Your Daley Gator Why-Isn’t-Hillary-In-Jail-Yet Story O’ The Day

Bombshell: Clinton Foundation Donor’s Flight From Justice Aided By Hillary Allies – The Observer

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Recent news reports indicate that the FBI is investigating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for granting favors to her family’s foundation donors and for its systematic accounting fraud. In January, the Sunday Times of London cited former Judge Andrew Napolitano, a conservative libertarian and frequent Fox News guest, as saying that the FBI was taking evidence “seriously” and that Hillary “could hear about that soon from the Department of Justice.”

It’s hard to believe that the Obama administration and its hideously politicized Justice Department would ever indict Ms. Clinton, given that President Barack Obama picked her for secretary of state and its clear favoritism toward her in the presidential race. But there is massive evidence that shows financial abuses – including money laundering – at the Clinton Foundation and overwhelming evidence that donors were helped by Ms. Clinton.

To take one of so many examples, there’s the case of Clinton Foundation donor Claudio Osorio – who is now housed at a federal prison serving 12 years for fraud – who in 2010, with Ms. Clinton’s (and Bill Clinton’s) help, won a $10 million loan from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

The loan was granted to an Osorio firm called InnoVida, which was supposed to build houses in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. Instead, Osorio pocketed the money and used it to underwrite his lavish lifestyle and to pay off politicians. For political muscle, Osorio – who also had close ties to Jeb Bush, who sat on the board of a bank he owned – paid a lobbyist and major Hillary fundraiser named Jonathan Mantz.

And that leads me to another Clinton Foundation donor Ms. Clinton helped out who happened to use Mr. Mantz (who now runs Ms. Clinton’s presidential campaign Super PAC) and apparently with the same great effect: Gonzalo Tirado, a crooked Venezuelan financier.

Mr. Tirado was president of and ran Venezuelan operations for the famously corrupt Stanford Bank, which was headquartered in Antigua and was named for its American founder, Allen Stanford. He and Mr. Stanford came to be extremely close and “were like father and son,” one well-placed source told me.

Mr. Stanford’s name may ring a bell as he was sentenced to prison for 110 years for committing an $8 billion Ponzi scheme. In 2006, the Hugo Chavez government was asked to investigate Mr. Tirado by scandal-plagued, pro-Wall Street New York Congressman Gregory W. Meeks, a member of the House Committee on Financial Services and a major recipient of cash and perks from jailbird Allen Stanford. Mr. Tirado was charged with tax evasion and theft, The Hill newspaper reported.

As I’ll detail below – and I uncovered this story with help from the National Legal and Policy Center, a Virginia-based watchdog group – Tirado soon fled for Miami to avoid prosecution and petitioned the State Department, through Mr. Mantz, for political asylum. It’s not clear if he won asylum – and he doesn’t seem to merit it as he had no record of political opposition to the Chavez government – but it is clear that he was allowed to remain in the U.S. and live a life of luxury.

(Mr. Tirado, who did not reply to a request for comment, has kept a low profile as of late. His last reported sighting came in 2014, when he unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide, or at least claimed he intended to kill himself.)

Incredibly, the Obama administration not only failed to help the Chavez government investigate Mr. Tirado, but it also indicted a legendary former DEA agent named Tom Raffanello, a one-time head of the DEA’s Miami office and the agency’s chief of congressional affairs during Bill Clinton’s first term as president.

Mr. Raffanello’s subsequent prosecution, which ended in abysmal failure, almost surely was prompted and abetted by Mr. Tirado, a secret FBI informant. Unsurprisingly, the vindicated Mr. Raffanello had few kind words for Mr. Tirado or Ms. Clinton during a recent interview.

“Tirado believed in buying influence,” Mr. Raffanello said of the crooked financier. “He wouldn’t give away 10 cents that he didn’t think he’d get back a dollar on. That was his entire philosophy.”

As for Ms. Clinton, he said that during her years in the Obama administration the “prevailing wisdom in Miami at the time, among people in high profile civil and criminal defense circles, was that giving money to the Clinton Foundation was very helpful. She was secretary of state and a potential future president. I’m sure that’s the same thinking now.”

(Ms. Clinton’s presidential campaign did not reply to a request for comment.)

Up until 2006, life was cushy for pampered, wealthy, jet-setting Gonzalo Tirado, who was running the Stanford Bank’s Venezuela operations. Events took a turn for the worse when an internal Stanford Bank audit discovered that he had fleeced about $5 million from the company.

