09 October 2008

Troopergate Report Due Tomorrow

Lest anybody forget, the independent counsel's report on Sarah Palin's possible ethics violations in an abuse of power investigation and ensuing cover up will hit the streets tomorrow. Granted, it will be a much diluted document, since the once cooperative governor grew noticeably less enthusiastic about participating in the affair since becoming VP nominee. Thankfully for our reading edification, we've got the First Dude's written testimony as fodder for speculation. Despite GOP efforts, though, Alaska's Supreme Court decided today that the investigation will continue.

The courtroom today sounded like an Olympic ping pong match between judges and lawyers. From the ADN:

Clarkson, who was up first, didn't speak long before the justices began firing questions at him.

Justice Daniel Winfree asked how Clarkson figured his clients had any standing to sue based on the notion an unconstitutional investigation violates the individual rights of others, chiefly Palin's.

Because this is a case of "public significance," Clarkson replied.

"Is this one of public significance or just one of public interest?" Winfree shot back.

"It's both," Clarkson said.

Later, Justice Robert Eastaugh asked, "What are we to make of the fact" that a bipartisan panel voted unanimously to conduct the investigation?

. . . As with Clarkson, justices soon were questioning Maassen.

"Who's doing this investigation?" Winfree asked. Is it the Legislative Council, which ordered the probe, the Senate Judiciary Committee that issued subpoenas to the governor's husband and aides, or who exactly?

The legislative branch, Maassen replied.

Maassen argued that if the governor's rights or those of other people were somehow violated, it's up to them to go to court for protection, not the Republican legislators acting as citizen taxpayers.

. . . Clarkson acknowledged he's also working with, though not receiving payment from, the McCain-Palin campaign.

"Have I talked to them? Sure. Do they tell me what to do? No," he said, adding: "Sometimes they don't know what they're talking about."
Ah, to have been a fly on the wall. Stay tuned.