Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

May 19, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

ROVE AND SIEGELMAN....Don Siegelman, the former Democratic governor of Alabama, thinks that Karl Rove was behind his politically motivated prosecution on tissue-thin charges of bribery and corruption. He's not afraid to say so, either:

The Star: Why do you believe Rove hasn't agreed to testify under oath?

Siegelman: He doesn't want to run the risk of lying under oath and being prosecuted for perjury.

You know, I think it's telling that he talks a good game. He wrote a, I think it was a five-page letter to [MSNBC anchor] Dan Abrams basically asking Dan Abrams questions about why he should testify under oath. When Conyers invited him to testify under oath, he's dodged that, he's skated, and I think it's clear he's got something to hide. Otherwise, there is no reason why he wouldn't testify under oath.

Rove has plenty of connections to Alabama, so it's certainly plausible that he was involved in this episode. On the other hand, Joe Wilson was famously hopeful that Rove would be frog-marched into prison over the Valerie Plame affair, and Rove slid out from under that without working up a sweat. I'll keep hoping, but I guess I'll be surprised if anything Rove-worthy comes out of this either.

Via ThinkProgress.

Kevin Drum 1:23 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (29)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Hopefully the Democrats as as anxious to investigate Republican malfeasance after the November elections. It would certainly show that they actually care about the results more than the pageantry. And it would definitely get around any presidential pardons.

Posted by: Everyman on May 19, 2008 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: Not having followed this case myself, why do you believe Siegelman's conviction is bogus?

Posted by: Shelby on May 19, 2008 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Remember this...

In 1986, just before a crucial debate in campaign(TX gov), Rove claimed that his office had been bugged by Democrats. The police and FBI investigated and discovered that the bug's battery was so small that it needed to be changed every few hours, and the investigation was dropped. Critics suspected Rove had bugged his own office to garner sympathy votes in the close governor's race.

He gets away with everything. But I bet he comes up short sooner or later...

Posted by: elmo on May 19, 2008 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

John Conyer's threats about Rove last week may have been completely justified, but until he actually does something, it's the same as all the other outraged sputtering and spineless bluster that the congressional Dems have been spouting since the '06 elections. All talk and no action.

Posted by: bluestatedon on May 19, 2008 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

An argument disputing the evidence for Karl Rove's involvement can be found at A Conspiracy So Lunatic... Only 60 Minutes could fall for it.

Posted by: David on May 19, 2008 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure having to go back to Fitzgerald multiple times with hat in hand qualifies as without-breaking-a-sweat.

Posted by: paperpusher on May 19, 2008 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

An argument disputing the evidence for Karl Rove's involvement can be found at....

Yeah, the problem with that "argument" is it doesn't take into account the material evidence supporting Simpsons's story.

Simpson also responded to accusations from the Alabama Republican Party that Simpson had never worked for the party and no one had ever heard of her. She said that phone records would show conversations with party officials in Alabama and Washington, D.C. in 2002 and 2006.

During a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Don Siegelman case in October, Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL) produced phone records showing that Simpson had spoken with William Canary, a Republican operative, on the day in 2002 that she said Canary had told her on a conference call that his wife and another U.S. attorney would "take care" of Siegelman.

Oh well, another Powerline attempt at creating a fictional narrative and character assassination to protect Republicans down the tubes.

Posted by: trex on May 19, 2008 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Wilson was famously hopeful that Rove would be frog-marched into prison over the Valerie Plame affair, and Rove slid out from under that without working up a sweat.

Uh, well, when you have a stooge who's willing to lie under oath and take the fall - knowing that a full Presidential pardon awaits - it's pretty fucking easy to stay cool.

Posted by: scarshapedstar on May 19, 2008 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Paul Castellano was slippery for a long time also.......

Posted by: steve duncan on May 19, 2008 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Say, do you think Karl was involved in the decision to delete all his emails? Oh... that information would have been in his email account. I guess we'll never find out. Gosh, he's slippery!

He's about as subtle as Al Capone.

Posted by: scarshapedstar on May 19, 2008 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

As long as Rove can't go into court on this issue, he can be slimed as well. If he wants to charge libel, then he has to go into court and risk perjuring himself. So at least we get to see his reputation dragged through the Rovian slime.

