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In this exchange, according to Johnson, Swallow had sent him an email mentioning Reid and that it would likely take a lot of money to fix the businessman’s problems.
Tolman says investigators would be interested in seeing such an email, which could point to greater involvement by Swallow.
Cassell senses Johnson may be trying to set up Swallow.
"Johnson seems to be alleging bribery of a U.S. senator, which seems far-fetched to me," he says. "And Johnson has an obvious motive to try and concoct such a scheme and then try and suck Swallow into it."
Swallow: Is Reid the politician [the FBI is looking at]?
Johnson: It could be. That’s what I’m saying. I don’t know that it’s you. They redacted all the emails. My attorney doesn’t know. So —
Swallow: I’m — I’m not confident that it’s not me they’re looking for.
Here, a worried Swallow concedes that investigators could end up suspecting him of greater involvement in the deal. At one point he says he hopes he’s not the "big fish."
"There’s an acknowledgment and an awareness by Mr. Swallow that he would understand why someone [in law enforcement] might be looking at him," Tolman says. "That’s an interesting aspect of the dialogue."
Tolman was the subject of acritical 2009 letter that then-Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff sent to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Shurtleff and Swallow were political allies.
Swallow: Well, when I talk to her [an FBI agent], I’m going to tell her everything. I mean —
Johnson: Who? The lady?
Swallow: I would tell her, yeah, my involvement.
Johnson: I think — she tried to call you, too?
Swallow: No. No. But I have nothing to hide.
In this exchange and others, Swallow insists he has done nothing wrong and that he was minimally involved with Johnson. At one point he tells Johnson that "at the end of the day, I thought — I thought you were — you were paying Richard [Rawle] money so that he would lobby."
Swallow says he helped connect Johnson to Rawle because "I felt the FTC was screwing you."
Swallow: I don’t even know what those guys [investigators] have the power to do. Do they have the power to go to Richard and get his emails?Next Page >
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