Sign-Up for Newsletter!
Most Popular This Week
- Members of Congress Declare "Immunity" from Insider Trading Probe
- Hillary Clinton Goes to Bat for GMOs at Biotech Conference
- Afraid to Stoke Populist Ire, Obama Abandons 'Inequality' Rhetoric
- Supreme Court's Women in Scathing Dissent on Contraception Ruling
- NSA 'Bombshell': Agency Spied on Prominent American Citizens
- Hillary Clinton Goes to Bat for GMOs at Biotech Conference
- Kneeling in Fenway Park to the Gods of War
- Orwell’s Dystopian Future Is Almost Here: A Conversation With Glenn Greenwald
- Climate Justice Movement: Moment Is Now to 'Change Everything'
- Revealed: 'Collect It All' NSA Targets Those Seeking Web Privacy
Today's Top News
Interview With Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman
I interviewed former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman for an hour yesterday in the second hour of my radio program on Air America. These are blockbuster allegations of election fraud against Rove and the Bush Justice Department that go way beyond what he said on CBS's "60 Minutes" last month. Click here for the audio.
* * *
Thom Hartmann: Joe Wilson, the husband of Valerie Plame, the former US ambassador once issued, once laid out a sentiment that I think many of us share: "At the end of the day, it's of keen interest to me to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs. And trust me, when I use that name, I measure my words." 1In other words, he knew something was up. He knew something was up. And the evidence is mounting. Don Siegelman is with us. Donald Eugene Siegelman, he was the only person in the history of Alabama to be elected to serve in all four of Alabama's top state wide elected offices; Secretary of State, Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor and Governor. And Don Siegelman, welcome to the program.
Don Siegelman: I'm glad to be with you, Thom, thank you.
Thom Hartmann: Thank you, governor. You, first of all I want to say, you're one of my political heroes. You ran a campaign in which from, looking at it from the outside it, it looked to me like the election was stolen from you, you pushed back afterwards, you carried on a good fight, the Karl Rove machine came after you and you continued to stand up and I just, we have been talking about you on this show for months and months and I am just frankly honored to have you with us.
Don Siegelman: Well, thank you. And I want to say, I want to say thank you both to you and your listeners, because I think many of them have taken action, have called or emailed or written to John Conyers.
Thom Hartmann: Yes.
Don Siegelman: And other members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees and those actions by those people who listen to the show have (1) I think had an impact on, directly on my case, but more importantly has inspired the Inspector General of the Department of Justice and Chairman Conyers to dig in and to look for the truth, and my, I believe, as we heard on your show just a minute ago, all roads lead to Rove.
Thom Hartmann: Yes.
Don Siegelman: And when they dig up the evidence that was buried when Alberto Gonzales and Rove left the White House, they're going to find evidence of abuse of power and misuse of the Department of Justice, using it as a political tool to win elections, subverting our democracy and they're going to find that, I believe, that Karl Rove provided an umbrella of protection over those people who were operating to abuse the Department of Justice and because it just doesn't make sense why these people would violate the law with impunity unless they knew that their bosses or someone higher up had given the green light for them to do so.
Thom Hartmann: Right. They knew that their backside was covered, and when this whole 'who's being fired in the Justice Department among the prosecutors' scandal broke, my comment was, 'I'm not so concerned about the guys who got fired because they wouldn't get along and go along; I'm concerned about the ones who are staying in power'. And, in fact, if I understand this correctly, you were being prosecuted by a woman whose husband was the campaign manager for the Republican who ran against you for governor and in the middle of the night in one county because of a voting machine malfunction after the election had apparently already been called in your favor, suddenly in the middle of the night when there were nobody expect Republicans standing around, they discovered a couple thousand more votes and said 'Oh, yeah, no no, Don Siegelman actually lost'. Do I have that right?
Don Siegelman: You have it right. They electronically shifted votes from my column to my Republican's column.
Thom Hartmann: To Bob Riley's column.
