Interviews Attorney of Alabama's Former, Now-Jailed, Democratic Governor, and a Former Republican Attorney General Who is Calling for a Special Prosecutor...
By Brad Friedman on 2/28/2008, 9:32pm PT  

MSNBC's Dan Abrams continued, for the third day in a row, on the Don Siegelman beat today. The former Democratic Alabama Governor, who still sits in jail pending an appeal for his non-violent crime, is alleged to have been railroaded by Karl Rove and political operatives in the state while running for re-election in 2006.

In 2002 he had won his election, according to the announced results on Election Night, only to wake up the next morning to find that a Republican election director claimed to have discovered a "glitch" (sound familiar, regular BRAD BLOG readers?) in the electronic vote counts overnight, resulting in Siegelman's loss. He was never allowed a recount after the vote tallies somehow changed on the electronic voting machines due to the "glitch," as it was described officially, by court probate officers.

In this rarely seen, 2004 video interview with Siegelman (see approx. half-way through that linked article), he alleges: "Somebody electronically manipulated the election results…This election was stolen…There is no other kind, or sugar-coated way to say it."

Neither the 60 Minutes report on Siegelman from Sunday, nor any of Abrams' reports so far this week (here's Tuesday's and Wednesday's) including today's, as posted at the end of this article, have yet delved, with any depth, into that aspect of what seems clearly to have been a well-run political frame-up --- or, yes, a conspiracy --- to do away with the one Democrat who had been able to win statewide elections in an otherwise very Republican-leaning state.

We hope to have more on that aspect of the case soon.

On today's MSNBC "Bush League Justice" report, Abrams spoke with both Siegelman's attorney, Vince Kilborn, as well as Grant Woods, the former Republican Attorney General from Arizona who has been among the most outspoken of the 52 former Republican and Democratic Attorneys General who have called on Congress for an investigation and a special prosecutor to be named in the case.

Abrams repeated his call, from yesterday, for the immediate release of Siegelman from prison, pending appeal of his case, as would be customary in other similar, non-violent cases. Abrams enumerated his chief concerns about the prosecution and the trial as run by federal judge Mark Fuller, as follows...

Excessive Sentence:
Siegelman was acquitted of 25 of 32 counts, yet he got seven years and four months. Much more than the norm.

Immediately Led Away in Shackles:
After the trial, the former Governor was manacled and taken to jail, like a violent offender. Didn't get the usual 45 days to report to prison that would be the norm.

No Bail Pending Appeal:
No bail was allowed, even though an appeal for the non-violent crime is pending.

Transcript Delay:
The appeal is delayed because the court has yet to produce a trial transcript even though the trial was held more than a year and a half ago.

Near the end of the interview with Woods, the former AZ Attorney General notes pointedly:

I hope everybody, Republican or Democrat, will just rally around the principle that we gotta do the right thing in this country, and not allow this thing to happen. So, if it did happen, it needs to be uncovered. If it didn't, then let's investigate it, and call it off.

The video of today's "Bush League Justice" segment on Siegelman, follows below...

(Hat-tip BRAD BLOG's video muckraker, and new best friend of Karl Rove, Alan Breslauer for the video.)

CORRECTION: We had originally described Grant Woods as the former Republican Attorney General from Alabama. He is, in fact, the former Republican Attorney General from Arizona. The BRAD BLOG regrets the error.

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