Democrat Congressman Charged With Racketeering Conspiracy, Bribery And Wire Fraud In 29-Count Indictment

Rep. Chaka Fattah Charged In 29-Count Indictment – Roll Call

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Prosecutors charged Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., Wednesday in a 29-count indictment with racketeering conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud as part of a probe into the 11-term congressman launched by the FBI and IRS in March 2013.

Fattah’s office confirmed he has agreed to give up his leadership post on the Appropriations Committee, where he is the top Democrat overseeing criminal justice and science spending. He will be replaced by Mike Honda, D-Calif., who is currently the subject of an ethics probe.

Fattah has declared his innocence and his plans to run for reelection.

Fattah’s congressional district director, 59-year-old Bonnie Bowser of Philadelphia, and former congressional staffer Karen Nicholas, 57, plus two other individuals were also charged for their alleged involvement in several schemes federal investigators say were intended to further their political and financial interests by misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars of federal, charitable and campaign funds. The indictment alleges illegal activity dating back to Fattah’s failed 2007 campaign to serve as mayor of Philadelphia, as well as false congressional campaign filings.

During an 11 a.m. news conference in Pennsylvania, officials declined to go into specifics about the penalties Fattah, 58, could face. His D.C. office did not immediately respond to requests for comment, with the House in session and headed toward final votes before the August recess. Fattah has not been arrested, and the office did not say whether Bowser would stay in her position.

“Public corruption takes a particularly heavy toll on our democracy because it undermines people’s basic belief that our elected leaders are committed to serving the public interest, not to lining their own pockets,” said U.S. Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell.

The indictment alleges that in connection with his failed mayoral bid, Fattah and his associates borrowed $1 million from a wealthy supporter and disguised the funds as a loan to a consulting company, then created sham contracts and made false accounting records, tax returns and campaign finance disclosure statements.

In addition, the indictment alleges that after his defeat in the mayoral election, Fattah sought to extinguish approximately $130,000 in campaign debt owed to a political consultant by agreeing to arrange for the award of federal grant funds to the consultant. According to the allegations in the indictment, Fattah directed the consultant to apply for a $15 million grant, which he did not ultimately receive, on behalf of a then non-existent nonprofit entity. In exchange for Fattah’s efforts to arrange the award of the funds to the nonprofit, the consultant allegedly agreed to forgive the debt owed by the campaign.

The indictment further alleges that Fattah misappropriated funds from his mayoral and congressional campaigns to repay approximately $23,000 of his son’s student loan debt.

In another alleged scheme, beginning in 2008, Fattah communicated with individuals in the legislative and executive branches in an effort to secure for 69-year-old lobbyist Herbert Vederman an ambassadorship or an appointment to the U.S. Trade Commission in exchange for an $18,000 bribe.

Vederman, of Palm Beach, Fla., was also charged in the indictment.

Finally, the indictment alleges that Nicholas obtained $50,000 in federal grant funds that she claimed would be used by EAA to support a conference on higher education. The conference never took place. Instead, Nicholas used the grant funds to pay $20,000 to a political consultant and $10,000 to her attorney, and wrote several checks to herself from EAA’s operating account.

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Jeb Bush Courts Wealthy Democrat Donors In The Hamptons

Jeb Bush Snares A Democratic Moneyman On Hamptons Tour – Bloomberg

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Behind a garden modeled on Monet’s, Jeb Bush addressed a lawn-full of chief executives and hedge-fund managers at an East Hampton, New York, estate Saturday morning. While the candidate is no stranger to courting wealthy donors, this time was different: about half the attendees were Democrats.

“This guy sells well,” said Kenneth Lipper, the money manager and registered Democrat who hosted the event, after Bush left. Virtually the only one who left without writing a check, Lipper said, was a buck deer that wandered past the group assembled on the wooded grounds.

