"Siegelman: ‘This Will Make Watergate Look Like Child’s Play’"
In a new interview with the Anniston Star (AL), former Democratic Alabama governor Don Siegelman speaks out about Karl Rove’s involvement in his prosecution. Siegelman is currently out on bond, after being sentenced to serve seven years in a bribery case in 2006. In his chat with the Star, Siegelman questions Rove’s motives for refusing to testify to Congress under oath about the case:
The Star: Why do you believe Rove hasn’t agreed to testify under oath?
Siegelman: He doesn’t want to run the risk of lying under oath and being prosecuted for perjury.
You know, I think it’s telling that he talks a good game. He wrote a, I think it was a five-page letter to [MSNBC anchor] Dan Abrams basically asking Dan Abrams questions about why he should testify under oath. When Conyers invited him to testify under oath, he’s dodged that, he’s skated, and I think it’s clear he’s got something to hide. Otherwise, there is no reason why he wouldn’t testify under oath.
Last week, House Judiciary Committee members rejected Rove’s offer to answer the committee’s questions in writing — rather than testifying under oath — stating that “we can see no justification for his refusal to speak on the record to the Committee.”
In his interview, Siegelman also stressed that that his case is “not an isolated incident”:
Siegelman: I think this will make Watergate look like child’s play when it is fully investigated, not so much this case because certainly it’s not about me. It’s about restoring justice and protecting our democracy and, because this case shows the lengths to which those who are obsessed with power will go in order to gain power or retain power, it has attracted the attention of the national press.
This was a pernicious, political plan that was set in motion by Karl Rove to further his espoused dream of establishing a permanent Republican majority in this country, and what he left out was by any means necessary.
Harpers’ Scott Horton has reported that “most experienced and senior career prosecutors” opposed the Siegleman prosecution, yet the Justice Department pushed the case forward “with blunt political force.” Former GOP operative Jill Simpson has also alleged that Rove asked her to find evidence that Siegelman was cheating on his wife.