- Associated Press - Monday, March 23, 2015

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Indicted House Speaker Mike Hubbard referred to his political rivals as “evil” when it became known he was under investigation, and obtained information about the case from an employee within the attorney general’s office, according to personal emails filed in court documents Monday.

State prosecutors submitted court filings containing emails between Hubbard and former Gov. Bob Riley in which they discussed the investigation. The probe began in 2012 when Attorney General Luther Strange’s office subpoenaed information from the Alabama Republican Party about campaign work that was subcontracted to Hubbard’s printing company.

Hubbard told Riley that then-Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead read the Montgomery grand jury subpoena aloud to the party steering committee members “with glee.”

“Armistead is evil and I guess so is Luther,” Hubbard wrote on Dec. 13, 2012.

The emails show the private reaction of the powerful Republican as it became known he was under investigation. Hubbard faces 23 felony ethics charges accusing him of using his political position as speaker of the house and previous post as chairman of the Republican Party, for personal financial gain.

Hubbard wrote on Jan. 18, 2013 that his chief of staff had heard from a “mutual friend” in the attorney general’s office that the accusations had been “totally dismissed by the grand jury.” If that was true, it was not true for long. The attorney general’s office seated a new grand jury in Hubbard’s home Lee County in the summer of 2013.

The email does not name the person within the attorney general’s office, but prosecutors have accused a former deputy attorney general of improperly providing the defense with information about the case.

State prosecutors included the emails in court filings asking a judge to reject Hubbard’s efforts to dismiss the indictment. The defense claims there were violations of the grand jury secrecy act and other problems with the investigation.

“What is shown is that Hubbard’s defense team manufactured a bogus narrative of leaks from the inception of the grand jury to baselessly attack the prosecution, influence the media, poison the jury pool, deflect attention from Hubbard’s wrongdoing and create a false premise upon which to demand an evidentiary hearing,” Acting Attorney General W. Van Davis wrote.

Prosecutors asked a judge to block Hubbard’s efforts to subpoena Strange and others to testify at an upcoming hearing in the case.

Strange stepped aside from the investigation and appointed Davis, a retired district attorney, to lead the probe. Hubbard is trying to subpoena 11 current and former members of the attorney general’s office to either bring documents or testify at an upcoming hearing in the case.

Hubbard defense lawyer Mark White said they are seeking testimony and documents about “grand jury misconduct” and Strange’s appointment of Davis to oversee the investigation.

Prosecutors said the Hubbard defense was trying to turn an upcoming court hearing into a “spectacle and circus sideshow touting his baseless conspiracy theories and unfounded allegations.”

White said he did not blame the attorney general’s office for trying to prevent the testimony, but declined to elaborate.

Hubbard is expected to go to trial in October.

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