Don Siegelman: I believe, yes, to Bob Riley's column. And oddly enough, it didn't effect a single down-ballot race. They took five thousand or six thousand votes of mine and shifted it over to Bob Riley and when they counted everybody else's votes, the shift at the top which logically would have made a difference at the bottom...
Thom Hartmann: Sure.
Don Siegelman: You know, had no impact whatsoever.
Thom Hartmann: So the people running for the lesser state offices, the folks who voted Democratic right down the ticket all of a sudden at the very top of the ticket were 'Oh, I'm going to vote for every Democrat except Don Siegelman, I'll put that over to Riley ' and only in this one area in this one county on this one set of machines that was discovered in the middle of the night. by the Republicans.
Don Siegelman: Yes, a couple of other interesting things, Thom, since you brought this up, but the two people who either were given credit or who gave themselves credit for stealing the election and swinging the election to my Republican opponent for catching this 'electronic glitch' as they called it, one was Karl Rove's partner, business partner, her name was Kitty McCullough also known as Kelly, oh gosh, I can't remember what her second name was but she had a different married name.
Thom Hartmann: But she's the one who discovered the extra votes that caused you to lose and caused Bob Riley to won, OK.
Don Siegelman: And the other person was a guy named Dan Gans who right after that went to work for an Abramoff/Tom Delay related company, a group called the Alexander Strategies Group. And he claimed credit on his web site that he was responsible for this, because he had an expertese in electronic ballot security.
Thom Hartmann: Yeah. Yeah, right.
Don Siegelman: But Rove's fingerprints are, from start to finish are on this case. You mentioned the fact that the prosecutor, the US attorney who began the federal investigation, and whose office prosecuted my case, was the wife of my opponent's campaign manager. But Bill Canary was also Andrew Card's assistant. He worked for the NRC and he was the field co-ordinator for the Bush-Quayle campaign of '92. He was also, has been a 25 year associate with Karl Rove and they have been partners in political activities. They ran Bush 2's '92 campaign.
Thom Hartmann: So this is Bill Canary, the guy who ran Bob Riley's campaign, the Republican who ran against you, who only won because they found these electronic votes in the middle of the night, and he is this old time Republican operative, a long time partner with George W Bush, and his wife, Leura Canary, was the federal prosecutor who was not fired in this thing but instead was retained, and she was the one who prosecuted you or initiated it.
Don Siegelman: But she was the one, that we forced her recusal because of the obvious conflicts of interest, but when we requested copies of her recusal papers the Department of Justice has failed and refused to turn those over those over. There's some 500, over 500 pages of documents that the Department of Justice still to this day has refused to turn over either to us or to the House Judiciary Committee.
Thom Hartmann: Wow.
Don Siegelman: You have to wonder what's in those documents if they are refusing to turn them over.
Thom Hartmann: Well, and then there's the perhaps even much larger issue, and that is that Karl Rove apparently learned the lessons of Watergate. That is to say, Rosemary Woods and her 18 minute gap wasn't quite enough and so they've nuked 5 million emails now. They actually took the machines down and had the hard drives crushed.
Don Siegelman: Yeah, you know, I always say that he learned two lessons. He worked under Don Segretti and Rove has been given credit for a lot of the dirty tricks even going back to the, you know, '72 campaign but I think he learned two things: one, that you don't have to create a secret plumbers unit, you know, to investigate and to cause trouble for your opponents if you can appoint US attorneys and have the Department of Justice do it for you. And then the second thing, just like you mentioned, that he learned is that you don't leave tapes around; you destroy evidence, and that's exactly what has been done.
Thom Hartmann: Right. Now, in our conversation you have suggested that the original election that you lost to Bob Riley by a few thousand votes in the middle of the night may have been stolen. That is a part of the story that has been treated as if it was radioactive by the corporate press. It has, to the best of my knowledge, I have never heard that in any of the official corporate news reports. Have you asserted that before, have you been saying this all along, or is this...
