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Citing Campaign Obligations, ‘First Dude’ Won’t Cooperate With Investigation

McClatchy reports that an attorney representing the Palins in the “Troopergate” investigation, said that Todd Palin, husband of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, would love to comply with the subpoena he was issued by the Alaska state legislature. Really, he would — it’s just that his wife has this campaign thing going on, you know, and he’s kind of tied up with that at the moment.

In a letter listing Todd Palin’s objections, his Anchorage attorney, Thomas Van Flein, argued that legislators lack legal authority to investigate the governor, that French has shown his bias by talking of potential impeachment, and that Branchflower has a conflict of interest because his wife worked under Monegan at the Anchorage Police Department.

Van Flein also brought up the Palins’ busy campaign schedule leading up to election day, noting Todd Palin will be out of state today.

“Moreover, because his spouse is her party’s nominee for Vice President of the United States, his scheduling obligations over the next two months will make it virtually impossible for him to prepare for and present the testimony called for in the Subpoena at the specified location during that time period,” Van Flein’s letter says.

OK, so there were other reasons given. I’m certainly no legal expert, but that seems like an incredibly audacious thing to include in a letter explaining why you have no intention of complying with a subpoena. It doesn’t really bolster your case at all, and it could indicate you don’t take the matter very seriously. However, as the article notes, there is no immediate penalty for defying the subpoena.

State law says if a witness refuses to obey a subpoena, the full state Senate or House may “commit the witness for contempt” and take “such action as may be considered necessary.” That could lead to physically hauling the witness in, or imposing fines and jail time. But the Legislature won’t be in session again until January.

If the Troopergate investigation does turn up damaging revelations — and I’m not suggesting it will or won’t — then preventing a final report from coming out before the Nov. 4 general election is really all that matters for the McCain campaign.

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