The wealthiest donors are playing an unprecedented role in the early stages of the 2016 race. For the first time ever, most candidates are raising more money through super-PACs, which can accept donations of up to $1 million or more, than through the traditional campaign accounts that are capped at $2,700 per donor.

No one has raised as much in this new environment as Bush, who had amassed about $103 million in his super-PAC and another $11 million for his campaign by the end of June. The Lipper event shows how widely Bush is ranging in his quest for donors.

The race for money adds to the importance of places like the Hamptons, Wall Street’s oceanside playground, where Lipper remarked that it’s become fashionable to spend more than $100 million on a vacation home. The entire annual income for the median U.S. household – $50,000 – wouldn’t cover more than 900 of the summer rentals here listed on one brokerage’s website.

After answering questions for an hour at Lipper’s event, Bush left for two more gatherings at a pair of mansions near the beach.

“People with money like him,” said Andrew Sabin, 69, a top local Republican fundraiser and a co-host of one of the Bush events. “I’m sure there’s a lot of poor people that like him too. It so happens there’s not a lot of poor people in the Hamptons.”

Bush’s schedule took him to the six-bedroom beachside mansion of Clifford Sobel, a former ambassador and entrepreneur, who served crab cakes and bruschetta. Then there were cocktails at the home of Emil Henry, a former Treasury official and now the CEO of an infrastructure fund.

The Bush campaign wouldn’t comment on the events or say how much was raised, but Lipper said his event alone raised about $230,000.

Over a salad on the deck at the South Fork Country Club prior to attending two of the fundraisers, Sabin said donors appreciate the way Bush’s staff keeps in touch.

“We get a rundown every week – they’re very transparent,” said Sabin, who runs a precious-metals refining business with offices from China to Dubai. “Some guys take your money, you don’t know what they’re talking about until you read it in the newspaper.”

During a course of the lunch with his girlfriend, Kathy Qian, Sabin passed out copies of a magazine that features him and his 60-foot fishing boat, Above the Ground; said he gave to 256 charities; and mentioned the climate-change center he created at Columbia Law School (“a big one”). An ardent environmentalist, Sabin said he’s encouraging Bush to become “the Teddy Roosevelt of this century.” He said he’s indifferent to the rise of big money in politics.

“I believe in free enterprise,” Sabin said. “You earned that money, you can do what you want with it. I don’t have a problem with it at all.”

In some ways, the Hamptons are Hillary Clinton territory. The Democratic candidate and her husband have often rented summer homes here, and it’s popular with movie stars and entertainers who tilt liberal. Suffolk County favored Democrats in the last three presidential races.

But Lipper estimated that the crowd of about 70 at his event was almost evenly split between the parties, and virtually every one of them donated to Bush. Lipper, 74, said he introduced Bush as the candidate who will “bring unity and civility to the process.” He was impressed when Bush started his visit by introducing himself to Lipper’s kitchen staff.

Lipper’s career in finance includes creating the Lipper & Co. investment management firm and advising Oliver Stone on the film Wall Street. He was also a key fundraiser for New York City Mayor Ed Koch, and later served in his administration.

Despite the opulent surroundings, the Hamptons hosts couldn’t spend much on food and drink without running up against limits on in-kind campaign contributions, Lipper said. So he limited his expenses to about $2,000. That meant a simple brunch of berries and melon, mini-bagels, and cheese quiche.

“It was kind of spartan, he said, “but it was fine.”

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N.J. Democrat Official Caught On Video Punching 75-Year-Old Blind Army Veteran In The Face (Video)

N.J. Democratic Official Accused Of Punching Blind Army Veteran, 75, At Polling Station – Washington Times

The chairman of the Essex County Democratic Committee in New Jersey is accused of punching a blind Army veteran following an argument at a polling location during East Orange’s council primary last month.

Video was released purportedly showing Leroy Jones punching 75-year-old Bill Graves, who was volunteering as a poll worker during the incident on primary day, June 2.

