Rep. Pat Swindall has made the unusual move of requesting that he be indicted "on all charges that may be under consideration" by a grand jury in Atlanta that is investigating drug money laundering.
Swindall, a Republican seeking his third term in Congress from the suburban Atlanta 4th District, said he made the request Monday in a letter to Attorney General Dick Thornburgh because news reports based on unnamed federal sources have made it impossible to defend himself."Simple justice and fairness demand that I be allowed to prove my innocence in a court of law rather than in the media," Swindall said. "Simple justice and fairness also demand that I be allowed to prove my innocence before rather than after the Nov. 8 elections."
Swindall, who is locked in a tight re-election battle with Democrat Ben Jones, said he told Thornburgh he is "ready, able and willing to go to trial on the day following the indictment which I now request."
Justice Department spokesman John Russell said Thornburgh would have no response to Swindall's request beyond a statement U.S. Attorney Robert Barr issued Friday in Atlanta after Swindall criticized the investigation and suggested it might be politically motivated.