- Associated Press - Friday, April 8, 2016

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) - An eastern Idaho judge has reversed his earlier ruling and blocked the deposition of seven members of the local Republican Party who are accused of forming a secret society to oust party leaders from their positions.

Senior Judge Richard St. Clair on Thursday ruled that Bonneville County GOP Chairman Doyle Beck and Region 7 GOP Chairman Bryan Smith will not be allowed to interview local GOP members to see if they are part of the so-called “clandestine core group.”

Beck and Smith hoped to question the seven about an alleged secret society called the Idaho Prosperity Project, and its plans to change the balance of power in party leadership. St. Clair originally ruled in their favor, but the judge quashed subpoenas after a hearing with the seven accused society members.

Beck and Smith hoped to question the seven about an alleged secret society called the Idaho Prosperity Project, and its plans to change the balance of power in party leadership. St. Clair originally ruled in their favor, but the judge quashed subpoenas after a hearing with the seven accused society members.

“None of the targets of Smith and Beck’s legal bullying has done anything wrong,” the seven said in a statement. “None has anything to hide. All have every reason to resist this liberal use of the courts by Smith and Beck to engage in their political witch hunt.”



The legal proceedings hinged on a little-used court regulation called Rule 27. Beck and Smith argued the rule exists to gather information that could be used in a potential lawsuit.

The seven who were to be deposed said the rule exists to preserve testimony if a witness with important information might die or forget it.

Tim Hopkins, who is representing the accused party members, said this is the first time a judge in the local district has decided on Rule 27, and it sets a precedent.

Beck and Smith said they still intend to get information on the Idaho Prosperity Project.

“I was set to find the truth, and I will find the truth,” Beck said.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide