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Womble Carlyle – a national law firm with offices in three South Carolina cities – is tooting its own horn after three of its attorneys “successfully defended” S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley against allegations that she abused her office for personal gain while serving as a member of the S.C. House of Representatives.

And while it would have been literally impossible not to get Haley off given the extent to which this process was rigged, that’s not stopping this firm from trying to score a few cheap PR points.

“Womble Carlyle attorneys Butch Bowers, Kevin Hall and Todd Carroll have helped clear South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in a state ethics probe,” a news release from Womble Carlyle reads, adding that these three attorneys “have represented several other South Carolina elected officials in ethics investigations, including former Governor Mark Sanford, who they successfully defended in impeachment proceedings.”

Curiously, the release makes no mention of the trio’s epic mishandling of the SCGOP’s recent ballot controversy (which resulted in numerous candidates being tossed from the 2012 primary ballot) or their unsuccessful defense of former S.C. Lt. Gov. Ken Ard, who resigned his office in disgrace back in March shortly before being indicted on campaign finance charges.

Anyway …

The S.C. House Ethics Committee voted last week to clear Haley of wrongdoing despite a preponderance of evidence indicating that she abused her position of public trust for personal gain. The committee’s ruling came a day after a rigged public hearing in which the case against the governor was never presented, key witnesses were never called and evidence related to the allegations was never introduced.

S.C. Democratic Party chairman Dick Harpootlian has called on Attorney General Alan Wilson to conduct a real investigation, alleging that the House hearing was nothing but a “1930s era Soviet show trial.”

We agree …

Of course sham hearings like this are par for the course in South Carolina, where no bad deed goes punished.