Set your TiVos, VCRs, or eyeballs to see follow-up coverage of the Siegelman case on “60 Minutes” (CBS, tonight at 6:00 CDT) and “Verdict with Dan Abrams” (MSNBC, tomorrow night at 8:00 CDT).
I don’t subscribe to the theory that former Gov. Don Siegelman was as pure as a newly-shorn lamb. (After all, what successful politician is? Even the best of them are forced into compromises and alliances that make the idealist in me scream “foul!”) But there is much about this case that stinks to high heaven, and as I’ve said here many times before, the Bush administration has only itself to blame when the Justice Department comes under suspicion of political prosecution.
From the 11th Circuit Court ruling that ordered Siegelman’s release pending appeal:
“After thorough review of this complex and protracted record, we conclude Siegelman has satisfied the criteria set out in the statute, and has specifically met his burden of showing that his appeal raises substantial questions of law or fact [emphasis mine],” the judges wrote.
In the interest of justice, those questions must be addressed. (Yeah, even justice for Richard Scrushy, who is not a favorite of mine. IMO, the prosecution was smart to try Siegelman and Scrushy together; public anger over Scrushy’s HealthSouth acquittal almost certainly fueled a “get him any way we can” feeling.) In the interest of restoring confidence in our justice system, Congress must continue to investigate the apparent subversion of the Bush Justice Department.
If you want to keep Congress focused on this investigation, contact House Judiciary Committee Chair John Conyers and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick Leahy. Send your feedback to “60 Minutes”. And if you’d like to contribute to Gov. Siegelman’s defense fund, use this address:
Siegelman Legal Defense Fund
P.O. Box 430116
Birmingham, AL 35243