Don Siegelman: Well yes, we have been saying it, we have been saying it since the night of the election. I mean, we won the election, the votes were counted and were declared and then in one county which is controlled by Republicans the, after midnight when everybody went home, when the poll workers were sent home, when the media was gone, they decided to electronically recount these votes and shifted the votes and certified the vote illegally the next day. The, interestingly, Karl Rove's client sepped in, the attorney general stepped in and said, 'if anybody tries to hand count these votes we're going to put them in jail'. We initially had a green light from the local Republicans in this one area that we could come in and hand count these ballots where the electronic shift occurred.
Thom Hartmann: But then the Republican, the Attorney general said no. Sir, can you stick around over the break and we'll continue this conversation?
Don Siegelman: Sure will, thank you.
Thom Hartmann: Great. We're talking with Don Siegelman, the former governor of Alabama, former Secretary of State, Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor as well of Alabama, about his prosecution and how this all played out and how Karl Rove may have been, in all probably certainly involved in this. 16 minutes past the hour.
Thom Hartmann: 21 minutes past the hour. Thom Hartmann here with you. Don Siegelman, the governor, former governor of Alabama is on the line with us. His web site, by the way ... donsiegelman.org. I just updated the link on our home page to it. So if you go to thomhartmann.com you can click right straight into it if you don't remember it, although it shouldn't be all that hard to remember. Don Siegelman 'i' before 'e' you know, except after 'c' or whatever. Don Siegelman, welcome back to the show.
Don Siegelman: Oh, thank you. We were talking before the break about the election being stolen in 2002.
Thom Hartmann: Yes sir.
Thom Hartmann: Yes.
Don Siegelman: There are two articles in there, one by Larisa Alexandrova who writes for Raw Story and a professor from Auburn University both of which point to the, actually go into the fact that it's a mathematical impossibility for the election not to have been stolen.
Thom Hartmann: Right, and Larisa has been on this show a number of times, she's a friend, and Mark Crispin Miller is a dear old friend who actually has wwritten a foreword to one of my books and we've discussed that book and that case with him, so my listeners are quite familiar with that, but it certainly bears re-mentioning, absolutely.
Don Siegelman: And one other point, we talked about the recount that we had requested, we wanted to hand count the votes, but it was stopped by Karl Rove's client who was then the Attorney General, but also it should be noted that it was Karl Rove's client, then Attorney General, who began the state investigation just a few days after I did a fly around with Al Gore being the first Democrat, first governor to endorse Al Gore in his election back in '99.
Thom Hartmann: Hmmm. So, I mean this sounds, I mean this just stinks to high heaven. Just this huge, well not huge, but very clear Republican conspiracy to rig an election. Everybody, all the Republicans are always talking about election, about voter fraud, you know, 'holy cow, we can't have people without ID!' You know, like my mother, who's pushing 80 and doesn't have a driver's license. She can't vote now, with this court decision yesterday.
Don Siegelman: Right.
Thom Hartmann: 'That's voter fraud"' But actually what we're, you know, the real problem we have in America in my opinion is election fraud and you were a victim of it. I'm wondering, the mainstream corporate media and I suppose, you know, we're, you know, hopefully we're part of that in some small way. I mean, we've got 3 million listeners, run some very, very large radio stations all around the country, right now people listening to you from all over the country, but when you go on MSNBC or CBS or something like that, do they simply edit that part out when you talk about it, do they not ask you about it, do they say don't talk about it? I mean, how, why was that never the part of those kinds of stories in that media?
Don Siegelman: Well, I really believe that people just don't want to believe bad things really do happen in America. You know, we want to believe that decisions to go to war are made on what's, you know, is our best national interest, or we want to believe that our justice system works fairly and even handedly, that innocent people don't get indicted. We want to believe that our elections, as opposed to the elections of other countries, are conducted fairly and honestly. But, you know, when we take a close look at what is going on, we find that maybe things are awry.
Thom Hartmann: Yeah.
