Alabama Political Reporter
AUBURN—On Tuesday, with friends, family and colleagues behind him, Speaker Mike Hubbard and members of his legal team held a press conference at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center to address the 23 indictments issued against him.
The press conference, seemingly, can be broken down into three different segments:
1. Five introductions
2. Brief comments by Hubbard
3. Q & A with Mr. Hubbard’s attorney, Mark White.
White first took the podium and laid the ground rules for how the press conference would follow.
All legal questions were to be answered by White, not Mr. Hubbard. Secondly, White took a few moments to lay out what Hubbard’s legal team would like to immediately accomplish moving forward:
1. Filing papers calling into question the creation of the grand jury investigating Hubbard
2. Looking into the accusations from a letter written by former employee of the attorney general’s office, Sonny Reagan.
White made clear his disgust with the indictments and said his team of lawyers would be fully prepared to defend Hubbard against the 23 indictments. The lead attorney even got a round of laughter from those behind him as he compared the legal defense team’s eagerness to Auburn’s hurry-up/no-huddle offense.
After the well-timed joke, White quickly changed tone and informed those in attendance that Hubbard would not be resigning as Speaker of the House and would not be stepping aside.
Following White’s last statement and light applause from the crowd, five attendees were individually asked to introduce Hubbard to the already familiar crowd.
First was Congressman Mike Rogers (AL- 3), who spoke of his closest friend with admiration and sincerity. Rogers briefly told a few stories about their 12-year relationship and how everyone in Hubbard’s district can be certain Hubbard works hard.
After Rogers was Joe Donaldson, Chairman of Auburn’s Chamber of Commerce, who took the podium to commend Hubbard for his vision and leadership for Auburn and Lee County.
Bill Ham, Jr., the Mayor of Auburn, was the next with a few accolades for Hubbard and the members of the legislature who were there in support. Those verified include: Rep. Ed Henry, Rep. Jack Williams, Rep. Alan Harper, Rep. Matt Fridy, Rep. Alan Baker, Rep. Paul Beckman, Rep. Mike Ball, Rep. David Sessions, Rep. April Weaver, Rep. Jim Patterson, Rep. Kerry Rich, Rep. Mac McCutcheon, Sen. Tom Whatley and Sen. Del Marsh.
Tammy Jones, a 25-year retired educator, spoke following Ham and highlighted Hubbard’s dedication to education in Lee County and across the State.
Rep. McCutcheon closed by not only offering his support, but his fellow members’ support who were in attendance as well.
After the final introduction was completed, Hubbard approached the podium and he seemed to be in a lighthearted mood while doing so. Then almost on cue, he joked by welcoming everyone to the kickoff to the final two weeks of the campaign. And after having friends gush over him, Hubbard took the proper time to thank those who had helped him along the way. In particular, he thanked Sen. Del Marsh. Hubbard said that he and Marsh were partners in the GOP takeover in 2010 and so close that they talk every day.
Hubbard cited the changes he and his friends created in being the primary motivational force about why these indictments are happening. Hubbard said those against him are upset because they want to maintain the status quo and there is a larger agenda at play. Further, Hubbard said they are going to spend the next couple of weeks exposing that agenda.
In the closing moments of his comments, Hubbard appeared to make the accusation that someone was not following the Grand Jury Secrecy Act and it was not him.
Following that lead, White stepped in and began taking questions.
The first question fielded asked White who was leading the prosecution against Hubbard. White responded by stating the special prosecutors and who were appointed by the State Attorney General were leading the investigation, but he believes the investigation is politically motivated and alleged that Strange is behind the case due to Hubbard being a political threat. White even went as far as to say he believes Strange is receiving information on the case even after recusing himself.
A later question from the group of reporters asked if he believed the allegations are false or if the defense believed the allegations were not a crime at all. White responded by saying yes. It was not too clear to which way he was answering yes.
White quickly got out the point that there are other forces at play as well and we should all stay tuned before he closed down the questions and ended the press conference.
Get your popcorn ready.