Posted by: AC on May 19, 2008 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

So long as there is a Mark of Rove, so long will there be no fingerprints.

Either multiple witnesses would have to turn against him, or ironclad documentary evidence of guilt would have to be produced for Rove not to slither out of the bear trap once again. It's a skill he has and has honed over many years. Not an admirable skill (and certainly not an admirable man), but a skill nonetheless.

Posted by: AB on May 19, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

I have to agree with the comment above. Rove was brought before the grand jury multiple times because they enjoyed his company. Rove barely escaped Scooter's fate, and was undoubtedly sweating it out.

Posted by: Jim on May 19, 2008 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Everyman writes:
Hopefully the Democrats as as anxious to investigate Republican malfeasance after the November elections.

I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you. The famous Obama Unity Pony (TM) won't be looking for anything that might disrupt the big national Kumbaya that all of his supporters are planning.

Posted by: Everywoman on May 19, 2008 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Otherwise, there is no reason why [Rove] wouldn't testify under oath.

Sure there is: the Bush administration believes it has a patriotic duty to tell Congress to fuck off at every available opportunity. Nothing short of a judicial subpoena will get Rove to talk on the record about this, and it's possible even then that they'd try to cover everything under "executive privilege". It doesn't matter whether or not he did anything - his hands could be spotless but the unitary executive fan club would still tell him to shut up just out of principle. To do anything else would be to admit that Congress has oversight authority.

The famous Obama Unity Pony (TM) won't be looking for anything that might disrupt the big national Kumbaya that all of his supporters are planning.

It's not like Clinton has been a tireless foe of government corruption and executive branch secrecy. In fact, based on those metrics she's arguably the least appealing of the three remaining major-party candidates, and Obama, if not perfect, is at least an improvement over what we usually end up with.

Not having followed this case myself, why do you believe Siegelman's conviction is bogus?

Speaking for myself, everything Scott Horton has written on the subject is absolutely damning. You don't need to assume any vast Rove-orchestrated conspiracy to recognize that the facts of the case stink. It's pretty well established that the supposed crime was something that's usually ignored, and the prosecution failed to demonstrate motive. If they hadn't landed a very friendly Republican judge, Siegelman probably would have avoided trial altogether.

Posted by: Nat on May 19, 2008 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Scott Horton is a true american hero. His in depth discovery of the facts concerning Rove are on point. We can't allow this guy to get away with this. I found a site with more info about what Scott Horton has found, go to www.donsiegelman.com

Posted by: Harry Hippie on May 19, 2008 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Scott Horton is a true american hero. His in depth discovery of the facts concerning Rove are on point. We can't allow this guy to get away with this. I found a site with more info about what Scott Horton has found, go to www.donsiegelman.com

Posted by: Harry Hippie on May 19, 2008 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Wait. Wait. Wait. Until Bush absquatulates and cannot pardon Rove.

Posted by: degustibus on May 19, 2008 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Whether Rove is indicted or not, Democrats certainly have an incentive to investigate the Siegelman case once in office. It knocked a Democratic governor out of office. Rove aside, it was clearly a multiyear operation ultimately directed by the Justice Department.

I don't have a great deal of faith that the Democrats will go after the crimes of the Republicans in a broad way, but it's in their own interest to go after the U.S. Attorney's scandal, vote suppression and manipulation, etc. Remember, many Republican appointees in the Justice Department will need to be cleared out, and this is one way to do so. It would be worse than a crime not to do so; it would be a mistake.

There are quite solid indications that the 2002 elections in Georgia were stolen through vote manipulation. The Democrats would be stupid not to go after Republicans on these matters, especially in their base in the South--especially after what happened in the recent Mississippi election. And let's not forget Florida in 2000 or Ohio in 2004, etc.

This can be done under the rubric of cleaning up elections, reforming the media, passing public funding of elections. Now is the time to do it, and Obama certainly has the motive to reform the media. This isn't about backward-looking retibution, this is about power in the future. The Democrats might not take advantage of this opening, but they would be stupid not to do so.
And there certainly needs to be a push-back on the Supreme Court's recent endosment of voter ID laws.

Putting Republicans on the defensive as being subverters of democracy and the voters' will should pay off in passing legislation, even though there will be cries of persecution from republicans.

