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Siegelman Seeks Answers, Eyes Rove

Siegelman: "It’s going to be my quest to encourage Congress to ensure that Karl Rove either testifies, or takes the Fifth."

Upon his release from prison last week, former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman sounded like a man intent on figuring out why partisanship apparently landed him behind bars for nine months.

Speaking by telephone in his first post-prison interview, shortly after he had left the federal penitentiary at Oakdale, La., Mr. Siegelman said there had been “abuse of power” in his case, and repeatedly cited Karl Rove, the former White House political director.

“His fingerprints are smeared all over the case,” Mr. Siegelman said, a day after a federal appeals court ordered him released on bond and said there were legitimate questions about his case. He was sentenced to serve seven years last June after a guilty verdict on bribery and corruption charges a year earlier.

In measured tones after spending nine months at the prison, the former governor, a Democrat, said he would press to have Mr. Rove answer questions to Congress about his possible involvement in the case.

“When Attorney General Gonzales and Karl Rove left office in a blur, they left the truth buried in their documents,” Mr. Siegelman said, referring to Alberto R. Gonzales. “It’s going to be my quest to encourage Congress to ensure that Karl Rove either testifies, or takes the Fifth.”

Rove’s lawyer, Robert Luskin, told the NYT, “There’s absolutely, positively, no truth to any of the allegations and literally no evidence for any of it.”

Really, Bob? “No evidence” at all?

I seem to recall Republican lawyer Dana Jill Simpson, answering questions under oath from House investigators, offering at least some evidence.

Steve Benen is a freelance writer/researcher and creator of The Carpetbagger Report. In addition, he is the lead editor of's Blog Report, and has been a contributor to Talking Points Memo, Washington Monthly, Crooks & Liars, The American Prospect, and the Guardian.

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