Posts Tagged ‘corruption’

Adam Schock Legal Shocker

March 8, 2019

Adam Schock Legal Shocker

Adam Schock, the disgraced former GOP congressman, fraudster, and ticket scalper indicted on 24 felony counts, reached a sweetheart deal with Federal prosecuters in Chicago on Wednesday without actually pleading guilty. He agreed to pay a $25,000 FEC fine, will repay his campaign committees $67,956, and fork over unpaid 2010–2015 taxes and taxes on the $42,375 he made by scalping sports tickets. Mr. Schock has already repaid Congress $40,000 for redecorating his House office as Downton Abbey and $88,000 in phony mileage expense claims. In the “deferred prosecution” arrangement, if Aaron Schock doesn’t re-offend for six months, charges will be dropped and his criminal record wiped clean. He won’t rule out another run for public office.

It did not go unnoticed that Mr. Schock, the Prince of Peoria, avoided jail time, while another former Illinois Congrssman, Jesse Jackson Jr., was sentenced to 30 months in prison for misusing campaign funds.

More:

“Ex-congressman Aaron Schock strikes deal to avert prosecution,” Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post

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Donald Trump, Banana Republican

September 4, 2018

Donald Trump, Banana Republican

On Monday President Trump attacked Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the Federal indictments of two sitting Republican congressmen, both strong Trump supporters:

Republican Senator Ben Sasse, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, responded: to the President’s partisan attack on the rule of law:

“The United States is not some banana republic with a two-tiered system of justice – one for the majority party and one for the minority party. These two men have been charged with crimes because of evidence, not because of who the President was when the investigations began. Instead of commenting on ongoing investigations and prosecutions, the job of the President of the United States is to defend the Constitution and protect the impartial administration of justice.”

“This is not the conduct of a President committed to defending and upholding the constitution,” tweeted Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake, “but rather a President looking to use the Department of Justice to settle political scores.”

Contrary to Mr. Trump’s tweet, at least one of the investigations began during his own administration. Rep. Christopher Collins (R, NY-27) is charged with participating in an insider trading scheme, and phoned insider stock tips while picnicking on the White House lawn in June 2017. He has denied wrongdoing but is not seeking re-election. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R, CA-50) and his wife were indicted for allegedly using campaign funds to pay for personal expenses. Mr. Hunter is still on the midterm ballot.

More:

“Trump Twitter attack on Sessions and Justice is most serious impeachment fodder yet,” Chris Truax, USA Today

“Trump’s Attacks on Jeff Sessions and the DOJ Are Reaching Absurd New Levels,” Ryan Bort, Rolling Stone

“Trump sets up rule-of-law crisis,” Jonathan Swan, Axios

“The Proud Corruption of Donald Trump,” David A. Graham, The Atlantic

“Sorry, Mr. Trump, the Attorney General Is America’s Lawyer,” New York Times editors

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Image: Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Pruitt Family Values

June 18, 2018

Pruitt Family Values

Recent discussion of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s brilliant Washington career has concentrated on his abuses of science, taxpayer dollars, and the power of his office, but he’s not so selfish that he neglected the Republican love of Family Values. Mr. Pruitt assigned EPA aides to try to get his wife a job with a conservative group and a Chick-fil-A franchise, and his daughter a White House Internship and a place in a good law school.

More:

“Why Scott Pruitt’s effort to get his wife a job could be his most consequential scandal,” Amber Phillips, Washington Post

“For Pruitt Aides, the Boss’s Personal Life Was Part of the Job,” Eric Lipton, Steve Eder, Lisa Friedman and Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times

Background:

“Scott Pruitt’s [dirty] laundry list,” Mike Allen, Axios

Update:

“Whistleblower: EPA’s Pruitt kept secret calendar to hide meetings,” Scott Bronstein, Curt Devine and Drew Griffin, CNN

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Soccer Trial In Brooklyn: Guilty

December 23, 2017

Soccer Trial In Brooklyn: Guilty

Two former officials of the South American soccer association were found guilty in U.S. Federal Court on Friday of accepting millions of dollars in bribes. The jury will deliberate on a third defendant next week. 24 other people tied to FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, have pleaded guilty, and 15 more charged in the racketeering  and money-laundering probe are fighting extradition to the U.S.

