Gary Herbert is neither an attorney nor a law enforcement officer. So he may be forgiven for not understanding that the kind of investigation that is now engulfing Utah Attorney General John Swallow is not something that is likely to be wrapped up in a few weeks, or even months.
And Herbert likely reflects the views of many average people he represents as governor of Utah when he complains that the mere knowledge that such an investigation is going on leaves a cloud hanging over the A.G.'s office. It is a situation that can only make it much more difficult for Swallow to do his job effectively. That's why Herbert Wednesday expressed a desire for federal investigators to either file charges against, or finally exonerate, the attorney general.
But as a savvy politician, Herbert ought to realize that the situation is not the fault of the FBI, the U.S. attorney or any other organization that is or might be looking into the political and financial doings that Swallow was up to his neck in before taking office. He ought to realize that even if the FBI held a press conference tomorrow to announce that the probe was over and no charges were being filed, Swallow's reputation would still be tarnished, probably irretrievably.