A former lawyer for Don Siegelman (D-AL) told the House Judiciary Committee today that his client's case took a "180 degree" turn in 2004, after Justice Department officials in Washington told local prosecutors to take another look at the case -- from top to bottom.
According to former US attorney for Alabama Doug Jones, in the summer of 2004 prosecutors told him the case was going nowhere. By October 2004 the case against Siegelman had been dismissed. But one month later, in a surprising turn of events, Washington officials told local prosecutors to give it another shot
, Jones testified today. By early 2005 it was as if the case was starting from scratch, Jones said, calling it "completely stunning" and a "complete reversal" from what the defense had been told just months before.
Jones is certain, he said, that Washington DOJ officials played an "integral" part in the renewed investigation. Jones represented Siegelman at the time, though he did not represent him at trial.
Rep. Artur Davis pointed out that the time frame in which prosecutors were told to renew their efforts syncs with closed-door testimony from Dana Jill Simpson. Simpson told investigators that in a 2005 conversation with Rob Riley, the son of Gov. Bob Riley (R-AL), he told her that Karl Rove had been pushing for a prosecution and was scouting out the perfect judge.
Davis also entered a petition into the record, signed by 44 former state attorneys general who have asked for a review of the Siegelman case.