Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Report that judge forced Senate candidate Doug Jones off Siegelman defense is wildly deceptive -- portraying Jones as a hero, when he was anything but that


Doug Jones and Don Siegelman (with daughter Dana
and wife Lori)
(By Amy E. Voigt)
A federal judge forced Doug Jones off the Don Siegelman defense team, according to an al.com report yesterday that is misleading and deceptive (at best), knowingly false (at worst).

The article, by Amy Yurkanin, is at odds with Jones' own testimony before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee in 2007. Is the al.com article just a case of shoddy reporting? Or is it a plant by Jones' right-wing supporters -- including Karl Rove, Bob and Rob Riley, and Bill Canary -- to soothe progressives' concerns about Jones' deplorable treatment of Siegelman?

My guess is it's the latter. And it might be driven by a new poll that shows Roy Moore leading Jones by five points in the U.S. Senate special election in Alabama -- to be decided on Dec. 12. Despite numerous reports about Moore and sex-related misconduct involving teen-aged girls, Jones appears to be losing. Did that drive Jones' right-wing supporters to plant the al.com story in an attempt to appeal to Siegelman voters, who probably are less than thrilled with Jones? The answer probably is yes, and they likely are the same right-wing thugs who caused Siegelman to be prosecuted and sent to prison in the first place.

As we've reported here numerous times, Jones charged Siegelman $300,000 for a criminal defense, did almost nothing on the matter, and then bailed out. We've seen no sign that Jones ever returned the money he was paid, for services he did not render. That's about as classless a move as one can imagine in the attorney-client arena -- and quite a few progressives now might be wondering what that says about Jones' integrity.

The al.com piece appears to be a deliberate attempt to obscure what really happened with Jones' "representation" of Siegelman. From the Yurkanin article:

A federal judge ordered Jones off the Siegelman case because of his involvement in related cases during his time as U.S. attorney. Even though he did not represent Siegelman in 2007, Jones still spoke out against his conviction at the (Judiciary Committee) hearing about selective prosecution.

Is the reporter here poorly informed, or is she deliberately misleading her audience? My guess is the latter.

As any informed Alabama citizen knows, there were two Siegelman trials. One in the Northern District of Alabama (Birmingham), involved Dr. Phillip Bobo and allegations of Medicaid rigging. The prosecution dropped the charges after U.S. Judge U.W. Clemon made a number of evidentiary rulings that essentially gutted their case. The second case, in the Middle District of Alabama (Montgomery), primarily involved allegations of bribery -- with both Siegelman and co-defendant Richard Scrushy being convicted, in what generally is considered the most outrageous political prosecution in U.S. history.

The Birmingham case is the one where the court did force Jones off the Siegelman defense team. From Jones' testimony before the House Judiciary Committee:

Other than an initial contact with the Government to make sure that they were not going to seek arrest and perp walk the Governor, I had nothing to do with the defense of the Birmingham case. The Government made it clear from the outset that they were going to seek to have me recused because of my involvement in allowing the case to go forward against Dr. Bobo when I was U. S. Attorney. While I disagreed with that position, the Court ultimately held that I was precluded from representing the Governor in that particular matter.

OK, this establishes that the court blocked Jones from participating in the Birmingham case. But the al.com piece never mentions the first case. It mentions only the Montgomery case -- the one where Siegelman was convicted -- and gives the clear impression that a judge forced Jones off that matter. That is absolutely false, as Jones' own words before the Judiciary Committee make clear:

Because of a trial conflict in the spring of 2006, and the Governor’s insistence on a speedy trial before June 2006 primary, I had no real choice but to withdraw as lead counsel. However, facing incredible challenges in sifting through mountains of discovery in a short period of time, Gov. Siegelman was the beneficiary of exceptional legal talent lead by attorneys Vince Kilborn, David McDonald and Redding Pitt. But at the end of the day, despite acquittals on an overwhelming number of the charges, matters involving Mr. Scrushy and one obstruction of justice count did stick, and Gov. Siegelman was convicted. As you are aware, following sentencing, an appeal bond was denied and he was shackled and taken into custody from the courtroom.

From reading the al.com article, one could almost see Jones as a hero in the Siegelman case -- the guy who could have saved the governor, if only a judge hadn't forced him off the case. That, however, is pure rubbish. Jones left the Montgomery case of his own accord, because of his own conflict, and we've seen zero evidence that he even had the decency to return Siegelman's $300,000 -- a sum Jones almost certainly did not earn.

An enterprising reporter should ask Jones to provide his time-keeping information on the Montgomery case, to prove how much time he spent on the case and what hourly rate he charged. Jones' likely response? Loud shuffling of feet.

My guess is the Jones campaign is catching heat from progressives for his deplorable treatment of Siegelman. Opposition researcher, whistle blower, and retired attorney Jill Simpson has been ripping Jones to shreds on Facebook as a two-timing, back-stabbing, opportunist, whose loyalty (if elected) would be to the right-wing Alabama Gang headed by Bob Riley. Simpson's reports are both insightful and on target, and it appears true Alabama Democrats are beginning to realize she is right -- that Doug Jones is a fraud, with a history of stabbing Siegelman, Milton McGregor, Ronnie Gilley, and others right between the shoulder blades.

From our chair, the al.com article looks like a right-wing plant job, designed to portray Doug Jones as a hero in the Siegelman case -- when, in fact, Jones played a significant role in ensuring the former governor would be convicted.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's becoming more and more clear that Doug Jones is a worm.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly the kind of journalism you can expect from al.com. This was planted by white conservative elites to prop up their preferred candidate.

Anonymous said...

They almost got away with this scam because the story can be read as a conservative newspaper slamming Jones for standing up for Don Siegelman. In reality, Jones didn't stand up for Siegelman at all. He got booted off one case and removed himself from the other.

Anonymous said...

Congrats, Schnauzer. Most important story of the day in Alabama, maybe nationally.

Anonymous said...

@9:09-

So now, we have a choice between a worm and child molester. Great.

Anonymous said...

@9:09 . . .
You are insulting worms. A worm wouldn't have stabbed Don Siegelman in the back. Jones is more like Michael Myers, the guy with the hockey mask and a big knife.

Anonymous said...

The worm is losing to the child molester. That's why Rob Riley and his gang got this story planted at al.com.

Anonymous said...

Note to Doug Jones and Rob Riley:

Don Siegelman supporters aren't stupid. We know what you did to the governor, and we know you are despicable pieces of human excrement. You will never get our support because you proved a long time ago you don't deserve it. Enjoy it while you lose to child molester Roy Moore.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the Jones camp is getting desperate.

Anonymous said...

How absurd is this? The Jones/Riley/Rove camp now is trying to take advantage of the Siegelman fiasco, which they created. Bastards.

Anonymous said...

When Jill Simpson speaketh, the people should listeneth. Jill knoweth her stuff.

Anonymous said...

The al.com story obviously was taken straight from Doug Jones' 2007 testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. So why did the reporter skip over the part where Jones himself says he was court-blocked on Siegelman case No. 1, but he removed himself from Siegelman case No. 2. It's all right there, in the same document.

legalschnauzer said...

@11:08 --

You are a keen observer. That the reporter skipped over the stuff about Siegelman Case #1 is a sure sign the story is a plant. Here is another clue: Notice that the photo is credited to Amy E. Voigt. Does that name ring any bells, raise any questions? I will explain shortly.

Anonymous said...

Three latest polls have Moore leading Jones by 5 to 7 points. Jones is losing to a child molester. What an embarrassment? Imagine how big Moore's lead would be if he weren't a child molester?


http://www.alreporter.com/2017/11/29/moore-five-seven-point-leads-three-newest-polls/

Anonymous said...

Many Alabamians have forgotten, but Doug Jones ran before for Senate, and he flopped right out of the gate. Jones proved then he was a lousy candidate, and he hasn't improved in the intervening years.

legalschnauzer said...

Here is the hint re: photographer Amy E. Voigt. She now is a photojournalist with the Toledo Blade, but her resume shows she never worked for The Bham News. She did work for the now-defunct Birmingham Post-Herald, which probably explains how she took the Doug Jones/Don Siegelman photo. But how did the Bham News get it? Perhaps the News took over the Post-Herald's "morgue" (story and photo library) when the P-H went under. But as an 11-year former employee of the P-H, I think that is unlikely. That material belonged to the P-H, and I'm not sure it would turn it over to the News -- plus, I doubt the News would want it. I think someone gave this photo to al.com, and it came from someone's personal collection. In other words, it was part of planting the story. Also notice that the photo credit just gives Ms. Voigt's name; it does not mention that she worked for the Bham Post-Herald. Hmmmm.


http://www.amyevoigt.com/

e. a. f. said...

