Rep. Pat Swindall was indicted today on charges of perjury, accused of lying to a federal grand jury about allegedly pursuing an $850,000 home construction loan that would have been financed with laundered drug money.
U.S. Atty. Robert Barr said Swindall, a Republican, was indicted on 10 counts of perjury.
Swindall had announced during an appearance on WSB-TV Sunday night that he expected to be indicted, and he said he was glad because he hoped it would give him a chance to clear his name before his reelection bid Nov. 8.
Swindall said he expects to waive a number of rights, including the right to charge the government with misconduct in the case, so that he can go on trial next Monday. Barr said he does not know whether such a quick trial will be possible.
To Represent Himself
Swindall said he plans to represent himself at the trial.
In an unusually bitter race, Swindall is seeking a third term from suburban Atlanta’s 4th District against Democratic opponent Ben Jones, former actor on television’s “Dukes of Hazzard.”
Angered by continued reports linking his name with the grand jury investigation, Swindall took the House floor Oct. 3 to demand an immediate indictment.
Swindall was first linked publicly to the money-laundering investigation earlier this year when it was disclosed that his Aug. 28, 1987, meeting with an undercover federal agent posing as a money launderer for underworld figures had been videotaped.
Swindall was introduced to the undercover agent by Charles LeChasney, a former Atlanta businessman who was active in Republican circles. LeChasney is one of the two men scheduled to go on trial next week on money-laundering charges.
In June, Atlanta newspapers obtained several tape-recordings from the investigation and published excerpts from a series of conversations between Swindall, LeChasney and the undercover agent.
The tapes showed that Swindall continued to pursue negotiations for an $850,000 home construction loan after being told that it might be financed with drug money he would be helping to launder.