Tobin will ask for acquittal at hearing this morning

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A former national Republican Party official is in court today, trying to avoid a second trial on charges stemming from a five-year-old phone jamming plot against New Hampshire Democrats.

James Tobin, of Bangor, Maine, was convicted in 2005 of helping to arrange hundreds of hang-up calls that jammed get-out-the-vote phone lines set up by the state Democratic Party and the Manchester firefighters’ union. The calls jammed the phone banks for about an hour on Election Day 2002, the year of a tough Senate race between Republican John Sununu and former Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen.

This spring, an appeals court in Boston overturned Tobin’s conviction, saying the harassment statute under which Tobin was convicted was not a close fit.

A new hearing — during which Tobin’s lawyers will seek an acquittal — is scheduled for this morning in U.S. District Court in Concord.

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