Federal Judge Requests More Insight Into Rep. Inman Charges

Representative Larry Inman was back in federal court Friday, fighting to have his three charges dropped and his name cleared at the federal level.

Inman is facing three charges, lying to the FBI, and attempted extortion and bribery connected to campaign contributions from a carpenter’s union.

Indicted in May, Inman has since had his office closed, removed from the caucus and committees and has not voted in Lansing.

Calls for Inman to Resign and recall petitions have made there way around Grand Traverse County in recent weeks.

“This is excessive federal government intervention into what is a state matter,” says Chris Cooke, Inman’s attorney.

Inman and Cooke say the FBI overstepped their bounds by federally charging Inman for campaign solicitation last summer.

Friday, in front of a federal judge, the argument turned to the first amendment and protecting campaign contributions as free speech.

“If you start looking at campaign contributions given to elected officials as a basis for a ‘pro quo,’ then everybody who receives a campaign contribution, or anybody who gives a campaign contribution, could fall under the jurisdiction of the Hobbs Act and be subject to prosecution,” says Cooke.

The judge ruled to proceed with the lying charge but wants more insight into the argument against bribery and extortion.

“We think that there is a line that can be drawn and we’ve argued that to the court where the line should follow,” says Cooke, “That’s up to the court to decide

Each side has 21 days to update their argument then another 14 days to respond to each other. Meanwhile, the push for his recall will continue.

“The basis of the recall is not the underlying acts of the indictment,” says Michael Naughton, attorney for the recall movement, “The basis is that he missed more than 80 days since this has happened.”

And his defense of mental incapacity due to opioid addiction.

“Today doesn’t really impact that he still has both of those issues hanging above his head and frankly, he hasn’t addressed the people of our community about that,” says Naughton.

“Then change the recall petition,” says Cooke, “I don’t mind if there’s a recall petition that talks about how many votes he missed but if you put in there that he has been indicted by the Grand Jury, that’s overwhelmingly prejudicial.”

Inman is currently in treatment for opioid addiction and said today he plans to return to work as soon as he completes the treatment.

Categories: Election 2020