Amidst bribery claims, attorneys want Utah AG removed from fraud case

Feb 1 2013 - 11:10am

Images

FILE - Utah Attorney General John Swallow as Utah Gov. Gary Herbert delivers the State of the State speech to the Utah State Legislature on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/The Deseret News, Tom Smart, Pool)
FILE - Utah Attorney General John Swallow as Utah Gov. Gary Herbert delivers the State of the State speech to the Utah State Legislature on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/The Deseret News, Tom Smart, Pool)

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah businessman Jeremy Johnson's lawyers return to federal court Friday for the last time, they hope.

The lawyers don't want to represent Johnson any longer. They're asking a federal magistrate to excuse them from Johnson's highly publicized Internet fraud case.

Johnson scuttled a plea deal last month, then accused newly elected Attorney General John Swallow of being part of a bribery scheme that Johnson says failed to derail a federal investigation into his business practices. Swallow denies the accusation.

U.S. Attorney David Barlow, meanwhile, is seeking to muzzle Johnson. Barlow says Johnson is conducting a sophisticated Internet and media campaign to discredit federal prosecutors and investigators.

Federal Magistrate Paul Warner will sort it out at a hearing set for 2 p.m. Friday in Salt Lake City.

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