The Latest: Utah jury gets attorney general bribery case

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Posted: Mar 01, 2017 6:20 PM
The Latest: Utah jury gets attorney general bribery case

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Latest on the bribery trial for a former Utah attorney general (all times local):

4:15 p.m.

The jury has begun deliberations in a bribery trial for a former Utah attorney general.

The jurors heard distinctly different characterizations of John Swallow's interactions with campaign donors and business people during closing arguments Wednesday.

Defense attorney Scott Williams said the prosecution's case is a "House of Cards" built on the foundation of a convicted fraudster who can't be believed. He accused prosecutors of crafting a desperate, false narrative to make routine political dealings seem criminal.

Prosecutors said Swallow played a key role in a bribery scheme that went beyond the kind of relationships allowed between elected officials and campaign donors.

Deputy Salt Lake County District Attorney Fred Burmester says Swallow received luxury beach vacations, gifts and campaign donations from fraudsters and businessmen in exchange for favorable treatment.

Swallow is charged with nine counts, including bribery, evidence tampering and obstruction of justice.

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3:00 p.m.

The attorney for a former Utah attorney general on trial for bribery says the prosecution's case is a "House of Cards" built on the foundation of a convicted fraudster who can't be believed.

John Swallow's lawyer, Scott Williams, said Wednesday during closing arguments that prosecutors crafted a desperate, false narrative to make routine political dealings seem criminal. He reminded the jury that before a county prosecutor filed charges, the U.S. Department of Justice declined to file criminal charges after the FBI investigated the case.

Swallow is charged with nine counts, including bribery, evidence tampering and obstruction of justice.

Prosecutors said earlier in the day Swallow played a key role in a bribery scheme that went beyond the kind of relationships allowed between elected officials and campaign donors.

A jury of seven men and five women are expected to begin deliberating Wednesday afternoon.

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1:45 p.m.

Prosecutors say a former Utah attorney general played a key role in a bribery scheme that went beyond the kind of relationships allowed between elected officials and campaign donors.

Deputy Salt Lake County District Attorney Fred Burmester said Wednesday during closing arguments that John Swallow received luxury beach vacations, gifts and campaign donations from fraudsters and businessmen in exchange for favorable treatment.

The former head of Utah's top law enforcement office is charged with nine counts, including bribery, evidence tampering and obstruction of justice.

Defense attorneys are scheduled to deliver their closing argument later Wednesday.

Swallow's attorney, Scott Williams, contends that the case is a politically motivated smear campaign and that prosecutors are twisting the facts to fit the story they want to tell.

Swallow didn't testify during the three-week trial.

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12 p.m.

Closing arguments are underway in the bribery case of former Utah attorney general, one of the highest-profile scandals in state history.

Prosecutors will go first as they attempt to persuade a jury that John Swallow hung a virtual "for sale" sign on the door to the state's top law enforcement office. They accuse him of taking campaign donations and gifts such as beach vacations from fraudsters and businessmen in exchange for favorable treatment.

Swallow's attorney, Scott Williams, contends that the case is a politically motivated smear campaign and that prosecutors are twisting the facts to fit the story they want to tell.

Swallow is charged with nine counts, including bribery and evidence tampering.

The former top lawman did not testify during the three-week trial.