Stephen Feaga, a former federal prosecutor who now is listed by the Alabama State Bar as working for the Alabama Securities Commission, made a number of dubious statements in an op-ed piece for the Montgomery Advertiser, dated December 24, 2015, and titled "Siegelman column riddled with inaccuracies."
Feaga was responding to a December 18 Josh Moon piece titled "End the embarrassment and pardon Don Siegelman."
It's little wonder the Moon piece caused consternation for Feaga. Moon might be the first mainstream Alabama journalist to look critically at the prosecution's handling of the Siegelman case. Moon might be the first member of the state's MSM (mainstream media) to question the prosecution's version of the facts--and Judge Mark Fuller's application of the law. Moon probably is the first Alabama MSMer to flatly state that Siegelman--and by extension, codefendant Richard Scrushy--were guilty of no crimes.
Moon's column starts with forceful directness and never lets up; this is one columnist who is not into pulling punches:
It doesn't matter why Don Siegelman is in solitary confinement at a Louisiana federal prison.
It doesn't matter because Don Siegelman shouldn't be in prison at all.
Why this absolute travesty has been allowed to continue – and make no mistake, it is both Democrats and Republicans who have allowed it – is a mystery to me and to a number of attorneys and legal scholars from across the country.
It is an embarrassment to the justice system.
It is an embarrassment to the state.
And it should be an embarrassment to every citizen.
Feaga must have spewed Wheaties all over his breakfast nook when reading that. One can imagine him screaming: "We used to have damned reporters cowering in our corner. What in the hell happened?"
(From Montgomery Advertiser)
Why would Josh Moon reject the story Steve Feaga has been selling for almost a decade? There are plenty of reasons, but this might be the most important: In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Montgomery-based Justice Department whistleblower Tamarah Grimes outlined egregious misconduct by key members of the prosecution team--including U.S. Attorney Leura Canary, Acting U.S. Attorney Louis Franklin, and Feaga. From the Grimes letter to Holder:
Mr. Feaga instructed the investigators how to approach the cooperating witnesses on a particular subject and specified what he needed the witness to say in order to support his prosecutorial theory. For instance, Mr. Feaga would say, "See if you can get him to say it like this . . . , " "Ask him if he is comfortable saying it like this . . . ," or "I need him to say it like this . . . ." The investigators would return from meeting with the cooperating witnesses to report to Mr. Feaga, who would send the investigators back with new instructions.
The process became so absurd--and so blatantly unlawful--that some members of the prosecution could only joke about it. Writes Grimes:
I recall one of the investigators, FBI agent Keith Baker, commented on the conduct by saying, "There is truth, there are facts, and then there are "Feaga facts."
With his December 24 op-ed piece in the Montgomery Advertiser, we know that Steve Feaga still is pushing "Feaga facts." Instead of trying to shove "Feaga facts" down the throats of investigators who reported to him, Feaga now is pushing them on the public.
Should the public buy it? Absolutely not. And we will show you why in an upcoming post.
(To be continued)