Don’t Swallow the Bait

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John SwallowWill the state of Utah hold a trial by media, or will it follow the state Constitution with regard to the allegations against its Attorney General John Swallow?

For months the liberal media in Utah have been “borking” its first-in-a-long-time conservative Republican Attorney General John Swallow.  It has become so vicious, they are now calling for his impeachment.  Sadly, according to recent polls, the media are having their day and the vast majority, who are only allowed to hear that media’s view, are swallowing it – hook, line and sinker.  The stories are running about 20:1 against him and his media releases are not being published.  Utahns need to know that.

After you’ve read this post, contact your state legislator and ask them to use caution and not to jump the gun in calling for impeachment.

For those not aware of this Utah scandal, the buzz is over alleged charges against the Attorney General ranging from criminal charges of bribery to unethical charges of taking advantage of a client’s credit card on a trip to California when not serving as Attorney General, allegations he has denied.

So heated has it become, the Republican majority legislature is now also considering calling for impeachment at its next legislative interim session on June 17th.

To the Utah State House of Representatives and to the people of Utah, Cherilyn Eagar is on record joining with others that have actually talked and met with the Attorney General personally and who are asking for the process to play out constitutionally.  My first post on this was published on January 15, 2013.

I’ve taken a conservative approach because now I’ve heard both sides.  I’ve talked to John Swallow on three separate occasions since January 15 in great detail, and I’ve read the news reports.  He has answered every question.

My message is: Don’t swallow the bait, or you just might get caught with the hook in your mouth and find yourself suddenly a fish being jerked out of the water.

Or maybe not, but it’s not worth the risk of destroying a man and his family.  After asking John Swallow the tough questions and seeing evidence in his possession, here are my conclusions:

Jeremy Johnson
Jeremy Johnson jailed

Consider the accusers. The accusations are initiated by convicted criminals and accused felons, the liberal media and political enemies of a conservative Attorney General, as well as the Leftist environmental extremists “Alliance for a Better Utah” and Democratic operatives salivating over the opportunity to bring a man down without giving him that pesky little Constitutional protection called “due process.”

Jim Dabakis
Senator Jim Dabakis (D)

Likewise, other influential voices are jumping at the chance to be the first to call it and quick to judge and throw out due process. They range from the Democratic Party Chairman Jim Dabakis to Republican pundit Holly-on-the-Hill Richardson, former US Senate candidate Dan Liljenquist and even the conservative Sutherland Institute Executive Director Paul Mero.

Paul: As one of Utah’s protectors of Constitutional correctness and civility, I’m confused.  But it also happens that Sutherland and Swallow disagree on a big issue:  amnesty.

In fact, many of the players lining up against the AG just also happen to be those who are pro-amnesty.

AG Mark Shurtleff

Don’t forget that AG Mark Shurtleff showed up at amnesty rallies waving a Mexican flag and chanting “Si, se puede!” (“Yes we can”…originating from the Cesar Chavez marxist uprising in California, along with his cohort Dolores Huerta, political figures now being praised in the new Common Core texts your children are getting in Utah).  Where were all the outraged cries for impeachment then?

John Swallow just happens to oppose that viewpoint, and his opponents who favor Utah’s amnesty laws are playing hard ball here.

It also becomes glaringly evident that a political lynching is underway when his predecessor had been involved in much more questionable activity while in office.  But that predecessor was in league with some of those now lining up against Swallow.

Have you listened to that one-hour tape recording?  It was clearly a set-up to nail the Attorney General with leading conversation and questions repeated over and over again, for the express purpose of getting them on tape.  The repeated questions about an email appeared to be a form of “gas lighting” to make the AG question his own memory.  The crude language and cavalier attitude of the accused felon is obvious throughout.  And this is the man we are to believe?

Constitutional protections. Due process.  Would you or I expect any less if we were in the same hot seat? We all deserve to be held innocent until proven guilty.  That’s the standard and tradition of our rule of law.

If you are confused, call him and talk to him personally, and look at the evidence. I have, and for that reason, I feel even more strongly that the state legislature needs to use caution and to slow down.

fbi-logo-largeAn investigation is already underway.  John Swallow is not going to resign. The Attorney General’s office is not distracted by this investigation and the media noise. It is focused and making great progress to restore Utah’s land rights, probably the most critical issue regarding Utah’s economic future.

Remember, so convinced of his innocence is he, John Swallow himself called for an FBI investigation, now five months along and, in a few short months, on schedule to be completed. There is no way that the Utah legislature could hope to catch up to that investigation.  Plus an impeachment investigation would come at Utah taxpayer expense amounting to millions, according to those who have reviewed costs from other states’ impeachment proceedings.  Bill Clinton’s impeachment cost taxpayers $70 million.

Distraction and Destruction to Utah. An impeachment would not only be a costly state distraction, it would be a national media story and would certainly not put Utah in a positive light. It would definitely cast a negative shadow over the state and could be embarrassing if he is found innocent.

Premature Judgment. What happens if the FBI investigation finds him innocent after the State House proceeds to impeach? Would the rash judgment not appear rather foolhardy at worst or unwise at best?

Consider this:  It has happened before – in Arizona – when a conservative governor was impeached.  Like Swallow, he was hard on illegal immigration.  Amnesty-lovers play hardball.  When the governor was ultimately found innocent, what did the legislature say?  “Oops.”  The impeachment had become a Leftist political lynching, and they laughed all the way home at their victory.  An innocent man deserves more than that, and a legislature should be held accountable for that wrong-doing.

So why the rush in the legislature to call for impeachment?

