Legal wrangling in the federal charges filed in Little Rock against former Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson include the government’s assertion that it has found additional evidence disputing his defense on use of material found on a laptop.

Federal Judge Kristine Baker last Friday gave prosecutors permission to file an additional brief responding to Hutchinson’s effort to get the charge dismissed or evidence suppressed.

Hutchinson has been charged with spending campaign money on himself and failing to pay income taxes.

Hutchinson, who also faces federal bribery charges in Missouri, had responded to the first indictment in Little Rock by saying his laptop was stolen by an ex-girlfriend and was illegally searched. He said exculpatory evidence was destroyed.

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Prosecutors said in a motion last week that they had located additional evidence and asked that it be considered. It filed supporting documents — police reports and e-mail — under seal.

Hutchinson has tried to argue that a laptop turned over to authorities might not have been his ex-girlfriend’s. But prosecutors said a continuing review of e-mails showed she had registered the exact computer at issue. She also filed a police report about the theft of the computer.

Also, in his reply, Hutchinson alleges that the FBI failed to comply with policy in its destruction of the images of the laptop, alleging that Special Agent Lowe failed to obtain concurrence from his supervisory special agent to destroy the images. The United States has obtained email communications establishing that Special Agent Lowe complied with FBI policy for the Court’s consideration.

In his reply, Hutchinson alleges that the joint venture agreement recovered from
Individual-1 “could have only come from a device belonging to Mr. Hutchinson.” However, the United States has located an email from Hutchinson to Individual-1 that indicates Individual-1 had access to a copy of the joint venture agreement, which the FBI found on one of her devices.

Trial in the case is currently set for July if the judge doesn’t grant Hutchinson’s request for dismissal.