By Clair McFarland, Cowboy State Daily
A video depicting one Wyoming lawmaker colliding with another on the Senate floor this week was released Thursday by Capitol security.
Informal reports had surfaced Tuesday evening of a pushing incident between Senate Majority Floor Leader Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower, and Sen. Tom James, R-Green River.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol sent Cowboy State Daily a download link Thursday to a grainy video showing what appears to be Driskill bumping into James.
James, who declined Wednesday to comment on the incident pending the release of the video, on Thursday did not comment on the video.
Driskill said the video showed the collision was an accident as he had maintained during an apology he issued for the incident on Wednesday.
“Accidents happen,” he said. “There was absolutely no ill intent whatsoever and I think the video shows that. I gave an apology yesterday and I meant it. The apology wasn’t for anything being intentional, but because it was an accident.
In Wednesday’s apology, Driskill said the accident happened when he tried to go around a staffer and his bad leg caused him to stumble.
“Yesterday when I was trying to get out of the way of a couple of our staff members in front, my bad leg led me to trip into you,” said Driskill. “I had no intent to cause any harm, was just clumsy. I know you’re offended by the bump into you. And (I apologize) to James, and it’s from the bottom of my heart.”
In the video released by the Wyoming Highweay Patrol, Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, is pictured speaking with James in a narrow space between desks.
A man who appeared to be Sen. Jeff Wasserburger, R-Gillette, acknowledged Bouchard in passing, then spoke with another person seated on the other side of a desk before leaving the area.
Driskill entered the area, wove around a person – presumably the “staffer” he referred to in his apology – standing at the far desk, then bumped into James.
James stumbled perceptibly toward the camera, then, turning and seeing Driskill, flung his right arm somewhat upward as if in a deflective or frustrated gesture.
Driskill turned toward James. The pair spoke, but there is no audio available on the footage.
Driskill made hand gestures that that did not appear aggressive, but could be interpreted as dismissive. He approached a presentation board near the wall.
Bouchard looked toward Driskill, who now had his back to Bouchard and James.
Bouchard and James, speaking to one another, walked out of the room together.