Sometimes people ask me how long I was a State Senator, and when I say “two years” it sounds like I was some kind of political loser. But I was gerrymandered out of my seat, and my tale of revenge is pertinent today. My target was the Democratic Governor of Alaska. Robert Mueller’s target is President Donald Trump. Mueller wants to do to Trump what I did to Sheffield.
Republican Governor Jay Hammond designed a State Senate seat specifically for me, and once I was elected in 1982, I was going to be very hard to get rid of, in an election. After he was elected to succeed Hammond, Sheffield and Supreme Court Justice Jay Rabinowitz came up with a plan to get rid of me.
In a case that has perplexed legal scholars since it was decided, in Carpenter v. Hammond, 667 P. 2d 1204 (1983) Rabinowitz decided that there was a minor flaw in one House District in Southeast Alaska, and that this gave the new Governor the right to reapportion the entire legislature. Previously, prior to the 1982 election, Rabinowitz had upheld Hammond’s reapportionment plan. What changed his mind? A conversation with Bill Sheffield, no doubt, which resulted in the Governor owing a huge favor to the Alaska Supreme Court.
I ran for the State House to get revenge, and because Sheffield was corrupt, I was able to get it. His Attorney General, Norm Gorsuch, was an honorable man, who I had defended from stupid charges from some brain dead House Republicans when I was in the Senate. These morons were trying to prevent him from being confirmed as AG, and I told them they were full of it. I knew Gorsuch’s reputation as a lawyer, and he was clean. I’m sure Gorsuch appreciated my attitude.
So two years later, as a member of the State House, I write Gorsuch a formal letter, asking him the criteria he would use in determining if a special prosecutor should be appointed in cases involving criminal charges against the Governor. He wrote a very thoughtful, lawyerly letter back, which proved quite useful.
Some whistle blower in Sheffield’s administration exposed some dirty deals the Governor was doing in state leases, to benefit his contributors. Some of the details are in this L. A. Times story. Once this news got out, I wrote Gorsuch a letter asking that he recuse himself, and appoint a Special Prosecutor, pursuant to the criteria he had laid out in his previous letter to me.
He didn’t respond, and so every day during special orders, when any member can speak on any subject, I’d get up and raise holy hell about the need for a special prosecutor. None of the Democrats on the floor got up to oppose me. I kept it up, day after day, and things were getting pretty intense. Then Gorsuch announced he was appointing a special prosecutor. It was George T. Frampton, a former Watergate prosecutor.
He impaneled a grand jury in Juneau, and forced Sheffield to testify in front of it. Sheffield lied through his teeth, and the grand jury recommended that the Legislature meet in special session to consider impeaching him. We met, and decided against it. But Sheffield’s political career was over. He lost the Democratic primary in 1986 in a landslide.
This is what Mueller wants to do to Trump. Get a D.C. grand jury to recommend impeachment. Former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy lays it all out at NRO.
Trump will never be impeached, but the political damage would be immense. For this, and many other reasons, I don’t think Trump runs for reelection.