Don Siegelman: And I think that we had, you know, Karl Rove has been up to no good for his entire, well maybe not his entire life, but since he was a teenager anyway.
Thom Hartmann: So throughout his entire political career.
Don Siegelman: And you know, I think that it is his attitude that you gain and retain power by any means necessary and I think he has carried it to this extreme that we are beginning to see uncovered by courageous congressman like John Conyers and Republicans like Arlen Specter who's spoken out on this case. And Grant Woods, a Republican, a former Republican Attorney General, and Jill Simpson who's a Republican lawyer whistleblower from Alabama. This case would not have been exposed if it had not been for the heroic actions of Republicans coming forward saying 'hey, something's wrong here. This is America. We can't let this go on'.
Thom Hartmann: Now, when you were convicted of appointing a guy to a hospital commission who had already been there in the past, a guy who had given money to your campaign, not your campaign but to a campaign to have a lottery to help education in your state, all of which is just normal political stuff. I mean, if this is what politicians are convicted for, there's not a politician in America who's safe. When you were convicted of this they immediately took you to prison. They did not allow you to have a press conference. They did not allow you to post bail, do I have that right?
Don Siegelman: Well, not only that, but now what I have been told by the 11th circuit that I'm "free on bond".
Thom Hartmann: Right.
Don Siegelman: I have to give 30 days notice to a different state, like if I want to go to New Orleans to visit a journalist, I have to give 30 days written notice before they will even consider my travel request. And you talk about a chilling effect on freedom of speech. Once you're out on bond you ought to be able, unless you're a flight risk, it seems to me you ought to be able to speak to the media, raise money for your legal defense, or petition Congress for a redressal of grievances without having to give 30 days notice to a judge to get his approval for you to speak.
Thom Hartmann: This is horrific. Governor Siegelman, any chance you could stick around for just a few minutes longer?
Don Siegelman: Oh sure, I'd be happy to.
Thom Hartmann: Great, we have about a 5 minute break here at the bottom of the hour and we'll pick up the conversation. I still have a couple more questions for you. Don Siegelman, former governor of Alabama.
Thom Hartmann: 34 minutes past the hour. Thom Hartmann radio programme, live coast to coast on Air America Radio. And our guest, Governor Don Siegelman, the former governor of Alabama, in fact the only person in the history of that state to have served all four top state wide elected offices, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor and Governor. Certainly knows the state, knows politics, knows what of he speaks web site ... donsiegelman.org and Governor Siegelman, first of all, welcome back.
Don Siegelman: Well, thank you I'm excited to be on. I'm just excited that somebody else other than me is interested in what's been going on in Alabama. And it has been so uplifting. When I was in prison with no bail in Louisiana, my spirits were uplifted by my friends and the letters and prayers that they sent. It was uplifted by John Conyers and what he was doing and my own Congressman Artur Davis, but especially uplifted when the national media started spotlighting the injustices beginning with Karl Rove but, you know, but also focussing on Jack Abramoff and what, you know, Abramoff was, I think, Rove's bag man. You know, they were bringing truckloads of casino cash into Alabama according to the McCain report, at least one statement in there indicates that as much as 13 million dollars in Indian casino money came into Alabama to begin to defeat me in 1998 and then to defeat the lottery in '99 and then to defeat me again and help elect Rove's friend and Bill Canary's friend and client Bob Riley in 2002. It's, you know, that's another story.
I think one of the people who emerged as a hero in this story of all roads leading to Rove is Henry Waxman because he is following the money, following Abramoff, and if you look at where that money went, a lot of it came into Alabama. Tom Delay's money came through Alabama as well. And his close relationship with Rove and the fact that they were pumping millions of dollars into Alabama to defeat me beginning in 1998 when Ralph Reed coordinating the Christian Coalition using casino money. And it's also interesting that there has been no federal investigation of Ralph Reed's involvement, of Grover Norquist's involvement and the fact that they were used as conduits by Rove and Abramoff for trying to destroy me.
