This is an important harrowing Alabama story with national repercussions, i.e. Karl Rove's sleazy fingerprints. I can't do any better than lift Mark Kleiman's column, based in large part on Scott Horton's analysis and the CBS '60 Minutes' piece aired last night. First, Kleiman begins,
Yes, Don Siegelman was railroaded into prison on trumped-up charges for political reasons.
Yes, the prosecutors broke lots of rules in the process.
The key witness in the case testified that Siegelman walked out of a meeting with his alleged bribor Scrushy with a six-figure check in his hand. Just one small problem: the check, which the prosecutors had, was dated several days after the meeting.
Yes, both U.S. Attorneys for Alabama and Karl Rove were part of the plot.
And yes, Democrats who voted to confirm Mukasey without even getting a promise for a speedy investigation of the case were played for suckers. The notion that DoJ should let an innocent man rot in prison while the appeals process works its slow way through the case was, and is, absurd. Justice delayed is justice denied.
This would be a good time to issue subpoenas for everyone mentioned in the CBS story and get them under oath before one of the Judiciary committees.
Fortunately, the statute of limitations on the crimes committed in the course of prosecuting this case -- in particular, obstruction of justice -- will not have run when the next President takes office. We may yet see Karl Rove behind bars.
Footnote. And that's one (more) good reason why John Edwards would be an appallingly bad choice for Attorney General. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of Republicans to be tried for crimes committed in connection with politics. We need an AG who looks like a prosecutor, not a partisan.
Second footnote. No one in Northern Alabama got to see this on television, because the Bass family -- friends of the Bushes -- own the local CBS affiliate and refused to run it.
Here is the '60 Minutes' expose if you live in Northern Alabama, and were blacked out, or otherwise missed it last night? It is hard to believe that such a travesty of justice happened even in Amerika. It just as hard to believe that Karl Rove is given a modicum of respect, by anyone in the political establishment, whatever their political leanings.
Most of the eye witness, first person account evidence against Rove was presented on '60 Minutes' by Republicans, including prosecutors who no longer in good conscience (yes, there are a few still) could stand by to see someone being frog-marched directly into prison, in such a patently 'unjust 'political persecution, spearheaded by 'Bush's brain' and his personal 'Political Affairs' confederate, Karl Rove.
When the sexual smear campaign ordered by Rove failed, the Alabama AG office decided to falsify bribery evidence after numerous prosecution attempts had been laughed out of court for being so flimsy. Wouldn't it be justice if Rove could be placed behind bars, some day when real change occurs in America? It would be no more than the justice he deserves, and the justice he denied Siegelman.
Update: Mark tells me that it is Scott Horton who is doing all the work on this, and should be given most of the credit, so I now have, and the original 'bribor' from Mark's post that I had changed to 'briber' was an in-joke.
Update: Scott Horton in his Tuesday Harper's column, 'Rove's Monday Whoppers',
Rove states that he's never met Jill Simpson, then he backtracks on that, owning up that, well, maybe he did. But "I never asked her to do a darn thing."
Jill Simpson has said the opposite, and she has given much of her account, naming him, under oath and subject to cross examination. My hunch is that Karl Rove will do anything to avoid speaking under oath. Time for a subpoena? Karl Rove has been in a lot of campaigns in Alabama, and sat in a lot of conference rooms in Montgomery and elsewhere strategizing about them. And indeed, there are quite a few people who were present at these meetings.
He has long been the master of "opposition research," who propels campaigns by smears and inuendo, with a real penchant for lurid sexual pieces.
The Dem's nominee, whoever it will be, has a great opportunity (the sooner the better for Siegelman) to raise the nation's public's awareness of the GOP 'poster boy' and this case. It will be very interesting to see how much McCain a past victim of Rove, tries to defend the traditional establishment of the GOP, which will no doubt rally around their boy 'genuis', Karl Rove.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!