Democrats interfering with subpoenas in Alaska?

posted at 8:15 am on September 14, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Amanda Carpenter noted a curious exchange in the Alaskan legislature committee hearing regarding subpoenas in the investigation into “Troopergate”.  The lead investigator, who was supposed to act as an independent agent in the probe, testified that Democrat Hollis French had overruled him on his subpoena list and struck a witness he wanted to interview:

Investigator Steven Branchflower admitted he had ceded control of his subpoena list to Sen. Hollis French (D.) during Alaska’s Joint Judiciary Committee September 12 hearing that was scheduled to approve subpoena requests. [CLICK HERE FOR AUDIO.] French is a partisan who has endorsed Palin’s Democratic presidential ticket rival Barack Obama for president and is actively supporting his candidacy.

Lawmakers approved 13 of Branchflower’s subpoena requests that day, which included one for Palin’s husband, Todd. Four other subpoenas were approved for aides Branchflower believes participated in a meeting called by Palin’s former chief of staff Mike Tibbles where Wooten’s firing was allegedly discussed.

Rep. David Guttenberg (D.) asked Branchflower why he was requesting subpoenas for only those people attending the meeting and not Tibbles himself.

Branchflower said he would “have to defer that question to Mr. French.”

Branchflower then explained that he had submitted Tibbles’ name for a subpoena, only to have it removed by French.  He could provide no explanation why French, who has endorsed Barack Obama, would have denied him a subpoena to interview the man who conducted the meeting in question.  As both Democrats and Republicans pressed Branchflower to explain this omission, French himself interjected that he didn’t see a “political will” for the subpoena.

Clearly, this interference demonstrates the partisan nature of this inquiry.  Why would the state of Alaska subpoena all of the attendees of a meeting but neglect to subpoena the man who called and ran the meeting?  If the “political will” did not exist to question Tibbles, then why would it exist to subpoena the other participants in this meeting?

For some reason, French doesn’t want the committee to hear what Tibbles has to say about this meeting.  Even beyond that question, though, French’s interference shows that this investigation is neither independent nor apolitical.  French has been caught manipulating subpoenas for a predetermined outcome of this case.  That strongly indicates that French doesn’t have much of a case, and feels the need to distort it for his own political reasons.

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There has got to be something we can do to stop this now totally out of control witch hunt on Sarah Palin! I am now sick and tired of this woman being kicked about by dishonest liberal journalists and jackass Democratic politicians, while good men stand by and do nothing!I think it is now tiem for people to use the power we have, be it by press, by email, by letter, or by direct confrontation and let these clowns know that we have had enough, let this campaign continue, and let us, the voters, decide in November!



pilamaye on September 14, 2008 at 10:28 AM

There is something you can do, volunteer at your local McCain office.
We’ve got to fight!

4shoes on September 14, 2008 at 12:40 PM

Let me add to that,
go to, and click on the volunteer today button.

4shoes on September 14, 2008 at 12:45 PM

Democrat Hollis French

And what, I wonder, might his reward be? Who has he talked to? What might his phone records reveal? Who has he been meeting with?

JellyToast on September 14, 2008 at 1:29 PM

So, October Surprise, anyone?

Merovign on September 14, 2008 at 2:11 PM

The Dems and their supporters are trying so hard to find something on Palin they willfully lie. Good example…from the NYT article today, titled “Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes.”

So when there was a vacancy at the top of the State Division of Agriculture, she appointed a high school classmate, Franci Havemeister, to the $95,000-a-year directorship. A former real estate agent, Ms. Havemeister cited her childhood love of cows as a qualification for running the roughly $2 million agency.

Not true….from her bio on the NASDA site…

Franci Havemeister
Title: Director, Division of Agriculture
Organization: Alaska Department of Natural Resources [snip]

Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Irwin appointed Franci A. Havemeister Director of the State Divsion of Agriculture on August 1, 2007. Director Havemeister has first hand knowledge of the day to day business of agriculture in Alaska. She has worked as a real estate agent, served as the Children’s Education Director for the Crossraods Community Church, volunteered as a youth basketball coach, owned her own businss and worked as a Case Processor for the State of Alaska.

