We learned on Friday that seven witnesses last week cancelled their scheduled depositions in the Sarah Palin Trooper-Gate investigation. This came after Palin's lawyer asserted in a court filing last week that the governor would not herself testify unless the probe were taken out of the hands of the legislature.
But there's additional evidence of a centralized effort to protect Palin. Another possible witness in the case, Palin aide Ivy Frye, has hired Thomas Van Flein, the lawyer representing Palin herself. Asked by TPMmuckraker this afternoon about her role in the inquiry, Frye, described in news reports as a "special assistant" to Palin, responded: "You can call my attorney if you'd like," and named Van Flein.
Palin's office has claimed executive privilege on a group of emails sent this spring between Palin aides, including Frye. Van Flein did not immediately return a request for comment.