More:

“2 Top Soccer Officials Found Guilty in FIFA Case,” Rebecca R. Ruiz, New York Times

“Fifa trial: two ex-soccer officials found guilty on multiple charges of corruption,” Oliver Laughland, The Guardian

Update:

“Fifa trial: ex-president of Peru soccer acquitted of corruption charge,” AP via The Guardian

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Swiss Cops Eyeball FIFA’s Sepp Blatter

September 27, 2015

Swiss Cops Eyeball FIFA's Sepp Blatter

Zurich’s Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, recently reelected President of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), will be leaving that position in a few months — if he is not arrested first. On Thursday, investigators from the Swiss Office of the Attorney General (OAG) quietly initiated criminal proceedings against Herr Blatter on suspicion of criminal mismanagement under Articles 158 and 138 of the Swiss Criminal Code. On Friday they surprised him at FIFA HQ, interrogating him and other top soccer execs, looking into the specifics of the 2005 TV rights deal Herr Blatter cut with Caribbean football chief Jack Warner and his $2 million payoff to underling Michel Platini in 2011.

Herr Blatter has ruled the international sports empire since 1998 and has helped FIFA bring the lucrative World Cup matches to places like Russia and the North Pole Qatar. His resignation followed news that Herr Blatter’s top assistant, Jérôme Valcke, was involved in a questionable $10 million money transfer.

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U.S. Court to Bob McDonnell: Go to Prison, Already

August 21, 2015

U.S. Court to Bob McDonnell: Go to Prison, Already

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has told disgraced former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell that if he wants to appeal his political corruption conviction to the Supreme Court, he can do it from the slammer.

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Bob McDonnell Corruption Conviction Upheld

July 11, 2015

Bob McDonnell Corruption Conviction Upheld

A three judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the political corruption conviction of disgraced former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell so, pending further appeal to the full U.S. Fourth Circuit Court, he’s going to the slammer for 2 years. He’s lucky; based on Federal Sentencing Guidelines he could have gotten at least 10 years in prison.

During the initial trial ex-Gov. McDonnell, devoted husband and father of five, explained the $150,000 in loans, vacations, golf outings and luxury goods Virginia’s First Couple took from a snake-oil salesman for promoting his dubious nostrums by blaming it all on his screaming lunatic harridan of a wife, Maureen McDonnell. That defense was not successful.

Understandably, Mr. McDonnell left his conjugal home and has been staying at the rectory of Richmond’s St. Patrick’s Church with a sympathetic priest who’s had legal problems of his own. His estranged wife, former NFL Cheerleader Maureen McDonnell, was convicted on 8 counts and sentenced to a year and a day in the hoosegow.

Due to these circumstances, Bob McDonnell is perhaps the only prominent Republican not running for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. Yet.

More:

“Official Acts,” Dahlia Lithwick, Slate

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com

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Sepp Blatter to Leave the Game

June 3, 2015

Sepp Blatter to Leave the Game
Zurich’s Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, recently reelected President of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), will be leaving that position in a few months, if he is not arrested first. Herr Blatter has ruled the international sports empire since 1998, and has helped FIFA bring the lucrative World Cup matches to places like Russia and the North Pole Qatar. The abrupt resignation followed news that Herr Blatter’s top assistant, Jérôme Valcke, was involved in a questionable $10 million money transfer.

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A Year and a Day in Prison for Maureen McDonnell

February 21, 2015

A Year and a Day in Prison for Maureen McDonnell

Maureen McDonnell, former NFL cheerleader and estranged wife of disgraced former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell, has been sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison for her conviction on 8 felony counts of corruption. The former First Lady of the Old Dominion accepted lavish gifts from nutritional supplement manufacturer Jonnie Williams and helped him shill his snake oil, even staging a promotional event at the state’s Executive Mansion.

Mr. McDonnell, the first Virginia governor convicted of committing a felony while in office, has been sentenced to 2 years in prison and 2 years of federally supervised release for convictions on 11 counts of political corruption. Mr. &  Mrs. McD are both on the loose while appealing their convictions, and the ex-Governor is bunking with his parish priest.

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Bob McDonnell Gets 2 Years in the Big House

January 6, 2015

Bob McDonnell Gets 2 Years in the Big House

Disgraced former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, convicted of 11 counts of political corruption, was sentenced to 2 years in prison and 2 years of federally supervised release today. Prior to his arrest, many Republicans had proposed Mr. McDonnell for federal office, not a federal prison cell. In December the U.S. probation office had recommended at least 10 years in prison, and Pat Robertson’s charity had tried to wangle a no-prison-time community service deal.

Mr. McDonnell will enter the pokey on February 9th. His estranged wife, former NFL Cheerleader Maureen McDonnell, who was ultimately convicted on 8 federal counts, will be sentenced on January 20th. In another big Republican crime story today, Rep. John Boehner was sentenced to 2 years as House Majority Leader.

Related:

“Unforgivable: The Governor and the Teen-ager,” Evan Osnos, The New Yorker

Updates:

“Court: Ex-Virginia Gov. McDonnell will be free during appeal,”  Michael Felberbaum, Associated Press

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com

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