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Examining Political Corruption with David Fiderer, Part Two

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Welcome back for the second half of my interview with David Fiderer. In the first segment, we were discussing the Siegelman case.Where does Republican operative and whistleblower Dana Jill Simpson fit in here? And why has Rove become so enraged* about her?

That's the bigger context. I had no idea how enmeshed Rove was in Alabama until I became acquainted with the story. But Rove, like so many highly placed people, knows how to keep his fingerprints off of things. There are smoking guns incriminating the judge and the prosecutors. You can easily connect the dots to Rove, whose behavior has been highly suspicious, but we won't know the extent of the hard evidence until a lot more people are compelled to testify and more email and other records are reviewed.

The evidence about his lying in the U.S. Attorney scandals is more clear-cut.

What's your prediction? Do you think Congress and AG Holder will take a more active role in going after this?

It's mind-boggling that Holder has taken so long to even begin to clean house in the Justice Department. It's not hard. Fire the political appointees and put in interim U.S. Attorneys. That's what every other president has done. To me, this is a far bigger scandal than the torture memos.

Congressional committees simply don't have the resources to adequately review each case in depth. Conyers' committee has barely scratched the surface on the Siegelman case.

Remember six years ago when Rove told Andrea Mitchell that Joe Wilson's wife [Valerie Plame] was fair game? Rove's attack on Jill Simpson is the same sort of tactic.

For a quick historical refresher. Joe Wilson wrote in a NY Times op-ed piece that he presented the CIA with evidence that Niger never sold uranium to Iraq. The next day, the NSA admitted that Wilson was right. After that, Wilson's credibility or motivations were irrelevant. But Rove, Cheney and others in the Washington press corps went after Wilson and his wife as a distraction from the real issue, which was that the case for WMD was always a fraud. They also went after the Wilsons as a form of intimidation to others. Joe Wilson said he was not a journalist, so he would willingly repeat what any journalist had revealed to him. That's why the media smeared them[Joe and Valerie].

Now, Jill Simpson has been designated to play a role similar to that played by Valerie Wilson. Rove wants to destroy Simpson because he wants to distract from the real issue, which is that he's been caught deceiving about his contacts with the Justice Department, and he wants to intimidate others who may be inclined to speak the truth. Also, Rove's vindictiveness is legendary.

At this point, Jill's credibility is irrelevant, just as the credibility of Joe and Valerie Wilson became irrelevant upon the NSA confirmation. [What follows is a recap of Fiderer's comment on Simpson's piece at OpEdNews.]

The dirty little secret about Rove's hit-and-run smear is that Jill Simpson's credibility is irrelevant. Rove wants to frame the issue of his own culpability in terms of, "Who are you going to believe, me or this eccentric lawyer whom a Republican staffer didn't find credible and who didn't cooperate with the Justice Department?"

It's a red herring that stinks to high heaven. Ms. Simpson testified about statements she heard from Rove's allies. The most notable was from Gov. Riley's son, Rob Riley, who said that Rove contacted Noel Hillman in the Justice Department to make sure that Gov. Siegelman would be prosecuted. What she heard was hearsay. For all Ms. Simpson knows for sure, Rob Riley could have been bloviating, and the subsequent prosecution could have been a coincidence.

The testimony of Rob Riley, Rove, Rove allies and members of the Justice Department, plus a review of phone and email records, plus a paper trail, are the determinative evidence about Rove's contacts with Justice, not Jill Simpson's personal attributes.

That's why the Justice Department's pursuit of Ms. Simpson made no sense and smacked of bad faith. And that's why she sensibly brushed them off.

However, if Rob Riley's statement were true, the implications are explosive, for reasons above and beyond the Siegelman case. At that time, Hillman oversaw the prosecution of the Jack Abramoff case, in which Rove was directly involved. If the allegation were true, it strongly suggests that Rove could have also interfered with the Abramoff case, and that Hillman, now sitting in the Federal bench, is corrupt.

That's why Rove acted dumb when asked about Noel Hillman. He won't give a flat denial, but any suggestion otherwise could land him in bigger legal trouble than the U.S. attorney firings.

Well, that certainly gives us plenty to think about. Thank you so much, David. It was a pleasure. We look forward to finding more of your articles at OpEdNews in the future!


Part One of my interview with David Fiderer

* Karl Rove's piece in the Wall St. Journal: 'Closing in on Rove' Why John Conyers, the New York Times and the Washington Post owe me an apology

Fiderer's article Dirty Little Secrets About Juror Contacts in the Don Siegelman Trial

Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)
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is in no position to be vindictive. His rightfully... by Archie on Wednesday, Aug 26, 2009 at 2:19:41 PM
i'm happy to be proved wrong but that guy always s... by Joan Brunwasser on Wednesday, Aug 26, 2009 at 8:57:02 PM