Mr. Tirado’s actions did not sit well with Stanford, and the Venezuelan beat a hasty exit from his job. He soon opened a bank of his own and lured in a few local investors. His new enterprise went down the tubes, and the defrauded locals, who were very close to the Chavez government, looked to it for help, leading to an investigation of Mr. Tirado.

At the same time, the Chavez government was investigating Mr. Tirado at the behest of Stanford, through his hand-picked emissary, Congressman Meeks. (See this Wikileaked cable for more on the topic and on Mr. Tirado’s feud with the Venezuelan government.) That led to the filing of criminal charges against Mr. Tirado, as noted above. (The Venezuelan embassy in Washington did not reply to a request for comment.)

Mr. Tirado, apparently a conscienceless paranoid who felt no remorse for his actions, became convinced that Stanford Bank was monitoring his activities and tapping his phone and was the source of all of his troubles. Perhaps sensing he was in deep trouble, he fled Venezuela for Miami.

Mr. Tirado began spending money like a drunken sailor. He purchased at least two luxury estates in the Miami area. He also became a major investor in several companies, including a security firm called Command Consulting Group for which he recruited as a front man W. Ralph Basham, a former senior official with the Department of Homeland Security under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Command Consulting Group, “an international security and intelligence consulting firm that provides advisory services to governments, corporations, and high net worth individuals,” according to its website, and whose top officials include a number of other former senior government terror and security veterans, is currently run out of an office in Washington. (Mr. Basham did not reply to a request for comment.)

As 2009 dawned, life could hardly have been better for the pampered Mr. Tirado. There was just one small problem: He needed to stay in the U.S. to avoid being sent back back to Venezuela, where he was sure to face trial and imprisonment. To stay in the U.S., Mr. Tirado needed the continued indulgence of the U.S. State Department.

Fortunately for Mr. Tirado, the U.S. government had been hostile to Venezuela ever since the South American nation of 31 million moved to the left in 2002, when Chavez was elected to the first of his three terms.

(Note and disclosure: Chavez died in 2013, and the country is now led by his former vice president, Nicolás Maduro. Despite its flaws, the country’s socialist government has made remarkable strides in bettering the lives of Venezuela’s poor majority. In 2004, I met Chavez as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, and I consider him to be the greatest force for democratic change in modern Latin American history with the possible exception of Che Guevera.)

The George W. Bush administration had regularly conspired with the rancid political opposition, which Chavez displaced from power, and had sought to destabilize and overthrow the Chavez government with the help of local Venezuelan surrogates. Incoming President Barack Obama and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, were rabid opponents of Chavez’s as well, but Mr. Tirado didn’t want to count on that alone.

Knowing how the corrupt U.S. political system works, he hired an American lobbyist, Jonathan Mantz, to game the asylum process for him while he took it easy and spent his loot in America.

Mantz then worked at BGR, the firm of Republican Haley Barbour, the famously overweight former Mississippi governor and one of the most prominent of all GOP lobby shops. He had previously worked as finance director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and for the laughably corrupt New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine.

Mr. Mantz, who had no real qualifications to be a lobbyist other than his ability to raise money – and who did not reply to a request for comment – had drummed up cash for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. Currently Mr. Mantz chairs Hillary’s 2016 Super PAC, Priorities USA Action. Mr. Tirado paid BGR $350,000.

Now sufficiently motivated, Mantz went to work lobbying Hillary’s State Department to let Tirado stay in Miami. Meanwhile, the crooked Mr. Tirado donated between $5,000 and $10,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to its website. As is its custom, the foundation does not state when the donation was made and declined to answer questions about the money it took from Mr. Tirado.

Coincidentally or not, Mr. Tirado was one four of Mr. Mantz’ clients who donated to the Clinton Foundation during his brief 16-month career as a lobbyist.

Now let’s discuss the story of former DEA agent Thomas Raffanello, at which point this story becomes even more outrageous.

Mr. Raffanello worked for the DEA for more than three decades. He left in 2004 and went to work as the head of security for the Stanford Bank. “We set up cameras to prevent bank robberies and generally provided security at bank offices and functions,” Mr. Raffanello told me last weekend during the course of several lengthy phone interviews. “I was based in Miami but had offices in Caracas, Quito, Antigua and a few other places.”