“I hear this rumbling, ‘Where the blank is Bill Graves? I’m gonna kick his butt!’” Mr. Graves told a local ABC affiliate. “You can see on the tape it was intentional.”

The suspect, identified by Essex County Prosecutors as Mr. Jones, is seen throwing several punches at Mr. Graves following what appears to be a heated confrontation.

Mr. Graves and his friends said Mr. Jones attacked him because he was backing a political candidate that Mr. Jones did not support, ABC reported.

Mr. Jones, however, said he was defending his wife, who was also working at the polls. Mr. Jones said the veteran got aggressive with his wife during an argument, and she called her husband for help, a local CBS affiliate reported.

“This man threatened my wife. This man assaulted my wife. This man charged at my wife,” Mr. Jones said.

Mr. Jones has been charged with simple assault, reports said. Mr. Graves was not charged.

Mr. Graves, who is completely blind in one eye and legally blind in the other, said his vision has gotten worse since the attack.

“Angry, disgusted, because why should I have to run back and forth to the doctor because someone decided to hit me,” he told ABC. “It’s not good, that’s all I can say. I’m smiling, but I’m not laughing.”

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Anti-Gun Democrat Arrested After Running Out Of His House Naked And Shooting At His Ex-Wife 10 Times

Anti-Gun Democrat Arrested For Shooting At His Ex-Wife – Downtrend

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Virgil K. Smith is a democrat in the Michigan state legislature. As a Representative, and now as Senator, he has made a career out of opposing the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms, earning himself a 0% rating from the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Ownership and a “D” rating from the NRA. Over the weekend, this anti-gun crusader showed some typical liberal hypocrisy by firing at least 10 shots at his ex-wife following a domestic dispute.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Smith was at home getting busy with a lady friend when hisangry ex-wife showed up. First she was banging on his bedroom window, and then went to the front door. Smith opened the door and his ex-wife pushed her way in. She ran to the bedroom and began attacking Smith’s girlfriend.

Smith tackled his ex-wife and they knocked over a TV. He told his ex-wife to leave, and despite her previous irrational behavior, she complied. Maybe it’s because Smith threatened her with a gun, but that’s not how he tells it. Once outside, the ex-wife threw a chair at Smith’s house. Why there was a chair outside for throwing purposes is anyone’s guess.

At this point, Smith came outside, reportedly naked, with a .22 caliber rifle. As his wife tried to drive off, he shot at her, hitting her Mercedes 10 times. Luckily, she was not struck by the gunfire. He put so much lead into her car that police initially thought he blasted it with a shotgun.

Smith was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault with a gun and malicious destruction of property. He is currently being held in the Detroit Detention Center as police continue their investigation. For Smith’s part, he told police that it was the stupidest thing he’d ever done.

Besides being an anti-gun hypocrite and a terrible shot, it turns out Smith has a lengthy career as a failed criminal as well. He has 2 DUIs (or the Michigan equivalent of driving while intoxicated) that resulted in his license being revoked. He was caught stealing a textbook from the college bookstore and then lied to police about his identity. He was convicted of disorderly conduct and giving false information. He was also busted trying to steal a bottle of tequila and was convicted of retail fraud, which I guess is what they call shoplifting in Michigan.

Cases like this make me understand why democrats are so anti-gun; they can’t be trusted with firearms and they know it. And they figure if they can’t be trusted with firearms; nobody should be trusted with them. I think democrats, liberals, and anti-gun fanatics should voluntarily disarm instead of going after our rights. It would be easier, more Constitutional, and everyone would be much safer.

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Former Democrat Representative (And Raving Lunatic) Throws Jar At Maine Governor During Town Hall Meeting

Maine Democrat Throws Jar Of Vaseline At Republican Governor LePage During Town Hall, Outraged When She Is Kicked Out – Weasel Zippers

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More of that classiness we’ve come to expect from the “progressive” left.

