The Swallow Deposition: If a picture is worth a thousand words

It appears that John Swallow’s deposition by the Utah House Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Special Investigator is now available. Whether you believe Swallow’s story that the  House investigation is a witch hunt, think Swallow is guilty as sin, or are a dispassionate observer, the videos below make for fascinating watching.

Here are some excerpts from the deposition (most are just a couple of minutes long…the whole deposition is hours longer), and at the bottom you can find a transcript of the entire deposition.

Draw your own conclusions and, by all means, please share your thoughts in the comments.

Swallow explains why he back-dated invoices to cover previous events.


Asked if Richard Rawle donated and if the donations were reported, Swallow said: “I think he did[…]. I can’t remember.” and “Whatever the rules were, they would have been followed.”

Remember, this is someone with whom Swallow had a very close relationship and from whom he received a death bed affidavit to protect and back-up Swallow.

Swallow explains why he did not want an email disseminated to the public. He cites his bold prediction that a Republican would win, would win by 30%, and that the campaign would require $1.1M. He doesn’t seem to have a problem with other elements of the email.


Swallow talks about a meeting in Salt Lake City with Senator Orrin Hatch, Jeremy Johnson, and Mark Shurtleff. Shurtleff was AG at the time, and Swallow was his Deputy. However, Swallow says that their roles in the meetings were not in their official capacities, but as “friends” to Johnson.

Because of Rawle’s role and the frequency that his name comes up, I can’t help but find it very convenient to Swallow that Rawle is, may he rest in peace, dead.

Swallow (finally admitting he was a lobbyist, among other things), discussing the nature of his relationship to Johnson, the meeting with Rawle, how the idea to go to Senator Harry Reid arose, and the person who was a contact to Reid.
Swallow becomes somewhat flustered when the Special Investigator follows a line of questioning regarding the Reid contact.


Swallow explains what he was trying to accomplish in the now infamous Krispy Kreme meeting with Johnson, including the comment “politically, I go ‘whoa!’”


“I think I’m their target,” says Swallow about an FBI investigation while speaking to Johnson at Krispy Kreme (their last meeting). What did he mean by that, asks the Special Investigator, and what was your concern. Swallow says, repeatedly, that he is trying to be conciliatory and prevent Johnson from leaving upset.

If anyone needed any more evidence that Swallow was beholden to donors, one need go no further than his comments in this video.


Some discussion about the purpose of the Rawle declaration. Swallow had concern that there be a documentation about the nature of their relationship. Remember, this is a person that earlier Swallow said that he wasn’t sure if Rawle had donated, but then in this clip says “we had had a relationship that hadn’t required documentation.”


This clip gets into why Rawle made his death bed declaration. Swallow says that he doesn’t know whose idea it was to preserve Rawle’s testimony, but doesn’t think it was his idea. Swallow also “doesn’t believe” he spoke to Rawle about the declaration, even though he did see Rawle in the hospital at the time. There is a lot of hemming and hawing in this clip.

Also, and this is totally just a guess: it really looks like Swallow isn’t sure about what to say because he’s not sure what will look wrong to the Special Investigator.

Why hide his involvement in P-Solutions and SSV Management? Swallow really starts to spin at this point…

I can’t help but recall another politician in a deposition saying: “What is the definition of ‘is’?”

Swallow says he regrets not just disclosing P-Solutions and SSV Management and would have if he had known he was going to be caught up. 

Also, Swallow tries to justify his non-disclosure by citing his lawyer.


The full deposition, or at least the full amount that is available.

Daniel Burton
Daniel Burton lives in Holladay, Utah, where he practices law by day and everything else by night. You can follow him on Twitter as @publiusdb or on his blog PubliusOnline.com where he muses on books, politics and ideas.
Daniel Burton


I post about politics, books, and random other...things. Opinions are my own. Also, Dir. of Comms. for @UtahAG
@JeremyBRoberts sadness. - 7 hours ago
Daniel Burton
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