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FBI Pobes Illegal Fundraising by Tea Party Candidate in NY

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s ongoing investigation into illegal fundraising for Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm’s 2010 campaign has led agents to question of at least four people who worked with the Tea Party favorite, the New York Daily News reports.

The four who were questioned in the past two weeks were campaign operatives or volunteers, according to the Daily News.

The probe began after members of Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto’s congregations said they were strong-armed for donations.

Grimm denies any wrongdoing.

FBI Arrests Former Fundraiser for Blagojevich, Jesse Jackson Jr.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former campaign fundraiser for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was arrested Wednesday on charges he paid bribes and kickbacks related to his outpatient surgery centers, the Associated Press reports.

Raghuveer Nayak pleaded not guilty and was released on $10 million bond.

The FBI accuses him of bribing physicians for patient referrals and filing false federal income tax returns, according to the AP.

“Over the course of the scheme, Nayak paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to different physicians in exchange for the referrals that the physicians had made or would make to Nayak’s facilities,” according to the indictment. “As Nayak intended, the physicians materially deceived their patients by not disclosing to the patients that their physicians were being paid to make referrals to Nayak’s facilities.”

U.S Attorney in D.C. Sets High Standards for Investigations

By Del Quentin WIlber and Keith L. Alexander
Washington Post 

 When federal authorities began to investigate allegations of corruption involving prominent D.C. politicians and their campaigns last year, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. took a keen interest in the probes.

Machen, the District’s top prosecutor, prodded his staff to work through weekends, demanded regular progress reports, set rigid deadlines and helped shape investigative tactics.

Although former and current prosecutors have described early friction in law enforcement circles over whether the probes would yield federal prosecutions, they said the effort paid off with recemt high-profile guilty pleas and resignations.

“I’m not sure that without Ron’s leadership that the office would have gotten where it is on these cases,” said Thomas Hibarger, who resigned last month as Machen’s chief prosecutor in federal court to join a digital risk management company. Ron really pushed us hard, rode us hard. . . . Ron is a force of nature.”

To read more click here.

House Committee Votes to Hold Atty. General Holder in Contempt; Holder Denies Being Unresponsive

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The politics surrounding ATF’s failed Operation Fast and Furious began to sizzle Wednesday, with Republicans leading the charge against Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, voting along party lines, voted 23 to 17 to hold  Holder in contempt for failing to turn over documents pertaining to the ATF operation out of the Phoenix Division, the Washington Post reported.

The matter now goes before the full House, and then if passed, to the U.S. Attorney in D.C. for action.

Holder issued a press release calling the allegations untrue that he’s been unresponsive.

“Simply put, any claims that the Justice Department has been unresponsive to requests for information are untrue. From the beginning, Chairman Issa and certain members of the Committee have made unsubstantiated allegations first, then scrambled for facts to try to justify them later. That might make for good political theater, but it does little to uncover the truth or address the problems associated with this operation and prior ones dating back to the previous Administration.”

To read the full story click here.

 

FBI to Return Stolen Art to Polish Museum

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

More than 120 stolen artifacts with a price tag of about $5 million is returning to the Polish Museum of America, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The artifacts, from 18th century documents to Nazi propaganda, disappeared from the museum in the 1970s and 1980s, according to the Tribune.

The FBI did no announce charges but is holding a press conference today.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Why are There so Few Cartel Members on the FBI’s Most Wanted List

By Jazmine Ulloa 
Austin American-Statesman

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán – the man labeled the world’s most powerful drug trafficker – is not among the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives.

Neither is his rival, Heriberto Lazcano, though he is said to run one of the most vicious illicit networks to move tons of cocaine and marijuana into the United States. Nor is Miguel Ángel Treviño, a former Mexican military officer believed to be Lazcano’s second in command.

Some drug war analysts say the absence of such fugitive Mexican drug dons from the federal index is another indication that the struggle seething south of the border is not a national priority in the United States, where most residents are unfamiliar with its key players, even as a vicious battle rages so close to home.

“The problem is almost like what you have with war in Iraq and Afghanistan,” retired Special Agent Peter Hanna said. “The conflict is divorced from the United States. Only people in Mexico see the violence, live with the violence.”

To read the full story click here.

House Contempt Vote Possible Against AG Holder

file photo

Update: Fox News reports that President Obama has granted an 11th-hour request by Attorney General Eric Holder to exert executive privilege over the release of  Fast and Furious documents.
 
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Short of  last minute document dump, Fox News reports Republicans are poised to take a vote on a contempt resolution against  Atty. General Eric Holder.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), head of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, is leading the charge and wants to Holder held in contempt for failing to turn over documents in the bungled ATF Fast and Furious Operation.

The committee is likely to vote on the matter when it meets Wednesday morning.

Holder has denied that he or the White House has done anything wrong and has said that he’s being as cooperative as possible.

“I think the ball’s in their court,” Holder told reporter, according to the AP.

Holder said the documents will show he has nothing to hide.

Lawyer Defending Terror Cases Indicted on Tax Charges

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A lawyer known for defending terrorism suspects has been indicted in the Northern District of New York on charges that he failed to file tax returns, the Associated Press reports.

The attorney, Stanley Cohen, called the indictment politically motivated.

If convicted, Cohen faces prison time and fines.

Cohen is accused of not filing individual and corporate tax returns between 2005 and 2010 and other tax violations.