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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/15/09

Should Senator Jeff Sessions Serve On The the Senate Judiciary Committee?

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Message Dana Jill Simpson

Today is a big day for Sonia Sotomayor as they start determining whether she should be approved to be on the Supreme Court. It has recently become apparent that Senator Jeff Sessions will be a one-man bandwagon trying to play the tune that she is a racist. Truly this is ironic considering that is probably why he was not approved or confirmed to be on the Federal bench. However that is not why I am writing ya'll tonight.

I want to tell you a story about something that happened to me and why I question whether Mr. Sessions should even be allowed to sit on this important committee.

Several years ago I hired a lawyer to represent me on tax matters. At the time I was aware that my tax lawyer represented Lanny Young, who was the key witness against Don Siegelman. One day I went to my lawyer's office to sign some papers and discovered he had moved out of the building, without even telling me. I saw a dumpster that looked like a flat bed truck in his back yard. It was full of files belonging to many different people. I noticed a large number of them on top belonged to something called the "Republican Attorney General's Association" and "Republican Governor's Association."

That afternoon I called a friend who was former law enforcement and told him what I had seen. He suggested I take pictures of the dumpster. I did, and still have the pictures.

My friend also knew Lanny Young and I said to him that I didn't think it right that these files were put out there for anyone to take, and that he needed to notify Lanny as someone might steal them. A couple of weeks later, I also contacted the tax lawyer and learned he was hired in the federal public defender program in Macon, Georgia. It was a job he claimed that his good friend, Jeff Sessions, helped him get.

Shortly after, I came forward in the Siegelman case and became a witness. It was then that I became aware of the importance of those Republican Attorney General files. The importance was this: Lanny Young had provided benefit both to Republicans and Democrats and had given these files to his lawyer, who dumped them in a dumpster before the six years was up for retention of records. Those files were evidence of what went on with the Republican Attorney General's Association and were discarded before the six-year retention requirement on attorneys.

I have always wondered why Ms. Canary and her crew did not take possession of those files or give them to Siegelman or Scrushy legal team and I have wondered why they would be discarded in a dumpster when the case was still pending, but I still don't know the answers.

As many are now aware, around the time my 60 Minutes piece was to air, I was notified that this tax lawyer, who I had paid over $40,000 dollars, failed to appear at a court hearing, and a judgment had been entered against me for over $150,000. As good fortune would have it my lawyer, Ms. Duncan, who was representing me in the Siegelman matter, was able to get that judgment set aside as I had not be notified of the trial.

I suspect the Republicans would have used it against me had Ms. Duncan not found out by the good grace of God. My tax lawyer in that matter was later suspended from practicing law because of his actions in my case. After I provided pictures to the Alabama Bar Association, he did not deny discarding the files in a dumpster.

However, that brings me back to Mr.. Sessions and this is the question I have: Why is he allowed to be on the House Judiciary Committee when they are investigating the Siegelman matter?

After all he is accused of accepting gifts from Lanny Young, who is the same guy Siegelman supposedly took gifts from and was charged with.

Secondly, why did Ms. Canary allow the attorney for Lanny Young to keep the Republican Attorney General's Association records? After all, the records were evidence, so should she not have required Mr. Young to turn them over to her since he was cooperating with the government? Did she tell the Scrushy-Siegelman legal team about these records?

Then my final question is: Did Sessions help Lanny's lawyer get a Federal Defender's job - and does that explain the destruction of the records of the Republican Attorney General's Association?

With all those questions, isn't it funny that a guy who was accused of doing the same thing as Siegelman was never questioned? Isn't it also funny the lawyer didn't retain the Republican Attorney General's Association records? But after all that is said, what blows my mind most is that Mr. Sessions sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, knowing full well that he is part of the Siegelman matter and, to my knowledge, has never recused himself from this issue. He receives all the documents everyone else does on that committee - even though he could have been a party or defendant in the case.

Additionally, why would his fellow GOP'ers want a possibly compromised person on the committee? I wanted ya'll all to beware that Senator Sessions has issues and when he questions Sotomayor we should all be aware what they are.

What I find the most amusing is that this woman will get to hear the Siegelman matter if she is confirmed and I think she will get a good taste of what Sessions is all about. I don't believe he is going to come across as a guy truly concerned about our court. I suspect over the next couple of days we will see he as all about the pot calling the kettle black. In fact, maybe this will give Ms. Sotomayor a good taste of what we have been dealing with down here in Alabama.

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Dana Jill Simpson Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Simpson is a country lawyer who resides in Rainsville, Alabama. She has appeared on 60 Minutes and Dan Abrams MSNBC. Stories were written in Time Magazine, Harpers Magazine, and the New York Times about her being a witness in the Don Siegelman case (more...)
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