Rep. Crowley Gets $10M for Group That Pays His Brother

Michael Gartland of the New York Post is applying more scrutiny to Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), the leader of the corrupt Queens, New York political machine. This time, Crowley is enriching his brother (and himself?) by successfully seeking $10 million in federal funding for a co-op for Bronx merchants. From the story:

The federal infrastructure money, which Crowley (D-Queens) and Rep. José Serrano (D-Bronx) led the effort to secure, came just months after Crowley’s brother, Sean, lobbied the House and the US Department of Trans­portation on behalf of the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Cooperative, records show.

The merchant co-op, which was awarded the federal funding in August 2013, has shelled out at least $827,000 to the lobbying firm Davidoff, Hutcher and Citron since 2009, federal and state records show.

Its unclear what purpose is served by a near-bankrupt federal government subsidizing particular businesses, but the arrangement serves the Crowleys …

Special Counsel Mueller Must Investigate Clintons’ Russia Ties

(This piece was first published by The Hill, where I am an Opinion Contributor.)

As the Justice Department puts it, former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been tasked to “oversee the previously-confirmed FBI investigation of Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and related matters.”

No effort should be spared in getting to the bottom of what actually occurred, and whether Russia presently seeks to interfere with our political process.

No investigation will be complete or credible, however, if it does not include a review of the relationship between the Russian government and its favored business entities with former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and political and business associates of the Clintons.

Unlike the inferences that have been made about President Trump and his campaign, many of which rely on rumor, innuendo, conspiracy theories and deliberate falsehoods, the Clintons’ extensive …

Rep. Meeks Has Phantom Campaign Office

Will Breddeman reports in the Observer that Representative Gregory Meeks (D-NY) maintains a nonexistent office in the same building as his taxpayer-paid district Congressional office. From the story:

In 2010, the New York Post reported that Meeks’s Build America Political Action Committee paid $350 a month for Suite 535 at 153-01 Jamaica Avenue, in Jamaica, Queens. The problem, the tabloid noted, is that 153-01 Jamaica Avenue contains no Suite 535, and is in fact only three stories tall.

What the Post neglected to mention was that Meeks has reported the same phantom space as the headquarters of his two campaign committees, Friends for Gregory Meeks and Meeks for Congress, to the Federal Election Commission since late 2006. To this day, his periodic financial filings, his fundraiser invitations and his official campaign website all list this nonexistent office as the nexus and nerve-center of his political operations.

The Observer

Boehm Rips ‘Loose Commentary’ on Trump – Comey Contacts

Former Nixon Aide Richard Blumenthal

NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm told LifeZette that people who claim that President Trump’s contacts with James Comey may constitute obstruction of justice or an impeachable offense don’t know what they are talking about.

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) told CNN just that on Wednesday night. From LifeZette:

Ken Boehm, who was a state prosecutor in Pennsylvania in the 1970s and now serves as chairman of the board of directors of the National Legal and Policy Center, said obstruction of justice usually refers to intimidating witnesses or destroying evidence. He said it would not apply to someone asking a law enforcement officer about an investigation unless, perhaps, an overt threat accompanied it.

“Obstruction of justice is a pretty high hurdle,” he said. “Any citizen is welcome to ask any law enforcement person — federal, state, local — ‘Am I the subject of an investigation?’ … Usually, it’s

Democratic House Leader Pays Campaign Office Rent to His Brother

Michael Gartland reports in the New York Post today that Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) pays his brother rent from his campaign fund. From the article:

Crowley has paid at least $69,700 since 2007 to ­Killean Enterprises LLC, which is controlled by his brother, lobbyist John “Sean” Crowley.

As chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Joseph Crowley is the fourth-highest ranking member of his party in the House.

House rules allow the campaigns of Members to rent office space from family members under certain circumstances, but Crowley rents space outside his Congressional district. Also from the story:

“It’s not physically in his district — that would be a key point,” said Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center. “What he uses it for — it’s as old as politics — it’s called a slush fund. And what do you know? It goes to a family-connected entity.”