And something I will never forgive them for is denying our children a chance to go to college for free. Because I think we would have won that educational lottery election in 1999 if it had not been for the millions of dollars that they pumped in here.
Thom Hartmann: So, would it be safe to say that you're of the opinion that when they stole the election from you in the middle of the night, switching electronic votes in 2002, that one major part of their motivation was to hide their own crimes that had to do with basically money laundering and electioneering that was, if not illegal, at least...
Don Siegelman: It was not, it was not, it's not questionably not illegal, it was definitely money laundering, it was definitely illegal, it was illegal under Alabama law, it was illegal under federal law. And the hypocrisy of the president of the National Christian Coalition in Alabama for three elections using casino money to defeat me, who was a proponent of a lottery for goodnes sakes, for education, is in and of itself cause to, for a congressional hearing to be called to investigate that. And I think Henry Waxman is on the trail to something and I want to encourage those of you who are out in California to give him a pat on the back and encourage him to stay on the trail until he finds stuff that will lead to Rove.
Thom Hartmann: Well, we are live right at this moment on at least a half a dozen stations in California including Los Angeles and San Francisco, some of the major populations centers, so I would encourage all of my listeners, to all of our listeners, to go to callcongress.org, you'll find a complete list of 800 numbers you can use to call and ask for your member of the House of Representatives and your two senators and also Henry Waxman's office. You just dial the 800 number and that will get you to the switchboard, and just say 'hey, let me talk to Henry Waxman's office; I'd like to say something'. And say, governor, exactly what should people say to their elected representatives?
Don Siegelman: Well, one for Henry Waxman, then again, but Henry Waxman and John Conyers, to say, you want to say thank you, Arlen Specter, to say thank you, but also to encourage then to stay in the arena and keep fighting for the truth, That we, you know, the American people, no matter how ugly the truth might be, we deserve to know what it is.
Thom Hartmann: Now...
Don Siegelman: And that that goes for the war in Iraq, it goes for stealing elections, it goes for the abuse of the Department of Justice and, you know, other things that get under our skins. But you know, right now we're talking about digging up the evidence that was buried when Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzales rushed out of the White House and the Department of Justice.
Thom Hartmann: And destroyed 5 million emails on the way out. One of the questions that our chat room has just, we run a live chat room during the show, and there's just everybody saying, 'how can I help Don Siegelman?' My perhaps too glib answer but I suspect it's right, is go to donsiegelman.org. You, I'm assuming, have some sort of a legal defense fund there.
Don Siegelman: I have a very deficient legal defense fund and I would certainly appreciate any contribution that anyone would be willing to make. It's been a very expensive and costly ordeal for me and my family and, you know, we're not whining. If serving 9 months in prison and spending every dollar I've got will lead to Karl Rove's, the exposure of Karl Rove's involvement, it will be worth every day in prison and every penny I've spent.
Thom Hartmann: Well, it's not even the personal thing about Karl Rove. We're seeing the breach of the constitution.
Don Siegelman: It is. He has subverted our constitutional rights and certainly subverted my constitutional rights too, my 5th, my right to a fair trial and, but it's not just me. This is, and you know, we're not, this is, we've spent a good part of this conversation talking about my case, but there are other cases around the country. This is not about me. It's about America and what Karl Rove has done here will make Watergate look like child's play.
Thom Hartmann: Yeah.
Don Siegelman: And we just simply have to, and this is again, it's not a Democratic or Republican thing. It's, Republicans are also aware and concerned and are fighting for the truth here.
Thom Hartmann: Are there other cases that you have first hand knowledge of, Governor Siegelman?
Don Siegelman: Well, I'm just talking about the ones that we've read about in the news. No, I don't have any new revelations, but certainly it appears that Karl Rove has had a hand in other cases.
Thom Hartmann: Right.
Don Siegelman: And we just, Congress needs to keep pursuing it, Henry Waxman needs to be encouraged. Arlen Specter needs to be encouraged. Congressman Conyers need to be thanked and they all need to be encouraged to stay in the arena and keep fighting for the truth.
