A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
A couple thousand Utahns gathered on the steps of the capitol today to show their support for the Second Amendment.
Newly sworn-in Attorney General John Swallow has become the center of controversy after the Salt Lake Tribune published a story linking him to embattled businessman Jeremy Johnson and allegations of a big money bribe to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The following is a very brief overview. Read the articles for details.
Despite this long list of evidence of unethical behavior, many are (rightly) saying, "Innocent until proven guilty!" I agree with that sentiment. The question is, how do we determine if he's guilty? The criminal investigations will surely come, and they'll take months or even years to complete the investigation, indictment, and conviction (if it goes that far). But what if he didn't break any laws? How do we determine if Swallow crossed an ethical boundary that merits a removal from office? That's where impeachment comes in.
The Utah Constitution (Article VI Section 16-18) allows for impeachment of certain state officers (including attorney general). It states that they may be impeached for "high crimes, misdemeanors, or malfeasance in office". Malfeasance is "wrongdoing or misconduct especially by a public official".
"The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment, but in order to impeach, two-thirds of all the members elected must vote therefor." (Article VI, Section 17)
Once the House impeaches someone the "Trial of Impeachment" can begin in the Senate.
"(1) All impeachments shall be tried by the Senate, and senators, when sitting for that purpose, shall take oath or make affirmation to do justice according to the law and the evidence.
(2) Upon an impeachment by the House of Representatives, the Senate shall, if not already convened in an annual general session, convene for the purpose of trying the impeachment.
(3) When the Governor is on trial, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside.
(4) No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the senators elected." (Article VI, Section 18)
This is the best way for the people of Utah to gather the evidence, have an investigation, and allow John Swallow to defend himself from the accusations of malfeasance. The impeachment trial can determine if Swallow crossed any ethical boundaries and if he did, he can be removed from office. If he did not, his name can be cleared and he can continue his duties as Attorney General.
If you want to contact your representative and ask him/her to give the people of Utah some closure on this controversy by having an impeachment trial, go here -> http://libertasutah.org/legislator/ - There you will be able to look up your representative's contact info. I recommend calling on the phone first and then send an email.
Utah Attorney General John Swallow
The Daily Herald today released an editorial making the case for the resignation of Utah's new attorney general John Swallow. This comes after the Salt Lake Tribune broke a story of allegations against Swallow from indicted Utah businessman Jeremy Johnson. If you haven't read the entire story from the Tribune, go read it now.
Here's an overview of the story:
Swallow is deeply involved in this scandal. At best, he's guilty of what many would consider unethical behavior, especially when that behavior is done by the deputy attorney general. At worst, he's committed some serious crimes and could see jail time.
So what do you think? Should Utah Attorney General John Swallow resign?
Be sure to leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts on this.