Troopergate Suit “Political, Not Legal,” Lawmakers Charge

By Justin Rood

Sep 25, 2008 10:31am

Alaska state legislators fired back Tuesday against a lawsuit intended to stop their investigation into Gov. Sarah Palin and “Troopergate.”

The original suit, filed on behalf of five of their colleagues last week, sought to curtail the Legislative Council’s investigation into abuse-of-power allegations against Palin, or delay it until the chief investigator and key legislators involved in the probe could be removed, for alleged conflicts of interest or partisanship.

In a response filed by lawyer Peter Maassen, the defendants – the 14-member Legislative Council, Democratic Sen. Hollis French and investigator Stephen Branchflower –  declare the suit “clearly meritless” and call for it to be dismissed.

The suit “is a political, not a legal, document,” the defendants charge. “It spends many paragraphs impugning the fairness and integrity of Senator French, Senator Elton, and Special Counsel Branchflower, but it does so apparently only in an attempt to taint the investigation[.]”

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