Thom Hartmann: What, you're an attorney, and you understand the constitution of the United States, and you're a governor, a former prosecutor, former state attorney general, I respect your legal opinion. If George W Bush, on the way out of office, pardons Karl Rove for all crimes past, present or future, whatever. You know, world without end, amen. In much the same way that Reagan did with a number of people. That Gerry Ford did for that matter with Richard Nixon. And the next administration, Bill Clinton basically, when he came into power, he said 'ah, you know, we're not going to continue prosecuting the Iran Contra stuff, we're going to look forward'. I think that those were huge mistakes.
Don Siegelman: Well, I agree with you.
Thom Hartmann: How do we get around that? How do we either (a) prevent Bush from pardoning Rove and all these other folks, all these folks who are involved in these crimes, or (b), if he does pardon them, what legal recourse is there, or even just intellectual recourse, just exposing their crimes even if we can't prosecute them? What can the American people do? What can Congress do?
Don Siegelman: Well, he can't pardon himself. So that's the good news. And...
Thom Hartmann: You think this goes all the way to Bush?
Don Siegelman: I'm talking about Bush, yes. One can infer from that an attempt to obstruct justice. And I think that that would be a huge mistake on his part, politically, legally and otherwise. There have been presidents who have been impeached after they left office.
Thom Hartmann: Does this, in your opinion, does this crime go all the way to the White House, to George W Bush himself?
Don Siegelman: Well, we don't know yet where it goes, and that's why I think when I said we need to encourage Congress and also members of the Senate, courageous Senators like Arlen Specter who's been speaking up on this to dig for the truth. We're entitled to know what the truth is regardless of how bad or ugly it might appear or how it may make our system of justice look. We need to know who was behind this so they can be punished, so they can be held accountable so that we can make a clear and unequivocal statement that this is not going to be tolerated any more. And that's why coming back to what you sad about President Clinton making, you know, saying that we're not going to pursue that I think was a mistake.
Thom Hartmann: Yeah.
Don Siegelman: Because it would have sent a strong message.
Thom Hartmann: Governor, we're talking with Governor Don Siegelman, If you're up for it, I'd like, if you can stick around for just another break I'd like you to recap what's happened in your case, is that, are you available to do that?
Don Siegelman: I will be here when you get back.
Thom Hartmann: Great. OK. 45 minutes past the hour. It's the Thom Hartmann Radio Program, live coast to coast, here on Air America Radio.
Thom Hartmann: Nine and a half minutes before the hour. Thom Hartmann here with you on Air America Radio, and we're talking with Don Siegelman, the former governor of Alabama. Arguably, if the election hadn't been stolen from him, currently the governor, right? Governor Siegelman, this, you know, one of the time lines that are out there suggest that this started in 1994 when Karl Rove was hired by the Business Council of Alabama to work with Bill Canary whose wife initiated the prosecution against you, as a federal prosecutor, but you suggested that around that time or perhaps even before. We have about five, six, six and a half minutes I think left in this segment. I'd like to as much as possible just turn it over to you. I want to point out to our listeners donsiegelman.org is Don Siegelman's web site, there's a link to it off our home page, thomhartmann.com, there'll be a link to it off the homepage at airamerica.com. We will put as much of the audio from this interview up there as we can so that people can hear it. And in fact the entire interview of course will be available on our podcast, and those kinds of things.
But if you could just recap for us what happened and what you consider really the important points, the things you want people to be telling their friends and neighbors about. And also, we're, you know, I mentioned we're on the air in all these California state. We're also on the air on WDTW in Detroit which is John Conyers' home district, this moment, live. What specific action would you like people to take, and where do we go from here? It's all yours.
