By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Just as the public learns that Speaker Mike Hubbard has requested all communications between the prosecution and the Executive Branch of government, it has been confirmed that Hubbard has directly lobbied Gov. Robert Bentley to intervene into his criminal investigation.
We can now report that Hubbard met with Gov. Bentley with the express goal of having him stop the investigation by exercising the Governor’s right as recognized under the “Task Force on Illegal Gambling v. E. Paul Jones” ruling. In essence, the ruling states that the Governor has the authority to step-in on the prosecution, if he believes the Attorney General is not handling a case correctly.
The case states if, “The Governor has determined that action on his part is necessary to take care that the laws are faithfully executed. If the governor’s ‘supreme executive power’ means anything, it means that when the governor makes a determination that the laws are not being faithfully executed, he can act using the legal means that are at his disposal.”
Others acting on Hubbard’s behalf, tried to influence Bentley to act against acting Attorney General W.Van Davis as well, but to no avail. Attorneys speaking on background said that this type of extra judicial maneuver was unprecedented and potentially illegal.
Now, Hubbard’s attorneys want, “Any and all electronic recordings of any communication between any prosecutor in this case and any member of the Executive or Legislative Branch of State Government that relates in any way, however remotely, to the prosecution of Mr. Hubbard or this case.” Also, they have requested, “Any and all documents reflecting the time (minute, hour, and date) the Attorney General’s Office or the Acting Attorney General issued a press release related to this case both pre and post indictment.”
Hubbard’s attorney, J. Mark White, claims that the conversation between prosecutor Matt Hart and radio host Dale Jackson is somehow evidence of misconduct or a Grand Jury leak.
In the motion White states, “During the December 15, 2014, airing of his eponymous news talk show, Dale Jackson (“Jackson”) publicly made it known that Assistant Attorney General Miles Matthew Hart (“Hart”) had called him and that Jackson had recorded the telephone conversation. In a December 22, 2014 post to his blog, The Attack Machine.com, Jackson states Hart called him for purposes of ‘[i]ntimidation’ and in ‘an attempt to influence an election.’”
In his earlier filings, White had asked for any recording between the prosecution and members of the media. It appears that White already knew that Jackson had a recording before it was publicly disclosed.
Jackson has recently come under fire for publicly releasing the contents of a conversation that he agreed was “off the record,” a pledge that is sacrosanct among professionals in the media. Jackson has also been called to answer for an undisclosed business relationship he has with Rep. Ed Henry, while publicly endorsing him for re-election.
White claims that Hart’s actions were inappropriate and amounted to prosecutorial misconduct. Hart has denied these allegations in a formal filing before Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker III.
It is not known why White is requisitioning conversations between the prosecution and the Executive or Legislative Branch. It is, however, a stunning revelation that Hubbard and others would directly solicit Bentley to take a position in a criminal investigation, much less ask him to use his office for such a propose.