Mr. Raffanello said Allen Stanford “couldn’t balance a checkbook” and described him as “a spoiled billionaire.” When I asked him why he went to work for Stanford in the first place he said, “I did due diligence. I called several associates, including the former head of DEA in Miami before me and several former assistant U.S. attorneys who worked for him. No one ever gave me a bad word; they said he was eccentric but a straight shooter. Madeleine Albright worked for him, and the former president of Switzerland was one of his board members.”

Stanford Bank collapsed and was put into receivership in 2010, at which point Mr. Raffanello left the company. But well before then Mr. Tirado – who, a source told me, had become an FBI informant – had become convinced that Mr. Raffanello was the source for all of his problems with the Chavez government and its investigation into him. Hence, he began a smear campaign against Mr. Raffanello in Venezuela and the United States.

As I mentioned above, it was Congressman Meeks – who currently supports Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and who took in more money from Stanford than any single member of Congress other than Charles Rangel and Pete Sessions of Texas – who prompted the Chavez government to look into Mr. Tirado.

But the paranoid Mr. Tirado, certain Mr. Raffanello was to blame, paid Venezuelan writers to place stories saying Mr. Raffanello worked for the CIA, Mr. Raffanello told me. That led to the Chavez government questioning Mr. Raffanello for alleged corruption involving the Stanford bank, though it determined the allegations were groundless and never charged him.

“Venezuela is like Casablanca,” Mr. Raffanello said. “If you tell a story twice it becomes the truth. It became impossible for me to go to Venezuela because I feared I’d get picked up by law enforcement.”
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“I thought I was going to get Shanghaied, but you can’t make something out of nothing.” – Thomas Raffanello.

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Meanwhile, Mr. Raffanello said, Mr. Tirado told the FBI and the Justice Department that he was trying to arrange Mr. Tirado’s kidnapping and was spying on him. “The guy knows how to play the game, and he played it at a high level because he had plenty of money,” Mr. Raffanello said.

About a year after Mr. Raffanello left Stanford Bank, he was indicted by the Obama Justice Department for allegedly shredding Stanford Bank documents. The case went to trial in Miami in 2010. On February 10 of that year, as the jury was deliberating, Judge Richard Goldberg interrupted its deliberations and unilaterally acquitted Raffanello (and another defendant), saying the evidence against him was “substantially lacking.”

It is highly unusual for a person to escape conviction after being indicted by a federal grand jury, let alone for the government to be humiliated in court as it was in the Raffanello case. Stunned federal prosecutors begged the judge to at least allow the jury to render a verdict because the acquittal would prevent them from appealing a verdict.

The judge dismissed their plea, and Mr. Raffanello’s ordeal was over. “I thought I was going to get Shanghaied, but you can’t make something out of nothing,” he said.

To sum up here, a corrupt Venezuelan banker hired a lobbyist close to Hillary Clinton, made a donation to her family’s foundation and has been allowed to live in the United States without fear of prosecution in his homeland. At a time that Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, the Obama Administration staged what can only be described as a political prosecution of an honest man and long-time government employee.

Mr. Raffanello has concluded this about Hillary Clinton’s campaign: “I learned a lot about her and her family when I was in the government, and how they are put together,” he said. “She is a person who will say and do anything in order to get elected president. I don’t think she’s going to win, but there’s nothing she won’t do while trying.”

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Leftist Crime Update: Billionaire Clinton Donor From Switzerland Gave Dozens Of Illegal Contributions To U.S. Political Campaigns

Foreign Clinton Donor Made Donations To US Campaigns – Daily Caller

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Hansjorg Wyss, a billionaire Swiss citizen and multi-million dollar Clinton Foundation donor, gave 30 contributions to American political campaigns over a nine-year period, according to an investigation by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Federal law has imposed a strict, across-the-board ban since 1966 on foreign nationals giving to U.S. political campaigns. The ban was later included in the 1974 Federal Election Campaign Act. The only exception is for foreign nationals who possess a green card. The ban applies to all levels of political campaigns.

Wyss donated $41,000 to seven congressional candidates and to four national political action committees from 1998 to 2003, according to Federal Election Commission records under the name of Hansjorg Wyss.

Colorado campaign finance records also report that Wyss gave $50,000 to Coloradans for Responsible Growth in March 2000, a statewide environmental political action committee that closed its doors only two years later, in part because it reportedly never filed the required financial statements.

In April 2006, Wyss gave $10,000 to Jim Baca, a Democrat running for New Mexico’s Commissioner of Public Lands, according to the State of New Mexico Ethics Administration.

