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

Agents quietly working with Utah prosecutors to make case in DOJ absence

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)

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 FBIagents’ 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.

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.

• 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.”

Spokesmen for both senators denied their bosses engaged in any wrongdoing and said the lawmakers were unaware of the investigations.

Mass recusal

The investigative efforts have been further complicated by the fact thatMr. 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.

“We’re just two local prosecutors but everybody who was supposed to look at this evidence above us has made a decision not to, and by default left it to us to investigate and prosecute at the state level,” Mr. Gill said.

He and his counterpart in the wide-ranging probe, chief Davis County prosecutor Troy Rawlings, praised the FBI agents assisting their case for their dedication to finding the truth.

State charges sought

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

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.

Mr. Swallow “compromised the principles and integrity of the office to benefit himself and his political supporters,” and he “hung a veritable ‘for sale’ sign on the office door that invited moneyed interests to seek special treatment and favors,” the legislative report concluded.

Mr. Swallow has denied wrongdoing.

A senior law enforcement official familiar with the discussions amongFBIJustice 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.

“The sentiment was that it doesn’t matter in the end where it occurs as long as justice is served,” the official said, speaking only on the condition of anonymity.

Both state prosecutors said they eventually plan to pursue the accusations involving the senators and other federal officials — at least to determine whether any crimes were committed inside Utah borders that would warrant state charges.

“We’re sweeping up that information and those items of evidence,” saidMr. Rawlings, a Republican. “I think it would be unfair to say we are currently investigating Sens. Reid and Lee at this time. But we are not going to ignore the scraps of evidence coming in about them.

“Do we plan on formally turning attention to all of the scraps picked up about them? We do plan on that,” Mr. Rawlings said.

Justice ‘ran away’

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.

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

FBI officials said it was rare but not unprecedented for their agents to assist a state-only investigation.

“We’ve let agents provide expertise and assist on the ground investigations for states in the past, especially in complex cases where federal crimes weren’t clear,” a senior FBI official in Washington told The Times, speaking only on the condition of anonymity because the official wasn’t authorized to talk to reporters.

“But in this case, DOJ risks creating the perception of a cover-up rather than let agents use the normal tools and follow the evidence wherever it leads — Republican, Democrat, Senate or not,” the senior FBI official said.

Mr. Rawlings criticized the Justice Department for failing to let FBI agents examine the evidence for federal crimes and leaving the matter to state prosecutors with limited jurisdiction.

“Based upon what we know today, we were surprised that the DOJ ran away,” he said.

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.

Influence-peddling claim

One focus of the investigation is on allegations by federally indicted businessman Jeremy Johnson, who says he was asked by Mr. Swallow and other intermediaries to route hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and consulting payments to an associate of Mr. Reid and other companies in hopes that the senator would intervene on two matters.

The first was a dispute that Mr. Johnson was having with the Federal Trade Commission, which led to a fraud lawsuit against him.

Mr. Johnson says he was instructed by intermediaries to write a $200,000 check to one company and a $50,000 check to a personal friend of Mr. Reid in return for getting the senator to intervene with the FTC, an intervention that did not happen.

The second accusation involves the timing of Mr. Reid’s changing his opposition to legislation allowing Internet poker. Mr. Reid’s aides contend his change of heart was consistent with a broader shift underway in his state — and of the leading industry group, the American Gaming Association.

Mr. Johnson says Mr. Reid announced his new position in 2010 at a fundraiser with online gambling executives in a Las Vegas.

In a recorded conversation published last year by a Utah newspaper, Mr. Johnson is heard tellingMr. Swallow about the Las Vegas event.

Mr. Johnson says Mr. Reid told the gathering: “Look, I’ve polled my constituents and they don’t like online poker, bottom line. … It’s bad for jobs here in Las Vegas. But I’m going to back what you guys are doing here. I’m going to introduce a bill for you.”

On the recording, Mr. Johnson tells Mr. Swallow that, after Mr. Reid departed, Mr. Johnson himself pulled aside an online gambling official to ask about his announcement.

