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Guest Author

November 25, 2019

Jackson R. Sharman III On Impeachment

“Ambassador Sondland’s testimony raises a question under the federal ‘honest services’ law,” said Jack Sharman, a white-collar defense lawyer and former Special Counsel to the Alabama House Judiciary Committee for the impeachment investigation of then-Governor Robert Bentley. “The Supreme Court has been clear that when a public official arranges for or holds a meeting, that will usually not be an ‘official act,’ which is necessary for the official to be charged criminally under the statute.  On the other hand, a public official’s decision to withhold, suspend or delay the receipt of legislatively-provided funds could well be an ‘official act.'”
 
Sharman, who was also Special Counsel to the House Financial Services Committee for the Whitewater investigation of President Clinton, added that “this is an impeachment inquiry, not a grand jury, and Members of Congress are not limited, in their discernment of potential ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ to only those matters that could be proven by a prosecutor under a federal criminal statute.”

Jackson R. Sharman III, partner, Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC

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