Dan Liljenquist: Utah Attorney General John Swallow is now trapped

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  • Allisonallred Richardson, TX
    March 17, 2014 10:16 a.m.

    This article feels like a politically-motivated attack by a guy who has his eye on another guy's job. How many millions of tax dollars went into our finding out about this houseboat? This is the widespread scale of these ethics violations? I'm moving to Utah! P.S. Badly done, Deseret News, to give this personal rant a platform. And he quotes the Trib! Who's at the helm over there? How did this article not land in the "opinion" section? Must be the fable at the outset that got everyone so breathlessly smitten.

  • FaifeauSam Lehi, UT
    Nov. 21, 2013 12:54 p.m.

    I'm not a Democrat, but I voted for Sean Reyes against Swallow, and I would hope that the Governor would have the courage to appoint Reyes to fill the open spot. At least with him we would have someone we could trust. I was very disappointed when Swallow won the seat. :(

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 12:48 p.m.

    Re: Obama10

    Utah law states that only one party to the conversation needs to have knowledge of a recording. Johnson knew the conversation was being recorded, and as a party to that coversation, his recording is perfectly legal. He did not, nor does anybody who records a conversation, need to inform the other party (Swallow) of this.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 12:47 p.m.

    Open Minded Mormon,
    Re "John Swallow no longer has the Public Trust"...

    But he doesn't have your trust because you won't give it to him. Public trust is something every individual has to decide if they will give or not. Just because you have withdrawn your trust doesn't automatically mean everybody has.

    Just as Clinton's troubles with young interns and his lies to Congress didn't prevent him from doing the day-do-day business of being President (remember Democrats working hard, very hard to make that case)... likewise I think it's very possible for Swallow to do the day-to-day work required of an Attorney General despite having spent some time on a rich constituent's house boat.

    Can you fathom that?

    If he can do the job... there's no need to act before the election.

    You may not want impeachment (not sure that's totally honest). But we know for certain the State investigation is about impeachment. So that's where my comments about impeachment come from.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Nov. 15, 2013 10:50 a.m.

    2 bits
    Cottonwood Heights, UT

    It's called "Public Trust".
    John Swallow no longer has the Public Trust.

    And being HONEST with your dealings with your fellow men.
    Being Honest, is 3 notches above and beyond being what or is not LEGAL.

    BTW --
    I never said anything about impreachment,
    I want him to put his State, his Public office, his fellow citizens and LDS members ahead of himself and R-E-S-I-G-N.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 10:24 a.m.

    Open Minded Mormon,
    You have a way of twisting the facts and taking anything that doesn't support your POV out.

    The investigation committee is not only Republicans as you say. There are both Democrats and Republicans on the committee.

    I didn't say they are investigating him just because he's a Republican (strawman). I said the investigation is warranted, and should be done. But why can the Feds have their investigation completed and ours goes on... and on... and on... and on?

    You claim the State can't finish their investigation because he deleted his old emails (insinuating that he deleted them because of the investigation). Well there's one problem with that theory... the emails were deleted LONG before there was any investigation or even any accusations, before he was even elected AG!

    And the Feds were able to conclude their investigation without the emails... why can't we?

    I suspect the reason is... politics.

    Is it possible that YOU are the one seeing this through partisan fogged glasses? I mean the spin and selectivity kinda indicates that.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 10:08 a.m.

    I don't know if you are aware of how our system of government works.... but you can't just rescind your vote and demand that the person who won the election resign.

    You can speak for yourself... but you should not assume that your opinion automatically represents the whole electorate, or that our elected officials must do whatever you demand. We still fill these positions by elections (not bullying or demanding what we want).


    I still believe the house boat trip doesn't prevent him from doing his job as AG. Just as Bill Clinton's sexual exploits followed by proven dishonesty in testimony to Congress didn't prevent him from doing his duties.

    There is no emergency need to impeach.

    Wait for the next election and let the people decide (not the reporters or a small group of politicians).

    I have little doubt he will be out after the election. But I believe in following the election process, and not starting this tradition that when we get some dirt on a politician we try him in the media and start demanding his head and impeaching people before elections can happen.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    As far as I understand, in the state of Utah any time a conversation is recorded at least one party participating in the conversation must be aware that it's being recorded. Meaning it was perfectly OK for Jensen to record, as he was part of the conversation, and knew it was being recorded.

    Nov. 14, 2013 8:56 p.m.

    99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

  • Don Bixby Centerville, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 4:05 p.m.

    In Utah, only one party to the conversation needs to consent to the recording to make it legal. In this case, Johnson obviously consented, as he was the one doing the recording. That said, in Utah, if a conversation takes place in a public place with no reasonable expectation of privacy (for example, a retail donut store), anyone else could have recorded the conversation without consent of either party to the conversation.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 2:36 p.m.


    It is completely proper to record a conversation you have with another party, either in person or on the telephone. The rule is that one of the party's has to be aware of the recording taking place.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Nov. 14, 2013 2:07 p.m.

    2 bits
    Cottonwood Heights, UT
    9:49 a.m. Nov. 14, 2013

    Here's the irony I see in this...
    Republicans are doing the Investigating - not Democrats.

    How can you be blaming Democrats?

    As a fellow Utahan, (and a fellow Mormon) -- I want him removed from office NOW because he can't be effective.
    [Want more proof? -- How many other public officials do you see me crying for an investigation or impeached from office just becuase they happen to be Republican? -- hint: ZIPPO!]

    If the State would finish their investigation (like the Feds did) and be done (as the Feds are)... He COULD do his job until the next election.
    [The State IS trying to finish their investigation -- In case you missed it, John Swallow deleted the records they supoeaned him for. How can he do his job when he can't be trustworthy?]

