E-mails between Hubbard and Bob Riley, included in the court documents, make it clear former Deputy Attorney General Sonny Reagan was the source of the leaks. Reagan was forced to resign from the AG's office in December 2014 amid allegations that he had shared secret grand-jury information with targets of the investigation.
Documents also show that the grand jury filed a subpoena seeking to question Rob Riley. His lawyer, William Athanas of the Birmingham firm Waller Landsen Dortch & Davis, threatened to file a motion to quash the subpoena, and Rob Riley apparently has managed to escape testifying so far.
All of this adds to evidence that my unlawful incarceration--from October 23, 2013, to March 26, 2014, in Shelby County, Alabama--was connected to the Lee County investigation. Rob Riley and lobbyist Liberty Duke sought my arrest based on a dubious defamation lawsuit that sought a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, both prohibited as prior restraints under more than 230 years of First Amendment law.
Our ongoing investigation indicates I probably was beaten and maced in my own garage, arrested without an apparent warrant, and jailed for five months--the only journalist in the western hemisphere to be incarcerated in 2013--for more than one reason. My reports on U.S. Circuit Judge Bill Pryor and his connections to 1990s gay pornography almost certainly played a role. But we now know Rob Riley was concerned enough about the Lee County probe to trample his profession's ethical provisions, and perhaps commit state and federal crimes, in order to get inside information.
The first sign of leaks are tied to former ALGOP chairman Bill Armistead and his announcement on December 12, 2012, that Hubbard was under investigation, according to a report yesterday from Bill Britt at Alabama Political Reporter. An e-mail exchange between Hubbard and Bob Riley, dated the next day (December 13, 2012), shows they already had inside information about the grand jury--as did Rob Riley.
From the December 13 e-mails, marked as Exhibit L, starting with Hubbard:
On Dec 13, 2012, at 8:19 AM, Mike Hubbard
Talk with Rob when you can. Armistead and Luther have now teamed up to try and ruin me politically. Not sure what Luther'a end game is others than he views me as a potential threat down the road. Rob knows details.
This response came from Bob Riley:
On Dec 13, 2012, at 9:06 AM, "Bob Riley"
I was with him during the conversations with you and Sonny last night - ..... Have a couple of people trying to understand what's happening.
What does this tell us? Bill Britt provides a summary:
Here Riley acknowledged a conversation with Reagan and Hubbard and also indicates that Rob Riley was involved in receiving information about the Lee County Grand Jury as early as December, 2012.
The dirt gets even deeper with Exhibit K, which involves a January 18, 2013, e-mail from Hubbard to Bob Riley, referencing former Hubbard aide Josh Blades:
Confidentially, I received word just now from Josh [Blades] that a mutual friend in the AG’s office (he used to work for you) called to tell him that the prosecutor told him this afternoon that the accusations against me have been thoroughly investigated and totally dismissed by the Grand Jury.”
What does this mean? Here is Britt's brief summary:
The emails show that Riley and Hubbard, along with Rob Riley and Josh Blades, then Hubbard's Chief of Staff, were involved in leaked secrets from the Grand Jury. It also reinforces that Reagan was the leaker because he is the only person in the Attorney General’s Office who had worked in the Riley Administration.
This is the most powerful evidence yet of the deep sleaze in which Hubbard and the Rileys have engaged. This raises all kinds of questions, but for now, we will focus on these:
* Rob Riley and Sonny Reagan are lawyers, and they clearly engaged in efforts to undermine the justice process. Will they face disbarment proceedings?
* The actions of Rob Riley, Bob Riley, Hubbard, and Reagan involve attempts to obstruct the Lee County grand jury. Could this lead to criminal charges--perhaps under the state statute for obstructing governmental operations? Since the federal wires were involved via e-mails, could that lead to federal obstruction of justice charges?