Sexual Blackmail in the Siegelman Case?
We can now add sexual blackmail to the long list of misconduct
charges lodged against the federal prosecutors who led a vendetta-like case
against former Alabama Governor Don E. Siegelman. In an affidavit filed in
support of Siegelman's request for a new trial, a prominent Alabama
businessman, Stan Pate, describes how federal prosecutors and investigators
threatened to disclose innuendo about the sexuality of a key witness, former
Siegelman aide Nick Bailey. The feds hinted about disclosing an improper liaison
between him and the former governor to secure his cooperation. No evidence of
these questions or of Bailey's answers appeared in reports prepared by the feds
and turned over in discovery. The case therefore adds to a-growing mound of credible allegations-that public
integrity prosecutors violated the law by suppressing exculpatory evidence and
engaged in unethical and possibly illegal conduct in pursuit of their claims.
In an declaration filed in federal court, Pate states:
told that the government was working to prevent the publicizing of an alleged
sexual relationship between Nick and Don Siegelman. Nick also told me that one
of the agents working the Siegelman/Scrushy prosecution asked him whether he
had ever taken illegal drugs with Governor Siegelman or had a sexual relationship
with him. These comments had a dramatic effect on Nick, and, in my observation,
added significantly to the pressure he felt to go along with whatever the
prosecutors wanted him to say.
These developments are discussed in an-article in the-Huffington Post-by
attorney-journalist Andrew Kreig published this morning.
As misconduct allegations against the prosecution team continue
to mount and are now increasingly corroborated by a key source inside the
prosecution team, whistleblower Tamarah Grimes, no sign of action by the main
Justice Department in Washington can be detected. When Grimes was fired last
month,-Justice figures provided conflicting explanations-of the
reasons for her termination. All of the explanations were, however, clearly
linked to her whistleblower activities""raising questions about the Justice
Department's compliance with whistleblower protection legislation. In response
to inquiries, the Justice Department insisted that it "takes seriously its
obligation under the whistleblower law" and did not violate the law, without
offering any further explanation.
Moreover, Leura Canary, the U.S. attorney in Montgomery, remains
in office after Alabama Republican senators-Jeff Sessions-and-Richard Shelby-derailed the Obama administration's
efforts to put a successor in place by lodging objections. While Sessions and
Shelby both deny they're trying to keep Canary in office, the consequence of
their serial objections, for which they offer no public explanation, is just
that. Both show remarkable concern about the prospect of Canary's removal and
replacement by a new prosecutor unconnected to them. What has Jeff Sessions so
bothered? I have a hunch.
in 2007 that a key witness in the Siegelman investigation offered evidence
implicating Sessions in bribery allegations far more substantial than those
raised against Siegelman. The prosecutor handling the matter quickly scurried
to sweep these allegations under the carpet. I then disclosed that the
prosecutor handling the matter was the-wife of Session's attorney,-a fact that under applicable
Justice ethics standards required her withdrawal from the matter. It appears
that the Justice Department has never investigated or acted on any of this
evidence of prosecutorial misconduct involving Sessions. While the statute of
limitations may now shield Sessions from criminal charges, a new U.S. attorney
in Montgomery may very well feel compelled to examine the gross and ongoing
ethics lapses within the office.
oversaw the prosecution of Siegelman even as she purported to have recused
herself from the case, is the wife of William Canary, a leading Alabama G.O.P.
campaign advisor and close friend of Karl Rove.