Friday, December 3, 2010
Creative Perjury: Part One
Above is Jill Simpson, the lone source connecting Karl Rove to the Siegelman investigation, and the only reason the New York Times, 60 Minutes, Time, Harper's and many others started reporting on the Siegelman case. Here is the introduction and first part of a chapter called, Creative Perjury. The other parts --- or charges -- will follow in the coming week.
All of this business -- as set out in this chapter and others -- would be funny if it weren't true. Have said it before... Hollywood needs to consider, "The Governor of Goat Hill," and as a comedy.
The chapter is somewhat complex, and in parts, probably requires of the reader that he/she know what came before. Still, I think it's understandable without having done so.
As explained before, each chapter starts with two quotes.
“Oh, by the way, your dress is ugly.”
-- Simpson, to Republican lawyer Caroline Lynch, after Lynch pressed her to
explain some of her stories about the Siegelman case during Simpson’s testimony before
Judiciary Committee lawyers.
“Simpson’s allegations match the facts we upturned in our investigative series on
Judge Fuller this summer.”
-- Horton, in October 2007 column on Harper’s web-site, following release of the
transcript of Simpson’s testimony.
Faulty memories, fuzzy impressions, all manner of factors can cause a person to
give testimony that is false but short of perjury. Jill Simpson has no such excuses.
The testimony she gave congressional lawyers on Sept. 14, 2007, was willfully
false, told with flair and impugned the reputations of innocent people. Declaring
that she committed perjury is not only too easy, but fails to get to the bottom of this
mess. I will argue that she was coached, that one or more persons gave her a series of
stories and talking points. Each was intended to buttress the case that the Siegelman
prosecution was, as the New York Times never tired of calling it, a “political hit.”
Simpson was the patsy, a weak, goofy character susceptible to flattery,
melodrama and the lure of fame. Such a dingbat as to almost be blameless.
Two lawyers accompanied Simpson that day to the Rayburn House building.
They were Mark Bollinger’s pal Priscilla Duncan from Montgomery and Washington
attorney Joseph Sandler. The latter was the general counsel for the Democratic
National Committee and one of the party’s premier lawyers on consequential
election and political issues. A conservative estimate of his hourly rate is $500.
Assigned to question Simpson were Sam Broderick-Sokol, the majority counsel
for the Judiciary Committee; and, on behalf of the Republicans, Caroline Lynch.
Simpson was administered the oath and told it would be “a crime to make
any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation in such
an authorized investigation.”
She spent most of the next four hours committing perjury, primarily of the
Some elements of Simpson’s testimony have been dealt with at length. They
include her accounts of Siegelman’s decision to concede the 2002 election (the
laughable KKK photos deal and the equally preposterous GOP pledge to make
the criminal investigation vanish.) While her accounts on the above represent
overwhelming evidence of perjury, the following will address additional
components of her testimony.
They are her sworn statements regarding:
• Rob Riley’s alleged familiarity with Mark Fuller and the judge’s part ownership
of Doss Aviation.
• Judge Fuller’s alleged grudge against Siegelman.
• Rob Riley’s alleged foreknowledge that Fuller would be assigned to
preside over the Siegelman case.
• The decision to prosecute Scrushy along with Siegelman.
• A 2003 poll in the Mobile Press Register.
• The relationship between the Rileys and Rove, and Rove’s alleged directive
to the Justice Department that it prosecute Don Siegelman.
In the months preceding her testimony Horton wrote about the above
matters in his columns and applied these manufactured grievances and motives
to support the central conspiracy of a GOP plot to remove Siegelman from the
political landscape by shuttling him to an American gulag. In columns written
after the release of her transcript Horton cited Simpson’s testimony as proving or
reinforcing the concoctions presented in those earlier columns.
Simpson ascribed her knowledge on each of the above subjects to statements
she claimed Rob Riley made to her on two occasions. The first was during what
she called a client-related meeting in 2002; the second on a supposed social visit
to his law offi ce in early 2005 which, for clarity’s sake, will be referred to here as
the, “baby picture meeting.”
It is conceivable if barely so that Simpson perjured herself without the
assistance or knowledge of another. Either that or she read Horton’s “No
Comment” columns religiously, analyzed them rigorously, and choreographed her
testimony to advance conspiracies introduced in his pieces.
The only other alternative – that she testified truthfully – is not viable.
Here, the case for perjury:
Count One: Rob Riley’s familiarity with Mark Fuller’s finances.
In 2002, Simpson represented a company that had performed storm cleanup
and filed a claim with FEMA seeking more money. She called Rob Riley and
sought his assistance. Riley agreed to help and retained Stewart Hall, a college
friend who’d become a Washington lobbyist. That much is not in dispute.
Simpson mentioned the FEMA case when Judiciary Committee lawyers
asked her why she researched the judge’s (Fuller's) finances for Siegelman and Scrushy.
