Prosecutor Louis Franklin
From: Nothing About the Prosecution of Don Siegelman Escapes the Taint of Corruption
by David Fiderer for Huffington Post
. . .Louis Franklin did an about face. On August 22, 2007, when he was recommending a reduced sentence for his star witness, Franklin said that Don Siegelman would not have been convicted without the testimony of Nick Bailey. Five months later, after Bailey spoke to 60 Minutes, Franklin trashed him.
Bailey, a crook who testified as part of a plea deal, told CBS News that he was coached by the prosecution, in 70 separate pretrial meetings, to tailor his story for the witness stand. Franklin denies that such coaching took place. But a number of other people have impugned Franklin’s veracity.
Arthur Leach, a 19-year veteran of the Justice Department, called Louis Franklin a liar. Leach, the lawyer who represented codefendant Richard Scrushy, told Congress that Franklin lied to him about the status of the indictments during preliminary negotiations. Leach also recounted Franklin’s offer, that Scrushy could avoid indictment if he testified that Siegelman solicited a bribe. Leach told Franklin that his client was not willing to lie.
Franklin’s statements were also repudiated by Karl Rove. In response to reporting byTime and 60 Minutes that Rove exerted influence on the Siegelman case, Franklin offered up a blanket denial. “Karl Rove had no role whatsoever in bringing about the investigation or prosecution of former Governor Don Siegelman,” he wrote in a statement to Congress. “It is intellectually dishonest to even suggest that Mr. Rove influenced or had any input into the decision to investigate or prosecute Don Siegelman.” But Rove has refused to confirm Franklin’s statement. Instead, Rove attempted to negotiate the terms under which he would answer questions about the case in which he had “had no role whatsoever.” The White House also backed away from Franklin’s claim that ‘“it is intellectually dishonest to even suggest that Mr. Rove influenced or had any input” in the case; instead it asserted that Rove’s relevant communications are covered by Executive Privilege.
Franklin also contradicted his own sworn testimony. As reported on HuffPost and elsewhere, Franklin and his colleagues told the court that the final decision to charge Siegelman and his codefendants resided in Washington, but after subsequent press reports of political interference, Franklin said the decision lay with him.
Franklin’s ever-changing stories typify the mendacity in all aspects of the Siegelman prosecution. The unethical behavior, which, as noted here earlier, fit into the political agendas of Karl Rove, Jack Abramoff, and Alabama Governor Bob Riley, spread beyond the prosecutor’s office into the judicial branch.