Wyss has a long-term relationship with Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as with John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s present national campaign director and former White House Chief of Staff for President Clinton. Wyss committed $5 million to the Clinton Foundation’s “No Ceilings” program to empower women and girls in December 2013.

Wyss paid Podesta $87,000 for “consultant” services when the latter served as a top aide to President Barack Obama. Wyss is a major contributor to the Center for American Progress and a member of its board of directors. The center was founded by Podesta and has received $5.1 million from Wyss since 2011, according to Internal Revenue Service filings.

Lawrence M. Noble, general counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, told TheDCNF contributions by a foreign citizen are a “serious violation.” Noble was general counsel at the Federal Election Commission for 13 years.

“If he doesn’t have a green card and he’s not a U.S. citizen, then he can’t give to U.S. elections,” Noble said.

Former FEC Commissioner Bradley Smith told TheDCNF that if Wyss gave the donations knowingly and willingly, “the FEC is pretty aggressive in referring this kind of violation to the Department of Justice as a criminal matter.”

Although Wyss has maintained multiple residences in the United States since the 1960’s, he’s never sought U.S. citizenship. He said in a 2014 speech in Bern, Switzerland reported by the Swiss news organization Blick, “I only have a Swiss passport as a proof of identity. No Green Card. No American passport. So here I stand, as a true Swiss, in my homeland,” according to the Swiss media outlet Bite.

Documents obtained by TheDCNF show that Wyss is an E-2 visa holder, and does not have a green card. A Feb. 8, 2010, letter prepared by Wyss lawyer Joseph M. Sedlack said “HJW is lawfully in the U.S. pursuant to a ‘E-2VISA’” and “is not a permanent resident of the US under a ‘green card.’” Sedlack is with the Reed Smith LLP law firm.

TheDCNF also asked Carolyn Short, another Reed Smith attorney who represents Wyss, if Wyss was a U.S. citizen. She did not reply.

Noble said some foreign nationals might plead ignorance but “given his sophistication, he should he have known” that he was not permitted to give to political campaigns. Smith, the former FEC Commissioner, agreed, saying “the guy’s got access to some of the top lawyers in the country.”

In a related development, the Justice Department earlier this month refused to turn over documents sought by Citizens United under the Freedom of Information Act in seeking to understand why Wyss’ top four executives went to jail but he didn’t in a medical scandal in which five patients died as a result of an illegal drug testing program run by his former company.

Wyss was named in 2009 by a federal grand jury as the “Person No. 7” who directed the four jailed executives to ignore federal safety rules requiring the FDA’s prior approval of drug tests on humans. Wyss was CEO of the company, Syntheses, which paid a $22 million fine under the 2011 settlement that sent the four executives to prison.

Justice Department officials claimed release of documents, “would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” They also declined to “acknowledge the existence of such records pertaining to this individual.”

Citizens United president David Bossie denounced the rejection, telling TheDCNF “the American people deserve to know what’s going on inside their government, particularly the activities of political appointees at the Justice Department.”

Wyss also now faces racketeering charges in a Washington State civil suit that claims he profiteered in the drug testing scheme that caused the death of 67-year old Reba Golden and four other people.

Additionally, he was at the center of a nasty sexual scandal that allegedly resulted in a private $1.5 million settlement with a former employee. The settlement came to light after Wyss made a $5 million commitment to the Clinton Foundation’s “No Ceilings” project designed to protect women and girls.

Dave Skinner, a researcher with the Hydra Project, noted that Wyss preferred giving funds through his private foundation rather than highly visible political donations. “He’s always been low profile. He’s always operated under the radar,” Skinner said.

Wyss has a penchant for secrecy, claiming in a May, 2011 Swiss newspaper interview that “nobody knows me, and I hope that it stays like this.”

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Reminder: IRS Commissioner Koskinen Is Major Democrat Donor

Reminder: IRS Commissioner John Koskinen Is Major Democratic Donor – Washington Free Beacon

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is in the spotlight as he is set to further testify to Congress regarding the IRS targeting of conservative groups. It is important to remember that Koskinen has shelled out nearly $100,000 to Democratic candidates and groups.

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Koskinen has been contributing to Democrats for four decades, starting with a $1000 contribution to Democratic candidate for Colorado Senate candidate Gary Hart in 1979.

Koskinen has been a reliable donor over the years, contributing a total of $19,000 to the Democratic National Committee from 1988 to 2008. He has made a contribution to the Democratic candidate for president in each election since 1980, including $2,300 to Obama in 2008, and $5000 to Obama in 2012.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has received $3,000 from Koskinen since 2008, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee received $2,000 from 2004 to 2006.

