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...
Last week, a complaint was filed by GOP Presidential candidate Fred Karger in MA, asserting that GOP Presidential front-runner and former MA Gov. Mitt Romney committed voter fraud last year in the state when he voted there despite no longer living in Massachusetts. He was registered as living in his son's basement, after he'd sold his own MA mansion, in favor of one in CA and another in NH. (Brad Friedman interviewed Karger on the Mike Malloy Show last Thursday night.)
Another GOP Presidential hopeful, former UT Gov. Jon Huntsman, who is set to announce his run this week, is also alleged to have committed voter fraud when he cast his vote while registered at the governor's mansion, even though he'd resigned and moved to China two years earlier to serve as the U.S. Ambassador.
Also recently, news broke of voter fraud allegations against Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), concerning his having voted at a residence where he no longer lives for the last seven years. Akin, a vocal proponent of disenfranchising polling place Photo ID restrictions in Missouri, is currently seeking the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill in the Show Me State. He abruptly changed his voter registration to his current home on the same day that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch broke the story about his apparent class one felony violations last month.
And, of course, as longtime readers of The BRAD BLOG know, GOP superstar Ann Coulter appears to have committed voter fraud on a number of occasions, including in 2002 and 2004 when she voted absentee while registered at her parents' house in CT despite having long prior moved to her own multi-million dollar condo in Manhattan. She continued her felonious ways in 2005 when she registered to vote in Palm Beach County, FL at her real estate agents address, instead of her newly purchased mansion there, before proceeding to knowingly vote at the wrong precinct (her real estate agent's, rather than her own.)
White's motion concerning his bid for a grant of use immunity will be heard on Monday.
Recently related at The BRAD BLOG...
3/4/11: Indiana's New Republican Sec. of State Charged With Three Counts of Felony Voter Fraud
4/26/11: Indiana GOP Threatened With 'Contempt' Amid Voter Fraud Charges Against Sec. of State Charlie White
4/29/11: Indiana's GOP Governor Will NOT Get to Appoint a Replacement for GOP SoS Charged With Voter Fraud