Comey Firing Overdue; FBI’s McCabe Must Also Go

President Trump should have relieved FBI director James Comey of his duties on Inauguration Day. The country would have been spared more of Comey’s politically-motivated gyrations that began with his decision not to indict Hillary Clinton.

Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe, bet incorrectly that Hillary Clinton would be elected President.

Once the FBI director acts on the basis of politics, he must keep acting on that basis. He cannot put the genie back in the bottle and pretend to be impartial or above the fray. That is why Comey played the role of both hero and villain at various times to different political factions.

We need independent, fair and swift investigations into the Clinton Foundation, Hillary’s handling of emails and Russian interference in the election.

We have brought to light several instances of Clinton Foundation “pay to play” yet no one has been prosecuted.

As much as we welcome …

Melgen Guilty of Medicare Fraud; Will He Turn on NJ Senator Menendez?

Menendez and Melgen

On Friday, Dr. Salomon Melgen was found guilty of 67 counts of Medicare fraud. According to federal sentencing guidelines, he faces 15-20 years on prison.

In the end, Melgen’s defense consisted of arguments that he was a lousy and incompetent doctor, but not a fraudster. Given the choice, the jury went with fraud, although both could certainly be true.

Melgen will also be tried on bribery charges in New Jersey in September, along with Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ). Of course, one way for Melgen to reduce his sentence in the Medicare case would be to testify against Menendez in the bribery case.

The bribery charges relate to Menendez’ attempts to derail the Medicare fraud investigation and for pushing a port security deal in the Dominican Republic that would have provided a windfall for Melgen. In return, the indictment alleges, Melgen provided Menendez with private jet ride rides, …

Melgen Trial Heats Up But Where is National Media?

Melgen and Menendez in happier times

Indicted Senator Robert Menendez’ biggest donor, Dr. Salomon Melgen, is on trial in West Palm Beach for on 76 charges of defrauding Medicare of $105 million. These charges are separate from those that Melgen bribed Menendez, on which the duo will be tried in New Jersey later in the year.

Of course, there is a connection between the two proceedings. Melgen wouldn’t have been able to shower favors on Menendez, or kick in $700,000 to a super PAC that spent most of the money to re-elect Menendez in 2012, if he wasn’t getting gobs of money from somewhere. And that somewhere was you and me, the taxpayers.

But it’s being treated like two separate local stories, one in Florida and one in New Jersey. Despite increasingly colorful — and disturbing — testimony at Melgen’s trial, it has not broken through to the national media, …

Ethics Groups Oppose Heather Wilson Nomination for Air Force Secretary

The following letter has been delivered to Senator John McCain (R-NM) and Senator Jack Redd (D-RI), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee:

As leading organizations promoting ethics and accountability, we strongly urge you to vote against the nomination of Heather Wilson to be Secretary of the Air Force.

Recently published articles by Patrick Malone of the Center for Public Integrity and others have underscored the questionable actions of former Rep. Heather Wilson in connection with the activities of her firm, Heather Wilson LLC, in its work for Lockheed subsidiary Sandia Corp.

A Politico article of last month, “Records show how Air Force nominee skirted lobbying restrictions” details how emails and other materials show Wilson was deeply involved in the strategic plan to “help the Sandia Corp. win a noncompetitive contract for continued nuclear weapons work…”

The article went on to note that Lockheed does “more business with …

Supreme Court Clears Way for Menendez Bribery Trial

The Supreme Court has refused to dismiss criminal charges against Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) who sought to have them thrown out on Constitutional grounds. Menendez was indicted, in part, on the basis of information uncovered by the National Legal and Policy Center.

Menendez seems to think that the Speech or Debate Clause is actually the Solicitation and Bribery Clause. His trial will start in the fall, two and half years after he was indicted. In this case, justice delayed really is justice denied. Although Menendez has stepped down as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he arrogantly refuses to resign from the Senate. He is even raising money for a 2018 reelection campaign.

This is the third time courts have rejected Menendez attempts to have the indictments thrown out. On September 13, 2016, a Philadelphia-based appeals court refused, a ruling that Menendez appealed to the Supreme Court.…

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