    Did he sneak into the server room and delete all the backups on the State Servers??
    [Gee, I don't know 2bits?
    What do you say we ask the Utah State Attorney General to open an investion into HIMSELF?]

    But you just can't see through those partisan fogged glasses.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 14, 2013 1:49 p.m.

    Did you hear the fable about the two hyenas in the doughnut shop?

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 1:45 p.m.

    Sorry...the moderator didn't catch it...Johnson, not Jensen.

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 1:25 p.m.


    I don't know the law, but couldn't Jensen say he was recording HIMSELF, and Swallow just happened along? Who could prove otherwise?

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Nov. 14, 2013 12:31 p.m.

    If you want to defuse a crisis, do the following:

    1. Tell it all

    2. Tell it yourself

    3. Tell it first

    If you want everything to blow up in your face, use John Swallow's approach.

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 12:12 p.m.

    I wish Mr. Swallow would resign. As I am reading this article, I did have one question. What is the law on recording someone without them knowing it? I know each state is different. What is the law in Utah? Did Mr. Johnson break the law by recording him at the Krispy Kreme? No trolls please. I would like someone who actually knows the laws.

  • brightness Taylorsville, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 11:18 a.m.

    Flight or Fight? He has no alternative, he has to fight. I suppose he will fight for fame? Loyalty?, he has lost his credibility, his character is on the line, and his public trust is out the door. He should seriously think about resigning and let someone credible save our legal system.

  • woodysworld Sandy, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 11:06 a.m.

    I have met very few attorney's who even understand ETHICS. And the ability to get anyone to take discipline seriously is VERY limited. They manipulate the "law" to their own advantage and agenda. Very few know or follow the rules of Professional Conduct.

  • WillTheWolf CHICAGO, IL
    Nov. 14, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    There are other BIG fish involved in this . . probably all of the way in Washington & those in power want to make sure these other fish are out of the net before they finally haul it in and impeach Swallow. There is no other explanation as to why Swallow is still in office. He knows he's going down but the longer the delay, the bigger his payday will be for being the "fall guy."

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    @ 2bits How pray tell is this partisan?

    2bits said: "IMO the houseboat trip doesn't make him incapable of doing his job. It shows he can be tricked."

    Tricked? Tricked into saying "is there a paper trail" "Do they know about the boat?"

    Deleting his emails, and braggin' while being recored about deleting them, is the state's fault?
    Just to be clear your saying it's The State is fault for Not watching our highest law enforcement officer close enough?
    ....and yet if they were you would probably contend they were spying on him and invading his privacy.

    For someone who attacks the president daily with the slightest hint of an impropriety you sure have a sliding moral ruler when it comes to this case.
    Are you John Swallow?

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    "....Swallow, himself, acknowledged last week on the Doug Wright radio program that “maybe I suffer from a little bit of a lack of credibility right now.”

    That's hilarious....

    A LITTLE bit? I wouldn't loan you 5 bucks.....

  • AZKID Mapleton, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 9:59 a.m.

    I voted for John Swallow. I hereby rescind my vote and demand that he resign. Immediately.

    It is absolutely ludicrous that the citizenry should sit idly by and let millions of our dollars be spent on an investigation because one politician is selfishly trying to save his political skin.

    Mr. Swallow: do the right thing and resign now. Legislature: Hire some more teachers with the money you save. Citizens of Utah: make your voice heard and demand a resignation.

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 9:59 a.m.

    I want this to be completely solved, along with Shurtleff's involvement.
    Don't stop at ridding us of that miscreant Swallow...get to the very root of the whole affair and let's start clean-slate...top to bottom.
    There are also the other players...Lawson, Jensen, and others who bear some responsibility.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Nov. 14, 2013 9:56 a.m.

    Something said a long, long time ago....

    about avoiding even the very appearance of evil.

    This has crossed way Way WAY over that line.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 9:49 a.m.

    Here's the irony I see in this... Democrats claim they can't wait for an election, we must remove him from office NOW because he can't be effective. But the main reason he can't be affective is because they are harassing and investigating him 100% of the time.

    If the State would finish their investigation (like the Feds did) and be done (as the Feds are)... He COULD do his job until the next election.


    IMO the houseboat trip doesn't make him incapable of doing his job. It shows he can be tricked. And he doesn't have the best character (surprise... he's a politician). But he can still do his job for the months left till he's up for election, when the PEOPLE can make their choice (not his partisan tormentors).


    He didn't do himself any favors by recycling his personal and State Computers. But where is the STATE'S responsibility in all this??

    That's why we have a State IS Department... to keep backups of all this! Where were they? Did he sneak into the server room and delete all the backups on the State Servers??

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    Please spare us all of the agony of a long and drawn out battle and just resign already. Either way your political career is over, guilty or not.

  • Commodore West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    I can't believe it....Dan Liljenquist wrote an article that I actually agree with! Yes Swallow, the trap is sprung and you hanged yourself.

    if it quacks like a duck, looks like a duck and walks like a duck, its a duck. I believe Mr. Swallow is extremely unfit to hold office.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Nov. 14, 2013 7:42 a.m.

    There is a term we use regarding Government officials - "Public Trust".

    John Swallow has none.

    Elected or not,
    It's time to put someone in office that the "Public" can "Trust".

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 6:43 a.m.

    Maybe he suffers from a lot a bit of a lack of credibility right now.

  • stevo123 slc, ut
    Nov. 14, 2013 6:33 a.m.

    John Swallow Staes he is " lacking a little bit of credibility" . Yes, Mr. Swallow in my eyes you are severely lacking in that critical value.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 6:21 a.m.

    The president of the Senate is Joe Biden--not Harry Reid. The Vice-President of the United States is always the president of the Senate. Harry Reid is the Senate majority leader.