LEE COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - House Speaker Mike Hubbard returned to the Lee County Justice Center on Wednesday as both legal teams look ahead to trial.
Hubbard was indicted on 23 felony ethics counts in 2014 for allegedly using his position for personal gain.
The defense continues to subpoena state records to prove Hubbard is a victim of a political witch hunt. The Attorney General's Office denies that claim, calling the investigation thorough and above board.
A confident Mark White, the leader of Hubbard's defense team, expressed assurance all charges against one of the state's most powerful officials could be dropped in pretrial hearings, which would be an epic turn of events.
When ask realistically what charges could be dropped before trial White responded "I'll look you dead in the eye and say 1-23. Without hesitation."
Perhaps White's certainty of maintaining Hubbard's freedom was bolstered by new documents obtained during Wednesday's 15-minute hearing, produced by the Business Council of Alabama, State Personnel Board and the Secretary of State's Office. WSFA has not been granted copies of the subpoenas to learn which documents were obtained by the defense, despite a request to Circuit Clerk's office and through the state's online court records, but we've been assured the documents are public record.
The defense maintains the documents answer questions about the jurisdiction of naming the acting attorney overseeing the state's prosecution and engagements between the Attorney General and the BCA.
"The [subpoena] to the Business Council of Alabama was looking for documents related to the Attorney General and people on his behalf, seeking introductions for obtaining employment for the Attorney General and his family," White said. "As you know the Speaker is charged with those kind of communications with the Business Council, and we believe the Speaker's conduct is totally legal."
Judge Walker stated in court that he received information and documents from the State Ethics Commission. If attorneys wanted a copy, they would have to file for it. Still no word what those documents represent.
The defense walked away with new documents and a renewed confidence in their case.
Another hearing will be scheduled for early August, along with a growing concern this case won't be ready for trial in October.