As the storm continues to swirl around our newly inaugurated Attorney General John Swallow, we’ve noticed 3 main holes in the story that we would like answered before making any judgments about Mr. Swallow’s guilt or innocence.
Late Friday, the Salt Lake Tribune broke the news that Attorney General John Swallow (Republican) is being accused, along with the late owner of Check City (and Swallow’s former employer) Richard Rawle, of facilitating an attempt to bribe the Federal Government so a pending lawsuit by the FTC against Utah businessman Jeremy Johnson would be dropped.
After the lawsuit moved forward and Johnson was arrested anyway, he went public with what Swallow had allegedly done, providing documents, emails and secretly recorded meetings to the Tribune.
See their full story here.
Earlier today, the Daily Herald newspaper called for the immediate resignation of Swallow – claiming that the allegations were enough to permanently destroy his credibility and ability to represent the people of Utah in court.
With a story this big, there’s no chance we’ve heard all there is to hear yet, so rather than make an early judgement as to whether Swallow is guilty as accused or not, we would like to see these 3 points clarified.
- If the money that Mr. Swallow took from Jeremy Johnson was legal and completely above the table, why did Mr. Swallow choose not to disclose it on his financial disclosures during the election.
- If, as Swallow claims, the $600,000 was truly just for lobbying and not for a bribe, then why did the company formed to accept the money from Johnson never hire or register any lobbyists?
- If he knew these allegations were coming back in 2011, and would look as bad as they do, why did Swallow choose not to disclose any of this to the public before the election. Did he not feel this was information people should have when making their decisions in the voting booth?
All the facts of this story are not known yet. Perhaps AG Swallow is guilty or perhaps he’s innocent, we just don’t know yet. The Utah Democratic Party announced yesterday that they were calling on the United States Attorney General, Eric Holder, to appoint a special prosecutor to come to Utah and independently investigate the allegations. They’ve also asked the Utah Republican Party, Governor Herbert, and Swallow himself to join them in their call, but no response has been heard back yet.
That seems to be the best route for Utah at the moment. Our Attorney General needs to be above reproach if he is to effectively represent the interests of the people of Utah in court. As such, we would hope Mr. Swallow would welcome the opportunity for an independent investigation. If he’s innocent and being falsely accused, there’s no better way to prove it and regain the trust of Utahns.