Senate Majority Project

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Republican Voter Suppression Trial Update – Day 1

Republican Lawyers May Have Approved Plan

Yesterday in Manchester, NH, the trial of James Tobin opened. Tobin is accused of conspiring to stop New Hampshire residents from voting in the 2002 election that resulted in the election of John Sununu. At trial, prosecutors argued and witnesses testified that several state Republican leaders were uncomfortable with the idea and that Tobin helped facilitate the plan after no one else would help. In addition, Tobin’s lawyer opened the door to the possibility that other Republican lawyers may have approved the plan. Arguing that Tobin was not connected to the scheme that has already sent two top-tier Republican operatives to jail, the attorney said, “that Raymond [the consultant hired to make the calls] has stated he ran the plan by a lawyer.”

A few local outlets are doing useful reporting on the trial

The RNC has sent upwards of $1 million defending Tobin, and made arguments that would prevent prosecutors from determining how far up the Republican party ladder the scheme went, how widespread the practice was, and who ultimately paid for it. The first day of the trial only provided more reasons for Republicans to stop hiding behind lawyers and come clean about the level of the national party’s involvement.