New documents obtained by TIME magazine show that a U.S. Attorney who recused herself from the prosecution of former Gov. Don Siegelman (D-AL) continued to be actively involved in the case, e-mailing advice to subordinates who were still involved in the prosecution. The documents, provided by DOJ whistleblower Tamarah Grimes, also show “extensive and unusual contact between the prosecution and the jury”:
A key prosecution e-mail describes how jurors repeatedly contacted the government’s legal team during the trial to express, among other things, one juror’s romantic interest in a member of the prosecution team. “The jurors kept sending out messages” via U.S. marshals, the e-mail says, identifying a particular juror as “very interested” in a person who had sat at the prosecution table in court. The same juror was later described reaching out to members of the prosecution team for personal advice about her career and educational plans. […]
Further undisclosed evidence of prosecution team members speaking with jurors following the verdict emerges in Grimes’ written statement to the DoJ. In it, she says a member of the team prosecuting Siegelman had spoken with a juror suspected of improper conduct — apparently at the time the judge was due to question the juror about that conduct. Grimes quotes the lead prosecutor in the case as saying someone had “talked to her. She is just scared and afraid she is going to get in trouble.”
The U.S. Attorney, Leura G. Canary, had recused herself from the case because her husband was a “top GOP operative and close associate of Bush adviser Karl Rove,” who has been accused of orchestrating a political prosecution of Siegelman.