Attorney General John Swallow tells House leaders 'my side of the story'

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  • dansimp Layton, UT
    June 24, 2013 10:04 a.m.

    I think something DN Subscriber said is so very, very important and telling.

    "Meanwhile, being subject of several investigation, he is limited in what he can say in his defense."

    This couldn't be further from the truth. The accused can always tell their side of the story, unless a judge has put a gag order in place. What does keep someone from explaining their side, is when their attorneys are worried what they have to say might hurt their position. To the innocent, the full truth will not hurt their position. The only reason to withhold information while being investigated, is if you don't want that information known.

  • Beaver Native Garland, UT
    June 20, 2013 11:41 p.m.

    2 bits,

    It's not worth the gamble because of the possible additional harm he could do with more time in office, should the allegations prove to be true. If he is innocent, it's still better to investigate and clear his name, both for his sake and so that the State can get back to its normal business.

  • Bob Pomeroy Bisbee, AZ
    June 20, 2013 3:03 p.m.

    Swallow: "I came close to the line, but I didn't actually cross it."

    And from that, Mr Swallow, we may presume intent and calculation, and an uncomely arrogance. Moral judgment does not arise from the text of ethics codes, which are meant only to be guidelines. Again, you were taught all this stuff in law school, but you are ignoring that. Shame on you, and you are digging an ever-deepening pit for yourself. Resigning to avoid the appearance of impropriety, or to allow your office to conduct its service to the public out from under the burden this controversy imposes on it, are not admissions of guilt. You were also taught that in law school but have chosen to ignore that as well. The course you have taken is one from which you will not be able to recover, ever.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2013 9:39 p.m.

    So the right decision Mr. Swallow thought at 7am was to delay and not have the House investigate but after 3pm Mr. Swallow thought it was the right decision to have the House investigate now?

    Thanks for printing both stories.

  • plyxply SLC, UT
    June 19, 2013 5:21 p.m.

    This is not a Democrat/Republican issue, it's an issue of a person who should be trustworthy and honest and forthcoming in his actions and he is not. I'm with the lib/dem/freeloaders on this one, impeach Swallow before he can do any more damage.

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    June 19, 2013 4:43 p.m.

    DN Subscriber 2-

    You apparently don't understand impeachment. Speaker of the House Lockhart gave a great explanation of what the entire process is and what it's for on a Google Hangout the other day.

    Beginning the impeachment proceedings begins with a legislative investigation. As she explained, "high crimes and misdemeanors or malfeasance" does NOT mean a crime (felony or misdemeanor) as we think of them today. This is the difference in the constitutional language- it really means a loss of public trust. He showed poor judgement. He walked the ethical line. Maybe he broke criminal law. The impeachment PROCESS is NOT a criminal trial. It is to protect the integrity of the office.

    And quit the "lynch mob" garbage. No one is dragging him through the streets to the tall oak tree and carrying out vigilante justice. Again, impeachment is a PROCESS, not an single action. There are plenty of facts that show his lack of judgement and ethics. The legislature can look at those and decide he has embarrassed the office and write up articles of impeachment and send them onto the Senate for an impeachment trial.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    June 19, 2013 3:29 p.m.

    We must hurry to lynch him before the investigations come out with the truth?

    So far, there does not seem to be anything approaching a specific "high crime or misdemeanor" to charge against him. People may not like him, think he showed poor judgement or hung around with shady characters, but those are not impeachable offenses. You need to wait until have have something specific.

    Meanwhile, being subject of several investigation, he is limited in what he can say in his defense.

    Utahns should be more ashamed of the rabid lynch mob the media (and Democrats) have whipped into a frenzy than of anything Swallow is alleged to have done.

    Facts, people, facts. Then you can decide if he has done anything to be punished for.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 19, 2013 3:23 p.m.

    My... such high and self-righteous standards from the Left today. I wonder if they will be happy when these same standards are applied to all Democrats.

    Happy Valley Heretic:
    Lack of "Moral" fortitude is cause for removal.
    Do you want the Moral-Right to define "Moral" fortitude for you? So why do you do it?

