Skip to comments.Ethics Committee re-launches probe into whether Jackson attempted to buy Obama’s Senate seat
Posted on 10/18/2011 5:28:37 PM PDT by STARWISE
The House Ethics Committee announced Tuesday afternoon that it would resume its inquest into Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.s role in possibly attempting to purchase the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.
A statement on the committees website notes that the chairman of the committee, Alabama Republican Rep. Jo Bonner, and the ranking member, California Democratic Rep. Linda Sanchez, have jointly decided to extend the matter.
The probe into Jacksons involvement was initially deferred due to a request by the Justice Department. That request was withdrawn after former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was found guilty of corruption in June. (RELATED: Rep. Jackson: Obama should declare a national emergency, add jobs with extra-constitutional action)
Jackson testified at Blagojevichs trial in May that he never authorized an associate to make a deal with the former governor in exchange for the Senate appointment.
An affidavit detailing the alleged crimes of Blagojevich describes how a designee of Candidate 5 later revealed to be Jackson offered to gather $1,500,000 for Blagojevich in exchange for the seat.
In a clandestinely recorded Dec. 4, 2008 phone conversation, Blagojevich said that Jackson was being considered for the appointment because we were approached pay to play by a Jackson associate, who said that the congressman would you know, hed raise me 500 grand.
Blagojevich said that the congressmans representative had offered to have another fundraiser rake in an added $1 million. An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I made him (Senate Candidate 5) a senator.
In a second secretly recorded conversation on Dec. 4, Blagojevich said that some of this stuffs gotta start happening now right now. The then-governor instructed the other caller to meet in person with one of Jacksons associates. I would do it in person. I would not do it on the phone, he said.
On Dec. 8, 2008, one day before Blagojevichs arrest, Jackson personally met with the governor about the Senate seat.
Former Illinois Rep. Debbie Halvorson, who intends to challenge Jackson in the Democratic primary in 2012, released a statement Tuesday afternoon, pointing to the development as proof that he continues to be plagued with distractions over his possible role in Rod Blagojevichs pay-to-play scandal.
HMMMM, why now?
Hmmmm...lots of stuff brewing in Illinois tonight.
Sure seems to be ... and Rezko. Where’s Rezko?
Explains why he wanted the Government to give 40K jobs tot he unemployed, he expects to be one soon.
Maxine Waters Ethics Trial Stalls. Again. (Who Is Surprised?) | July 23, 2011 | Patrick Richadson
Waters threatens to sue the House Ethics Committee for mishandling her case.
Its notable that Waters is not asking for the case to be dismissed on the merits, but only because she claims she can no longer get a fair trial.
Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the Financial Services Committee, said in an interview that he inserted the provision for minority banks to protect OneUnited because it is based in his state.
The provision sought by Waters and inserted by Frank told the Treasury Department that it should consider for bailout money banks that had an asset size of $1 billion or less, and whose size dropped to a lower range because they owned devalued preferred stock in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The only bank that language would affect was OneUnited.
Waters is accused of using her influence to gain special treatment for Massachusetts-based bank OneUnited, which received $12 million in bailout funds. Changing a law was required in order to get them the money. Her husband, former Ambassador Sidney Williams, owned more than $350,000 in stock in the bank, and had also been a board member.
Citing gross misconduct, the lawyer representing Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) is asking the House Ethics Committee to dismiss all charges against his client.
In a letter addressed to the chairman of the House Ethics Committee, Republican Jo Bonner of Alabama, and the committee's top Democrat, Linda Sanchez, Waters' attorney Stanley Brand cited internal documents showing a close relationship between two former committee lawyers in the case and Republican committee members, saying any further action by the committee would be irremediably tainted and without legal foundation.
Rep. Waters is a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee. The committee alleges that she tried to obtain a federal bailout for a minority-owned bank where her husband is an investor.
Based on the facts of the case and the record of committee misconduct, the only remedy that vindicates the principals of the quasi-judicial functions of the committee is immediate dismissal with prejudice. No other remedy exists to cure this misconduct, Atty. Brand wrote.
Rep. Waters has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, saying she had no role in the Obama administration's decision to bail out Boston-based OneUnited Bank. The congresswoman's husband, Sidney Williams, owns stock in the bank, and his investment was in danger of becoming worthless during the near-financial collapse of late 2008.
OneUnited received $12 million in bailout money in December 2008. But Treasury Department officials have told House investigators that Rep. Waters was not involved in that decision.
Rep. Waters contended she had supported legislation to help all troubled, minority-owned banks like OneUnitedand specifically those, like OneUnited, that were hurt by their investments in the then-collapsing mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Atty. Brand said internal documents showed that the two former lawyers regularly corresponded exclusively last year with Rep. Bonner, then the ranking Republican and now the ethics chairman.
The two lawyers, C. Morgan Kim and Stacy Sovereign, were suspended last year by the previous Democratic chairman, Zoe Lofgren of California. Neither accepted Atty. Bonner's offer earlier this year to reinstate them.
The committee had charged Rep. Waters with violating House rules and was ready to begin a proceeding on her conduct late last year, but the case was sent back for further investigation after the controversy erupted over the conduct of the two lawyers.
Atty. Brand said in his statement that if there is prosecutorial misconduct in a criminal case, a judge would usually dismiss the charges. He also said the case was flawed.
Given that both current members and staff are implicated in these documents, any other suggested remedy would lack legal credibility and would confirm an unprecedented level of bias against my client, Atty. Brand added.
Meanwhile ethics watchdogs are calling on Rep. Bonner to step down as chairman of the House Ethics Committeeat least temporarilyfor his role in the ongoing turmoil over Rep. Waters' case.
I think there needs to be an investigation into the whole matter, including Mr. Bonner's role and that Mr. Bonner should step aside during the course of that investigation, said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
If Mr. Bonner is found to have broken the committee's rules, he should be sanctioned by the full House.
Blake Chisam, the chief counsel and staff director for the ethics panel, initially sought to fire Kim and Sovereign on Nov. 19, but was unable to do so.
It is unclear if the decision to place Kim and Sovereign on paid leave was related to the Waters case or another matter, although they were placed in that status on the same day that Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Jo Bonner (R-Ala.), the chairwoman and ranking member of the committee, announced the Waters trial was delayed. The committee announced that it had new information, including e-mails from Mikael Moore, Waters' chief of staff, that would have an impact on the Waters matter.
You need a bigger sign.
Hmm....if a white candidate has a realistic chance of beating Jackson then the whole map should be tossed out.
Not to mention $5 BILLION in debt to public unions and the like. REVOLUTION? You Betcha!
In Illinois, the ill-run STATEWIDE pensions - like the teachers - are $89 BILLION short. Local pension plans, or at least MANY of them, are in good shape, are well run, and DO NOT have "free" medical care for life....but they are all lumped into ONE big evil cabal....