Lawmakers give independent investigator the authority to subpoena Gov. Sarah Palin’s husband, Todd, and 11 of her aides. At issue: Did she pressure a state official to fire her former brother-in-law?
A panel of Alaska legislators voted today to authorize subpoenas to the husband of Gov. Sarah Palin and a group of her aides to determine whether Palin improperly pressured a top state official to fire her former brother-in-law, an Alaska state trooper.
The decision by the Alaska Senate’s Judiciary Committee gives an independent investigator, Stephen Branchflower, the Legislature’s legal backing to seek testimony from Todd Palin and 11 aides to Sarah Palin.
Branchflower said he had already amassed evidence showing that Palin’s husband was “principal critic” of trooper Michael Wooten, who was married to Sarah Palin’s sister before a bitter divorce.
The state attorney general and a private lawyer representing the governor have warned they would go to court to quash the subpoenas–raising the possibility of a constitutional clash that could simmer until after the November election.
“It seems like we’re getting into a pitched battle here over subpoena powers,” said state Senate Minority Leader Gene Therriault, one of two Republicans who opposed the authorization.