In a document dated August 27, 2009, the government responds to a Motion for a New Trial Based on Newly Discovered Evidence that had been filed by Siegelman and codefendant Richard Scrushy.
Prosecutors' response contains statements that are clearly false related to several critical issues. Specifically, prosecutors make numerous misstatements about Karl Rove's Congressional testimony. They also mischaracterize the contents of affidavits that were designed to counter the sworn statements of Alabama attorney and whistleblower Jill Simpson.
Regarding Rove, prosecutors state that the former Bush White House adviser denied contacting anyone at the Justice Department regarding the Siegelman case. In fact, Rove did no such thing. He either contradicted himself or used hedge language ("not that I recall," "not to my knowledge") in all of his answers to questions about his possible involvement in the Siegelman case.
Early in his testimony, Rove did deny contacting anyone at the Justice Department about the case. But when asked if he had contacted Noel Hillman, then head of the Public Integrity Section (which is part of the Justice Department), Rove hedged: "No, not that I recall."
And as we reported on August 13, Rove certainly did not deny that someone working for him might have contacted the Justice Department regarding the Siegelman case:
When asked if anyone from the White House Office of Political Affairs (OPA), Republican National Committee (RNC), or Republican Governors' Association (RGA) communicated with the Justice Department, Rove's answer is "not to the best of my knowledge."
Under questioning from House Judiciary Committee Counsel Elliot Mincberg, Rove also did not deny that he or someone working for him might have contacted any number of key officials in Alabama, including those working for the Justice Department:
Mincberg goes on to ask if Rove or anyone from any GOP-connected groups had communicated about Siegelman with:
* Any Alabama U.S. attorney's office;
* The Alabama attorney general's office or any other state law-enforcement agency;
* Bill Canary, head of the Business Council of Alabama;- Advertisement -
* Bob Riley, Rob Riley, or anyone in the Riley administration; or
* Members of the media or press.
Rove's answers were "not that I'm aware of" or "not that I recall."
As we noted in our previous post, Mincberg hit Rove with a couple of "money questions," which covered the entire Siegelman episode. Here was one of them:
Q Again, in the period of time between Governor Siegelman's election and the end of 2002, did you or anyone working for you ever have any communications with anyone about a possible criminal investigation, prosecution, or illegal acts by Governor Siegelman?
A Not that I'm aware of.
The bottom line? Did Karl Rove, as the government contends, deny having contact with anyone at the Justice Department regarding the Siegelman case? Not even close.