    Brave Sir Robin:
    "if you have to explain what you were doing or why you were doing it, you were in the wrong."
    So... President Obama and many Democrats are having to explain what they were going in Washington today... should they all be gone? Why the double-standard?

    Beaver Native:
    "It's not worth the gamble to delay"
    Why would it be bad to delay? Afraid waiting for some FACTS may blunt the current political blood-lust? What REAL damage does waiting for an investigation to be done really do?

    "even the appearance of unethical behavior" should be enough.
    So if even a few people think something's "UN-Ethical" it's enough? I guess Obama's gone. And Al Sharpton, His son, the Congressman from NY (who Democrats agreed did unethical things but should stay in office).

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    June 19, 2013 3:13 p.m.

    Swallow doesn't want anyone to rush to judgment, wants us to let the investigations run their course and allow him due process.

    I'm all for due process as part of any criminal prosecution but what Swallow seems to be ignoring is that this is more than a case of whether he deserves to go to jail.

    This is also about whether he should be the AG. He seems to be saying if I'm not a criminal there's no reason I should leave office.

    But that can't be the standard. If he's lost the confidence of the citizens of Utah, whom he was elected to serve and/or lost the moral authority to lead his office, he can't be effective in his position and should resign.

    I don't see him addressing those questions, nor do I see him providing any credible evidence he can continue to operate effectively as the AG. The fact that he's meeting with his personal lawyers to plan his defense and meeting with legislators to try to talk them out of impeachment demonstrates he's spending his time on personal matters, not serving the people of Utah.

  • mitchjensen sandy, UT
    June 19, 2013 3:02 p.m.

    Mr Swallow, I've heard enough of "your side of the story." I'm only disappointed that the REST of your story will probably not be told from within a prison cell, along with fellow cellmate Mark Shurtleff, but instead, most likely, from behind the desk at a secondhand law firm where you'll no doubt land after your impeachment.

  • goducks SANTA CLARA, UT
    June 19, 2013 1:23 p.m.

    "Of all the people who deserve the benefit of due process, it's the attorney general." hmm... or 'Of all the people that should have the absolute highest level of integrity and ethics, and who should remain as far away from even the appearance of unethical behavior, it's the attorney general.'

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    June 19, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    Legislature: "Mr. Swallow, can you please explain the actions that have brought you here today."

    Mr. Swallow: "Here's my side of things- I did hang out with convicted criminals, people being investigated for crimes, and other questionable individuals. I did use some personal property, a houseboat, of one of these individuals and forgot to disclose it. But, I did that later. I took trips with Mark Shurtleff to Newport Beach to hang out with a convicted criminal and charged a bunch of stuff to his accounts. I forgot to divulge my interest in P-Solutions after I handed the company over to my wife, but we amended the filings later. I've studied all the ethical statutes, and I can tell you, unequivocally, I came close to the line, but I didn't actually cross it."

  • Beaver Native Garland, UT
    June 19, 2013 12:24 p.m.

    Delaying a State investigation until a Federal investigation concludes is unwise. If guilty, it gives him time for more damage to be done to State interests, since the State will still need to do their own investigation before impeachment proceedings can begin. It's not worth the gamble to delay.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    So, does Due Process means Stalling and hoping everyone forgets about this enough to tolerate you being the AG?

  • Pat Salt Lake , UT
    June 19, 2013 10:54 a.m.

    I agree with those who feel the various investigations should conclude before this man and his family are further crucified by those who are out for blood regardless of the truth.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    June 19, 2013 10:24 a.m.

    A wise person once told me "if you have to explain what you were doing or why you were doing it, you were in the wrong." I think John Swallow would do well to learn this.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    June 19, 2013 10:20 a.m.

    I heard your side when you said "do they know about the boat?"
    You obviously knew that it would not look "ethical" for you to be taking "gifts" from certain people,
    but that never stopped you.

    You sir, do not have the "Moral" fortitude to be chief law enforcement officer regardless of whether you technically broke the law. Your choosing the low road "is there a paper trail" then refusing to admit your weakness for gifts from criminals should be enough for a dignified gentleman to withdraw.

    But I suspect they will have to drag you kicking and screaming from the office you tainted and continue to disrespect.