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OCTOBER 12 2007

1. In Her Own Words: Jill Simpson Interview Excerpts
2. Attacking Jill Simpson
3. Lawyer had link to Siegelman before affidavit
4. Accounts in Siegelman Case subject to dispute
5. More Siegelman Updates
6. The Rovian Touch
7. * Roll Call: It’s About Time Congress Reasserts Its Oversight
Authority
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In her own words: Jill Simpson Interview
Excerpts
July 6 interview with reporter Brett J. Blackledge

Brett Blackledge, of the Birmingham News, is one of the several
reporters who pursued Siegelman's case aggressively while
smoothing over any criminal acts or corrupt allegations concerning
Republicans. He interviews Simpson about her affidavit.

Audio Clips are
<first audio clip>
<second audio clip>
<third audio clip>

<link to original post>

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Attacking Jill Simpson
Legal Schnauzer

....Gotcha! the News seems to be saying. But wait. Several
paragraphs later we learn this:

"Simpson testified that she asked Aaron to help her write her
affidavit. He gave her a draft that she didn't like, she said, so she sat
down with her secretary to write her own."

Let's repeat, according to the News itself, "she sat down . . . to write
her own." In other words, she did it herself, just like she said all along.

<link to source>

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Lawyer had link to Siegelman before affidavit
by Mary Orndorff and Brett Blackledge of Birmingham News

Simpson says she got help drafting affidavit

A Republican lawyer who earlier said she wrote her own sworn
statement suggesting White House influence in former Gov. Don
Siegelman's prosecution testified last month that she received help
from Siegelman supporters, and helped provide research for defense
lawyers.

Simpson's interaction behind the scenes with those she identified in
her testimony suggest she's part of a political assault rather than a
whistle-blower, said Rob Riley, son of Gov. Bob Riley, who is
referenced repeatedly in Simpson's testimony.

<link to source>

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Accounts in Siegelman case subject of
dispute
Brett Blackledge of Birmingham News

.... A Rainsville lawyer's congressional testimony last month conflicted
with her earlier descriptions of a November 2002 conference call - a
phone conversation that Democrats cited as key evidence justifying a
congressional hearing into former Gov. Don Siegelman's prosecution.

<link to source>
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More Siegelman Updates
Scott Horton of Harper's

Also, after Hillman left Public Integrity, his successor told one of the
lawyers handling the case that the Siegelman case was extremely hot
and that key decisions relating to it were being taken way over his
head, among the senior most level of political appointees at the
Department. So even as Hillman was a principal conduit for Rove’s
manipulation of the case, he was certainly not the only Justice politico
who had a hand in the Siegelman case.

<link to source>
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Justice: The Rovian Touch
by Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Satyam Khanna,
Matt Corley, Ali Frick, and Jeremy Richmond  of The Progress Report

PART OF A PATTERN: Siegelman's prosecution fits a pattern of
politicization of the Justice Department under Gonzales and Rove.
Gonzales pushed for the firings of at least nine U.S. attorneys for
alleged "performance based" issues. But as Congress investigated
the firings, it was revealed that several of the attorneys were fired for
not prosecuting Democrats prior to major elections. Rove may have
orchestrated the firings, by helping draw up the list of attorneys to be
fired. Siegelman's "irregular" prosecution adds more weight to
allegations that the White House and Justice Department "selectively
prosecuted Democrats." "The extraordinary sensitivity of these cases
-- and their ability to change the political balance of power in the
country -- makes it critical that prosecutors be nonpolitical and above
reproach. In the current Justice Department, they have not been,"
wrote the New York Times about the Siegelman case.

<link to source>
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It’s About Time Congress Reasserts Its
Oversight Authority
By Norman Ornstein of the Roll Call Staff


…………….The relentless and politically timed prosecution of
Siegelman has raised eyebrows since it was undertaken, but the
story in Time shows another, more disturbing side–that politically
connected officials from the U.S. attorney’s office and the Justice
Department, many with direct ties to Pryor and Sessions, ignored
direct evidence of wrongdoing connected to those two and never
followed up on the allegations. If they did not do so because of the
lack of Lanny Young’s credibility as a witness, why did he have great
credibility with his allegations against Siegelman?

The scandal cries out for an independent investigation from
someone with the strongest reputation and integrity. The idea that
prosecutors will prosecute or fail to prosecute selectively based on
partisan or personal considerations is absolute anathema in a fair
system of justice with the rule of law. It appears that the prosecutors
in this case who had worked with or for Sessions or Pryor, or had
family and business dealings with them, did not recuse themselves
from these cases and did not pursue them. On the face of it, this
raises huge questions and makes it clear yet again that the core of
the U.S. attorney scandal is not just the federal prosecutors who
were fired or targeted for dismissal, but those who were not targeted
because they did the bidding of their political superiors at the Justice
Department.

This rancid mess needs to be investigated thoroughly, starting with
Alabama. I understand that the House and Senate Judiciary
committees have their plates full with many priorities and also
pressure to look ahead, not just back to a prior scandal under a now-
departed attorney general. But the committees have to get to the
bottom of this one. The Senate has another duty–confirming a new
attorney general–that it can use to help the cause. The scandal cries
out for an independent investigation from someone with the strongest
reputation and integrity. An ironclad commitment to do so from
Michael Mukasey should be a prerequisite for his confirmation

<link to source>
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Transcript from the
Dana Jill Simpson
Sworn Testimony
before Congress

.......
<link to PDF>.......


Summary of her
congressional
testimony
<go>
photo: US Gov
Noel Hillman
photo: White House web site
White House in Spring
Conservative Think Tank
asks Congress to step up to
the task of oversight.

…………….The relentless and
politically timed prosecution of
Siegelman has raised
eyebrows since it was
undertaken, but the story in
Time shows another, more
disturbing side...

<link to source>
The  PROGRESS REPORT calls for
prosecutors who are non-political
and above reproach.
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