Via HuffPo:

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) abruptly ended a town hall event Thursday evening after a former state lawmaker threw a jar of Vaseline at him.

Former state Rep. Joanne Twomey (D) missed LePage with the petroleum jelly. She was immediately escorted out of the auditorium by security and LePage ended the event, which had been intended to sell his budget plan.

Video of the encounter shows members of LePage’s security detail blocking Twomey as she tries to approach the stage while arguing with the governor. Then Twomey takes something from her purse and throws it at LePage.

Towney, who served in the Maine House of Representatives from 1998 until 2006, told WGME she chose Vaseline as a reference to LePage’s 2013 comments about state Sen. Troy Jackson, a Democrat.

“Sen. Jackson claims to be for the people, but he’s the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline,” LePage said in 2013. “He is bad. He has no brains, and he has a black heart.”

Twomey said after she was kicked out of Thursday’s town hall that she didn’t find the event “very Democratic.”

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Democrat Senator Menendez Indicted On Bribery, Fraud Charges

Justice Department Indicts Sen. Robert Menendez On Corruption Charges – Wall Street Journal

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The Justice Department indicted Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) on corruption charges Wednesday, bringing the first criminal charges against a sitting U.S. senator since the botched prosecution of Alaska’s Ted Stevens seven years ago.

Mr. Menendez, 61 years old, has said he plans to fight any charges, which are the culmination of a two-year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation into the relationship between the senator and Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen.

A federal grand jury in Newark handed down a five count indictment, charging Mr. Menendez with crimes including conspiracy to commit bribery and honest services fraud.

Dr. Melgen is already under investigation for possibly overbilling Medicare. The FBI has also probed whether Mr. Menendez used his position to try to help Dr. Melgen with his legal troubles and whether the senator sought to improperly aid Dr. Melgen’s business interests in a Dominican Republic port security company. Dr. Melgen’s lawyer has previously said the doctor acted appropriately at all times.

The probe began with an anonymous accusation about Mr. Menendez’s personal conduct while traveling with Dr. Melgen in the Dominican Republic in 2013. Investigators could never substantiate those claims, but the probe evolved into a far-reaching examination of the relationship between Dr. Melgen and the senator – a long friendship that included gifts, hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations, and travel together, according to people familiar with the case.

Shortly after the FBI investigation began, Mr. Menendez repaid Dr. Melgen $58,500 for two private flights to the Dominican Republic that the senator hadn’t listed on financial disclosure forms, Menendez aides have said. Aides called the initial failure to list the flights an oversight.

As news of potentially pending charges spread in recent weeks, Mr. Menendez has acknowledged receiving gifts from the doctor but said they were the result of a close friendship, not corruption, and pledged he wouldn’t back down. Mr. Menendez has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees over the last year, according to public filings.

A prolonged legal battle between the senator and the Justice Department could have broader political and foreign-policy repercussions at a time when Senate Democrats need every vote they can get to confirm Obama administration nominees and muster support for the White House’s foreign-policy moves.

The case is already testing the limits of the Justice Department’s ability to investigate members of Congress. Much lawmaker activity is protected by a constitutional provision that makes them immune from prosecution and civil suits when they are involved in “legislative activity.”

Lawyers in the case have already been sparring on the issue. Prosecutors sought to compel two Menendez staffers who claimed such privilege to testify before a grand jury about actions allegedly taken on behalf of Dr. Melgen, according to a sealed appellate court document that was briefly posted on a public website last month.

Prosecutors’ last attempt to charge a sitting senator – Mr. Stevens – went badly awry, casting a dark cloud over the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section, which is also pursuing charges against Mr. Menendez. The Justice Department won a 2008 conviction against Mr. Stevens on charges he made false statements on government paperwork, allowing him to conceal tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of gifts, including free home renovations. Just a week after that verdict, Mr. Stevens narrowly lost his re-election bid.

