Utah Policy/KSL Insider Survey: Are the Charges Against Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow Politically Motivated?

Last week former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff accused prosecutors, particularly Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, of having a political agenda in bringing felony charges against the two men.

Our “Political Insiders” and readers disagree with Shurtleff. 73% of Republicans and 90% of our readers say prosecutors are acting above board in bringing the charges against the two men. Not surprisingly, 100% of our Democratic insiders say there is no agenda behind the charges.

Selected anonymous comments:

“Are you kidding? More smoking guns than a western standoff.”

“The charges were vetted by Gill and the Davis country republican DA. Becky the hatchet indicates that they are in line with the legislative findings. Sorry felons, your political accusations don’t hold water.”

“Mark Shurtleff lives in an alternate reality where everything he does is above reproach and taking every opportunity to talk about the case is a sound legal strategy.”

“The Davis County prosecutor, House investigation, and Lt. Governor’s investigations are all Republicans. It’s a pretty thin claim. Does Gill hope to benefit? Probably but that does not make it any more political than anything else.”

“How can he claim this is politically motivated when the investigation is being conducted by members of both parties? The truth of the matter is that both Shurtleff and Swallow have nobody to blame but themselves. They are the ones that put themselves on the path to corruption and now they are trying to blame their actions on everyone but themselves.”

“I believe there was and element of political motivation in bringing the charges. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have been made, and it also doesn’t mean they are guilty. Now it’s time to prove the case.”

“The prosecution itself had no political motivation. Sim Gill did play politics with the timing of the charges, though. He waited until he could file the charges before the election and the trial wouldn’t take place until after the election. Gill acted responsibly by charging both Shurtleff and Swallow, but he would have showed a little more integrity to have done it 3 or 4 months ago.”

“The FBI was used as a tool in serving warrants, making the arrests and holding the press conference to avoid the appearance of political motivation and to neutralize the fact that the Public Integrity Section of the DOJ decided not to file charges.”

“Ever heard of a witch hunt? These are the types of charges you throw at a politician in order to get them to plea it away in an effort to make it go away even thought they didn’t really break any laws.”

“Sim Gill’s timing of the charges may be politically motivated, but that doesn’t change the facts of the case.”

“As a Republican, I am embarrassed that Shurtleff has taken this line of defense. Multiple agencies and entities were involved in the investigation including the GOP led House of Representatives and a GOP prosecutor.”

“I don’t think the charges are politically motivated, but how the search warrants and the arrest were performed were truly done to embarrass them. Most objective people in law enforcement would tell you that.”

“Looks bad when KSL reporters state that all 4 of them have been texting with Mr. Gill within minutes of the arrests. Does he not have a PIO? Was he texting with all 4 stations? And where is Troy Rawlings if it is a joint investigation?”

“Shurtleff is just playing a public relations game, hoping that a few of the jurors who finally hear his case will buy his BS.”

“Of course Shurtleff and the Republicans are going to say this was politically motivated. But those of us on the inside know that both of our former AG’s have a lot of baggage and there is a lot more to all of this. I believe in ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ and I”m willing to let this play out, but those who don’t work in these circles will be surprised when it all hits the fan.”

“Shurtleff finally got caught and is facing the music. Pointing the finger at the messenger is a last ditch effort to change the focus but it won’t work. This isn’t about politics, it is about corrupt politicians.”

“Whether or not he is proven guilty, he will never hold another position of trust. He and Swallow are the OJ Simpson’s of Utah politics.”

“Shurtleff accused everyone involved in this investigation (Sim Gill, Troy Rawlins, the FBI, the House, the LG, etc.) of some sort of byzantine conspiracy to help Sim Gil get reelected. If you’re the only one driving the wrong direction on a one-way road, maybe you’re the problem and not everyone else.”

“I think some Democrats are hoping capitalizing on the situation but the actual investigation is pure. He is a narcissist and pathological liar. It’s pathetic.”

“Mark needs to stop talking nonsense – but just can’t help himself!”

“The fact that Gill is a Democrat probably made him (Gill, that is) be particularly sure of the charges, just to avoid any taint of partisanship. Shurtleff appears to be trying to do anything that will get himself off the hook – but it’s not likely to happen.”

“It takes a lot of chutzpah for Shurtleff to say that about the prosecutors. The former AG is as dirty as they come.”