Hillary Clinton has received $3,800 for her various political campaigns from Koskinen.

Koskinen’s most recent contribution was $2,500 to Sen. Mark Warner (D., Va.) in February of 2013.

Koskinen was appointed IRS commissioner later that year, and was tasked with revamping the tax agency in the wake of criticism that it was allowing partisanship dictate which groups applying for tax-exempt status would receive extra scrutiny.

“John is an expert at turning around institutions in need of reform,” Obama said in the statement announcing Koskinen’s appointment. “With decades of experience, in both the private and public sectors, John knows how to lead in difficult times, whether that means ensuring new management or implementing new checks and balances.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) said at the time that he was “more than a little mystified” at the partisan appointment in a time that the agency was under fire for just that.

At a House Ways and Means Committee hearing last week, Koskinen was berated by Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) over his claim that IRS email records have been permanently lost.

“I’m sitting here, listening to this testimony, I don’t believe it,” Ryan told Koskinen. “That’s your problem. Nobody believes you.”

Koskinen will face congressional hearings again this week. He will testify Monday evening for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and then face the same committee for a follow-up hearing on Tuesday.

Koskinen was president of the U.S. Soccer Foundation from 2004 to 2008, before he was appointed the non-executive chairman of Freddie Mac, where he served from 2008 to 2012.

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Million Dollar Donor To Obama’s 2012 Campaign Indicted For Manslaughter And Insurance Fraud

Obama MegaDonor Indicted For Manslaughter And Fraud – Right Scoop

A million dollar donor to Obama’s 2012 campaign and 14 of his affiliates have been indicted for involuntary manslaughter and fraud but you probably won’t hear about it much in the mainstream media.

Here’s a local report:

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Eric Lach of Talking Points Memo has followed the donor for a long time:

A California grand jury has indicted Kareem Ahmed, a major donor to President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, and 15 of Ahmed’s associates in an alleged multimillion-dollar insurance kickback scheme.

Ahmed, the president and CEO of a company called Landmark Medical Management, is accused of masterminding the scheme and faces charges including conspiracy, insurance fraud, and, most dramatically, involuntary manslaughter, according to one of two sealed indictments issued by an Orange County grand jury both dated June 17 and obtained this week by TPM.

The first of the two indictments accused Ahmed of developing topical cream formulas “based on the profitability of the ingredients,” and then giving doctors who treated workers’ compensation patients illegal financial incentives to prescribe the creams. The scheme, which ran from 2009-2013, also involved filing false claims with multiple insurance companies, the nine-count indictment alleges.

In an earlier report, Lach said that Ahmed told him, “I have the White House on notice,” when he found out the reporter was going to write an article about him, long before any indictment came down. Nice friends you got there, Obama.

Notice also the sweet photo of Ahmed with Michelle Obama:

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Adorable.

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Major Democrat Donor Jeffrey Thompson Pleads Guilty To Campaign Finance Violations

Top Democrat Money Man Pleads Guilty To Campaign Finance Violations – Human Events

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“This is probably why Harry Reid’s been going after the Kochs so much,” muses Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds as he delivers news of top Democrat money man Jeffrey Thompson’s guilty plea for campaign finance violations. It sure does sound like a gigantic case of projection, which has always been a major component of Democrat psychology – they love to cast their own sins at their enemies.

If you don’t spend any time in the left-wing fever swamps, you might be surprised at how large the demonic Koch Brothers loom in their mythology, and probably thought it was a bit odd for Senate Majority Leader Reid to rail against these private citizens from the Senate floor. Were you taken aback to learn that the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body would be used for purposes higher than partisan primal scream therapy, in which the controlling party shrieks insults at law-abiding Americans who have the nerve to participate in our national political discussion? One reason for Reid’s conduct is that hurling his slander from the Senate floor immunizes him against legal retaliation. Another might be that he knew the Thompson story was brewing, and wanted to ratchet up the Koch hatred to cushion its impact.

Here, as the Washington Free Beacon reports, we have a Democrat-supporting fat cat who is what they like to accuse the Koch Brothers of being:

A major Democratic donor pleaded guilty on Monday to funneling millions of dollars in illegal campaign donations to federal and local politicians, including an unnamed 2008 presidential candidate believed to be Hillary Clinton.

District of Columbia businessman Jeffrey Thompson, who federal prosecutors say financed a “shadow campaign” for D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray in 2010, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws.

