Criminal Witness Tampering in Troopergate?

24 09 2008

Alaksa State Representative Les Gara (D) of Anchorage, just released the following press release, plus a big stack of supporting paperwork. Another shout out to Les Gara, who has been fearless and forceful about speaking up in this matter.

Here’s the press release in its entirety, and a link below to the .pdf file of the supporting documents and criminal statutes for those of you who just love document digging!

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LEGISLATOR ASKS TROOPERS TO LOOK AT POSSIBLE WITNESS TAMPERING

Palin cooperation ended with VP nomination

ANCHORAGE — Today a State Representative called on the Alaska State Troopers to look into possible criminal witness tampering in the state’s bi-partisan legislative Troopergate investigation. Since Gov. Sarah Palin was named to the McCain ticket on Aug. 29, the McCain campaign has sent campaign workers to Alaska to obstruct this investigation.

“Until McCain campaign staffers flew to Alaska to stop this investigation, the Governor and her staff agreed to comply with what we all know is a bi-partisan investigation. After Aug. 29 the campaign started working to block this investigation, and witnesses began joining that effort by ignoring their subpoenas and risking jail time. Something obviously changed the minds of these witnesses after Aug. 29th,” said Rep., Les Gara (D-Anchorage), a State Representative and Former Alaska Assistant Attorney General.

Alaska’s witness tampering statutes prohibit any person from “inducing” a witness to fail to comply with a subpoena. Almost daily, McCain staffers have called press conferences and made efforts to stonewall the legislative investigation. Prior to Aug. 29 no witness had stated they’d refuse to comply with the investigation, and the Governor in fact promised she and her staff would comply.

Last week three witnesses, Palin Administration Officials Ivy Frye and Randy Ruaro, and Palin’s husband Todd, refused to show up for legislative subpoenas. Also, Attorney General Talis Colberg, whose office had agreed that another seven state employees would comply with the investigation, changed position and said they wouldn’t. Those seven witnesses have been subpoenaed and are scheduled to appear Friday before the Senate and House Judiciary Committees.

McCain operatives have spun this as a partisan investigation. The facts show otherwise. Both Committees voted for the subpoenas last week. Six Republicans and four Democrats voted in favor, and only two Senate members voted no. The investigation was started this summer before Palin was named to the McCain ticket, by a unanimous vote of eight Republicans and four Democrats.

The witness tampering statutes follow:

Alaska Statute 11.56.545 –

“(a)Tampering with a witness in the second degree: A person commits the crime of tampering with a witness in the second degree if the person knowingly induces or attempts to induce a witness to be absent from an official proceeding, other than a judicial proceeding, to which the witness has been summoned. (b) Tampering with a witness in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor. (Emphasis added).

AS 11.56.540 has similar elements, and is a felony.
Please see attachmed letter and statute for more details.
Click HERE for letter and statute.