[media id=4864] [media id=4865] (h/t BillW) *video fixed
Dan Abrams, who has been outstanding about keeping the Don Siegelman story at the forefront of his show, had Siegelman on to speak out about his incarceration and the fight in front of him to get Congress to investigate his prosecution and uncover the corruption and White House tentacles that railroad Democrats but ignore Republicans.
SIEGELMAN: We have got to seek out the truth. And I want to, again, commend you and Bush League Justice for pushing this issue forward. This case and these circumstances will make Watergate look like child`s play if Congress will dig into these things. You brought up something right before the break about two prominent Republicans who were exposed during the course of this investigation but were not pursued.
Remind me again, what was it that Congress forced to do when the details about the Watergate break in started to leak out to the general public?
Transcripts below the fold
ABRAMS: We`re back with our exclusive interview with former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, released from prison last week, convicted of corruption, mail fraud and bribery. Siegelman was sentenced to seven crimes in prison, he spent nine months in the Oakdale Federal Detention Center in Louisiana until a little more than a week ago when an appeals court overruled a federal judge and let him out pending his appeal, saying that there are substantial questions of law or fact that need to be addressed.
Governor Siegelman, let me ask you about serving time. A former governor of Alabama, I`ve got to believe that many of your fellow prisoners knew who you were, knew the circumstances surrounding your case, what was that like?
SIEGELMAN: Well, I was treated like any other prisoner. And it was, you know, it was not a pleasant experience. And the experience those men are going through is not pleasant for them either. You know, if God had a purpose for me going through this, I think part of it is to try to fix some of those things that are wrong with our system and ensure that these kind of things don`t happen to people in the future. And I want to get back to one thing. We have got to seek out the truth. And I want to, again, commend you and Bush League Justice for pushing this issue forward. This case and these circumstances will make Watergate look like child`s play if Congress will dig into these things. You brought up something right before the break about two prominent Republicans who were exposed during the course of this investigation but were not pursued. When my lawyers tried to subpoena the records of the national Republican Party and Jack Abramoff`s funneling of millions of Indian casino money through Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed and Mike Scanlon.
ABRAMS: All right. Wait, we`re getting too many names here. Let`s keep it simple. I mean, the point is, right, that these two Republicans, one is now a senator and one is a federal judge, and reportedly, one of the key witnesses against you made allegations against them, and they were not investigated or prosecuted, correct?
SIEGELMAN: Well, they were not investigated or prosecuted because the investigators were personal friends and former employees or current employees of either the attorney general or former attorney general who was the U.S. attorney. They weren`t prosecuted because the prosecutors who were in the room had either worked for them as their chief deputy or were their personal friends or married to them. So, it was an obvious conflict of interest that was ignored not only by the local people but also by the two representatives of the United States Department of Justice and the FBI who were also in that same room.
ABRAMS: But it sounds like, and again, governor, it sounds like you are alleging corruption at so many different levels. I mean, I think, some people can accept the notion that, you know, there are certain Republicans who are out to get you, et cetera, but as we talk more about this, right, there are more people involved, and it sounds like you`re saying that the corruption here was pretty deep.
SIEGELMAN: I`m saying that there was -- there is a connection, and that all of the roads lead to Rove. All of the dots, when you connect the dots, they lead to Karl Rove. And this case could be the map quest that sets Congress on a journey that will take them to Karl Rove if they will start looking at those people.
ABRAMS: All right. Let`s assume -- Congress, as you know, there is now an issue as to whether you should testify or not, because I would have think that anything you say in front of Congress can be used against you. You`re appealing your case right. In fact, one of your staunchest allies on Capitol Hill has said that he doesn`t think you should testify
for fear that you`re going to hurt your own case. Are you ready to go to Capitol Hill and testify?
SIEGELMAN: I`m ready to go to Capitol Hill and give them whatever information I can. This is not about me. It is about America and it is about finding out who has used - they abused their power and used the Department of Justice to subvert our democracy?
And it is bigger than Don Siegelman, it`s bigger than this case. It`s bigger than Georgia Thompson and the other people who`d been abused by the Department of Justice, but Congress owes it to the people of America to find out the truth. And that`s what my quest is at this moment and I will fully cooperate and work it with Congress to see that they have all the information I have about this case.
ABRAMS: Before I wrap this up, any thoughts of still running for office again?
SIEGELMAN: I have absolutely no thoughts of running for office at this point, but what I want to do is work with Congress to try to fix some of the wrongs that I saw while I was in prison. We`ve got to stop the federal government from extorting testimony from known criminals to put innocent people in prison.
ABRAMS: Well, look, we will -- we have said this before. I said this about your case while before your release that I was going to stay on top of this case. I`m going to continue to stay on top of this case. We`re going to continue to follow the facts of it and continue to follow all of the legal proceedings. Governor Siegelman, thank you very much for coming on the program. We appreciate it.
SIEGELMAN: Dan, thank you so much for what you have done for America.