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Transcript of Don Siegelman with Rick Sanchez 3/9/09

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SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez.

Did Karl Rove politicize the Justice Department, actually have prosecutors doing the White House's handiwork? That is the accusation that a Judiciary Committee is going to be investigating. And this is serious stuff.

Last week, we learned that Rove will, in fact, now testify, behind closed doors, mind you, which some aren't taking well. Who is Rove accused of actually targeting in this investigation?

The answer is, at least in part, the former Alabama governor. His name is Don Siegelman, who was convicted of bribery and sent to jail. Even some Republicans are questioning this case against Siegelman, to be fair, who joins us now live.

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I guess, once a governor, always a governor. So, Governor, thanks so much for being with us, sir. We appreciate it.

DON SIEGELMAN, FORMER ALABAMA GOVERNOR: Thank you, Rick.

SANCHEZ: I'm looking at a picture here now of you on the left, stately figure, leader of your state, very popular at the time, and there you are on the right not long after you had left jail.

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I mean, this is a top-to-bottom rise-and-fall story for you, isn't it?

SIEGELMAN: Well, it is. But, more importantly, Rick, it's a story about how our Department of Justice was used as a political weapon to gain and retain power based on Karl Rove's desires.

SANCHEZ: Well, hold on a minute. Let me take the viewers back. Let's go through this story and give you as quick an answer -- I know you're a politician, but let's take them through the information that I put down here.

You get a check from a guy for, what, $500,000. You said you wanted the money to push for a state lottery that would fund education, because this was your one big project. So, you took that $500,000, didn't you?

SIEGELMAN: That's correct. We put it in the Education Lottery Foundation.

SANCHEZ: Did you ever take a penny of that $500,000? Tell me the truth, Governor. Did you ever pocket any of that money or use it for anything other than that?

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SIEGELMAN: No.

The money was -- I was never accused of taking a single penny by the government. And the IRS looked at all of my personal records, my wife's records, my children's records, my brother's records, and they never charged me with a single penny of an IRS violation.

This was not about money that came to me. This case has two parts. One is the political part, and one is the legal part.

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Democratic Activist and Strategist, doing most activist work thru a nationwide email listserv, referred to as "Pam's List". Elected member of the Alabama State Democratic Executive Committee as well as a member of my county, (Madison) Democratic (more...)
 

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