AP NEWS

Judge: House speaker must testify at lawmaker’s trial

November 26, 2019 GMT

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A federal judge says a Michigan legislative leader must testify at the trial of a lawmaker who’s charged with attempted extortion, bribery and lying to an FBI agent.

House Speaker Lee Chatfield, a Republican, isn’t accused of wrongdoing himself. But prosecutors want to ask him questions about Republican Rep. Larry Inman during the trial that starts next week.

Inman is accused of trying to solicit campaign donations from a trade union in exchange for voting against legislation to repeal a law guaranteeing higher wages for construction workers on state-financed projects.

District Judge Robert Jonker on Tuesday rejected Chatfield’s attempt to quash a subpoena. Jonker says his testimony is important to the jury’s evaluation, and a legislator isn’t immune from testifying in federal court when a lawmaker is facing charges.