Don Siegelman: Well, Thom, first of all, I want to thank you and the sponsors of your program for helping to air this story because, you know, when they, when I was convicted, they didn't waste any time when they sentenced me; they put me in shackles and handcuffs and put me in the basement of the courthouse and then took me to a maximum security prison and put me in isolation there. And then I was, went to four other states. They took me from Atlanta to New York to Michigan to Oklahoma City and then finally to Oakdale, Louisiana which is not near any major media outlets. Nor would they allow any interviews. Even 60 Minutes they turned, was not allowed to come in and do the interview with me. So it's been helpful to have had you as an advocate for justice on Air America. It's a pleasure to be with you today. But see, I guess there's, I mentioned before the break that the restrictions on my travel are so severe that it I think clearly infringes upon my first amendment right to speak, my ability to petition Congress or to raise money for my legal defense. I have to request 30 days in advance before I travel to another state like Louisiana. You know, these kinds of restrictions are so cotraining.
Thom Hartmann: Sounds like the Soviet Union.
Don Siegelman: It makes it virtually impossible for me to go anywhere.
Thom Hartmann: Yeah, so you couldn't go to Washington DC to petition Congress, you couldn't go and speak at a fundraiser as Karl Rove can do right now. This is horrible.
Don Siegelman: Not without giving notice and not without getting approval, and in some cases as I mentioned it may take well more than 30 days. It's just been, most of us don't organize our schedules that far in advance and I think this whole thing is geared toward shutting me down again, trying to prevent me from speaking, trying to prevent me from raising money, trying to prevent me from going to Congress. And I think that's the game plan. You know, they let the circuit let me out, but you know, we're not going to let him speak. We're not going to let him get out and talk about this. And so again, I appreciate you letting me be on your show today.
Thom Hartmann: Well, let's just recap what happened, sir.
Don Siegelman: Well, I think some of the high points are that Karl Rove and I had a run in in 1994 when he was trying to steal his first election in Alabama for the Alabama Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Then in 1999 his, right after my election as governor, Roves' client then Attorney General, began a federal, a state investigation. And then in 2001 Rove's business partner, business associate, political partner, Bill Canary's wife who had been approved by Bush, George W, as a US Attorney, began the federal investigation. When that investigation started to slow down, the person, the career prosecutor who was head of the criminal division didn't think that there was a case worthy of pursuing against me. So they took him off the case and put Karl Rove's client's campaign manager's wife in that slot and she then began to move the case forward. The first false indictment came upon the false testimony by a former FBI agent that was just a flat lie to the grand jury in the Northern District. The presiding judge of that district heard the case for about a day and a half and told the government, moved to dismiss all the charges with prejudice. That case was brought by Alice Martin who was also a cohort of Bill Canary's and a close friend of Karl Rove's.
When that case failed, Noel Hillman, who was head of the Department of Public Integrity, called the prosecutors to Washington and said, told them to go back and look at everything in the Siegelman case again. So then they brought new charges against me shortly after I announced I was running for re-election, then brought me to trial one month before the Democratic Primary, 2006.
You know the story about the judge and the jury and the shackling and all that, so there's no point...
Thom Hartmann: Yeah, and of the theft of the election. The discovery of all these votes electronically in the middle of the night, when everybody had gone home except the Republicans, that gave Bob Riley the governorship.
Don Siegelman: Yeah, and we had won the election. We had a tough election. because it was right after 9/11.
Thom Hartmann: Right.
Don Siegelman: Bush, President Bush came into the state a couple of times. ? his ? came in, we had the Secretary, we had a bunch of foks from Washington coming in and campaigning.
Thom Hartmann: Sir, we're just flat out of time, I'm sorry.
Don Siegelman: So, I want to thank you so much, Thom.
Thom Hartmann: Thank you, Don Siegelman, donsiegelman.org is his web site, check it out. Help out. Thank you so much.
1 Joe Wilson at a forum about intelligence failures on Iraq held by Rep. Jay Inslee, August 21, 2003.
Transcribed by Sue Nethercott.
Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People: A Call To Take Back America," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class and What We Can Do About It," and "Cracking The Code: The Art and Science of Political Persuasion."