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Rove Said To Have Influenced Inquiry

Jill Simpson, a Republican lawyer from Alabama, told House Judiciary Committee staffers under oath that she was informed in late 2002 by Rob Riley, the son of Republican Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, that one of the governor’s top political allies had spoken to Karl Rove, the former White House deputy chief of staff, about pushing for a federal criminal prosecution of former Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman.

According to Simpson’s testimony, which provided new information from an earlier May affidavit, she was also told by Rob Riley in early 2005 that Rove had recently met with Justice Department officials in the public integrity section regarding Siegelman, and following that alleged meeting, Siegelman was indicted on corruption charges, along with former HealthSouth Corp. Chief Executive Richard Scrushy.

Both Siegelman and Scrushy have since been convicted and are in federal prison.

Rob Riley has vehemently denied the accusations, which are scheduled to be reviewed at an upcoming House Judiciary hearing.

Simpson also said that Siegelman agreed to drop his post-election challenge to Riley’s 2002 election victory after she personally witnessed a Siegelman supporter plant pro-Riley signs at a Ku Klux Klan rally.