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Politics, life, and other things that matter

Siegelman and related cases of political prosecution/update2

Posted by Charles II on June 27, 2009

…were discussed on C-Span

The Flash version took several minutes to load at pretty good bandwidth. (Update2: Scott Horton as moderator. 1. Elliot Mincberg, 2. Andrew Kreig, 3. Judge U.W. Clemon, 4. Charles Walker, Jr., 5. Bruce Fein 6. Bill Yeomans 7. Cliff Arnebeck 8. Judge Oliver Diaz, introduced by Gail Sistrunk of Project Save Justice 9. Puerto Rico Sen. Eduardo Bhatia. Judge U. W. Clemon gave the stemwinder… at August in Alabama speed, that’s a notable achievement. He explained the early phases of the assault on Siegelman and how it made it clear that the prosecution was politics by other means. Sistrunk mentioned a video– see Larisa for clips or go here for The Political Prosecutions of Karl Rove– showing all the cases of political prosecution; she suggested looking at the Shields Report, which is in the Congressional Record. OPR has sat on reports for years. Diaz told the story of Paul Minor: Bronze Star, VN; largest MS donor to Democrats; 10th largest donor nationally to John Edwards. Bhatia said that hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans did not vote in Florida 2000 and 2004.)

C-Span did not make it easy to see this show and re-aired it without notice today. I hope they will air it again… you can encourage that with e-mail to viewer@c-span.org.

Scott Horton was one of the speakers (John Conyers was scheduled to keynote, but he seems to have fish of his own to fry, fish that have to do with nonpolitically-motivated prosecution). On Horton’s blog, No Comment, he has some interesting news about why Rick Renzi may escape conviction. From Murray Waas, The Hill:

In the fall of 2006, one day after the Justice Department granted permission to a U.S. attorney to place a wiretap on a Republican congressman suspected of corruption, existence of the investigation was leaked to the press — not only compromising the sensitive criminal probe but tipping the lawmaker off to the wiretap. Career federal law enforcement officials who worked directly on a probe of former Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) said they believe that word of the investigation was leaked by senior Bush Administration political appointees in the Justice Department in an improper and perhaps illegal effort to affect the outcome of an election.

Horton, quoting bits from Waas:

The newspaper [Arizona Republic] noted that “the federal official would not discuss whether the Justice Department was being manipulated for political purposes. However, the official said it is unusual for the department to publicly acknowledge concerns about the accuracy of media reports.” The unnamed Justice official seems to have been a very busy beaver. The Arizona Republic story notes that he had contacted two other newspapers to persuade them that their stories about Renzi were wrong….Waas notes that sources involved in the Justice Department’s internal probe of the U.S. attorneys firings, conducted jointly by the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Inspector General, concluded that the person must have been a political appointee. Their report casts suspicion directly on one individual: Brian Roehrkasse.

7 Responses to “Siegelman and related cases of political prosecution/update2”

  1. shrimplate said

    I’d hate to see Rienzi slip away unpunished, but there is rarely justice done these days.

  2. Charles II said

    The Bush-Rove White House, picking up where Ken Starr left off, destroyed our understanding of what justice is, shrimplate. People now accept the idea that selective prosecution of the opposition is just politics.

    What struck me was how so many of these cases relied on grinding people down financially and emotionally. In one case, they indicted a lawyer’s son to get him to abandon his client, which he alas did. In the case of Oliver Diaz, they indicted his wife specifically in order to threaten the Diaz family with depriving the children of both parents.

    The DoJ’s actions fit the precise definition of terrorism.

    • “In the case of Oliver Diaz, they indicted his wife specifically in order to threaten the Diaz family with depriving the children of both parents.”

      Sounds a lot like what was threatened against Julie Hiatt Steele.

  3. Charles II said

    Exactly, PW.

    Now, understand. These tactics are used against the poor all the time, and have been ever since who knows when. What Starr and then Rove changed was using these tactics against the middle class and even the upper class in political cases.

    The treatment of the poor is often the proverbial canary in the coal mine, warning us of what can happen to all of us. The Starr cases were a signal that the canary had died and that we were on the path to legal tyranny. Had the Republicans lost power in 2000, we might have staggered our way out of the coal mine long enough to buy another canary. As it is, it’s just been getting darker and smellier. I think it’s already too late, that committing crimes against the accused has become so widely accepted in the legal community that it can’t be rolled up. I hope I am wrong.

  4. MEC said

    I’m straying into tinfoil-hat territory, wondering whether Bush’s Department of “Just Us” bungled the cases against Republicans deliberately, to create grounds for successful appeal.

    • Charles II said

      Anything is possible, MEC, but if you were to listen to UW Clemon’s description of the handling of Siegelman’s case, you would have to admit that they bungled that even worse. They only got away with this because they had protection from the top and dishonest media and judges concealing just how pathetic their cases were.

      • MEC said

        There’s always “Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity.” The bungled cases were most likely the outcome of the Busheviks hiring for ideology rather than competence.

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