It appears that Lanny Young, Jr., the lobbyist who put Democratic former Governor of Alabama behind bars with his admission of giving him illegal campaign contributions, gave similar donations to Republicans Jeff Sessions and William Pryor. Those allegations, however, were never investigated:

Several people involved in the Siegelman case who spoke to TIME say prosecutors were so focused on going after Siegelman that they showed almost no interest in tracking down what Young said about apparently illegal contributions to Sessions, Pryor, other well-known figures in the Alabama G.O.P. and even a few of the state’s Democrats. “It just didn’t seem like that was ever going to happen,” said an individual present during key parts of the investigation. “Sessions and Pryor were on the home team.”

That description is not just a metaphor: several of the lawyers involved in the Siegelman investigation were from Pryor’s office and had worked for Sessions as well when he held the post. In such circumstances, say experts on legal ethics, it is nearly always incumbent on investigators to inform a third party and recuse themselves from further questioning to avoid a conflict of interest. In this instance, it appears the investigators chose not to recuse themselves but to simply ignore the allegations.

How could that possibly happen, you say? I’m glad you asked that:

Leura Canary, the U.S. Attorney whose office drove Siegelman’s prosecution, is married to Bill Canary, Alabama’s most prominent political operative and a longtime friend of Karl Rove’s. In May an Alabama lawyer and Republican activist named Dana Jill Simpson gave a notarized statement that she heard Canary say Rove “had spoken with the Department of Justice” about “pursuing” Siegelman, with help from two of Alabama’s U.S. Attorneys.

The House Judiciary Committee has asked for documentation on the Siegelman case, but the Justice Department has…suprise!…refused to turn them over.

No word on whether Karl Rove is enjoying all that extra time with his family.

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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