Robert Bennett: Shurtleff and Swallow are 'innocent until proven guilty' in the A.G. scandal

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  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    July 24, 2014 7:55 p.m.

    SCfan - you just don't get why Obama got the Noble Prize, do you. It is not for some personal accomplishment he made, but the barrier his election broke that had world rattling ramifications. With the exception of a few countries, the US was one of the last holdouts in lifting a non-white male to a position of significant leadership. It represented a sea change, a landmark, a conclusion to what many had hoped would signify true wind change from this countries bigoted past. It had all the earmarks of real change.

    But alas, it was short lived. And those who could bear the idea of a non-white male in the White House quickly identified themselves. And the funny thing is...Obama is still by far not the President to have the lowest popularity ratings at this point in his presidency... there are plenty who had lower ratings.

    But the radio talking heads to mention that, do they. It wouldn't make for juicy sensationalized media... It is really sad how many Americans rely on infortainment pretending to be news as their source for real information.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    July 23, 2014 4:18 p.m.

    Gary O
    Check out the Obama of 2014. He is not so popular anymore, both here and overseas. Not like he was in 2009 when he won the WELL DESERVED Noble Peace Prize. (sarcasam to the max). And as for lies, well there is not a "smidgen" of truth to that, is there? The fantasy in all this is what the mainstream news media presents about Obama. Namely, not reporting on what is really happening in the world of Obama. And if Americans only get news from those sources, they are the ones living in Fantasyland.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    July 23, 2014 11:42 a.m.

    Hey David -

    "Still an Obama apologist?" No, that is inaccurate.

    I have never apologized for Obama. Sure he's not perfect, but I can't think of anything he needs to be apologetic about.

    The distorted world of Right Wing Fantasy Land is certainly not Obama's fault.

    Sure he's made misstatements, and he could have been more specific at times. He should have said, "you can keep your health care plan IF it meets minimum specs" . . . but rational people already knew that. Calling it a "lie" is a stretch.

    All in all, Obama has been pretty upfront and direct, and his policies are consistent with national and international success. It's no wonder that internationally, Obama is the most popular world leader. And he has been since 2009.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 23, 2014 11:39 a.m.

    Innocent until proven gullty?

    So, can't pay attention now,
    I'm still watching the FoxNews Tea-publican Media public lynching of former American POW, Sgt. Bowe Bengdahl...

    [sarcasm off].

  • David Centerville, UT
    July 22, 2014 10:28 p.m.

    Gary writes--

    "There is a HUGE difference between all the phony made-up "scandals" invented by Right Wingers that supposedly implicate the Obama administration . . . . And the very real problem of corruption in the Utah AG's office."

    Still an Obama apologist.

    Might these "made-up" scandals include Obama lying about Obamacare? That was recorded on tape dozens of times so its hard to "make" that one up.

    Or perhaps the "made-up" scandal of the IRS targeting conservative groups prior to the presidential election. Obama admitted the abuse that occurred in the IRS, claiming it was just some "rogue" agents in one branch. Well, there is evidence contrary to the president's suppositions suggesting that it was a Washington DC based directive. Investigators are trying to determine how far up these directives go.

    Or perhaps you are referring to the "made-up" scandal of the administration spying on the press? The press is reporting that one…hardly "made up".

    There are other scandals too. Just thought I might mention a few of the "made-up" scandals that are quite proven and very real.

    But Obama apologists have difficulty seeing clearly.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    July 22, 2014 9:25 p.m.

    Let me see here.... If Holder had prosecuted these two, there would be screams of this being politicized.

    If Holder doesn't prosecute, then it is still being politicized? Way too confusing. It back to the now 6 year old strategy of the NeoCons.... no matter what happens, it has to be a Democrats fault. Doesn't matter what it is... it is their (democrats) fault. Never once do they consider that they too may have a few bad eggs in the crowd who are trying to take advantage of their positions. Nope. Impossible.

    What seems to be wrong here is decisions are being made based on political value - not whether they are right or wrong. Bennett shockingly admits that as he states that after the withdrawal, he ceased to looking into wrong doings - probably to save the party embarrassment. Likewise Holder probably didn't go after these two because it would look too political. It is a sad state we are in an era when politics trumps right or wrong in oh so many ways.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    July 22, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    Who knows, they might be found not guilty in a court of law. Whether they are "innocent" is a different matter...

  • 1Observer Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 22, 2014 9:26 a.m.

    Mr. Bennett makes the assumption that since the Washington DC lawyers from the Public Corruption Division of Justice Department dropped their case that the FBI went attorney shopping. It could be that the DC lawyers were incompetent or didn't care, or this scandal was nothing compared to others they have seen, or for whatever reason they decided not to pursue the case (maybe Harry Reid had something to with it!- Kidding!) but the FBI realized that crimes had been committed and should be prosecuted. The Utah House committee certainly thought so. I would be careful not to put too much weight on the decision of the DC Justice Department attorneys to drop their case. The Public Corruption Division of the Justice Department has a pretty abysmal record when it come to prosecuting politicians. The most successful prosecutions of public officials have historically been conducted by the local jurisdictions or the locally appointed US Attorney.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    July 22, 2014 8:10 a.m.

