Recent Corruption Scandals in the US Government: Part II – Investigating the Reporting of Recent High-profile Corruption Allegations or Convictions Involving Republicans | Government

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Editor’s note: This is the second in a three-part series. Part I investigated Associated Press articles on allegations against Republicans at the state or local level. Part III will bring the narrative home to Oklahoma.

Oklahoma City – In the first installment of this series, the Associated Press reporting investigation focused on a few scandals or controversies involving well-known Democrats.

Now it’s the turn of the Republicans.

From Nebraska to California to Le Pen?

Republican US Representative Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska resigned from Congress at the end of March this year.

He has long denied allegations that he engaged in corrupt political activities.

But he quit as Cornusker’s state representative “after a California jury found him guilty of lying to federal authorities about an illegal campaign donation by a foreign national.”

As reported for The Associated Press by Grant Schulte, Fortenberry was flagged “in October after authorities said he lied to FBI agents in two separate interviews about his knowledge of an illegal contribution by $30,000 from his foreign billionaire campaign.” Fortenberry was questioned at his home. in Lincoln, then again with his attorneys present in Washington, D.C.

“At trial, prosecutors presented recorded telephone conversations in which Fortenberry was repeatedly warned that the contributions were from Gilbert Chagoury, a Nigerian billionaire of Lebanese descent. The donations were routed through three front men during a a fundraiser in 2016 in Los Angeles.”

Fortenberry had been pressured to resign from both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Minority Leader Kevin McCary, a Republican but also a Californian. Leaving Congress, he unfolded the words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta: “What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight. Build anyway.”

On June 15, the US Attorney’s office in Los Angeles asked a judge to sentence the former federal lawmaker to six months in prison for the lies he told investigators. Hid’s legal team still hopes he can avoid jail time.

Tennessee regulators volunteer to act against former power players

Sometimes it’s not the FBI that draws public attention to state/local political corruption. In March, Jonathan Matisse of the Associated Press in Nashville reported that voluntary state regulators had voted to send prosecutors “their investigations into a former Speaker of the House and his then chief of staff, who were implicated in an alleged political advice bribe”. scheme.

“Another former lawmaker recently pleaded guilty to carrying out the scheme with the former Speaker of the House and his ex-assistant.

“The Tennessee Registry of Election Finance’s vote returns investigations of former House Speaker Glen Casada, his former chief of staff Cade Cothren, and the Faith Family Freedom Fund PAC to the Williamson County District Attorney’s Office, according to a filing of the debates.”

Continuing with the AP story:

The action comes the week after a federal wire fraud charge was unsealed against former Republican Rep. Robin Smith. She resigned and then pleaded guilty a day later, pledging to cooperate with authorities as and as the investigation unfolds.

“Federal authorities say Smith, Casada and Cothren collaborated with a separate consulting firm, Phoenix Solutions, to secretly and illegally funnel money to themselves through the campaign and taxpayer-funded work. Prosecutors have so far kept Casada and Cothren unnamed and haven’t charged them with anything, but have described the two in easily identifiable terms in court documents.”

Other Republicans who had been enticed by Smith to use Phoenix Solutions in their own fundraising and other activities felt betrayed, they told the AP.

By May, the story had evolved to the point that the FBI was involved and investigating Casadao’s possible ownership of Phoenix Solutions. A Republican member of the State House – apparently not under investigation, but a source of information – said ‘Tennesse Lookout’ that federal agents questioned him after raiding a House office building.

The Look for The story included details of past legislative votes where floor proceedings were kept open to give legislative leaders time to persuade solons to change their minds.

Many referenced GOP solons said taxpayer resources were never abused, although they said they would not have worked with the vendor if they had known then what they know now.

As the old story unfolds in the news business, that story expands.

In South Dakota, an attorney general’s impeachment makes national headlines

Many stories of wrongdoing by Republican officials involve issues of sexual morality or alcohol abuse. This is the case with two recent stories – one of which concerned a death.

This week, Jason Ravnsborg, South Dakota Attorney General became the former attorney general after the South Dakota State Senate convicted him on two impeachment charges.

He was convicted, as Steven Groves of The Associated Press reported, for his actions “arising from a fatal accident in 2020, firing him and disqualifying him from future duties in a scathing rebuke that showed the most of the senators did not believe his account of the accident”.

Groves wrote: “Ravnsborg told a 911 dispatcher the night of the accident that he might have hit a deer or other large animal and said he did not know he had hit a man – Joseph Boever, 55 – until he returned to the scene the next morning Criminal investigators said they did not believe some of Ravnsborg’s statements, and several senators made it clear they did not no more.

As Groves described the proceedings, “The convictions required a two-thirds majority in the Senate, controlled 32 to 3 by Republicans. Senators mustered the bare minimum of 24 votes to convict Ravnsborg on the first charge, with some senators saying the two misdemeanors he pleaded The accusation of embezzlement – Ravnsborg also asked investigators what data could be found on his mobile phone, among other things – was accepted with 31 votes count, were unanimous.”

Nick Nemec, cousin of the slain pedestrian, said the impeachment and conviction votes amounted to “vindication”.

Nobody died last Friday night when Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett was arrested and arrested “for allegedly driving under the influence after leaving a music festival in the state. Hargett, a Republican, was taken to the Coffee County Jail shortly after midnight Saturday and released a few hours later. late, according to prison records.”

On Saturday, June 19, Hargett’s office issued a statement, The Associated Press reported:

“Friday night after leaving the Bonnaroo Music Festival, I was pulled over by the Tullahoma Police Department and subsequently arrested for impaired driving. Driving under the influence is a serious matter and I regret the circumstances that led to my arrest. I respect law enforcement and will trust the legal process as we move forward.”

Hargett’s court date is July 14.

No one died last Friday night when Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett was arrested and arrested “for allegedly driving under the influence after leaving a music festival in the state. Hargett, a Republican , was taken to the Coffee County Jail shortly after midnight Saturday and released hours later, according to jail records.”

On Saturday, Hargett’s office had a statement, the Associated Press reported:

“Friday night after leaving the Bonnaroo Music Festival, I was pulled over by the Tullahoma Police Department and subsequently arrested for impaired driving. Driving under the influence is a serious matter and I regret the circumstances that led to my arrest. I respect law enforcement and will trust the legal process as we move forward.”

Hargett’s court date is July 14.

Theft of funds by email is referred to Republicans in Wisconsin – but more to come

Not all stories about Republicans in politics that include jerks in the political system involve wrongdoing within the GOP.

At the end of May, Scott Bauer of the Associated Press published an article on one of the most important and under-reported stories of the 2020 election cycle.

Witness it:

“All of the $2.3 million stolen from the Wisconsin Republican Party by hackers just before the 2020 presidential election has been recovered, including nearly $600,000 obtained by the FBI and returned to the party last month,” the state party’s executive director said on Tuesday.

“The FBI returned just under $600,000 to the party on April 14, which was listed on campaign finance forms as a ‘fraudulent transfer recovery.’ The party’s bank fraud unit was able to recovered $1.5 million over the past 18 months, Jefferson said.The rest of what was stolen was replaced either with insurance payments or targeted fundraising to help recover from the theft, he said.

The robbery arrived just in time to prevent the Badger State GOP from initiating the kind of turnout they had envisioned.

There have been few reports since the announcement of the recovery of funds, but there will be. …

As the news unfolds, this brings us to Oklahoma, Part III of this series. Keep reading.

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