Most of us who play inside ball knew from the start that John Swallow was bad news. After a decade of questionable choices in his actions (all seemingly carefully crafted to be just on the inside of legal), he’s now finding himself caught up in a very serious accusation of being involved in a bribery scheme. While Swallow denies attempting to bribe US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, what he does admit to is enough that he needs to step aside for the good of the state and the office. A few highlights:
- He transferred ownership of a consulting business to his wife in order to avoid including it on campaign disclosure forms. This business was allegedly setup to provide services to Jeremy Johnson.
- There is both a recorded conversation and email record showing that Swallow knew he was walking right up to the line of barely being legal.
- Most importantly, he has admitted to providing legal advice and referrals to Johnson despite knowing that he was the subject of an ongoing investigation. This breach of legal ethics, providing advice to a potential future defendant while serving in a prosecutorial role, is egregious enough to warrant potential disbarment.
All of these actions only further the accusations and rumblings that the AG’s office has been effectively operating a paid protection racket, allowing donors to write a check to make problems go away. Even if there is nothing to them, bringing this dark of a cloud with you should warrant that you leave immediately. Multiple newspapers agree. So do high-profile politicos.
And so do I.
Mr. Swallow, you need to put the good of the state and the office of Attorney General above your personal (and often transparent) political ambitions. It’s time for you to resign.