The next year prosecutors reversed course and asked for a judge to vacate the conviction, based on an internal review which found key information had been withheld from the defense. Mr. Stevens died a year later in a plane crash.

Since then, the Public Integrity Section has been overhauled and brought a number of high-profile cases. It oversaw the successful prosecution of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife on corruption charges. Last year, Rep. Michael Grimm (R., N.Y.), pleaded guilty to felony tax evasion and said he would resign. Still, the constitutional protections for Congress weren’t at play in those cases.

The charges come at the same time as Mr. Menendez, the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is playing a key role in some major foreign-policy issues. He has been a vocal critic of the Obama administration’s overtures to Iran and Cuba and has urged it to get more aggressive in combating Russia’s moves in Ukraine.

Senate Democrats have no hard-and-fast rules requiring a lawmaker to step down from committee assignments or leadership positions when facing legal troubles.

If he declines to step down, Democrats would have to decide whether to force his ouster, Senate aides said. Democratic aides said such a decision would be unlikely to occur until members return to Washington from recess in two weeks, though any public statements from rank-and-file lawmakers could be a harbinger of how the caucus might vote.

Charges against Mr. Menendez would also put Senate Democrats and the White House in an awkward position on the nomination of Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch to succeed Attorney General Eric Holder. Ms. Lynch is facing a tight vote to win confirmation and, should Mr. Menendez choose not to vote to confirm the woman who could oversee his prosecution, the White House would have to find another Republican to back Ms. Lynch or she risks being denied confirmation.

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Democrat Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton Parks Her Car Like A Drunkard (Video)

Congresswoman Demonstrates ‘Worst Parking Job Ever’ – The Hill

Abandon all hope, ye who happen to park anywhere near geometrically challenged-motorist Eleanor Holmes Norton.

A HOH tipster watched in horror Wednesday as the D.C. delegate, 77, awkwardly forced her way into a wide-open spot in the carefully controlled corridor of New Jersey Avenue Southeast sandwiched between the Longworth and Cannon House Office buildings.

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“If she parks like that she should not be a member of Congress anymore,” one mystified observer – who wisely recorded more than a minute of the automotive travesty – said as the video was being captured. The tipster said Norton rubbed the correctly positioned, red sports utility vehicle to her immediate left with her improperly angled silver sedan.

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Per our tipster, Norton performed the sub-par squeeze-in around the same time the rest of her colleagues were crowding into the House chamber to hear the joint address by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

At around the 40-second mark, an oblivious U.S. Capitol Police officer appears to zoom by on a motorcycle, right past the textbook parking offense.

Once the aide seen assisting Norton from outside the slow-moving vehicle finishes waving her into clearly disastrous position, Norton emerges from the car, clicks her remote-locking device (better safe than sorry) and starts to walk away.

Then, all of the sudden, she doubles back.

Has her conscience gotten the best of her? Is she going to slide a quickly composed apology onto the now-stuck truck’s windshield? Or perhaps a business card?

Nope.

Norton simply retrieves some forgotten item from inside the car and then heads on her merry way.

Our spy estimates the entire head-scratching episode lasted about half an hour, including the painful insertion process and her 20-minute jaunt into Cannon.

Once done with her business, the tipster said Norton backed out of the space and rolled out onto the unsuspecting District streets.

“She hit the car next to her and did not leave a note, though I couldn’t see any damage,” was our spy’s takeaway from the mid-day drama.

Norton’s office disputes that anything untoward transpired.

“After the Congresswoman parked her car, we assessed the cars on either side to see if there was any damage. We could not find any,” a Norton aide assured HOH. “But we left a note with a business card so the congresswoman could be contacted in case we missed any.”

According to Team Norton, the congressional staffer who owns the truck that was boxed in by the septuagenarian pol reached out to her office about the videotaped scrape.

“The Congresswoman heard from the owner of the only car she was close enough to damage. The owner reported no damage,” a Norton spokesman said via email.

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