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Tag: house

Lawyer Says Justice Dept. Dropping Probe of Ex-House Leader Tom DeLay

Ex-Rep. Tom DeLay

Ex-Rep. Tom DeLay

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — It doesn’t look like the Justice Department will be filing any criminal charges against former House leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex).

Mike Allen of Politico reports that the Justice Department is dropping its six-year probe into Delay and his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Allen attributed his information to DeLay’s lead attorney Richard Cullen.

“The federal investigation of Tom DeLay is over and there will be no charges,” Cullen told Allen. “This is the so-called Abramoff investigation run by the Public Integrity section of DOJ. There have been a series of convictions and guilty pleas since 2005. A campaign-related charge against him continues in Texas.

“In 2005, we voluntarily produced to the prosecutors over 1,000 emails and documents from the DeLay office dating back to 1997. Several members of Congress objected to producing official government records under Speech or Debate Clause concerns. DeLay took the opposite position, ordering all his staff to answer all questions. He turned over more than 1,000 documents, and several of his aides gave interviews and grand jury testimony.”

DeLay still faces state charges in Texas of money laundering.

House Passes Bill Reducing Sentencing Disparity With Crack Cocaine

file photo/dea

file photo/dea

By Glynnesha Taylor
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The House on Wednesday passed legislation drastically reducing the sentencing disparity between crack and powdered cocaine — a longtime disparity critics saw as unfairly targeting African Americans.

Previously, under the 1986 law, a person selling crack got the same sentence as someone selling 100 times the amount of powdered cocaine. The ratio will now go to 18 to 1.

The old bill became law while crack-cocaine was spinning out of control and savaging urban areas. But critics said it amounted to giving harsher sentences to African Americans who sold crack and lesser sentences to whites who were selling more of the powder cocaine.

The bill now goes before President Obama for his signature.

Read more »

House Votes to Impeach New Orleans Fed Judge Thomas Porteous

Judge Thomas Porteous

Judge Thomas Porteous

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — It comes as no surprise that U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Porteous of New Orleans is in big big trouble.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously Thursday to impeach him, the Associated Press reported. The news service reported that lawmakers felt he avoided criminal charges only because the statute of limitations had expired.

The Senate now conducts a trial on charges of high crimes and misdemeanors. A two-thirds vote is required to convict.

He has been accused of “taking cash from lawyers and gifts from a bail bondsman, lying to the Senate and the FBI to win confirmation and making false statements in his personal bankruptcy proceedings to hide financial problems and gambling debts,” according to AP.

Ex-Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales Puts Va. Home Up For Sale

Alberto Gonzales

Alberto Gonzales

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is leaving behind more than just a shaky legacy.

The Atty. General, now a professor and administrator at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Tex.,  has put his McLean, Va.  hamlet up for sale for  1.075 mil, according to the Washington Post’s Reliable Source column.

The Post reports that the home, which was purchased for $1.05 million in 2005, has five bedrooms,  four-bathrooms “two-car garage, gorgeous views, finished basement, granite countertops — and a sophisticated security system with video-monitored entrances, and a safe room off the master bedroom, behind a thick metal door.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

House Strengthens Whistleblower Law For Fed Employees Including TSA

Whistleblowers have exposed wrongdoing in government that inspector generals and the media have often missed. They need more protection. Too often they find themselves being punished for stepping forward.

By Jim Abrams
Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The House voted yesterday to strengthen whistleblower protections for federal employees, including those working for the Transportation Security Administration and others employed in national security areas.
The bill also would create specific protections for those who expose abuses of authority by those trying to manipulate or censor scientific research in federal agencies for political purposes. Critics of the administration of former president George W. Bush alleged that scientific findings were often influenced by politics.
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