She testified that during a 2002 meeting with Riley and Hall, both men,
apropos of nothing, started talking about Mark Fuller. This was before Fuller’s
appointment to the bench and years before his assignment to the Siegelman
Simpson testified that she told them she didn’t know Mark Fuller and that
they corrected her. She’d known Fuller in Tuscaloosa but must have forgotten
him, they said. Riley and Hall then “proceeded to tell me that Fuller has all these
contracts, but his contracts are not the same type of contracts” as those of her
FEMA client, she said.
“They were amazed that my clients could get these (large cleanup contracts)
whereas Fuller was getting large contracts, but he was doing more what I consider
to be maintenance on aircraft and fuel contracts, aviation kind of stuff which was
not anything I was familiar with. It really sounded kind of like an oil job or doing
It’s unclear why a Washington lobbyist and an experienced lawyer would be
“amazed” that one type of company could win one type of contract and a different
type of company could win a different kind of contract, but that was Simpson’s
The second meeting between Simpson and Rob Riley was even more fruitful
than the first. It produced most of the testimony she gave regarding Judge Fuller
and other subjects as well. Simpson, who had recently adopted a child, said she
drove to Birmingham in early 2005 to shop for baby clothes. While there she
dropped by Riley’s law office to show him pictures of her new baby (thus, the
“baby pictures meeting.”)
Simpson testified that the topic quickly turned to Rob Riley’s favorite subject.
“OK, in that conversation in early 2005, Rob started talking about Mark Fuller.
And I’m like, where have I heard that name? Because I’d heard it before. And (Rob)
tells me, he says that Mark was going to be the judge (on the Siegelman case.)
“He said, ‘Oh, you know him.’ I’m like, ‘No I don’t.’ He said, ‘I think you do.’”
“I said, ‘Is he that guy y’all said before (during the 2002 meeting with Stewart
Hall) that does them aviation contracts?’”
“And that’s when he proceeded to say, ‘Yeah, he has a company called
“I said, ‘Is he still doing that since he became a judge?’”
“And he said, ‘Oh yeah,’ and he proceeds to start telling me about the company.”
Rob Riley learned about the above and other claims after the release of
Simpson’s testimony transcript. He went on the Internet and found that Fuller
was a third-year law student when he arrived in Tuscaloosa as a freshman.
“Ms. Simpson stated in her testimony that she understood that Judge
Fuller was in ‘college’ at Alabama with Stewart and me,” Riley said. “It is my
understanding based on an Internet search that Judge Fuller graduated from
college at the University of Alabama in 1982. I began college at the University
of Alabama in 1984.”
“I had a lot on my plate. I wasn’t hanging out with any law students.”
Riley said he didn’t know Fuller at Alabama and still doesn’t. He said the first
he’d heard of the companies Doss was from Simpson’s testimony. Nor should one
expect any different. Fuller is older than Rob Riley and from a different part of the
state. Doss, to put it mildly, is not a household name in Alabama.
“To my knowledge I have never spoken to Mark Fuller, ever, about anything,”
said the governor’s son. “I hate to say that and have been at an event with 1,000
or so people and have someone say I met Mark Fuller, but to my knowledge, I’ve
never met him.”
Stewart Hall, the lobbyist, recalled meeting Simpson, twice, both times
briefly, when she came to Washington for matters related to the FEMA dispute.
On neither occasion did he have a discussion with her that remotely resembled
what she testified to.
“I didn’t know there was a Mark Fuller until the Siegelman sentencing. I don’t
know the guy, never met the guy. I don’t know this Doss guy either,” said Hall,
who chuckled when told Doss was a company, not a guy.
“It’s a complete unadulterated joke,” he said of Simpson’s ever-changing tales.
Hall’s voice took a harder edge when he said he didn’t “feel like being part of
baseless conspiracy theories.”
Among the documents Simpson provided to the Judiciary Committee lawyers
was an e-mail from Rob Riley about the FEMA claim that referred to “Karl.”
“It was not uncommon for him to talk to Karl Rove and Stewart Hall about
that because he would make reference to it,” Simpson testified.
There was, however, another Karl in the mix – Karl Dix, an Atlanta lawyer
who specializes in FEMA claims, who was also hired to assist Simpson’s client and
who, like the other Karl, also spells his name with K.
“The memo to Karl? Well, heck, that was for the lawyer in Georgia helping us
with the appeal!” Riley said, his voice rising in astonishment as is often did when
talking about Simpson.
And then revealed how much “Karl Rove” helped with the FEMA claim.
“We got zero!” Riley said, laughing.
If Rob Riley and Hall are telling the truth, then Jill Simpson learned about
Fuller’s perfectly legal and fully disclosed part-ownership in the Doss companies
from someone other than the governor’s son.
And if that’s the case, the only remaining conclusion is that she committed