Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Watch List: NR on Siegelman

National Review has an editorial on presidential and congressional relations which also provides the following commentary on former Alabama governor Don Siegelman of our Pardon Watch List. Says NR:

... Conyers’s inquiry into the prosecution of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman, a Democrat, is based solely on the testimony of one Dana Jill Simpson, an Alabama GOP campaign volunteer. Siegelman was convicted on seven counts of bribery and mail fraud and is out on bail appealing his conviction. He claims to be the victim of a politically motivated prosecution spearheaded by Rove — and Simpson’s stories seem to back him up.

The problem is that Simpson’s stories are pure hearsay, they keep changing, and no one has ever corroborated them. She testified to Conyers in a private interview (which he subsequently released) that she once overheard some people talking about how Rove was plotting to sic federal prosecutors on Siegelman. Nowhere in her testimony did she mention meeting or talking to Rove. A few months later, however, she told a 60 Minutes reporter that Rove personally asked her to follow Siegelman and try to catch him having an affair.

Rove denies all of this, and Conyers’s inquiry into the matter appears to be nothing more than a partisan fishing expedition. Conyers wants to get Rove in front of his committee any way he can, so he can ask Rove all sorts of questions under oath and try to catch him in a perjury trap. Rove is fighting the subpoena on the grounds that Congress has no legitimate interest in the Siegelman case and can’t compel his testimony ...

See complete NR article here.

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