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DOJ Blocks Probe Of Harry Reid And Mike Lee

From the Washington Times:

EXCLUSIVE: FBI blocked in corruption probe involving Sens. Reid, Lee

By John Solomon | March 13, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: FBI agents working alongside Utah state prosecutors in a wide-ranging corruption investigation have uncovered accusations of wrongdoing by two of the U.S. Senate’s most prominent figures — Majority Leader Harry Reid and rising Republican Sen. Mike Lee — but the Justice Department has thwarted their bid to launch a full federal investigation.

The probe, conducted by one Republican and one Democratic state prosecutor in Utah, has received accusations from an indicted businessman and political donor, interviewed other witnesses and gathered preliminary evidence such as financial records, Congressional Record statements and photographs that corroborate some aspects of the accusations, officials have told The Washington Times and ABC News.

But the Justice Department’s public integrity section — which normally handles corruption cases involving elected figures — rejected FBI agents’ bid to use a federal grand jury and subpoenas to determine whether the accusations are true and whether any federal crimes were committed by state and federal officials.

Even though the prosecutors were willing to throw in a prominent Republican. (Just like they did with ‘Abscam.’)

The information involving Mr. Reid and Mr. Lee is not fully developed but centers on two primary issues:

Whether both or either politician sought or received money or other benefits from donors and/or fundraisers in connection with doing political favors or taking official actions.

How preposterous. Harry Reid is a multi-millionaire from carefully husbanding his $193,400 a year salary.

• Whether Mr. Lee provided accurate information when he bought, then sold a Utah home for a big loss to a campaign contributor and federal contractor, leaving his mortgage bank to absorb large losses.

“There are allegations, but they are very serious allegations and they need to be looked at by somebody,” Sim Gill, a Democrat who is the elected chief prosecutor in Salt Lake County, told The Times. “If true, or even if asserted, they truly should be investigated and put to rest, or be confirmed.” …

After all, normally just ‘the appearance of any impropriety’ is enough for a full blown criminal investigation. And, in the case of any Republican office holder, instant resignation.

The investigative efforts have been further complicated by the fact that Mr. Reid worked to get Mr. Lee’s chief counsel, David Barlow, confirmed in 2011 as the U.S. attorney in Salt Lake City. That action — a Democratic Senate leader letting a Republican be named to a key prosecutor’s position in the Obama administration — raised many eyebrows and angered some Democrats.

Subsequently, the entire office of federal prosecutors in Utah was forced to recuse itself from the corruption case after questions surfaced about a conflict of interest involving one prosecutor and a subject of the probe. After the recusal, state prosecutors secured a court order transferring the federal evidence gathered up to that point to their possession.

The process has left FBI agents in the unusual position of trying to help two local prosecutors make a case in state court without the ability to use the federal court system to determine whether accusations against two powerful members of Congress are true

Unreal. This sounds practically Putin-esque.

The prosecutors said their current focus is pursuing state charges against Utah officials and figures, like former Utah Attorney General John Swallow. To the dismay of the investigators, the Justice Department declined to prosecute Mr. Swallow, a Republican.

Eric Holder is that desperate to protect Harry Reid.

On Wednesday, a special committee of the Utah Legislature concluded that Mr. Swallow may have violated as many as eight state laws on abuse of public office…

A senior law enforcement official familiar with the discussions among FBI, Justice Department and state authorities said that after federal prosecutors declined to take the Swallow case or pursue the accusations about the senators, a decision was made to pursue justice wherever it could be achieved, even at the state level with FBI agents assisting…

Don’t worry. Holder will find a way to stop them.

People familiar with the probe said both FBI agents and local investigators have been frustrated for months by the Justice Department’s inaction on the initial accusations and evidence against the two senators, and those concerns were recently elevated to FBI headquarters.

The special agent in charge of the Utah office was summoned earlier this month to Washington to meet with senior FBI officials, and the bureau’s Utah office has been instructed that the FBI agents working the case may only assist in the state probe and cannot pursue federal criminal investigative leads — unless Justice finally approves a corruption probe.

We’re sure this is standard procedure. (Not.)

The frustrations have prompted discussions of seeking a special prosecutor who would bypass the Justice Department and U.S. attorney’s office and evaluate the evidence independently…

If it were a case only involved a Republican there would already be a special prosecutor.

FBI agents have conducted some interviews in Utah and provided analysis of bank records. But until the Justice Department engages or a special prosecutor is named, the agents are handcuffed from using a federal grand jury to gather evidence. FBI officials requested Justice Department permission last year but were turned down in August, officials said…

What could possibly be behind this all this lack of cooperation? We are wracking our brains.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, March 14th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “DOJ Blocks Probe Of Harry Reid And Mike Lee”

  1. Why would Eric Holder do that?

  2. canary

    Would Reid be under scrutiney raising approx 170 million dollars for his biggest gun range in the world or possibly he is buying his hometown Searchlight (?) that’s up for sale for 5 million.
    He has a lot of connectinos with the Unions.

    • Whether both or either politician sought or received money or other benefits from donors and/or fundraisers in connection with doing political favors or taking official actions.

    Bizarre is Las Vegas Sun not even reporting on this.


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