Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Don Siegelman Goes to Washington

The push for justice in the case of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman has taken on a Washington, D.C., flavor. And that makes sense because a federal trial court in Montgomery, Alabama, and the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta have shown that they are not going to let the facts and the law influence their findings in the case.

Joan Brunwasser, of OpEdNews, reports that Siegelman spent late last week in D.C. --and it was hardly a sightseeing trip. For one thing, a veteran Washington attorney, Peter L. Sissman, has joined Siegelman's legal team, and another D.C. lawyer might be coming on board. Siegelman tells Brunwasser:

I should hear "yes" or "no" from the U.S. Supreme Court in December or early January. I'm going to D.C. today, [Thursday the 12th] to talk with another lawyer whom I hope will join my team to argue my case before the USSC [United States Supreme Court] if they should grant our petition.

I will also be working with my Georgetown Law classmate, Peter Sissman, who has taken the lead in our motion for a new trial, which is now pending before Judge Fuller (who enhanced my sentence for speaking out about the political origins of my prosecution, and who had me handcuffed, shackled, and put into solitary confinement in a maximum security prison).
More evidence apparently has surfaced that Leura Canary, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, did not abide by her recusal in the case. Sissman has played an important role in unearthing that evidence. Says Siegelman:

While this effort is moving slowly, waiting on the USSC, Peter has found more evidence (smoking gun e-mails) which proves the Bush/Rove prosecutor who said she had recused . . . actually remained involved in the case. This evidence is very important because, as you will remember, my prosecutor's husband was not only my Republican opponent's campaign manager but was also identified by a Republican whistleblower as having talked with Karl Rove about getting the DOJ to prosecute me ("to take care of Siegelman," I think were the exact words used).

Siegelman did not go to Washington empty-handed. He is trying to get documents to several key Congressional committees, including the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform.

The documents focus heavily on reported campaign-funding irregularities in the 2002 gubernatorial race between Siegelman and Republican Bob Riley. That topic has grown hotter with recent revelations from former Riley cabinet member Bill Johnson that the campaign received millions of dollars from Mississippi Choctaw gambling interests, who were represented by disgraced GOP lobbyists Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon.

Siegelman and his team have prepared a packet of information for U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which includes a subcommittee on oversight and investigations.

Why have President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder taken no substantive action on Siegelman's case or the overall issue of Bush-era political prosecutions? That question continues to bother Siegelman:

While there have been revelations of gross government misconduct in my case, DOJ seems invested in the current outcome. Professor Bennett Gershman, of Pace University School of Law, a preeminent scholar in the field of prosecutorial misconduct, said in a letter to AG Holder:

". . . I have never encountered another prosecution in which it appears so clearly that the prosecutors were zealously bent on pursuing an individual, rather than on a crime. . . . As an example of bad-faith prosecution, the Siegelman case may be without parallel. There is no better example of the corrosive effect on the reputation of the Department of Justice . . . than the prosecution of Don Siegelman."

I can't figure out why OUR president has left Rove prosecutors in place to keep making our fight harder. I understood when I was fighting Bush and Rove . . . but, why now? This has never happened in the history of American politics.

Does Siegelman have a legitimate gripe? This post from today's Raw Story indicates the answer is yes.

Still, Siegelman sees encouraging signs. In late September, U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) called on Holder to appoint a "fresh set of eyes" to review the case. Says Siegelman:

We will win in the end because we are right on the law. Ninety-one former state attorneys general pointed out to the United States Supreme Court the danger to our democracy if the ruling is not reversed.


Anonymous said...

It is shocking to me that our American population has not awakened to the fact, that, the United States federal government is not democratic. It wasn't republican either. "There's not a dime's worth of difference" and, perhaps, this can - finally - be settled with the OUR president cycle.

Banksters run America and their thugs handle the dissenters. Their court system is the way in which the class needed by those who have the gold and make up the rules (lawyer class) control the word armies which just about no one speaks fluently ("law"), other than their attorneys licensed with their bars. And the schooling is also THEIRS' - "THEM" as George W. Bush reminds us of who and whom to fear. Terrorists alright, red and blue.

File a complaint. This is what every American must do who has been harmed and has the capacity to read, write and grow the courage to understand we are not dumb animals.

The U.S. District Court of Alabama's Local Rules and also, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Alabama.

LegalSchnauzer, you are more than scholarly to take on this feat and role model.

A class action without all the bells and whistles perhaps, a mass demonstration Gandhi style non-violent, paper lawyer IT, the corrupt system from within.

What would the caption be? Civil rights, no doubt about it -- thinking how to and then the filing which is expensive. No PACER means a longer fashion to be in the system and lawyers pay for this annual service.

Problems to solve? Yes, but not insurmountable.

How to join Don Siegelman in his case not by letter writing alone - plus countless forms to voice our righteous rage at the abomination of his/our persecution - and other forms of majority outcry, but action/s.

What would the caption read, and where would it be filed by the people of Alabama? Both in the courts there as well as DC?

I don't know because I'm off to study my legal demands in Oregon, via a civil rights attorney who has provided the beginner steps "how to."

Because we can.

best, Biloxi

Anonymous said...

I am sickened to see that the current Presidential Administration cares no more about ensuring that justice be done in the Siegelman can, than did the last. What happened to the system of checks and balances we were taught in grammar school civic classes?!!! While our President is concerned that the Gitmo Bay terrorists receive justice, he seems to have forgotten to apply that same equation to the thugs that used their political weight to destroy justice for Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.