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Congress Moves Forward on Siegelman

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Today the machinery of justice in America strains under a heavy hand of misdirection coming out of Washington. And now Congress has decided to take up one of the most shameful among many acts of injustice that the Bush Administration has committed. The House Judiciary Committee has demanded that the Department of Justice surrender documents connected with the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.

[House Committee Chair] Conyers, D-Mich., said in a press release that the committee is “exploring claims that (Siegelman’s) recent conviction, among others, may have been a part of a pattern of selective, political prosecutions by a number of U.S. Attorneys across the country.”
Here’s some detail from Chairman Conyers’s actual letter to Alberto Gonzales, for further clarification:

Allegations that even one of the nation’s 93 U.S. Attorneys is improperly prosecuting or failing to prosecute Democratic officials based on their political affiliation have the potential to taint and undermine the legitimacy of our entire criminal justice system. In fact, the perception that U.S. Attorney’s offices are improperly exercising their prosecutorial powers in a partisan manner is already leading to an increase of motions in court by defense counsel. The Los Angeles Times recently reported that several defense attorneys are citing the allegations of selective prosecution as evidence that federal prosecutors are bringing criminal charges based upon improper political motives. These defense attorneys allege that prosecutors consider a target’s political affiliations when deciding whether or not to issue indictments.

In order to assure the public that everyone, no matter their political affiliation, is treated equally under the law, we are initially requesting documents relating to the Department’s handling of three cases, and in particular any memoranda, analysis, or other communications discussing whether and to what extent criminal charges should be and were pursued against the individuals listed below.

The strange steps taken against the man who was once Karl Rove’s nemesis and the most popular Democrat in Alabama will figure dead-center in the investigation. The Department of Justice has been directed to turn over documents related to the prosecution.

At the same time, a good deal more information has become available to us establishing gross irregularities in the prosecution and trial of Don Siegelman. More on this shortly. In the meantime: truth is on the march.

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