showed that Canary remained involved with the case after her supposed recusal--and that jurors and prosecutors had improper contacts. Grimes also took her concerns right to the top--to Attorney General Eric Holder. And this apparently caused her to be terminated from her job.

Oh yeah, she's a coward all right.

Notice the government's obsession with sworn statements, when it comes to Grimes:

Even though one of Scrushy’s lawyers now represents Grimes, defendants apparently cannot persuade her to put her allegations in declaration form. Her unwillingness to swear to her allegations subject to the penalty of perjury or other criminal sanctions should lead this Court to dismiss summarily her allegations.

How two-faced are the prosecutors here? Consider their abundant praise for Karl Rove and his recent Congressional testimony:

Furthermore, in addition to his earlier denials of these allegations, Karl Rove has recently provided testimony to Congress, in which he has quite specifically denied contacting anyone at the Justice Department about the Siegelman prosecution. Rove told the House Judiciary Committee that he never spoke to anyone at the Justice Department about the Siegelman prosecution, and that he was not aware of any such communications by anyone else in the White House.

Never mind that the prosecutors' summation of Rove's testimony is false. Notice that they conveniently neglect to mention that Rove's statements were unsworn. And Rove only agreed to testify at all after receiving a deal that allowed him to avoid testifying under oath.

The prosecutors seem to have one set of rules for Karl Rove and another set for regular folks like Tamarah Grimes. Should we expect anything less from the loyal Bushies who remain entrenched in the U.S. Department of Justice?

1 comment:

Robby Scott Hill said...

Yep, the old double standard is at work again. Grimes is chastised for not swearing under oath, but it's OK for Rove. Grimes cannot have Scrushy's son-in-law for an attorney, but it's OK for Leura Canary, the wife of The President of the Business Council of Alabama to Prosecute.

This reminds me of when AL Conservation Dept. Commissioner Barnett Lawley tried to have me prosecuted for posting my performance evaluation on my blog after they gave me a bad reference to the Bar Association and a prospective employer.

Government officials will punish those who stand up for the truth and justice in order to cover up their own wrongdoing.