Saturday, October 06, 2007

A point of clarity on the Siegelman case

Discussion of former Gov. Don Siegelman's prosecution is gaining media traction, thanks in large part to an ongoing congressional probe of just how independent the Bush administration's Justice Department really is. The Siegelman case is mentioned on the cover of Time magazine now, and Danny at Doc's Political Parlor reports that it'll be featured on 60 Minutes soon, too.

Some points seem to be getting conflated or confused as this issue goes national, so it's important to keep a key distinction clear. The issue of whether political considerations played any role in the investigation and prosecution of Siegelman is independent of the issue of whether he is guilty of the crimes for which a federal jury convicted him. To a lesser extent, so is the issue of whether other politicians were subjected to the same sort of scrutiny.

Not having been at the trial or privy to investigative decisions, I'll withhold judgment one way or the other on those questions. But remember, they are separate questions.

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