Indictments released this week against two former Utah state attorneys general suggest that they sought to enlist the help of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) to ward off a federal investigation.
State prosecutors on Tuesday released indictments against former Utah AGs John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff. They are charged with a number of felonies, including bribery and tampering with evidence.
Recent Stories in Politics
The charges were expected, the Washington Times reported Wednesday, but mentions of Reid and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) in relation to efforts to get the Federal Trade Commission to drop an investigation against two Utah businessmen are raising additional questions.
According to the court document, Mr. Swallow told Mr. Johnson "the price to obtain access to [Utah businessman Richard] Rawle's contact person likely ‘won't be cheap.'" Days later, in an Oct. 7, 2010, email message with the subject line of "Senator Reid," [another Utah businessman, Jeremy] Johnson wrote to Mr. Rawle asking about the connection.
"I talked with John Swallow, and he said you might have some connections to Reid that might be helpful to us," Mr. Johnson wrote in the email to Mr. Rawle, citing his problems with the FTC.
The court records show Mr. Johnson subsequently wired money to an account controlled by Mr. Rawle totaling $250,000, and that Mr. Rawle subsequently sent payments of $8,500 and $15,000 to Mr. Swallow from that same account.
Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson denied any impropriety on Reid’s part. Jentleson previously admitted that Johnson attended a 2010 fundraiser for Reid.