Saturday, April 28, 2007

Saturday Morning Corruption Update

Gee, the Grand Old Corruption party members are working overtime these days. Some of these stories are repeats from yesterday, but I'd like to put them all into one post so you can see the wealth of wrong-doing:

First, former Deputy Secretary of Defense and current World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz is close to losing his job for "an ethics breach":

NEW YORK, April 27 -- A World Bank committee investigating president Paul D. Wolfowitz has nearly completed a report that it plans to give the institution's governing board, concluding that he breached ethics rules when he engineered a pay raise for his girlfriend, three senior bank officials said Friday.

Friday evening, the committee was debating whether to explicitly recommend that Wolfowitz resign, according to the sources, who spoke on condition they not be named, citing an ongoing probe into leaks.

Wolfowitz is scheduled to appear before the committee with his attorney on Monday morning and mount his defense, and the bank's 24-member board of directors will convene that afternoon to discuss the report. The sources suggested that a vote by the board could come that day.

Next, Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias, a Bush administration official in charge of US Aid who pushed heavily for Abstinence Only education to help with the world-wide AIDS crisis, resigned from his post yesterday for getting "massages" from hookers:

Randall L. Tobias, the deputy secretary of state responsible for U.S. foreign aid, abruptly resigned yesterday after he was asked about an upscale escort service allegedly involved in prostitution, U.S. government sources said.

Tobias resigned after ABC News contacted him with questions about the escort service, the sources said. ABC News released a statement last night saying Tobias acknowledged Thursday that he had used the service to provide massages, not sex.

Tobias has been Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's point man in an ambitious effort to overhaul how the U.S. government manages foreign aid, a key part of her "transformational diplomacy" agenda. Just two days ago, President Bush lauded Tobias for his work in the administration leading "America's monumental effort to confront and deal with the HIV/AIDS epidemic on the continent of Africa."

Next on the corruption list is Department of Justice official Robert E. Coughlin who resigned April 6th from his job at DOJ after his ties to Jack Abramoff were revealed:

A federal task force investigating the activities of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff has in recent weeks been looking into whether one of Abramoff's colleagues improperly traded favors with a Justice Department lawyer, sources familiar with the Abramoff investigation said yesterday.

The lawyer, Robert E. Coughlin II, resigned on April 6 as deputy chief of staff in the Criminal Division, citing personal reasons, a department spokesman said.

"Bob gave a personal reason for his resignation," said spokesman Bryan Sierra. He stressed that Coughlin "had no involvement" in the department's investigation of Abramoff.

Coughlin had worked in the criminal division since 2005 but was recused from the Abramoff inquiry because of a longtime personal friendship with Kevin A. Ring, one of Abramoff's lobbying colleagues whose actions are under investigation, a law enforcement source said. Investigators are looking into dealings between the two in 2001 and 2002, when Coughlin worked in the Justice Department's Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, the sources said.


Coughlin is the second Justice Department official whose name has surfaced in the wide-ranging Abramoff investigation. Earlier this year, Sue Ellen Wooldridge, deputy assistant attorney general for environment and natural resources, abruptly resigned when her boyfriend -- now her husband -- was notified that he was a criminal target. J. Steven Griles, former deputy secretary of the Interior Department, has since pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about Abramoff.

There was another Friday night Prosecutor Purge document dump from the Department of Justice. Here's an interesting tidbit from the documents:

The White House told a Republican member of Congress last summer about its plans to fire a U.S. attorney in Arkansas and replace him with a former aide to presidential adviser Karl Rove, but it did not tell Democratic lawmakers, according to a new Justice Department e-mail released yesterday.

The White House called Rep. John Boozman (R-Ark.) "and pretty much told him what they are doing with this appointment and how they are going about it," according to a July 6 e-mail from Bud Cummins, then the U.S. attorney in Little Rock.

"There has been some subsequent talk among other members of the delegation about it and some of them may be chapped about how it was handled," Cummins wrote in the message to a senior Justice official.

The e-mail is part of another set of documents turned over to Congress yesterday concerning the firing of Cummins and seven other U.S. attorneys. The dismissals have sparked an uproar in Congress, in part because of the Justice Department's shifting explanations about the reasons behind them.

The message indicates that Bush administration officials told Boozman about their plans to fire Cummins at the same time that Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and other Democrats say they were being stonewalled.

Pryor has accused Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and other Justice officials of lying to him about the firing of Cummins, who was replaced by Tim Griffin, a former Rove aide and an opposition researcher at the Republican National Committee.

Finally, Congressman Rick Renzi, under two separate criminal investigations, tried to quash rumors yesterday that his resignation from Congress is imminent:

In an attempt to counter reports and squelch rumors that he would resign his House seat, Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) said Friday he has no plans to leave Congress.

“For several weeks, I have been the subject of leaked stories, conjecture, and false attacks about a land exchange,” Renzi said. “None of them bear any resemblance to the truth, including the rumor that I am planning on resigning.”

Citing unnamed sources, the Phoenix Business Journal reported Thursday that Renzi was planning to resign “Friday or soon after,” nearly two weeks after the FBI raided a personal business owned by his wife.

Despite the lawmaker’s assurances, the names of several Arizonans are bandied about as possible candidates in case Renzi does resign or does not seek another term.

Busy day for the Grand Old Corruption Party.

I thank you again, also for the links. Unfortunately the connection from here is so slow I just focus on a few sources for now.
You have picked up the interest well.
(G)raft (O)n (P)arade.
I've only had cable for three years, but I've already forgotten how awful dial-up was. Ughh!
and the have the hide to call this dial up broadband!
Used to be Grand Old it's Graft on Parade. Good one, kvatch.
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