Thompson claimed some of the candidates, including Gray, were aware of the illegal fundraising.

According to prosecutors, Gray decided to invent a phony name for Thompson, “Uncle Earl,” to protect his identity. It evidently didn’t work. Gray’s people deny that he had any knowledge of Thompson’s illegal activities… which would make his use of the pseudonym more than a little odd, wouldn’t it? Is Gray really going to make the case that he didn’t notice almost half a million dollars pouring into his campaign? Is Hillary Clinton going to try the same “Vote For Me – I’m Oblivious!” strategy in 2016?

Gray’s campaign objected to the prosecutors’ focus on the D.C. mayor, and said Thompson’s claims that Gray knew about the scheme are not believable.

“We’re talking about millions of dollars [Thompson allegedly distributed] to subvert democracy, including a presidential election, an historic presidential election,” Gray campaign manager Chuck Thies told the Washington Free Beacon. “It’s dumbfounding… I think he should spend a decade or more in prison.”

“The message to people who seek to skew the outcome of a presidential election is ‘eh, if we catch you you’ll get six months in jail,’” Thies added. “It’s a frightening message.”

Actually, I think the current message would be more like, “If you seek to skew the outcome of a presidential election without going to jail, use the IRS.”

Today’s developments present an immediate crisis for Gray, who’s going into a fairly crowded primary in a couple of weeks as he seeks re-election to the mayor’s office. Fox News finds the residents of D.C. holding their breath and waiting to learn if prosecutors decide to file charges against Gray. Their public statements certainly make him sound indictable, but they might lack the evidence to take the case any further.

More details from Fox about the activities Gray was allegedly involved in:

[Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Atkinson] said Gray personally requested the funds from Thompson, who pleaded guilty to two conspiracy charges. Atkinson said that Gray presented Thompson with a one-page budget for $425,000 and asked him to “pay for a get-out-the-vote campaign,” to which Thompson agreed.

Gray has not been charged with a crime and has denied any wrongdoing in the 2010 campaign. Robert Bennett, Gray’s lawyer, said Monday the mayor continued to maintain his innocence, calling the claims mere “allegations.”

“The mayor’s position on that is that it is absolutely not true,” Bennett said. “That has not changed one bit.”

Thompson in pleading guilty reportedly admitted to channeling hundreds of thousands of dollars into a campaign operation for somebody identified in court papers as “Mayoral Candidate A,” in the 2010 mayoral race in the District.

I would surmise that much of Gray’s fate will hang on whether prosecutors can get their hands on a copy of that “one-page budget for $425,000.” If I might indulge in a bit of further speculation, I doubt they currently have the paper in their possession, or they would have charged him already – with a primary only weeks away, they have every reason to move quickly. Especially since another of the candidates, Vincent Orange, has a bit of history with Thompson:

According to the document, Thompson, the former owner of a well-connected accounting firm, funded illicit campaign activity for Clinton, Gray and seven other candidates for local office in the district. All told, the efforts were valued at more than $2 million.

Prosecutors also said Thompson exceeded contribution limits by using straw donors and funneling money from his corporation through intermediaries. Thompson contributed more than $500,000 to local candidates and more than $250,000 to federal candidates and political-action committees over a six-year period, according to the 10-page document.

Thompson, 58, had long been suspected of giving money to Gray’s 2010 campaign to fund get-out-the vote and other efforts, and the document put the value of the shadow campaign at $668,000. He was also charged with pouring $608,750 into Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid. The efforts to help Clinton were detailed in a previous case against a Thompson associate.

The document details shadow campaigns for eight candidates for office in the district, with a total value of nearly $1.5 million. The most recent race Thompson sought to influence, the document shows, was a race for an at-large City Council seat in 2011, which Democrat Vincent Orange won with support from Thompson’s network of donors. Orange, who has acknowledged handing over documents related to his 2011 campaign to federal investigators, is also running for mayor this year. He did not immediately return a call seeking comment but also has denied wrongdoing.

Thompson also ran a $278,000 shadow effort for a mayoral candidate in 2006, the document shows. Adrian Fenty defeated Linda Cropp in that year’s mayoral primary, and Cropp received contributions that year from Thompson and his associates.

Prosecutors are reportedly also investigating what might have been a quid pro quo for Thompson’s shady campaign support, as detailed by the Washington Post:

After the election, prosecutors said, Thompson gave a $10,000 check to Gray’s “close family member” to settle debts with campaign workers. At Gray’s request, Thompson also gave $10,000 to fund a unnamed union election campaign.

