Many Democratic members deferred their time to Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL) during today’s Judiciary Committee hearing on allegations of political prosecutions so that he could dig into the case of ex-Gov. Don Siegelman (D-AL).
Davis, who is convinced that the system worked against Siegelman for political reasons, took a stand for Republican lawyer Dana Jill Simpson this afternoon, responding to Rep. Randy Forbes’ (R-VA) assertion that the Department of Justice should investigate her. Davis argued that there is no evidence directly disproving testimony Simpson gave House investigators.
In fact, Davis points out, Simpson offered evidence that undermines the three affidavits Forbes produced this morning. In her original affidavit and in testimony to House investigators, Simpson claimed that she was on a call in 2002 where a local Republican operative, Bill Canary, said Rove had been in touch with the Justice Department about a Siegelman investigation. The three sworn statements from men who Simpson says were also on that call, the son of Gov. Bob Riley (R-AL), Riley’s 2002 campaign lawyer and an Alabama Republican, Terry Butts, all claim that the call never happened. But Davis pointed to the phone record (available here) Simspon gave House investigators showing she had made an 11-minute call to Riley’s law offices on the day she claims.
Six months ago, Davis said towards the end of the hearing, he had faith in the justice system. But following the revelations of the U.S. attorney scandal and those from the Siegelman case, he said he’s no longer so sure politics didn’t come to play an important role in prosecutorial decisions under former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
“I cannot sit here today and say to to you that I have confidence that the system worked in a fair and just manner in this case,” Davis said.
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