It would seem that even the most ardent hope-he-rots-in-prison Siegelman haters would want the clouds and fog that hover over the government’s investigation to be lifted. If everything was put on the table and it turned out that it was a righteous prosecution that was the end result of a forthright investigation, they could claim a victory for the American system of justice, and walk away. If nothing else, putting everything on the table would allow the people who are involved in the investigation and prosecution to quit making contradictory unnervingly absurd statements. Besides the bunker mentality that surrounds and protects the mechanism of the Siegelman prosecution, it is these statements that tend to underscore the official nervousness that is becoming increasingly apparent at the Middle District of Alabama, it is these statements that make it uncomfortable for even true believers of the means, methods and motives of the prosecutors, and it is these statements that fuel the very reasons why questions continue to be asked.
In the last couple of weeks, there have been a couple of glaring examples of the self-contradictory nature of the proclamations from Montgomery’s DOJ outpost:
Years after US Attorney Leura Canary recused herself from the investigation and eventual prosecution of Don Siegelman, she has been making statements about a case that she is not supposed to be participating in. If Leura Canary, wife of one-time Rove associate Bill Canary, had truly dismissed herself from the case for whatever reasons are contained within the over 500 pages of documents that are being withheld despite FOIA requests, then she would not have sufficient knowledge or insight into the mechanisms and development of the case to make any sort of meaningful comment about it. If the case was not being surreptitiously directed by her or by DOJ higher-ups, then it would be impossible for her to comment on the efforts of Acting US Attorney Franklin or AUSA Feaga. But yet she has come to her prosecutor’s defense, offering declarative statements about a case in which she was not supposed to have been any part of. It is an uncomfortably absurd moment not unlike a judge who has recused himself from the bench for a particular case, but continues to comment on points of law and the merits of the various litigants. If Leura Canary was not a participant in the investigation and prosecution of Don Siegelman, then what is the basis of her commentary?
And not to be outdone by the boss, the level of contradiction reached a new high in published quotes attributed to Louis Franklin. When asked about the over 500 pages of withheld documents pertaining to Leura Canary’s recusal, Franklin said: “I don’t know what’s in those pages.” OK, so Louis Franklin is in the dark and the only person that knows the contents of that tome is supposedly the Canary’s and the DOJ keepers who refuse to disclose their contents. But then after making that statement, he is reported to have said there was nothing sinister about Canary’s recusal. And there we fall into that frustrating problem again. If Louis Franklin really doesn’t know what is contained in all of those documents, how could he possibly know there was nothing sinister about the recusal?
Five hundred pages and someone is afraid of something because it doesn’t add up: The prosecutors have continued to argue a case long after the defendants have been sent to prison; the trial’s star witness all but admitting that his testimony was shaped by his prosecutor-handlers, and openly regretting that he had taken a plea deal; Louis Franklin says he doesn’t know what is contained within pages and pages and pages of withheld documents, yet he makes the illogical assertion that there is nothing sinister about the contents or the recusal the documents reference; Leura Canary continues to discuss a case she claims to have not participated in and knows nothing about, and with all of these unsettling contradictions, it is simply difficult to feel comfortable that justice has been served even if we really try.