Posted by: John Raymond on May 19, 2008 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

Don't anyone hold your breath waiting for any investigations under a Democratic administration. Until 20 January, 2009, GWB can issue pardons for any crimes committed by Rove or anyone else.
The only way to prevent that would be for the House to institute an impeachment investigation and close that loophole; the Constitution specifically states that the presidential power to issue pardons is inapplicable in cases of impeachment.
The present House leadership, apparently frightened to death of accusations of "partisanship" by the MSM, has decided not to uphold their oaths of office to "defend the Constitution". I have little hope the next administration will have either the will or the means (remember those last-minute pardons?) to investigate these activities of the present administration.

Posted by: Doug on May 19, 2008 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

This can be done under the rubric of cleaning up elections, reforming the media, passing public funding of elections. Now is the time to do it, and Obama certainly has the motive to reform the media

So fat Obama has been smart enough to say nothing about reforming the media. The networks will crucify him the moment he should open pandora's box. Cf. the Dean scream; Banfield, Ashley.

Posted by: Xenos on May 19, 2008 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

Obama certainly has the motive to reform the media.

Right-wingers want to criminally prosecute the New York Times for revealing the NSA's warrantless wiretapping. Brent Bozell's million monkeys and their million typewriters are bulk-mailing obscenity complaints to the FCC. The administration distributes propaganda disguised as news reports. The message here: don't let the government do a goddamn thing to the media, because the lying psychopaths will twist power to their advantage. Anything else gives the bastards veto power over the 1st Amendment. Fortunately, I think Obama has more sense than this, being a part-time constitutional law professor.

The networks will crucify him the moment he should open pandora's box.

So will the ACLU, I suspect. As they should.

Posted by: Nat on May 19, 2008 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

You give up far too easily, Kevin Drum. Rove needs to be pursued legally until he is in his grave. I contributed $500 to MoveOn's campaign to prosecute Rove. Liberals would have never achieved any victory over the past 100 years if they were all as wishy-washy as you.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on May 19, 2008 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

Karl Rove’s guilt may not have been proved in the legal sense, but it certainly has in the scientific sense. Thesis: when Karl Rove is involved in an election, nasty unethical and often illegal things happen. When you run an experiment twenty or more times and get the same result, it is pretty damning evidence.

Posted by: fafner1 on May 19, 2008 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

I devoutly hope that Rove is not charged with anything until Bush leaves the White House. Then, assuming Obama wins the election and is able to inject some steel into Congress's infamously flexible spine, Rove et al can be investigated and prosecuted by both the Congress and the Justice Dept. without let or hindrance from the GOP.

Posted by: Helena Montana on May 20, 2008 at 3:42 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, what I said was that I would like to see Rove frog marched out of the White House in handcuffs.
I said nothing about being marched to prison, which is a function of our judicial system. Rove had a good lawyer. That said, I suspect that five appearances before a Grand Jury might well constitute a sweat.
I didn't see a lot of others standing up against this thug. Some whiners, yes.
By the way we still have a civil action against him, Cheney, Armitage and Libby. For updates you can go to www.wilsonsupport.org. Oral arguments were held before the U.S. Court of Appeals on May 9.

Posted by: Joe Wilson on May 20, 2008 at 6:54 AM | PERMALINK

Good luck with that to you and yours, Joe. People forget, particularly the news media which views him as some sort of oracle, that Rove was essentially put in charge of Bush's 2nd term, and we all know how that has turned out. He's done nothing right since November 2004, except for saving his own skin before the grand jury. Consequently, I am rooting for him to stay out of jail, so he can continue to advise Republicans. He had a few good years, taking advantage of the frivolity of 2000 and the immediate aftermath of 9-11, but his time has long passed.

Posted by: John Dillinger on May 20, 2008 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

Rove escaped the Plame affair because a friendly journalist at Time magazine told his lawyer that Matt Cooper had disclosed that he had talked to him about Valerie Plame. A fact Rove had failed to mention to the Grand Jury. Also, he was not the main actor in that scheme. VP Cheney was really the source of the push to slime Joe Wilson using his wife.

Posted by: Hebisner on May 20, 2008 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Great post! I want to see a follow up to this topic?

-Yours truly
Lidia
afflict insurance

Posted by: iga insurance on November 13, 2010 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK
Post a comment









Remember personal info?










 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly