Friday, June 01, 2007

Prosecution of Alabama Governor Work of Rove?

When the U.S. Attorney purge story began to clarify a couple months ago, one of the most chilling observations was that the real problem with the firings of nine fair-minded attorneys so they could be replaced by cronies, was the implication that among the other 84 USAs not fired, a lot of dirty deeds were being done at the behest of the White House.

Well, Alabama's former governor is in jail and a Republican whistle blower has fingered Karl Rove.

From Time Magazine:
At the moment, [Alabama's] former Democratic governor, Don Siegelman, stands convicted of bribery and conspiracy charges and faces a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. Siegelman has long claimed that his prosecution was driven by politically motivated, Republican-appointed U.S. attorneys.

Now Karl Rove, the President's top political strategist, has been implicated in the controversy. A longtime Republican lawyer in Alabama swears she heard a top G.O.P. operative in the state say that Rove "had spoken with the Department of Justice" about "pursuing" Siegelman, with help from two of Alabama's U.S. attorneys.

The allegation was made by Dana Jill Simpson, a lifelong Republican and lawyer who practices in Alabama. She made the charges in a May 21 affidavit, obtained by TIME, in which she describes a conference call on November 18, 2002, which involved a group of senior aides to Bob Riley, who had just narrowly defeated Siegelman in a bitterly contested election for governor. Though Republican Riley, a former Congressman, initially found himself behind by several thousand votes, he had pulled ahead at the last minute when disputed ballots were tallied in his favor. After the abrupt vote turnaround, Siegelman sought a recount. The Simpson affidavit says the conference call focused on how the Riley campaign could get Siegelman to withdraw his challenge.

According to Simpson's statement, William Canary, a senior G.O.P. political operative and Riley adviser who was on the conference call, said "not to worry about Don Siegelman" because "'his girls' would take care of" the governor. Canary then made clear that "his girls" was a reference to his wife, Leura Canary, the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, and Alice Martin, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.

There's so much corruption going on here, that it's difficult to boil it down to a simple narrative for mass consumption. If Rove had an affair with an intern, we'd be golden.

Rove has troubles on another front today--or, like so many of these scandals, maybe it's connected. His former executive assistant Susan Ralston asked for immunity before giving testimony to Henry Waxman's House Oversight Committee on contacts between The White House and disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Waxman said he's in no rush and he'd get back to her.

By the way something, White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett resigned today, effective July 4. Adios, Dan. Effective July 4 though? What's that about? Shouldn't that be effective July 3? Is he going in on the 4th? Are they having a cookout? Is Bush grilling up some brats?

Furthermore, Bartlett's not the only Republican on the way out.

VIDEO: A couple weeks ago, Keith Olbermann covered Karl Rove's role in Gonzogate.

(Part 2)

Crossposted at IST.

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