Don Siegelman, the former Democratic governor of Alabama, fired up a raucous church full of progressive Democrats Tuesday at the Democratic National Convention, calling on Congress to find former White Chief of Staff Karl Rove in contempt for ignoring a subpoena investigating Rove’s involvement in Siegelman’s indictment on bribery charges.
Addressing a gathering of the Progressive Democrats of America at a Presbyterian church in downtown Denver (aka Progressive Central), Siegelman declined to pass the collection basket, but did say his legal problems have been financially devastating. He urged the audience to go to his Web site to learn more about the case.
He also called on audience members to find their congressional representatives at the convention and demand that Congress vote on a contempt charge against Rove in the first three weeks of September and not leave it up to a new Congress.
“This is not about me; this is about our country,” Siegelman said. “It’s about holding those people accountable. I’m here because there is a limited window of opportunity. Karl Rove must be held in contempt by the full House of representatives.”
Siegelman detailed how the prosecutor wife of his opponent in his last gubernatorial election indicted him on a trumped-up bribery chargeat the behest of Rove. Siegelman spent nine months in a maximum-security federal prison before being released by an appeals court that found “substantial” problems with his prosecution. Last spring Rove ignored a congressional subpoena in an ensuing investigation of the matter.
“If congress does not act, we are essentially setting up two standards of justice, one for the powerful and those connected to the White House and another system for us. Congress must act in the first three weeks of September before they adjourn,” Siegelman said.
“History teaches us that Democrats in victory are too magnanimous. Jimmy Carter didn’t do anything about Watergate after he took office, nothing was done about Iran Contra after Clinton took office, and nothing will be done about Karl Rove and what he has done once we get in to November.”