Ex-UT Attorneys General Case: Solid Evidence Or Guilt By Association?


Thousands of pages of documents, interviews, emails and text messages, along with reels of recordings and receipts implicate former Utah Attorneys General Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow of receiving or soliciting bribes, accepting improper gifts, tampering with evidence and witnesses and participating in patterns of unlawful conduct, reports the Salt Lake Tribune. There's quantity, but what about quality? Is the case against Utah's two former top cops solid enough to survive the grueling and adversarial process of the courts?

From here on out, all evidence will be subject to scrutiny by defense attorneys, judges and, perhaps, juries. “These are terribly serious charges,” said former Salt Lake County prosecutor Kent Morgan. “It's not going to be a simple task to prove them.” While it's early to speculate on how these prosecutions may play out, experts already foresee hefty hurdles for each side. Some of the people the two former attorneys general allegedly surrounded themselves with during these acts make for less-than-sympathetic characters. “It's going to be a difficult case, with a lot of difficult witnesses,” Utah defense attorney Clayton Simms said. “Part of the difficulty the defense is going to face is if you have Swallow and Shurtleff on a houseboat or in a villa or on someone's private jet, it's going to be difficult to explain why your attorney general is in a Ferrari with someone being charged with multiple felonies. There is an element of guilt by association that the defense is going to have to deal with.”

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