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Legislature meets to discuss legal issues surrounding Swallow investigation

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Posted at 9:04 AM, Jul 17, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-17 11:04:39-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah legislators are meeting for a special session Wednesday to discuss the legal issues they may face as they investigate the alleged misconduct of Attorney General John Swallow.

Swallow has been in a world of controversy since he was sworn into office in January. The first allegation came seven days after– when Jeremy Johnson, a St. George businessman, accused Swallow of setting up a bribe with top federal lawmakers.

Swallow has since denied the accusation.

Earlier this month, the Utah House of Representatives formed a special investigative committee to look into the allegations.

The bill being discussed Wednesday would adjust Utah's open meeting laws to allow more confidentiality as the investigation continues.

A special committee approved by the House would also have the power to issue subpoenas and give people immunity.

"To testify, there may be some that would require of us immunity for the testimony they give to us. Obviously, we can't give immunity for federal statutes, but we can do some things at the state level," said Rep. Brad Dee (D-Ogden), House Majority Leader.

In a statement, Utah Democratic Party Executive Director Matt Lyon demanded transparency.

"Utah Democrats hope that the changes that will be made next Wednesday to our open meeting laws will not create loopholes that allow the investigation to occur in the backrooms of the Republican caucus," he wrote.