Thursday, June 4, 2009

Maine's Vindictive Prosecution Ends

James Tobin, a Republican operative, was targeted in 2004 by ambitious U.S. Attorneys. The agents of the Rove Republican Racket prosecuted him for being involved in an alleged election-night phone jamming scheme. In appeal, Tobin was completely vindicated when the court said Tobin was wrongly convicted of a crime where the statute simply didn't apply.

Federal prosecutors had egg all over their faces!

Three years after being vindicated, the U.S. Attorney went after Tobin again hours before the statute of limitations was to expire. The case was tossed out as "vindictive prosecution." From the Bangor Daily News:

Tobin, 48, was indicted in October by a federal grand jury in Portland on charges of lying to the FBI during an interview on Oct. 14, 2003, about the phone jamming. Those charges were brought just days before the statute of limitations would have prevented prosecutors from making them and nearly three years after Tobin was vindicated on far more serious charges in New Hampshire. U.S. District Judge George Z. Singal in February dismissed the Maine charges on the basis of vindictive prosecution. Federal prosecutors on March 17 appealed Singal’s decision but on May 1 filed a motion to dismiss it.

The case against Tobin, of Bangor, Maine, came to a quiet conclusion last week when a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston dismissed an appeal by prosecutors. The hang-up calls jammed phone lines set up by the state Democratic Party and the Manchester firefighters' union for more than an hour on Election Day, when Republican John Sununu won a Senate race against then-Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat. Sununu won by nearly 20,000 votes in 2002, so the jammed phone lines probably had little impact on the outcome of the race. Tobin was cleared in federal court in New Hampshire of taking part in the plot. Then the government brought charges in Maine of lying to investigators, and a judge dismissed those before the case went on to the federal appeals court.