Harry Reid has been fond of smearing the Koch Brothers lately, even recently hinting they’ve been involved in criminal behavior. So using Reid’s own standards, we must assume he’s guilty of breaking the law in this case. Now we also have a Republican senator in the middle of this probe, so it could be bipartisan lawbreaking. Pragmatically, if we must sacrifice one of our own to rid us of Dingy Harry, this is a sacrifice we must make.
County prosecutors investigating former Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff say their probe has uncovered alleged misconduct by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Mike Lee that they believe merits federal scrutiny.
Even as their own probe proceeds, Salt Lake County Attorney Sim Gill, a Democrat, and Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings, a Republican, say possible wrongdoing by the powerful senators goes beyond their ability to investigate, much less prosecute.
“We cannot fully do justice to the things we’re coming across,” Gill said Thursday. “It clearly raises concerns that can only be addressed — either to confirm [the allegations] or to put them to rest — by other entities.”
Allegations against Reid may center on his financial and political relationship with online poker companies.
As for Lee, a House Special Investigative Committee report released Wednesday tied him and his campaign fundraising efforts to Swallow, who, according to the report, helped create a network of political committees meant to launder and hide hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign contributions from the payday loan industry in which Swallow once worked.
Neither Reid nor Lee responded to calls late Thursday.
The U.S. Department of Justice — the type of other entity Gill has suggested should examine the allegations — closed its investigation into alleged political corruption in Utah seven months ago without filing charges.
In so doing, it may have prematurely shut the door on numerous investigations that Utah officials and former federal prosecutors say deserve a second look.
Chief among them are the allegations against Lee and Reid, as well as the House investigative committee’s conclusion that Swallow violated numerous federal laws in cultivating — and then attempting to cover up — a “pay to play” relationship with wealthy, well-connected friends and supporters.
This is rather curious:
Johnson said he had first encountered Reid at a 2010 fundraiser in Las Vegas sponsored by online poker interests at which Reid promised to introduce legislation to clarify laws on the legality of online poker. Johnson said he believed a $1 million check he drew from money that came from poker processing went to Reid, according to a transcript of a recording of the April 2012 meeting at the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop in Orem between Johnson and Swallow.
Meanwhile, it appears the FBI has been blocked in their own probe.
FBI agents working alongside Utah state prosecutors in a wide-ranging corruption investigation have uncovered accusations of wrongdoing by two of the U.S. Senate’s most prominent figures — Majority Leader Harry Reid and rising Republican Sen. Mike Lee — but the Justice Department has thwarted their bid to launch a full federal investigation.
The probe, conducted by one Republican and one Democratic state prosecutor in Utah, has received accusations from an indicted businessman and political donor, interviewed other witnesses and gathered preliminary evidence such as financial records, Congressional Record statements and photographs that corroborate some aspects of the accusations, officials have told The Washington Times and ABC News.
But the Justice Department’s public integrity section — which normally handles corruption cases involving elected figures — rejected FBI agents’ bid to use a federal grand jury and subpoenas to determine whether the accusations are true and whether any federal crimes were committed by state and federal officials.
If either of them are found to be guilty of wrongdoing they need to go. It’s curious how Eric Holder and company appear to be protecting Reid. We’re sure they’ll thrown Lee to the wolves first chance they get.
In an effort to wipe the trail clean of his involvement with these unethical — and potentially criminal — practices, Swallow retroactively altered records, deleted documents and had his attorney author a statement on Rawle’s behalf that indicated the former AG was not involved in brokering a deal in 2010 in which Johnson believed he was going to pay Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid $600,000 to make a federal investigation into his company go away, the report alleges.