Gary Herbert
Utah Governor Gary Herbert

Political opportunism abounds everywhere. Other Republicans, including Utah’s Governor and the Speaker of the House have been quick to notice the polls, which polls now claim that as many as 80% want him impeached. Because this issue could have consequences for upcoming races, they are carefully distancing themselves.  In fact, it is said that those two may be facing off in the next gubernatorial race.  Let’s hope they and other more weak-kneed incumbents don’t use an impeachment to their political benefit.  That question’s in the Speaker’s hands, and the pressure’s on.

Becky Lockhart
Utah Speaker Becky Lockhart

This politicization will become intensified if the legislature uses the court of public opinion as their foundation to become the Court that impeaches him. Fortunately, the FBI is a non-political venue and is presently in a time frame of public scrutiny in which it will be more apt to be dotting all the “I’s” and crossing all the “T’s.”

What About the Critical Issues in Front of the Legislature?
I attend interim sessions regularly and was at the legislature nearly every day.  I know the process.  Utah only has a part-time legislature and very limited time to attend to the most critical issues facing this state.  How will they afford to leave their occupations for the enormous time this will take to hear an impeachment?  It costs $30,000 every time the legislature is called for a special session.

Moreover, the impeachment process is going to tie up the legislature at the most critical time in our state’s history  – and the Left is loving it.

medicaidexpansionConsider what’s at stake:  The Governor must declare whether Utah will accept Medicaid expansion by October 2013. That means a special session must be called before then. (Thanks to the legislation we helped to pass so that the Governor could not have the sole authority to make that decision.)

Medicaid expansion is a major issue for Utah because it’s going to bankrupt our state.  If we can stop the expansion, we can stop the single payer – President Obama’s Unaffordable Care Act.

common core rottenIn addition, the Utah State Office of Education is under attack for having implemented a set of Common Core standards, along with its aligned progressive curriculum and nosy and illegal behavioral assessments, before it had even read them – in exchange for federal stimulus funds and grants.  The Obama Administration is playing hardball with Utah, as is the business community that naively supports this measure.

Enough parents have become informed and are so outraged that entire neighborhoods are now pulling their children out of public schools in Utah.

Utah is in a crisis on these two most costly items in the state budget – Medicaid expansion and education, not to mention the all-important fight for our land rights.  And our legislators want to distract themselves with an impeachment investigation that will most likely not rise to the level of impeachment in a real Court of law?  This is a feeding frenzy for the Democrats milking it for what it’s worth.

An impeachment will not help the AG, and it won’t help Utah or the legislature. Remember, if you can do it to John Swallow, it can be done to you.

 preamble1What Does the Utah Constitution Say?
It’s worth reviewing exactly how the Utah State Constitution defines impeachable offenses. Here it is:

Article VI, Section 19. [Officers liable for impeachment — Judgment — Prosecution by law.]

“The Governor and other State and Judicial officers shall be liable to impeachment for high crimes, misdemeanors, or malfeasance in office [my emphasis]; but judgment in such cases shall extend only to removal from office and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust, or profit in the State. The party, whether convicted or acquitted, shall, nevertheless, be liable to prosecution, trial, and punishment according to law”

“In office” are the operative words. From my vantage point, I see no legal justification to call for impeachment, given the evidence I’ve seen personally, until the FBI investigation has run its course and can provide more evidence that will stand up in a Court of Law, not in the court of the media and public opinion.

Utah does not want to set this precedent.

One State Senator, Todd Weiler, suggests that electing the Attorney General is a corrupting factor and that the governor should appoint.  Using that logic, perhaps the entire legislature should be appointed?

Please contact your Utah state legislative representatives today who will be meeting on Wednesday, June 19th, and ask them to vote NO on any measure to call for an impeachment proceeding. Here’s the roster.

Here’s the letter from John Swallow’s attorneys that went out to state legislators on Friday.

6 thoughts on “Don’t Swallow the Bait”

  1. Well said, Cherilyn. There’s a lot going on here. Anytime I see the media jumping on something with such a suspicious accuser, I become suspicious of their motives. Seems like we should let the investigations play out. After all, IF these accusation are true (not yet established either way) then there are others (namely former AG Shurtleff) who are also deeply involved. I’d rather act on the truth than jump to conclusions. And if we impeach Swallow now, this probably goes away, without ever really knowing the truth, and the full extent of it. Why is the GOP suddenly jumping on the media bandwagon??

  2. Why would the non-legislative investigations go away if we impeach Mr. Swallow? Impeachment is not a criminal action and is limited to removing a person from office If he were removed from office I would think that the rest of the investigations would continue in order to establish if there was anything that would warrant action in a court of law.

    In fact, we need to remember that beginning an impeachment proceeding is not the same as convicting the Attorney General – it is the admission that there is enough accusation present to deserve a public investigation into whether impeachment is even warranted. Why is it that Cherilyn and the Eagle Forum don’t believe that the public has a right to investigate the accusations? They must certainly know that most people do not have the time or access (like they do) to call the Attorney General directly and receive his assurances that he is innocent.

    1. David, the public investigation is already underway. It’s been five months in the office of the FBI, at the AG’s request. This is where the investigation will be much deeper than the legislature could possibly go – or catch up. We should wait until that investigation has run its course and then decide what to do. It will save a lot of time and money.

  3. I agree that we need to be cautious in forming our opinions and also do some research ourselves. By the same token, you refer to one of the individuals speaking out against current AG Mr. Swallow as a “FELON”. Said individual has not been convicting of any crime as of yet, and is still waiting for his day in court. Shouldn’t we weigh his statements with the same weight as we weigh Mr. Swallow’s. Until he is found guilty in court, it is my opinion that his statement needs to be considered with as much we validity as Mr. Swallows denials.

    1. I adjusted the text accordingly “accused felon.” Thanks for the heads up. All sides must be heard, and they will be. The first step is the FBI investigation. I’m suggesting we get through that and then we will have more information upon which to determine the next appropriate step.

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