By Jennifer Lawinski
A customs agent and his wife were arrested (Wednesday) night in Arizona on charges of accepting bribes to allow more than 600,000 fake ecstasy pills into the country.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer Henry M. Gauani, 41, and his wife Flora A. Gauani, 46, both of Yuma, were arrested and charged with conspiracy to accept a bribe by a public official, according to the Justice Department.
“Law enforcement officers are held to a higher standard because we rely on them to protect our communities and our borders,” Diane J. Humetewa, U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, said in a statement. “The vast majority of law enforcement officials are honest and hard working, and I appreciate the efforts of the federal agencies who weed out those who chose to betray the public’s trust and confidence.”
A complaint unsealed on Wednesday alleges that the Gauanis were paid $8,000 to allow 100,000 ecstasy pills into the country through Henry Gauani’s inspection lane at the border crossing in Yuma, Ariz., in December 2008.
Archive for January 31st, 2009
By Jennifer Lawinski
President Bush initially talked about being a uniter, not a divider. But Karl Rove was very much a man who helped create a divide in this country. The President apparently had a little advice for Rove before departing to Texas: Keep Your Yap Shut.
Newsweek Web Exclusive
WASHINGTON – Just four days before he left office, President Bush instructed former White House aide Karl Rove to refuse to cooperate with future congressional inquiries into alleged misconduct during his administration.
On Jan. 16, 2009, then White House Counsel Fred Fielding sent a letter (.pdf) to Rove’s lawyer, Robert Luskin. The message: should his client receive any future subpoenas, Rove “should not appear before Congress” or turn over any documents relating to his time in the White House. The letter told Rove that President Bush was continuing to assert executive privilege over any testimony by Rove-even after he leaves office.
A nearly identical letter (.pdf) was also sent by Fielding the day before to a lawyer for former White House counsel Harriet Miers, instructing her not to appear for a scheduled deposition with the House Judiciary Committee. That letter reasserted the White House position that Miers has “absolute immunity” from testifying before Congress about anything she did while she worked at the White House-a far-reaching claim that is being vigorously disputed by lawyers for the House of Representatives in court.
For Full Story
By NEDRA PICKLER
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — A former deputy to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty Friday to lavishing congressional staffers with gifts including an all-expense paid trip to the World Series, box seats at concerts and fancy restaurant tabs.
Todd Boulanger admitted to U.S. District Judge Richard W. Roberts that he provided tens of thousands of dollars worth of entertainment to Capitol Hill aides who could help him get legislation favorable to his clients. Sometimes, he said, he concealed their identities in expense reports to try to keep them from being exposed for violating gift bans.
Boulanger, 37, could have faced up to 5 years in prison, but under terms of his plea deal prosecutors recommended that he get 18-24 months with reduced time if he continues to cooperate in the investigation. A sentencing date has not been set and he was released without bail.