    I assume that Mr. Bennett will now surrender to the court his "findings" about Shurtleff, just as a gesture of good faith and citizenship.

    These two learned counselors at law have convicted themselves out of their own mouths: "Do they know about the boat?"

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    July 22, 2014 7:40 a.m.

    Hey Svenn -

    "Isn't it amazing all of the latitude that our liberal friends give Dear Leader and Eric Holder with all of their scandals, but find no such charity for Swallow and Shurtleff."

    But you're forgetting something . . . There is a HUGE difference between all the phony made-up "scandals" invented by Right Wingers that supposedly implicate the Obama administration . . . . And the very real problem of corruption in the Utah AG's office.

    See the difference?

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    July 21, 2014 10:10 p.m.


    By all means, let's trust the guy who's best buddies with Shurtleff and Swallow.

    He'll for sure give us an objective view...

  • Mr. Bean Phoenix, AZ
    July 21, 2014 9:39 p.m.

    Well, Bob... since it's public record, why not list the offenses of Shurtleff and Swallow that you investigated back in the day? Inquiring minds wanna know.

  • Svenn Morgan, UT
    July 21, 2014 9:19 p.m.

    Isn't it amazing all of the latitude that our liberal friends give Dear Leader and Eric Holder with all of their scandals, but find no such charity for Swallow and Shurtleff.

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    July 21, 2014 8:02 p.m.

    I see Bob. So you started looking into improprieties in the AG's office when Shurtleff was running against you.

    But, the moment he dropped out of the race, you dropped the whole thing, rather than referring this to the proper authorities.

    So, in your eyes, potential criminal activities are important only if they can help you leverage what you want politically?

    I'm not a lawyer, a judge, or a jury member in this case. My opinion has no legal weight, so using my freedom of expression, I'll say that I think Swallow and Shurtleff are guilty of using their office for personal gain. And also, in my opinion, it appears you may have had some questionable ethics when you served as well.

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 21, 2014 6:41 p.m.

    The Court of Public Opinion is not bound by the same laws, rules and precedents of a Court of Law.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 21, 2014 3:58 p.m.

    Re: "Senator Mike Lee was connected with these BOTH of these guys . . . ."

    Hmmmmmm -- I once shook hands with Mr. Shurtleff, and I saw Mr. Swallow once, as he was leaving a BYU function I attended. So, I guess I'm connected to BOTH of these guys, too.

    Oh well, I'm not a Republican, so I have nothing to worry about.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    July 21, 2014 3:52 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal
    Senator Lee is more than a Republican, much, much more. To bring him into the current discussion of our past Attorney Generals is not fair to either of the accused.

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    July 21, 2014 3:04 p.m.

    This may not have anything to do with shurtleff and swallow, but I sure wish that the IRS had to operate on the premiss of inocense until proven guilty. All they have to do is suspect you, without a shred of proof, and you're had. 'guilty until proven innocent' and by the way, we're not going to try to prove you're innocent either.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    July 21, 2014 1:50 p.m.

    Sometimes the best-laid plans go afoul.

    Shurtleff had a reasonable expectation that his hand-picked successor, Swallow, would be in a position to help protect Shurtleff from criminal charges being brought against him.

    But then the spotlight turned to Swallow, and when that focus broadened and the picture zoomed outward, there was Shurtleff . . . wild-eyed, smiling, sweating bullets, and pointing the finger of blame at his Liberal political enemies. Ta da!

    You know how it is when you watch a movie, and the plot is so hackneyed you just know what’s going to happen next? Well, I KNEW Shurtleff would claim that Democrats were instigating a political farce and unjustly blaming him.

    And he’s sticking to his story.

    Since then, the poor, beleaguered former AG has been persecuted constantly. His home was violated, and his daughter was threatened by Storm-Trooper intruders brandishing firearms, and the poor innocent AG has steadfastly insisted on his innocence . . . He knows NOTHING about any improprieties.

    But you know what? If prosecutors offer him immunity, I KNOW Shurtleff will change his story and rat out Swallow.

    Yes, they are both innocent until proven guilty.

  • Aggie238 Logan, UT
    July 21, 2014 1:39 p.m.

    You know, I agree with Mr. Bennett in principle, that is, I agree that justice and ultimately the public is better served by a legal system which presumes the innocence of the accused until they are proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. However, on the flip side, I have to take anything Bennett says with a large grain of salt, given that he is solidly rooted in the Utah Republican "establishment" which is in part responsible for the political culture and conditions which allowed this to happen in the first place.

    --a registered Republican

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2014 1:26 p.m.

    Why were they never impeached?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 21, 2014 1:12 p.m.

    Sure --
    Why not lecture all the "Obama haters" in Utah first.

    Show me, Don't tell me.

    BTW --
    You know Senator,
    With all due respect,
    Senator Mike Lee was connected with these BOTH of these guys --
    and beat you because of it.

    I know, I know -- he's innocent as well until proven guilty...