Presumed Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin has hired a private lawyer to defend her in the “Troopergate” investigation. Palin is accused of abusing her power by pressuring Public Safety Commissioner Walk Monegan to fire Palin’s ex-brother-in-law, and when Monegan refused, she fired him for no reason.
Even though the Palin administration says they are cooperating fully with the investigation, the main purpose of the new lawyer seems to be to delay the results of the investigation until after the presidential election (which makes you wonder, since if she is innocent you would think she would want the results to come out as soon as possible).
Of course, is also the problem that Palin has changed her story several times. First she issued a blanket denial that there was any pressure from her office, but when a tape recording was produced of such conversations (including from her husband) she admitted that there was pressure, but that she didn’t know about it. But Monegan claims he had conversations with Palin herself and has copies of emails from her.
The private lawyer, Thomas Van Flein, first questioned whether the legislature had the authority to investigate the matter at all. Instead, he wanted it investigated by the state Personnel Board — a panel appointed by the Governor herself.
Van Flein also says that he can’t guarantee that Palin will be available any time soon to testify in the investigation. So much for full cooperation.
But what makes this ironic is the statement issued by Van Flein:
Our concern is that Hollis French turns into Ken Starr and uses public money to pursue a political vendetta rather than truly pursue an honest inquiry into an alleged ethics issue.
This is doubly ironic:
- a Republican is asserting that Ken Starr persued a dishonest “political vendetta” against Bill Clinton. Really?
- The Palin investigation was approved unanimously by a Republican-dominated Legislative Council, so it would be Republicans who are carrying out a “political vendetta” against Palin.
Hmmm. The final report (if Van Flein doesn’t succeed in delaying it) is due out October 31, just a few days before the election.