Kangaroo Court, Part 2:
Idaho Swamp Violates Constitutional Rights
by Shari Dovale
The upcoming ethics probe into recent conduct of Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger has all the earmarks of a fascist dictatorship.
The Chairman of the Ethics Committee, Rep. Sage Dixon, has signed a letter outlining the Rules of Procedure for the upcoming hearing, scheduled for next week. The Rules are supposed to be based on Rule 45 which govern the committee, yet they have changed enough of the rules to raise alarm.
Beginning with the original complaint, it stated quite clearly that the House Leadership waited to file the complaint until they were sure that they would not be interfering in an ongoing criminal investigation.
The original investigation was dropped by the Boise Police (BPD) at the apparent request of the complainant. At that point, it became simply a political issue. However, in has been reopened by BPD at someone else’s apparent request.
That puts this entire issue back into a criminal investigation, and requires that any probe by the House Ethics Committee be delayed until the outcome of the criminal investigation, not only to keep things above-board, but to ensure the protection of the defendant’s Constitutional Rights.
For example, the Committee, via the letter signed by Chairman Sage Dixon, states clearly under paragraph 7B, that the committee “may direct a witness to answer any question under penalty of contempt” pursuant to Idaho Code.
It then follows up with paragraph 7C, “The Committee may exact from a witness self-criminating testimony” pursuant to Idaho Code.
Therefore, they are telling the people of this state that the elected officials in Boise do not have to safeguard anyone’s Constitutional rights, and they can force a defendant to testify against himself, in direct violation of the Fifth Amendment, during an ongoing criminal investigation. The testimony, made during a public hearing, would obviously be used against him in a court of law.
Additionally, it is beyond the pale to have the Attorney General’s office prosecuting this case, instead of being the advocate for the rights of the accused. This is an ominous message to send to the people of Idaho.
And yet, there is even more.
The Deputy Attorney General in charge of this witch-hunt asserted that she did not know if the accuser would comply with the subpoena requested by the defense, or even if the accuser would be subject to contempt if she refused. Therefore, the defendant could very easily be denied his right to face his accuser, a violation of the Sixth Amendment.
Further violations include requiring more from the defense than it does of the prosecution, which includes the defense providing statements as to the relevance of each witness’ anticipated testimony, yet the committee has no similar requirement to lay out their case for the defense. Are they placing the burden of proof on the defendant? This is in direct contradiction of Due Process and more violations of the 5th and 14th amendments.
This does not even include Assistant Majority Leader Rep. Brent Crane, during the confidential stage of the investigation, allegedly saying that he had the votes to expel Rep. von Ehlinger and intended to do so. That is a big violation of trust!
There is a plethora of probable and credible violations that the Committee, and Chairman Dixon, have written, all designed to skew the evidence and procedures in favor of the prosecution of this Conservative Legislator. Read them below.
Based on everything that I have read here, it seems more than apparent that this witch hunt has a predetermined outcome. I am shocked that my elected representatives would take part in blatant tyranny like this.
If these are the standards that the lawmakers in Boise are implementing for themselves, which are in direct violation of the US Constitution as well as the Constitution for the State of Idaho, it would then appear that these elected Representatives care nothing for actually representing the people that elected them, or safeguarding their Liberties.
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