Who is Steve Branchflower, the hired gun for the Palin investigation?
Via BarackBook, a Facebook styled site that keeps track of Obama’s “friends”, comes this work up.
“Branchflower And Walt Monegan Were Colleagues. “If Plummer and his troops can make it happen, these warmed-up cases may be only the beginning. [Anchorage Police Chief] Monegan has ‘given us the time, and we’re going to give him the results,’ Plummer said. As head of the new unit, Plummer is following a department legend. In 1984, Sgt. Mike Grimes, along with Gifford and former prosecutor Steve Branchflower, developed a team approach to working homicides that proved successful into the 1990s, attracting praise from the FBI among others.” (Sheila Toomey, “Cold Cases Brought To Front Burner,” Anchorage Daily News, 5/5/02)”
Branchflower And Democrat Hollis French Are Former Colleagues. “French will supervise Branchflower. French, also a former prosecutor and colleague of Branchflower, has told the council that the investigator will go to work gathering evidence and could come back to lawmakers if ‘some people just won’t talk.’ The House and Senate Judiciary Committees could then issue subpoenas to compel testimony.” (Megan Holland, “Branchflower Will Investigate Monegan Case,” Anchorage Daily News, 8/2/08)
Branchflower Deferred Questions Regarding The Subpoena List To Obama Partisan, French. “Rep. David Guttenberg (D.) asked Branchflower why he was requesting subpoenas for only those people attending the meeting and not Tibbles himself. Branchflower said he would ‘have to defer that question to Mr. French.’ ’I put the list together with, talking to Mr. French,’ Branchflower added. Sen. Gene Therriault (R.) told Branchflower, ‘I don’t understand why you would have to defer that question to Sen. French. If it’s your list you’re in complete control of the list, then why can’t you answer the question?’ Branchflower had no explanation.” (Amanda Carpenter, “Obama Partisan Tampers With Palin Subpoena List,” Townhall, 9/13/08)”
It’s clear from the record that Branchflower has a long-standing relationship with Monegan and especially with Hollis French, much of what he failed to disclose from the outset. This of course would explain the report which offers more opinion than fact and moreover completely throws the unbiasedness of the investigation into question.
Perhaps it’s Branchflower who should be looked into?
UPDATE: Again, Beldar, an attorney himself pounces:
“Instead, Branchfire has piled a guess (that the Palins wanted Wooten fired, rather than, for example, counseled, disciplined, or reassigned) on top of an inference (that when the Palins expressed concern to Monegan about Wooten, they were really threatening to fire Monegan if he didn’t fire Wooten) on top of an innuendo (that Gov. Palin “fired” Monegan at least in part because of his failure to fire Wooten) — from which Branchflower then leaps to a legal conclusion: “abuse of authority.” Branchflower reads the Ethics Act to prohibit any governmental action or decision made for justifiable reasons benefiting the State if that action or decision might also make a public official happy for any other reason. That would mean, of course, that governors must never act or decide in a way that makes them personally happy as a citizen, or as a wife or mother or daughter, and that they could only take actions or make decisions which left them feeling neutral or upset. This an incredibly shoddy tower of supposition, and a ridiculous misreading of the law.
Branchflower puts under a microscope every direct and indirect contact that can possibly be claimed to to come, directly or indirectly, from Gov. Palin or her husband, Todd. In none of them did either Sarah or Todd Palin demand or request that Wooten be fired. Some of them date back to before Gov. Palin was even a candidate for governor. All of them are equally well explained by legitimate concerns that Wooten was a potential threat to the Palin family (having already made death threats against Gov. Palin’s father) and/or an embarrassment to the Alaska Department of Public Safety and the entire state law enforcement community. That the Palins also had strong — and entirely understandable! — negative feelings about Trooper Wooten does not make any of these communications remotely improper, much less illegal.
Nevertheless, Branchflower leaps to the personal conclusion (page 67 of the .pdf file) that “such claims of fear were not bona fide and were offered to provide cover for the Palins’ real motivation: to get Trooper Wooten fired for personal family related reasons.” Well, here’s another memo to Mr. Branchflower: When the family is question is the family of the Governor of Alaska, and when her security detail is charged with protecting her from threats, and in the process of that, the security detail actively seeks out information as to who may have previously made death threats against the family, that’s no longer solely a “personal family related reason.” And when someone like Trooper Wooten threatens to bring ridicule and shame to the entire state of Alaska, that’s no longer solely a “personal family related reason” either.
Branchflower, I’m told, is an attorney and a former prosecutor. If he thinks this kind of nonsense could support a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt, or even a finding of proof by a preponderance of the evidence, then he may be the worst lawyer I’ve ever encountered — and I’ve met a lot of awful ones in almost three decades before the bar.”
I believe even more that at this point an independent investigation should be immediately launched into Branchflower, this was not an unbiased report, but a designed hit on Palin.