Swallow wants the case against him dismissed

Posted at 3:17 PM, Apr 12, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY -- Former Utah Attorney General John Swallow returned to court on Tuesday, demanding that prosecutors hand over terabytes of information seized by law enforcement.

He's also asked a judge to dismiss the case against him, arguing that prosecutors violated his constitutional right to attorney-client privilege. If he loses that request, Swallow has asked the judge to grant him a new preliminary hearing.

"There's a lot I'd like to say, but I've been asked not to say it," Swallow told reporters as he left the courthouse.

Swallow and his predecessor, Mark Shurtleff, are facing corruption-related charges. They are accused of accepting gifts and donations from people facing investigation by the Utah Attorney General's Office. Both men have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Former Utah Attorney General John Swallow leaves court with his defense attorney, Scott Williams. (FOX 13 News)

Former Utah Attorney General John Swallow leaves court with his defense attorney, Scott Williams. (FOX 13 News)

In a court motion filed late Monday, Swallow's new defense attorney Scott Williams accused the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office of reading emails between the former AG and his then-lawyer.

"The scope of the breach in this case is frankly staggering," Williams said outside of court.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill told FOX 13 on Tuesday that no one on his team has read the emails and steps were being taken to make sure no one would. He said the emails were part of more than four terabytes of data handed over to the defense as part of regular discovery in the case. The data was collected by law enforcement as part of their investigation.

Third District Court Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills set a July hearing to consider Swallow's request to dismiss the case, giving prosecutors time to respond. If the judge doesn't toss it, Swallow asked that he be granted a new preliminary hearing. Williams said prosecutors misled Swallow about what would be presented when he waived his right.

In court filings, the defense has suggested the former attorney general did not understand some parts of the preliminary hearing. On Tuesday, Williams said Swallow didn't know all the things he could do to defend himself in the hearings.

"I don't think Mr. Swallow had an understanding of exactly what he could do in the way of bringing witnesses to the preliminary hearing or what powers of subpoena the defendants had," he said.