Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Arizona Republic columnist Robert Robb continues to unpack the grand-jury revelations from last week:
The most disturbing aspect of the grand jury transcripts is the lack of any evidence in support of the bribery charge brought against Judge Gary Donahoe.
Thomas and Arpaio charged Donahoe with bribery on Dec. 9. In response to criticism, they kept saying that they had plenty of evidence to support the charge and were eager to present it.
Well, whatever they had was presented to the grand jury on January 4, through testimony by the sheriff's chief deputy, David Hendershott. There was nothing.
Bribery requires a specific person to make a specific offer. So, who offered a bribe to Donahoe? Hendershott didn't say. What did the bribe consist of? Hendershott didn't say. Did Donahoe solicit a bribe from anyone? There was nothing to even remotely indicate that in Hendershott's testimony.
Without a bribe, all that's left are decisions Donahoe made that Thomas and Arpaio thought improper or wrong. Making improper or wrong decisions is not a criminal offense.
The grand jury transcript exposes the Donahoe criminal charges as a naked attack on the independence of the judiciary.
Read the whole thing here.