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Suppressing An Investigation

SUPPRESSING AN INVESTIGATION.... When Sarah Palin's "troopergate" scandal began in earnest in July, the governor told state lawmakers and the public that she welcomed an investigation. "Hold me accountable," she said.

This past week, Palin decided to stop cooperating with the investigation. Now, the McCain campaign is trying to suppress the investigation altogether. Newsweek's Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball have the story.

Key Alaska allies of John McCain are trying to derail a politically charged investigation into Gov. Sarah Palin's firing of her public safety commissioner in order to prevent a so-called "October surprise" that would produce embarrassing information about the vice presidential candidate on the eve of the election. In a move endorsed by the McCain campaign Friday, John Coghill, the GOP chairman of the state House Rules Committee, wrote a letter seeking a meeting of Alaska's bipartisan Legislative Council in order to remove the Democratic state senator in charge of the so-called "troopergate" investigation. [...]

[Hollis] French, the Democrat overseeing the probe, has hired a special counsel to determine, in effect, whether Palin "used her public office to settle a private score," he recently said. He has also suggested that the probe may turn up evidence that state laws were violated by Palin's aides because they pulled confidential personnel files on the trooper.

But Coghill, who told NEWSWEEK that he has the backing of Republican Speaker of the House John Harris in his effort to remove French, suggested Friday that the investigation into Palin's firing of Monegan should be shut down entirely.

It's striking how quickly Republicans are reversing course on this. When the controversy first arose, there was bipartisan support for the probe, and the governor's office was anxious to cooperate and clear the air.

Now, Republicans in Anchorage and at McCain campaign headquarters seem desperate to suppress a legitimate investigation. This, shortly after Palin decided she's no longer willing to cooperate, and seven of her aides decide they're no longer prepared to give depositions, after having given their word that they would be happy to answer any and all questions.

The scandal, in other words, is starting to look even more serious. If not, there would have been no need for McCain to dispatch a "rapid response team of about ten operatives that includes lawyers" to Alaska.

Sometimes, when a group of people with limited credibility act like they have something to hide, it's because they have something to hide.