William E. Borah

The Haywood prosecution ran into trouble less than a month before the trial when William Borah, a newly elected Senator and special prosecutor for the trial, was indicted with several others over alleged land fraud involving timber. Borah was implicated because he worked as a lawyer for a lumber company under investigation. There appears to be considerable support for the view that these indictments were politically motivated. Borah, a progressive Republican compared to the conservative wing of the party, was gaining influence in the Republican Party and the party machine wanted to stop Borah. It is believed that the U.S. Attorney for Idaho, Norman M. Ruick, pushed the indictment of Borah at the urging of some politicians. Ruick had to pack the grand jury to almost double its normal size to get a majority of jurors to indict Borah. In addition, James Beatty, the retiring U.S. district judge, lobbied very hard for Borah's indictment. Beatty was a frustrated Republican candidate for the Senate seat that Borah had just won. The trial greatly worried Borah but in the end the jury deliberated for only fourteen minutes before finding him not guilty. LC-DIG-ggbain-35617, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.