Following day in court, no Rep. Scott DesJarlais transcript for Democrats

Authored By James Harrison

Democrats seeking to pore over more than 600 pages of the 12-year-old divorce transcript of Rep. Scott DesJarlais had little to report on Election Day, more than 24 hours after the congressman appeared in a Hamilton County courtroom. 

A Hamilton County judge ruled Monday that a transcript of divorce proceedings regarding the congressman could be made public-but only after they had been transcribed in their entirety by a Marion County court clerk. That left Democrats-eager to expose any last-minute items of information regarding sexual relationships DesJarlais had with women while undergoing a bitter divorce with his ex-wife-with little to comment on.

“Unfortunately, nothing really new to report,” Brandon Puttbrese, communications director for the Tennessee Democratic Party, said Tuesday. “The longer it waits, the better it probably is for them. I’m not surprised that we haven’t gotten it.”

Attempts by to reach Gerard Stranch, attorney for the Tennessee Democratic Party, were unsuccessful.

The lack of development leaves the congressman’s political opponents with no new information to use against him as tens of thousands of district residents take to the polls in a district once thought to be securely in his grasp. DesJarlais, who faces Democrat Eric Stewart in today’s election, offered no new comment on the matter. 

Brandon Lewis, campaign manager for DesJarlais, said the congressman would stand by a statement issued yesterday, which said he had appeared in court solely to protect his family from attacks and dismissed his opponent’s claims. 

“My opponent and his far-left political allies have done all they can to make this election about everything besides my record in Congress,” DesJarlais said. “In fact, it seems the only opponent that I have ever had to run against is a 14-year-old divorce. Despite their efforts, we have remained focused on issues that are important to Tennesseans.”

DesJarlais also noted that the records sought by state Democrats had never been sealed-a point he made during brief remarks to reporters following Monday’s hearing.

The congressman is expected to comment on the 4th District race following the results of today’s election.