Later, after Gray was inaugurated, Thompson gave $40,000 to the mayor’s “close personal friend” in part to finance home improvements, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Atkinson said.

Subsequently, prosecutors said, Thompson appealed to Gray, through an associate, Jeanne Clarke Harris, to “expedite” a pending settlement with the city involving his firm, D.C. Chartered Health Plan.

When asked in court whether Harris had talked to the mayor, Thompson said, “Based on what Miss Harris told me, yes.”

Thompson soon learned that the District government was “resolving the matter,” according to his plea agreement.

Investigators have been looking at the city’s decision to pay Thompson’s health-care company $7.5 million to settle a dispute over reimbursements that had begun during the Fenty administration. Investigators have explored what role, if any, Gray and his deputies played in the 2011 deal.

The mayor has said that Thompson never asked him for any favors, and city officials have defended the Chartered settlement as aboveboard and equitable.

Of course, whatever prosecutors decide to do next, Gray will likely be tried in the court of public opinion, where the requirements for evidence are much more flexible. An interesting detail from the Washington Post: prosecutors only named Gray in court as their suspect for “Mayoral Candidate A” because the judge insisted on it. No doubt observers familiar with the case would have connected the dots on their own, but it’s significant that Gray’s name was dropped in the courtroom.

Mike DeBonis of the Washington Post sees today’s revelations as a reset button for the mayor race, where Gray previous held a significant lead over his seven Democrat challengers, with good approval ratings from his previous term in office. His opponents pounced; the specter of the disgraced Marion Barry was raised; and a new independent candidacy was declared for the general election.

But unless prosecutors get serious about indicting Gray, it’s probably a bit much to declare the mayoral race shaken to its core. This is D.C., after all. It has a very high threshold for permanent disgrace. Just ask City Councilman Marion Barry, last heard complaining about traffic jams caused by presidential motorcades.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Holder Appoints Obama Donor To “Investigate” IRS

Covert Cronies? Obama’s Attorney General Appoints Obama Donor To Investigate Obama’s IRS – Daily Caller

President Barack Obama’s deputies have picked one of his political donors to investigate the IRS’ attack on independent political groups during the 2012 election, according to California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House investigations committee.

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“We request you immediately remove Ms. [Barbara] Bosserman from the ongoing investigation,” said a Jan. 8 letter from Issa to Attorney General Eric Holder.

The secret selection of Barbara Bosserman, a lawyer in the Department of Justice’s civil rights division, was revealed by a committee investigation after the DOJ stonewalled the legislators.

Bosserman contributed $6,100 to Obama’s political campaigns from 2008 to 2012.

“By selecting a significant donor to President Obama to lead an investigation into inappropriate targeting of conservative groups, the Department has created a startling conflict of interest,” said Issa’s letter.

“It is unbelievable that the Department would choose such an individual to examine the federal government’s systematic targeting and harassment of organizations oppose to the President’s policies… Please provide a comprehensive explanation of the decision to assign Ms. Bosserman to the DoJ/FBI investigation of the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups,” the letter continued.

The IRS’s enemies list was exposed in May 2013, and caused a brief scandal in the establishment media.

The IRS damaged the civic groups because of their affiliation with the small-government tea party movement. Many groups were hit by burdensome requests for information, unprecedented requests for private information and the denial of full non-profit status.

The denial of the non-profit status to the groups hindered their fundraising and curbed their advocacy for small-government policies during the 2012 campaign, which Obama won.

Since the 1960s, many left-of-center progressive groups have portrayed themselves as victims of inappropriate government investigations. However, few progressive groups, including those oppose to government overreach, have denounced the IRS investigation.

The Daily Caller has reported extensive links between top IRS officials and senior White House officials during the period 2012 campaign.

Other media groups have continued to investigate the IRS’ role in the 2012 election campaign.

However, administration officials have managed to minimize media coverage of the scandal by suppressing news about subsequent investigations.

In May, Obama fired the IRS’ acting chief, but since has worked to downplay the existence of his enemies list. For example, in a December interview on MSNBC, Obama minimized the IRS’ political suppression and then rebuked one of his supporters, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews for covering the scandal in an TV interview last month.

“You’ve got an office in Cincinnati in the IRS office that, I think, for bureaucratic reasons is trying to streamline what is a difficult law to interpret about whether [a] nonprofit is actually a political organization,” Obama said. “And they’ve got a list. And suddenly, everybody’s outraged.”

