The Last Word on the Troopergate Emails

September 15, 2008

Well, at least until something new happens. First, a recap:

You can read about all of this in more detail in our archives, but, in short, there is very good reason to suspect that two of the 1,100 emails Sarah Palin has refused to release to private citizen Andree McLeod under Alaska’s version of an FOIA request discuss the now famous phone call placed by Frank Bailey to Rodney Dial in which he reports that the Palins would like Trooper Wooten fired. Palin has denied any knowledge of this phone call, so – while it is certainly possible that Wooten is mentioned explicitly in these emails, and even possible that Todd Palin ordered the call in conversations with Ivy Frye – any mention of a forthcoming conversation between Bailey and Dial would be proof that Palin has lied directly and repeatedly about an issue with regards to which she is currently being investigated for ethics violations. This would be a very, very serious blow both to Palin personally, and to John McCain’s campaign.

Last Tuesday, McCleod submitted an appeal to the governor’s office for 40 emails – including the two in question – to be released on the grounds that, since they were sent to or from Todd Palin, a private citizen, they are not eligible for protection under executive privilege. Palin is required to respond to the appeal within 10 business days (which would mean by a week from tomorrow, I believe), but her response can be a request for an extension of 30 more business days, meaning that she could wait until around October 28th to formally refuse to release these messages. It is hard to imagine that any legal challenge initiated at that point could be completed in time to influence the election; furthermore, McCleod is a private citizen acting without assistance, so there is no reason to believe she has the resources to engage in a legal battle with Palin.

The upshot of all this is that there may well be a smoking gun in the Troopergate scandal, but one that Governor Palin can easily keep hidden away until after the election if she is left to her own devices. If, on the other hand, the media were to catch on to this story, it would be very politically costly for Palin to do this, since, while she is allowed to take the next month and a half to rule on the appeal, it is not remotely plausible that she needs the next month and a half to make her decision. If the contents of the emails are very damaging, she will no doubt stall as long as she is allowed, but if there is media scrutiny of the issue, everyone will know that she is stalling. Her guilt will be assumed, and her party’s chances in November will suffer.

As we have noted elsewhere, stories about her penchant for lying have already started to pile up, but this could constitute proof of the most salient lie of her governorship and vice-presidential candidacy. There isn’t much more extant information that I am in a position to acquire, so I won’t have anything more to say on this issue, except, perhaps, to repeat this: this would be a very serious issue for the McCain campaign if anyone was reporting on it. They aren’t. Tell your friends. Email your favorite blogger. Get the word out.

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One Response to “The Last Word on the Troopergate Emails”


  1. Now I hear she’s stonewalling the Trooper-gate investigation.

    Doesn’t it kind of remind you of Karl Rove, or Scooter Libby, dodging and weaving around the truth!? Facing contempt of Congress charges, all the while proclaiming their innocence?

    Sheesh – I knew politicians were corrupt, but here we have a scandal even BEFORE they (hopefully not) get into office.

    The audacity! And Still, armies of morons see them as “mavericks.” Go figure.

    Fool me once and shame on . . .
    Heh, heh! Wait! How does that go now?


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