Thursday :: Mar 27, 2008

Siegelman to be released, pending appeal!

by Turkana

From CNN:

A federal appeals court Thursday ordered former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman released from prison on bond pending his appeal, saying he is not a flight risk and has shown his appeal will raise "substantial questions of law or fact."

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made the ruling on the same day a House Judiciary Committee spokesman said the committee would ask that Siegelman be briefly released from prison in Louisiana so he can testify in its inquiry into selective prosecutions.

"It's been a lot of work," said Hiram Eastland of Greenwood, Mississippi, lead counsel for Siegelman. "This is really huge, and we're gratified."

As Scott Horton explains:

Meanwhile in Washington, the House Judiciary Committee made clear that it was far from finished with its probe into allegations of prosecutorial misconduct in the Siegelman case.

Committee investigators express concern about the Justice Department’s continuous obstruction of efforts to investigate political influence in the Siegelman case and a group of others in which prosecutors have adopted unprecedented theories in an effort to take down prominent Democrats. In the Siegelman case, Justice Department officials have refused to provide evidence under oath, claiming privilege, they have answered written queries with misleading and openly false statements, and they have refused to turn over documents requested by the Committee. Attorney General Mukasey has been repeatedly asked by members of both the House and the Senate Judiciary Committee to examine the extraordinary evidence of misconduct by the U.S. Attorney’s offices in Montgomery and Birmingham, and he has declined to do so. The Justice Department’s stonewalling has thus been complete, top to bottom, and in view of the Justice Department’s refusal to engage in basic self-policing, Congressional oversight is urgently needed. The Judiciary Committee has now concluded that it has no alternative but to require that Siegelman appear before it. The Judiciary Committee has received tens of thousands of appeals from citizens around the country demanding that it take action to hold the Justice Department to account for its misconduct–much of this occurring after CBS News’s 60 Minutes and MSNBC’s Dan Abrams ran a series of exposes revealing extremely troubling misconduct in the course of the prosecution.

As my Docudharma colleague OPOL wrote, not two weeks ago:

All roads lead to Rove. That was the message scrawled as an afterthought in the lower left-hand corner of the envelope I received in yesterday's mail. It contained a letter from an old and dear friend of mine. His name is Don Siegelman. He is the former governor of Alabama and he is being held as a political prisoner of the Bush administration in a Federal prison in Louisiana.

Go read OPOL's personal account, and see scans of Siegelman's notes. This story is only going to get bigger.

Turkana :: 4:31 PM :: Comments (9) :: Digg It!