Convicted Governor Blames Karl Rove for Recommended 30-Year Prison Term

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The controversy over alleged White House politicization of the federal prosecution process has moved beyond concern about the perhaps politically motivated dismissals of nine U.S. attorneys to a new issue–the cases they did, or did not, pursue.

Now Don Siegelman, a former Democratic governor of Alabama, is contending that he has Karl Rove to thank for a 30-year recommended federal sentence for bribery and obstruction of justice, reports the Los Angeles Times. Because of Siegelman’s popularity with the voters, his supporters argue, he was a target for politically motivated prosecution generated by Rove and other political strategists. Rove is deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to President George W. Bush and serves as his top political advisor.

Siegelman’s charge is supported by Dana Jill Simpson, a Republican lawyer in Alabama. She says she was privy to a conversation in which state Republican aides promised to use their influence with several U.S. attorneys to eliminate Siegelman as a political threat, reports Time magazine.

However, others involved in the alleged conversation say Simpson’s account is not true, Time reports.

“Congressional committees ought to investigate what in the world went on in this case,” Grant Woods, a Republican former attorney general of Arizona who is a friend of Siegelman, tells the Times. “From start to finish, this case has been riddled with irregularities. It does not pass the smell test.”

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