It seems obvious to me that the FBI or other federal law-enforcers could instantly blow up the Babygate hoax by simply interviewing under oath anyone connected to it. For example, would Dr. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson perjure herself to keep Sarah's not-so-secret secret? Of course not. Nor Would Palin herself.
So the real question becomes, How could the FBI or any other federal agency justify starting an investigation? I doubt the FBI can willy-nilly pluck folks off the street and interview them based on mere curiosity. What could serve as the basis for starting an inquiry?
In a general sense, you could argue that Palin's lie about Trig's birth was a form of fraud against the American people. And the fact that she falsely announced to the world that she was pregnant on March 5, the day after McCain clinched the nomination, helps make the case that the fraud was specifically intended to deceive in relation to the presidential election.
So in a general sense, I would argue Palin is guilty of fraudulent behavior, both in speech and action, that is reprehensible and deserving of being outed. But, again, do existing laws or accepted legal doctrines provide a hook, a basis for starting an inquiry?
I am not a lawyer, but I had legal training in my doctoral studies and once even published an article in a law journal. So I am comfortable reading statutes, court cases, etc., and figuring out how they might apply.
For today, I wish to focus on a single federal statute. Read the following:
Now, the language here is fuzzy. There are various ways this federal statute might be read. An expansive reading might be: Any public official who knowingly lies in an official communication could be subject to prosecution under this law. That probably is a novel reading, and you might argue that most courts would probably not go along with it. But that is not the point here.
The point is, such an expansive reading theoretically could serve as the basis for starting an inquiry and deposing someone under oath. Again, simply questioning someone like CBJ under oath would likely kill the hoax. In fact, if the FBI told Palin they wished to interview her, I imagine she would pre-emptively spill the beans in a public confession.
If we accept my argument above, then we might ask: Has Palin ever in an official "writing" made a false claim relative to Trig's birth? Take a look:
I would call this an official writing. After all, it's on the letterhead of the "Office of the Governor," and it presumably quotes Palin herself. Although, talk about weaseling, note that the attributive phrase above the quote is that "the family released the following statement."
Even in this, you can see Sarah Palin's careful efforts to create a verbal escape hatch: she avoided directly quoting herself, so she could could later argue that there is no prima facie evidence in the news release that she lied.
In fact, the wording throughout the press release is designed to allow weaseling. Her "labor" began in Texas but let up – does that mean "birth labor" or "work" as governor in giving a speech? Trig "was born at 6:30 a.m.," but no day is given nor, thanks to the passive voice, is the birth mother named. She arrived in time to "deliver" Trig, but does that mean "give birth to" or simply "present"? The document is a masterpiece in weaselism.
In any event, if you happen to be a federal law enforcer in Alaska, I hope I have provided you with a basis for asking questions.