So what’s the significance of the court ruling upholding most of the bribery and corruption charges on which former Alabama governor Don Siegelman was convicted?
Siegelman’s appeal wasn’t primarily focused on the allegations that his prosecution was politically motivated. (Bill Canary, the husband of Leura Canary, the US Attorney on the case, was a state GOP operative and close associate of Karl Rove, who had run the campaign of Siegelman’s gubernatorial opponent.)
Still, today’s ruling did touch tangentially on that set of issues. One of Siegelman’s arguments on appeal was that there had been inappropriate contacts between jurors and prosecutors during the trial. That claim was of a piece with several allegations of prosecutorial misconduct detailed in an internal DOJ report — including evidence that Leura Canary kept advising junior prosecutors on the case, even after recusing herself.
But the court appears to have rejected that claim, upholding a district court’s opinion that no significant misconduct occurred.
As for Rove’s alleged ties to the prosecution — a witness has given sworn testimony that Rove was involved — we’ll hear his side of the story in the coming weeks, when he sits down with the House Judiciary committee to talk about both Siegelman and the US Attorney firings.