Former Murtha crony Paul Magliocchetti was indicted yesterday on 11 counts. The indictment was not unexpected and relates primarily to Magliocchetti’s rather hamhanded manuevers to evade campaign contribution limits by having family members, employees and friends make contributions for which they were paid back.
The indictment certainly relates the PMA “pay to play” scheme, but it does not address the underlying possible crimes by members of Congress who secured earmarks for PMA clients in return for campaign contributions and other benefits. It is not known to what extent, if any, the Justice Department has sought a plea bargain with Magliocchetti in return for information about members of Congress. Maggliocchetti’s son Mark is cooperating with prosecutors but it is not known if his information goes beyond his father to members of Congress.
Just when you think that the House Ethics Committee might actually be doing its job in the form of the Rangel admonition, it reverts to form on the investigation of the now-defunct lobbying firm PMA that was headed by Paul Magliocchetti.
Indeed, PMA may be the biggest cover-up in the history of the Ethics Committee, which today issued a report clearing the late Rep. John Murtha and Reps. Jim Moran (D-VA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Norm Dicks (D-WA) and Bill Young (R-FL).
This action was certainly calculated by Nancy Pelosi to protect the late Murtha. It is the strongest evidence to date that earmarking and corruption are still bipartisan enterprises. Republicans cannot attack Pelosi’s toleration of corruption as long as Republican members of the Ethics Committee sign off on a report like this. The Republican members of the Ethics Committee are: