Delicate Dance

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September 5, 2008 3:50 p.m.
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The investigators up in Alaska have come out with their press release announcing how they plan to deal with Gov. Palin’s stonewalling of the trooper-gate investigation. It seems Palin has now gotten seven others to also refuse to speak to the investigators (they all signaled their refusal to testify post-Palin announcement). And they’ve now decided to meet on September 12th to decide whether or not to issue subpoenas to compel testimony. However, they will not issue a subpoena for Palin herself. Why? The press release from the investigators says it’s because: “She has told the public that she intends to cooperate with the investigation, indeed, she has told the public that she welcomes the investigation and I have every faith that she means it.”

Now, this is a bit artful since just two days ago Gov. Palin made clear that she will not cooperate with the investigation. She is insisting that she will only provide testimony once the committee closes down its investigation and allows the probe to be taken over by the State Personnel Board made up of three members appointed by the governor. So she’s saying she’s not going to cooperate but they’re insisting on taking her at her earlier promises to cooperate.

Now, there’s some backstory here that’s critical to understand. The point-man for the committee which voted to start the probe is Democrat Hollis French. However, the committee, that voted unanimously to begin the probe has a Republican majority.

So what if Palin just absolutely refuses to testify and continues to stonewall?

TPMmuckraker’s Zack Roth just spoke to GOP Rep Jay Ramras, also a member of the committee. And he says no, that even if Palin refuses to cooperate, compelling her to testify would be “inappropriate conduct given the unique political circumstances” and “disrespectful.”

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