Scott Horton, legal-affairs contributor for Harper's magazine, made the revelation in a speech last week to the Rotary Club of New York and the American Constitution Society.
Horton says that one Justice Department whistleblower--Tamarah Grimes, of Montgomery--had come forward about misconduct in the Siegelman prosecution and wound up losing her job. A second, unnamed whistleblower fears a similar fate, or worse, if he comes forward.
Horton says he has interviewed both prosecution insiders, and they corroborate statements by key witness Nick Bailey that he was heavily coached and threatened with being outed as a homosexual. Says Horton:
As I note, two members of the prosecution team were appalled by the misconduct that drove the case against Siegelman. One of them filed internal complaints inside the Justice Department. The result? Her name is Tamara Grimes. She was persecuted, hounded, and finally dismissed from her position--in direct violation of the federal whistleblower protection statute.
And what about the second member of the team?
(He) tells me he will not step forward because he knows he would face the same fate. He even indicated the fear of a mob type--"you don't understand, these people would kill me if they have to to keep the lid on this." And Main Justice? "They’d be happy to learn that I was dead."
Horton goes on to summarize the Justice Department's disgraceful handling of the Siegelman case:
So today, even though the Siegelman case has been torn to shreds in the public and 104 state attorneys general, led by Graham Wood, the national co-chair of the McCain for President campaign, have formally complained about the Justice Department’s gross and abusive handling the case, the Justice Department admits no wrong. It's even issued a series of brazenly false public statements in an attempt to cover its tracks.
The Siegelman prosecution hardly is an isolated instance of abuse. Horton discusses other justice-related matters, and the full speech can be viewed below:
Scott Horton Speech