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March 2, 2008
Powerline Debunks 60 Minutes story on Siegelman
The boys at Powerline, who played a big role in Rathergate, have once again shown 60 Minutes to be a partisan tool.
In shocking detail, they have thoroughly debunked the 60 Minutes story last Sunday that purported to show Karl Rove playing dirty tricks on Democratic governor Don Siegelman who is in jail for bribery and mail fraud.
CBS's star witness was a little know attorney named Jill Simpson who claimed to be a life long Republican and "opposition researcher." Powerline has a different take:
Put aside for a moment the inherent stupidity of this account. CBS aired it without disclosing the fact that Simpson has told her story several times before--without mentioning that she had ever met or spoken to Karl Rove, let alone that he asked her to spy for him. Simpson, it turns out, is something of a fantasist while 60 Minutes was extremely casual in vetting her story. Read the whole shocking story.
Simpson first came to public attention last summer, when she signed an affidavit about a conversation that she allegedly had with Rob Riley, son of soon-to-be Republican Governor Bob Riley and several others, in November 2002. The affidavit, 22 paragraphs long, purported to set out Simpson's recollection of a phone conversation that was then five years in the past. It says that "Karl" was mentioned in the phone conversation, and she understood "Karl" to be Karl Rove. The affidavit does not say that Simpson had ever met Rove, spoken with Rove, or been asked by him to spy on Governor Siegelman.
This affidavit brought Simpson to the attention of Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee. Democrats on the Committee's staff set up a formal interview with Simpson, under oath, as part of their "investigation" into whether Siegelman had been railroaded by Alabama Republicans. Staff Democrats pre-interviewed Simpson before her sworn testimony was taken, on September 14, 2007.
The transcript of the interview is 143 pages long. Ms. Simpson was asked about her work on various Republican campaigns. She was obviously a low-level volunteer; she described "my general way I help, which is putting up signs and things of that nature