Has the Speaker turned the Durham investigation into a political Witch Hunt? It’s sure looking like that may be the case…
Doing the job the state’s main stream media won’t do, Breitbart News today delivered a major story that could result in one of the biggest scandals to hit the Tennessee state legislature in modern history. If any portion of this information is true it could be the biggest debacle since Rocky Top (the scandal, not the blog).
It’s that serious.
We will leave it to our readers to click on the exhaustive story and read the whole thing, but here is what we believe are some of the top takeaways:
- Speaker Beth Harwell initiated an inquiry into the activities of Rep. Jeremy Durham that some constitutional experts say is without precedent and could possibly be illegal.
- The office of Attorney General Herbert Slatery has employed investigators and staff who have controversial histories in conducting similar inquiries which turned out to be either “witch hunts” of political enemies or the paid whitewashing of politicians who were under investigation by other law enforcement agencies.
- Information about the progress and detail of the investigation is being funneled straight back to the Speaker and her cronies, presumably for their own use.
And here is the killer point from the article:
- Women who have been interviewed by the investigators say their inquisitors used intimidation tactics and were far more interested in the personal lives of legislators other than Durham. One said the legislators whom the AG’s people were interested in were known political opponents of the Speaker. Here are verbatim quotes from some of the people interviewed by the AG’s Star Chamber:
“The takeaway for me was, My God, I’m only here to talk about other people.”
“It was a fishing expedition.”
“They were hunting down gossip on them.”
“It has the appearance they were expanding the scope of the inquiry …. to other legislators. That’s a frightening thought. Somebody’s gathering information for future use.”
This last point is devastating. Legislators on both sides of the aisle were already questioning the Speaker’s leadership on this and other issues. Even the hint of a political witch hunt or the creation of a “Speaker’s Book of Secrets” will spark private — and perhaps public – outrage, especially in the House GOP caucus.
Any legislator could be the next target.
How could AG Slatery — who many describe as Gov. Haslam’s “best friend” — allow himself to get involved with these kind of people in conducting this type of investigation? Is he a willing accomplice or is he just in over his head?
As for Harwell, she has some deadly serious explaining to do. This could definitely result in the end of her tenure as Speaker. If any of these charges are anywhere close to accurate, how could legislators trust Harwell going forward?
Short answer: They won’t.