Obama then criticized coverage of the scandal by Matthews and other progressives.

“There are some so-called progressives and… perceived-to-be-liberal commentators, who during that week, just were outraged at the possibility that these folks… had been, you know, at the direction of the Democratic Party in some way, discriminated against tea party folks,” he said, while looking at Matthews. “That is what gets news. That’s what gets attention.”

Amid administration pressure, FBI officials cancelled an offer to meet with Issa’s deputies, according to Issa.

Issa’s letter protested the FBI’s refusal to speak with legislators. “The FBI’s blatant lack of cooperation with the Committee may rise to the level of criminal obstruction of a congressional investigation,” said the letter.

FBI director James Comey was appointed by Obama to head the FBI, and was sworn in last October.

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FBI Raids Florida Eye Clinic Of Donor Linked To Democrat Senator Menendez’s Prostitution Scandal

FBI Raids Florida Eye Clinic Of Donor Linked To Sen. Bob Menendez’s Prostitution Scandal – Daily Caller

FBI agents have raided the West Palm Beach, Fla. eye clinic owned by Dr. Salomon Melgen, the wealthy donor to New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez who allegedly procured prostitutes for him – some of them as young as 16 – during trips to the Dominican Republic.

The Miami Herald reported that federal agents lined up vans outside the Melgen Eye Center late Tuesday night to haul away evidence in the case.

A woman answering the phone at Melgen’s home in West Palm Beach would not give her name but said, “Dr. Melgen is asleep.” Asked if he was aware his clinic was being raided by federal law enforcement, she replied, “Oh yes, well, these things happen all the time. They’ve got to do their job.” She declined to comment on Melgen’s relationship with Sen. Menendez.

Melgen, 58, is believed to have flown Menendez in his private jet to the Dominican Republic on several occasions for alcohol-fueled sex parties featuring prostitutes.

According to the Miami Herald, records obtained from the Palm Beach County recorder show Melgen also “has an outstanding IRS lien of $11.1 million for taxes owed from 2006 to 2009.”

It’s unknown whether the FBI is investigating his tax delinquency, his association with Sen. Menendez, or both. A spokesman for the FBI in Miami, Fla. would only say that the Bureau was “conducting law enforcement activity in the general vicinity of 2521 Metrocentre Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL” – the address of Melgen’s flagship clinic.

Menendez is slated to take over as chairman of the powerful Senate foreign affairs committee when Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry becomes secretary of state. The full Senate confirmed Kerry’s nomination on Tuesday.

But it’s unclear whether Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will hand the committee’s gavel to Menendez without a full investigation into his conduct. Committee chairmen with jurisdiction over international matters typically have high-level security clearances. Menendez’s could be jeopardized if the allegations against him are proven true.

The Daily Caller first reported in November that two prostitutes had accused Menendez of paying them for sex during Easter weekend 2012 at a posh Dominican resort. Prostitution is legal in that country but viewed unfavorably by U.S. voters.

The women appeared in videotaped interviews with the help of a translator. Each said she was promised $500 to sleep with the New Jersey lawmaker, but was ultimately paid only $100.

Additional confirmation came from a Dominican government official who told TheDC that Menendez frequents “sex, hookers and drinking” parties in the Caribbean nation.

On Jan. 25 TheDC followed up that reporting with new allegations contained in documents that a tipster placed online. Those files, published on a makeshift WordPress blog, have attracted nearly 20,000 online readers in the United States.

Among other claims, the documents indicated that the FBI was actively investigating the matter, and that some of the prostitutes Menendez slept with were younger than 18.

The PROTECT Act of 2003 made it a federal crime to pay for sex with anyone that young, regardless of the age of consent in the country where the illicit transaction occurs.

TheDC’s most recent reporting also raised the question of whether Menendez broke Senate Ethics committee rules by accepting free travel from Melgen without seeking the committee’s approval or disclosing the value of the perks.

On Monday afternoon, Menendez refused to address the substance of the allegations against him, telling TheDC only that he was “not going to respond to the fallacious allegations of your story.”

One day later, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took a swing at The Daily Caller for its reporting, telling assembled journalists Tuesday that “I always consider the source” of allegations, “and all anyone here has to look at is the source where this comes from. It’s – it’s a source that has brought up a lot of non-issues.”

Spokespersons for Sens. Reid and Menendez did not immediately respond to late-night emailed requests for comment.

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