Defense, Prosecution Rest In Robocall Trial
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
August 29, 2013 12:45 PM
On day three of the "Robocalls Trial," Daniel Willard's attorney, R. Shawn Tornow, called one lone witness for the defense, The Secretary of State, Jason Gant.
The defense did attempt to call State Sen. Dan Lederman and a Republican blogger, but the court denied the defense's request to question them in a motions hearing.
When it comes to election laws, Secretary of State Jason Gant is the go to man in the South Dakota.
While Gant was on the stand, Tornow tried to explain how different federal political committees do not need to register with the state before making political communication such as robocalls.
"Any political communication needs to have a disclaimer such as, 'paid for by, whatever' and that also has to be filled with the (Secretary of State's) office so, that the public knows who that group is," said Gant.
Gant, who received several of the robocalls before the 2012 election on his personal cell phone, says he was confronted by a handful of state lawmakers about the legality of such robocalls. And, Gant said he thought there was something illegal about the calls.
"The Secretary of State doesn't have the authority to go and tell them they have to file. My job is to accept what is filed with my office. If someone does something we question, we then go to the attorney generals office," said Gant.
And, thus began the investigation into Daniel Willard and his alleged robocalls.
The rebuttal was simple for the prosecution.
"How was the drive in from Pierre?" asked Brent Kempema.
"Wonderful," replied Gant.
"That's all the questions I have your honor," said Kempema.
Having no more witnesses to call, the defense rests.