Janet Huckabee, wife of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, appeared in Pulaski County District Court last week and received a "reserve judgment," an agreement that previous charges of careless and prohibited driving would be dismissed if Huckabee doesn't get into any more vehicular trouble for at least six months. The charges stem from a September 20, 2010 accident in which an Arkansas State Trooper charged Huckabee for merging into the lane of another car, causing a three-vehicle accident. Witnesses in the accident claimed Huckabee had been talking on a cell phone at the time -- a charge she forcefully contested.
Newly released video obtained by the Arkansas Times captured Huckabee's heated exchange with the police officer just after being issued a ticket for accident:
Janet Huckabee - "Did she say I was on the phone?"
Trooper Blackmon - "Ma'am, that has nothing to do with it."
Huckabee - "It has everything to do with it.
Trooper - "No it doesn't."
Huckabee - "It has to do with whether I am telling the truth or not."
Trooper - "Okay, they gave me an exact description of your vehicle. I mean..."
Huckabee - "That's why I stopped up here. Yeah, that's right. I realize there was a vehicle and we were both merging."
Trooper - "They gave me an exact description of your vehicle. They told me exactly what you were doing. You told me that you were going into their lane as well."
Huckabee - "Did she tell you I was talking on the phone?"
Trooper - "Ma'am, that has nothing to do with..."
Huckabee - "I just want an answer from you. Did she tell you I was talking on the phone?"
Trooper - "She didn't tell me. The passenger told me."
Huckabee - "That is a lie. That is an out lie."
Trooper - "Ma'am, I don't have anything to..."
Huckabee - "So if that is a lie how can I know that the other part is not a lie."
Trooper - "Ma'am, you verified it by your own statement."
Huckabee - "I said I was merging but I said she was merging."
Trooper - "Okay, well she said she wasn't merging."
Huckabee - "She also said I was on the phone. So if one is a lie, why shouldn't the other be a lie?"
Huckabee's attorney, Kevin Crass, has released the following statement regarding the case:
You should be aware that we made no admissions at the hearing. In fact, the prosecutor admitted that the witness would be unable to testify that Mrs. Huckabee was on the phone. She had to because the phone records showed the only activity on the phone that morning was the 911 call after the wreck. If you were falsely accused of an act, as she was, I suspect you would react defensively as well. By the way, the $100 fee was not a fine. We continue to contest the facts and the ticket but sometimes you are better off taking what the state offers.