If one candidate, Moore, is being cast as unsavoury character who as an adult male in his 30s sexually assaulted teen age girls and the other candidate has ethical challenges just who do people in Alabama vote for? Why could the Dems not find a half decent candidate, at the rate the information is coming out about the two candidates, gee a plain old decent bank robber would be preferable.

one wonders if there is any campaign to have a write in candidate besides Jeff Sessions?

It is such a disappointment that a country such as the U.S.A. can only find two totally unsuitable candidates to run in an important election.

Canada has had some ethically challenged candidates for office, but there has always been a candidate in the running who wasn't a total creep. We however usually have 4 candidates running, which includes a Green Party member. Perhaps its time the USA gave serious thought to a 3rd or even 4th party.

legalschnauzer said...

e.a.f. --

Great points and questions. I can't answer all your questions, but I do have an idea about why Dems can't come up with a candidate better than Doug Jones. I believe that is the fallout of the Siegelman case. If that fiasco taught any lesson, it is this: If you are a successful Democrat in Alabama, you will be subject to false charges, a bogus prosecution, an unsupported conviction, and years behind bars. More importantly, perhaps, your financial supporters will be subject to the same thing. And the USDOJ, under a Repug or a Dem president, will do nothing about it. Bottom line: You run for office as a Democrat in Alabama, and you prove you can beat Republicans, you run the risk of having your life ruined. Most sane people would stay out of Dem politics in that reason, and that is exactly what has happened. The longer Jeff Sessions stays as AG, the worse that threat gets because he was a major architect of political prosecutions in Alabama. He might have come up with the idea of targeting Democrats for political reasons.

The only Dem who has the guts to run is Doug Jones -- and he has no guts at all because he's part of the Rove/Riley/Canary gang, and he helped make the Siegelman prosecution happen. He's in bed with the thugs, so he's safe.

Anonymous said...

What is your take on this Lee Busby write in candidate for senate?

legalschnauzer said...

@7:20 --

I don't know anything about Busby, other than he's a retired Marine colonel? (Did I even get that right?) People tend to believe a military guy makes a great leader. Well, I currently live in Missouri where the new governor, Eric Greitens, is a former Navy SEAL, and he won the governor's race almost totally on that one attribute. So far, I've seen no signs that he is, or will be, an effective governor. I don't look for him to accomplish a thing that will move Missouri forward.

If I lived in Alabama and could vote, I would stay home on Dec. 12. No way in hell I would vote for Roy Moore or Doug Jones. And my impression is that Busby is just another doctrinaire conservative, who offers nothing new. Between now and Dec. 12, I would read up on Busby -- and if I find out he has some real heft to him, other than his military credentials -- I might consider voting for him. But the other two, have long been off my table. I would come closer to voting for Roy Moore than Doug Jones -- and that tells you how little I think of Jones. In my view, Jones is an evil bastard, and Moore is just screwed up beyond comprehension. He was a horrible chief justice, and the notion of him as U.S. senator is laughable.

What about you? What do you make of Busby? Are you planning to vote for him?

e.a.f. said...

Thank you for the response. I would suggest the best thing the Dems could do then in Alabama is take an unknown young person, with some real smarts, and very little "history" and build a campaign around them. it can work. In B.C. a young lawyer, who represented the disenfranchised, on all levels, ran against the Premier in her home riding and won, while her party romped to victory on the provincial level. today his party, N.D.P., is the government in B.C. and he is the A.G. The worst they were ever able to say about him was he represented the poor, the homeless, the mentally ill, etc.

Sometimes candidates with "too" much background, on their c.v.s make too much of a target for the opposition. They're too tied to all sorts of business and political groups.

As to having military commanders as politicians, never a great idea in a democracy. They're too much ingrained in the top down process.

B.C. was able to move on from its "most corrupt" title in Canadian politics and it is hoped Alabama can do the same some day. It is possible. Quebec did it also.