ATLANTA — Rep. Pat Swindall today offered to give up his right to a jury trial on federal perjury charges in order to obtain a verdict by Election Day, but U.S. District Judge Robert Vining immediately rejected the idea.
With jury selection entering its third day, Republican Swindall told Vining, "I'm just real concerned as to whether or not we can get this case tried this week and next week. I am prepared to waive my right to be tried by a jury."
But Vining rejected his plea, saying "there are things more important to you than the Nov. 8 election."
Swindall, who contends the perjury charges against him are based on lapses in his memory, cited President Reagan's claims of faulty memory in the Iran-Contra affair as he questioned prospective jurors Monday.