Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
Having failed to prevent Tuesday's scheduled hearing before the Indiana Recount Commission on a Democratic Party complaint that he was illegally registered to vote at the time he declared his candidacy and thus, ineligible to have been elected as Indiana's Sec. of State, Charlie White has filed a motion [PDF] to compel a grant of 'use immunity' in exchange for his and his wife's testimony before the commission.
Separately, White is facing seven felony counts, including three for voter fraud related to his having been registered to vote at a house where he did not live, while serving as a member of a town council in a town where he also didn't live. Trial in that criminal case is scheduled to commence on Aug. 8. The two special prosecutors assigned to the case have declined to provide the Whites with use immunity --- with good reason. They no doubt want to avoid what happened to the Iran/Contra independent counsel when, for example, an appellate court ruled in United States vs. Col. Oliver North that a grant of use immunity to North shifted the burden to the independent prosecutor to "demonstrate an independent source for each item of evidence or testimony."
Granting use immunity to White would make the job of the prosecutors in the criminal case that much more difficult.
White need not testify to the Recount Commission, where he is entitled to invoke the 5th Amendment. He and his wife are attempting to present testimony, however. Granting use immunity for that testimony (which is not likely needed in order to show that he had not been lawfully registered to vote at the time he declared his candidacy) would likely undercut his felony trial. That may well be White's interest in providing such testimony and seeking a grant of use immunity before the commission.
[UPDATED: Late Friday, the IN Supreme Court denied White's motion to stay the Recount Commission hearing pending the outcome of the criminal case. Early today, a Marion County Circuit Court judge denied White's motion to compel a grant of use immunity. Since anything the Whites say could be used against the couple in the criminal case, it is likely that both will invoke their 5th Amendment privilege if called to testify before the Commission tomorrow.]
White is one of several very high-profile Republicans recently facing allegations of voter fraud, though the only one currently facing criminal indictment...