The newly sworn-in Utah Attorney General has an unusual request of the state’s top federal prosecutor: Open an investigation of my conduct, please.
John Swallow, who took office last Monday, asked Utah U.S. Attorney David Barlow on Monday to launch an investigation into allegations that Swallow helped orchestrate a bribe to block a federal probe of prominent businessman Jeremy Johnson, according to a report by the Salt Lake Tribune.
Johnson, who was indicted 2011 on a mail fraud charge, says the Republican Attorney General helped strike a $600,000 deal to have Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) block a Federal Trade Commission investigation of Johnson’s company, iWorks. Johnson alleges that Swallow, then-chief Deputy Attorney General, arranged the bribe with the Senate Majority Leader to intervene in the FTC’s probe. Swallow and Reid have both denied any such accusations. Reid this week called the allegations” nothing more than innuendo and simply not true.”
Swallow has said he did not orchestrate a bribe — he put Johnson in touch with Richard Rawle, another Utah businessman, to help hire lobbyists during the FTC probe, according to the Salt Late Tribune.
Now, Swallow seemingly fed up with the allegations by Johnson, is asking Barlow’s office to launch a federal investigation into the matter. In his letter Monday, the Attorney General said he “expect[s] no special treatment.”
“I deny I have ever participated in a scheme to bribe a member of Congress,” he wrote. “…I do not hold myself or anyone else above the law.”
A spokeswoman at the U.S. Attorney’s office in Utah told the Salt Lake Tribune that the office was drafting a response letter but that it would not be made public.