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Patrick Lynn Swindall
Republican, Georgia (1985-1988)
The Honorable Pat Swindall was convicted in 1989 of lying to a federal grand jury and sentenced to one year in prison. Swindall has steadfastly maintained his innocence, fought for five years to stay out of prison, taking his case to the U.S. Court of Appeals, and ultimately (and unsuccessfully) to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Swindall owned a luxury home in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and the financing of that home got him into trouble. Swindall was seeking $850,000 in financing for the home and that led him to Charles LeChasney and an undercover IRS agent Michael Mullaney. Swindall was accused of lying to a federal grand jury about his negotiations to borrow the money, which he was told may have been drug money from a federal undercover agent (Mullaney) investigating the money-laundering activities of businessman LeChasney.
Prosecutor on the case: the Honorable Bob Barr, who was then U.S. Attorney for Atlanta. Swindall's attorney charged that Barr was "desperate" to convict Swindall of perjury because he was "trying to add a former congressman to his trophy case."
Swindall became a member of the Congressional Prison Caucus.
"Jewish" Bias. In June 1995, Swindall apologized for accusing the federal judge, Phyllis Kravitch, who presided over his unsuccessful court appeal of "Jewish" bias. He made those remarks during his regular talk show on WNIV-AM, a Christian radio station in north Atlanta. "One of the problems I've always had with the Jewish community is they always felt I ran an anti-Semitic campaign," said Swindall. He was referring to his 1984 defeat of U.S. Rep. Elliott Levitas, who is Jewish. Swindall called Kravitch "a soul mate" of Levitas.
Two months out of jail, Swindall he became the host of the "Pat Swindall Show," a political gospel show on a Christian broadcasting radio network. "This is God's will for my life right now. I am where my talents and gifts can best be used," he said.
Swindall lost a libel lawsuit when he sued Cox Enterprises, publisher of the Atlanta Constitution. Swindall claimed that the newspaper defamed him in an editorial that said he was "a man who lied about drug-money laundering." Swindall retorted: "I just happen to be one of those who thinks the truth matters." The court agreed, and dismissed his law suit.
Sources: "Court of Appeals Upholds Ruling Against Swindall Libel Suit," AP, Jan. 15, 2002; Ben Smith, III, "Swindall Apologizes for 'Jewish' Judge Remark," Atlanta Constitution, July 20, 1995, D1.