Former Governor Wants to Go to Washington

Don Siegelman appears on the MSNBC show 'Verdict with Dan Abrams' Monday night.
Don Siegelman appears on the MSNBC show 'Verdict with Dan Abrams' Monday night.

Montgomery, Al. (WSFA) -- Despite warnings from at least one close ally, former Governor Don Liegeman says he's ready to testify before a congressional committee looking into the influence the Bush administration may have had over Justice Department prosecutions.

Everyday, for two whole months a couple of years ago, Siegeman and his lead attorney Vince Kilborn were together at the federal courthouse while the former Governor was on trial for public corruption. Kilborn was by his side then and is still by his side now. "I'm his attorney I'm afraid until the bitter end no matter how long it lasts and it looks like it's going to last a long time. So you will go to Washington with him? Sure."

Next month is when Siegeman has been asked to appear before the House Judiciary Committee to testify about allegations of selective prosecution. Siegeman indicated his willingness to do that on MSNBC's "Verdict" with Dan Abrams. Abrams asked him about testifying. "One of your staunchest allies on capitol hill has said that he doesn't think that you should testify for fear that you're going to hurt your own case. Are you ready to go to capitol hill and testify?" Siegelman said, "I'm ready to go to capitol hill and give them whatever information I can. This is not about me. It's about America."

Kilborn however has a different take on it. "There's great danger in Governor Siegeman being asked about his case and as his lawyer I'm dead against that. You're against him testifying? No, only about his case - about the facts of his case."

Kilborn says just about everything the former Governor knows he has already made public and Siegelman continues pointing his finger. "Saying that Karl Rove was not involved in my prosecution is like saying George Bush is not involved in the war in Iraq." Even Karl Rove, the man they accuse of orchestrating the prosecution against Siegelman, issued a statement saying he is also willing to go before the Judiciary Committee.

And, on Siegelman's personal life since he's been out of prison, Kilborn days he's still trying to adjust. "I think he's overwhelmed. I think he's going from basically isolation to huge national attention overnight and he's trying to visit his family and his friends and gain some weight, buy some clothes that fit, going to Goodwill buying some pants. He's wearing his son's pants that his son wore when he was 14. So, he's overwhelmed with the huge change."

At the end of Dan Abrams program he asked people to e-mail their verdict of the Siegelman story. Abrams' assistant says they have received about 300 e-mails and just about all of them were supportive of Siegelman.

Don Siegelman has given several interviews to national publications and broadcast programs but says he will not, at least for now, give any interviews to local media.

Reporter: Eileen Jones