By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Late Monday, Attorneys for indicted Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, issued a subpoena for Governor Robert Bentley, to testify in a evidentiary hearing that has not even been approved.
“If it comes down to that, we’re going to protect the principle that you can’t just call the governor to take the attention away from what’s going on.” Those are not Bentley’s words, but those of Bob Riley when he was subpoenaed as a witness in the Bingo trial, according to a 2011 report by al.com.
Riley called the efforts to have him testify as a “another distraction,” by defense counsel.
The prosecution in Hubbard’s case say it is an “improper fishing expedition.”
They claim that Hubbard’s attorney is trying to turn a Motion Hearing into an evidentiary hearing, with the idea of placing the prosecution on trial in the media.
White, from the beginning, has used certain reporters and news outlets to carry false or friendly reports about the Hubbard investigation.
Concerned that White is trying to create a media circus by calling Bentley as a witness, Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker, III has called a hearing for this coming Friday to hear the State’s motion to quash subpoenas issued to Bentley and others.
Under the headline “Another trial … another effort to avoid the witness stand,” Riley’s attorney Matt Lembke told a federal judge that, “It is inappropriate to call a high official to explain why he made a decision he made.”
Riley never testified in either case.
The State prosecutors in the Hubbard case state, that White is trying to “circumvent the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure,” by an improper attempt to unilaterally grant his own discovery motion.
They say that Bentley’s Executive privilege protects the information Hubbard seeks from disclosure, citing United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683, 708-713 (1974) where the high court ruled; apart from policy considerations, “history and legal precedent teach that documents from a former or an incumbent President are presumptively privileged.”
Attorneys speaking on background see this move by Hubbard and White as a desperate attempt to put the prosecution on trial and once again play the media for fools.