Surprise, surprise, surprise

The seven Alaska state employees who had been resisting subpoenaes in the troopergate investigation have now agreed to speak to Branchflower.

Meanwhile, Todd Palin has still not agreed to speak to Branchflower, but will be interviewed by the investigator for the rival Personnel Board investigation. If the Personnel Board shared that statement with Branchflower, it is possible that Branchflower will consider that satisfactory (a deal along those lines was worked out with, I believe, Frank Bailey). However, the Branchflower report is due this Friday, October 10, whereas, Matt Volz reports that "Attorney Thomas Van Flein said he asked the investigator, Anchorage attorney Timothy Petumenos, to reserve the third week of October to interview Todd Palin."

The witness list:
• Dianne Kiesel, a state human resources manager

• Annette Kreitzer, state administration commissioner

• Janice Mason, Gov. Sarah Palin's scheduler and executive secretary

• Nicki Neal, state personnel and labor relations director

• Mike Nizich, Palin's chief of staff

• Kris Perry, director of the governor's Anchorage office

• Brad Thompson, state risk management director |ADN|

Addendum: CNN adds some detail to the story.
French said he believes statements could be taken without pushing back the scheduled Friday release of a report by Stephen Branchflower, the former Anchorage prosecutor conducting the investigation into Palin's July firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.
Palin attorney Thomas Van Flein told CNN that "all options are possible" for Todd Palin to participate in the Legislative Council's investigation, including a joint interview with Branchflower and Tim Petumenos, the investigator for the Personnel Board's inquiry.

Todd Palin will likely speak with Petumenos later in the month, Van Flein said, adding, "Ultimately, I think he will" participate in the legislative investigation. |CNN|

It's hard to say precisely what's going on here. On the one hand, Van Flein could really be expressing a willingness to have Todd Palin cooperate, so long as the report's release can be delayed a week or so. On the other hand, it could be one of those situations where hypothetical cooperation is always a few weeks into the future.

My reading of the situation is that Branchflower already has all of the information needed for his report and doesn't really need Palin's statement. If that's right, then the business regarding Todd Palin and his hypothetical willingness to cooperate is important mostly from the point of view of spinning Branchflower's report. As a test, let's see if the McCain campaign touts Todd Palin's hypothetical cooperation as evidence that there was no cover-up and asserts that Palin's hypothetical testimony, had it been heard, would have fully exculpated the office of the governor.

And they all fall down:
Todd Palin has been resisting a subpoena by lawmakers since mid-September. But with the Legislature's report on the matter due Friday, Palin has agreed to answer written questions submitted through his lawyer, McCain-Palin campaign spokeswoman Meg Stapleton said.

The questions were submitted to Palin lawyer Thomas Van Flein on Monday and are expected to be returned by Wednesday, Stapleton said. |CNN|

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