Franci and her husband, Bob, have four children and are lifetime Alaskans. She has spent her life actively involved in agriculture from the 4-H program to varied agriculture sectors including dairy, potato, vegetable and greenhouse production.

Director Havemeister stated she will strive to increase communication and make a positive difference by promoting the long term success of the agriculture industry in the State of Alaska.

Hat tip to Barney at

Deanna on September 14, 2008 at 2:24 PM

An October (contrived )surprise in the making….


jerrytbg on September 14, 2008 at 8:44 AM

This was essentially admitted to by French, shortly after Palin was picked. Back then, he was running his piehole to any drive-by he could, and admitted the report was going to be issued three days prior to the election.

I saw no report on why it was expedited, as was reported, and French was reported at the same time as running his mouth too much. Suddenly French decided he needed to keep a lower profile.

Hatchet job.

91Veteran on September 14, 2008 at 2:50 PM

There WILL be an October surprise about this and everything that Amanda reported and what Ed says here will never be discussed by the MSM. There will be no recourses for this political interference and therefore will continue in all elections ad infinitum. Problem is that when it comes to October Surprises the only ones doing them are Democrats. Which means this behavior only causes Republicans to suffer never Democrats. I don’t think I’ve ever, in my 39 years of life, seen a ‘gotcha’ of that sort by Republicans. I could be wrong. Any examples.

We reward cheaters this way and the Democrats never have to pay for being such discretions.

Sultry Beauty on September 14, 2008 at 2:51 PM

Thank God for the 2nd Amendment.

ex-Democrat on September 14, 2008 at 4:00 PM

Wonder what ambassadorship Obama’s offered Frenchy…

SuperCool on September 14, 2008 at 5:41 PM

The fix is in. Welcome your the new under secretary of something or other in an Obama administration.

mmmmmm…..surely a report or finding won’t be released right before the election…..why that sounds a bit like old school, bare knuckled politics….not the politics of hope and change….

moxie_neanderthal on September 14, 2008 at 8:32 PM

For those of you who are still fuzzy on Troopergate, the accusation is:

Governor Palin demoted PDS Commissioner Monegan(cabinet level post) because he would not fire trooper Wooten.

It will not prove that she demoted him for this reason. She simply made a mid-term change of blood to get someone else. There is no way you are gonna prove this type of charge.

French right now is getting promises from Obama, but also getting a whole lotta feedback from Sarah supporters who are promising to stick it to him in his next election.

Sapwolf on September 14, 2008 at 8:56 PM

This is getting stupid.

Hollis needs to step down, from this investigation as well as being a Senator. He is a disgrace to Alaska.

upinak on September 14, 2008 at 11:42 PM

Sultry Beauty on September 14, 2008 at 2:51 PM

Unless you know more then any other Alaskan, you may want to explain yourself.

As for Wooten, he is STILL working.

Now here is something for you all to chew on if you decide to come back to read this.

Hollis French, Monegan and Branchflower are ALL Friends. Who do you think told Monegan to say he was fired due to Wooten? French told Monegan. Branchflower is a friend of both French and Monegan… who the hell is paying for this investigation.


upinak on September 14, 2008 at 11:56 PM

Maybe someone else has pointed this out, but I gotta say it:

With Bill Clinton, “Troopergate” involved having state troopers bring in women (with or against their will).

With Sarah Palin, “Troopergate” (yes, I know–“Tasergate”) involves firing a trooper who assaults young people.

Notice the difference?

Tommygun on September 15, 2008 at 5:20 AM

Keep moving – nothing to see here.

Fuquay Steve on September 15, 2008 at 8:41 AM

Democrats interfering with subpoenas in Alaska?

Solution: Feed the rotten dems to the bears, for lunch!

byteshredder on September 15, 2008 at 9:47 AM