Ruling Expected Today on GOP Bid to Halt Trooper-Gate Probe

A judge may rule today on the effort by five Alaska Republican lawmakers to stop the Trooper-Gate investigation, reports the Anchorage Daily News.

The lawmakers, who are being aided by a conservative law firm affiliated with James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, filed suit in mid September, arguing that the probe has been “tainted” by partisan politics. In a court filing, reports the ADN, a lawyer for the legislators overseeing the investigation asserted that the GOP lawmakers are “engaged in one of the most bizarre challenges to Alaska’s separation of powers doctrine in the history of the state.”

Anchorage Superior Court Judge Peter Michalski may also rule on the effort by state Attorney General Talis Colberg, a Palin appointee, to have subpoenas issued to witnesses by the investigative committee thrown out. Several top Palin aides, as well as Todd Palin, have refused to comply with the subpoenas and face possible jail time.

Steve Branchflower, the independent investigator hired by the legislature, is still expected to release his report — which will center on allegations that Palin fired Walt Monegan, the state’s former public safety commissioner, because he was unwilling to fire a trooper with whom the Palin family was embroiled in a bitter dispute — around October 11th. Palin had initially welcomed the investigation, saying she had nothing to hide. But since being picked as John McCain’s running mate, she has refused to cooperate.

We’ll keep you posted on word from Alaska…