“I [Mr. Johnson] said, ‘How in the hell did you guys get him to do that?’ And he [the online gaming official] says, ‘Let’s just say he got a little something in his retirement fund.’ And I was like, ‘OK, that’s how it is.’”

Reid changes position

Mr. Johnson said in the recording that he was instructed by intermediaries to route a seven-figure check to a company on the West Coast.

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

  1. gear13 says:

    The supreme court judges need to be arrested and charged with treason and for terroristic practices against the
    US country’ s government.
    And install back common law
    Practices.

    • Suggestion: Let’s consider (as merely one example) Justice Antonin Scalia’s role in empowering the Rest of Us by explicating the majority opinion in US vs. Williams (2006), in which the Common Law Grand Jury is declared without reservation to be the FOURTH branch of the American Republic’s Constitutional government. Mustn’t bite the hand(s) that feed Genuine Law TOO too hard, now must we?

      Confession: Five years ago, I might have wanted to… Restoration of Common law Jurisdiction per Supreme Court fiat simply changed EVERYTHING for me. (Yah, Mr. Scalia et al truly spoke MY heart’s best desire re that one – MUCH to my surprise amid all the Wall Street-ism etc that ran rampant back then, not so very long ago.)

      Suggestion: The full-length 2002 production of The Count of Monte Cristo is now online via YouTube. It is a classic French tale of betrayal, lust, revenge and Lawful Justice. It has endured for many good reasons, several of which are imvho relevant to the present case. Recommended viewing – especially at the price! (The French had a Revolution too, one may remember from History…)

      Fact: Justice MUST be balanced with Mercy – and the just Judgement thus delayed – until ALL the facts are known. (I’d LOVE to get some of them birdz on the Stand under the Oath mese’f, believe you me.) That is why we have Grand Juries – to gain full knowledge of both the case AND the facts in relation to the LAW. (Statutes are NOT Law, one might remember.)

      THEN correct action can be undertaken – not before. The collective punishment of ANY group of accused and/or disliked persons is still (as it forever should be kept) a common-law crime against humanity, no matter the group’s position in society. Some top Nazi administrators were hanged at Nuremberg for doing collective punishment (among other things) iirc…

      So enjoy that fine movie’s classic plot-line and its stunning cinematography too! It is downright excellent, swordplay and all. Has to do with how far to go and when to lay off. Nourishing and wholesome food for thought, all that. And that is all. 0{;-)o[

  2. hamfibhamfib says:

    Just proves you cannot trust CONGRESS NOR SENATE ANY MORE! THEY ARE AS CROOKED AS THE DAY IS LONG! HOLDER AND HIS DOJ CRONIES HAVE TO GO FIRST BEFORE SOME JUSTICE CAN TAKE PLACE!

    • “HOLDER AND HIS DOJ CRONIES HAVE TO GO FIRST BEFORE SOME JUSTICE CAN TAKE PLACE!”

      Agreed. Insofar as I am aware, there is NO Federal statute that bars DC residents from forming-up their own Common Law Grand Juries to go after the DoJ perps etc where they work -though arrest and prosecution of same in their home counties is the traditional practice. But then snakes are slippery… Am looking into the practical aspects of the above suggested action.

      Suggest that DC residents sure have a REAL stake in the outcome. Folks living inside the Beltway but not employed by the Gummint might just want to have a go at the endeavor, methinks… Common Law is for ALL without exception, after all. And that (for now) is all. 0{;-)o[

  3. RT says:

    If you seriously read and think about this article, one realizes is it so far removed from reality it is a joke. Mis something! Let’s just confuse everyone and continue on the plan! Submit, Obey, Conform! Questions are the enemy of progress. Helloo

    • “If you seriously read and think about this article, one realizes is it so far removed from reality it is a joke.”

      Um, excuse me… But how does that work, again, please? Is someone lying about what is being done against all odds about this glaring example of alleged (also likely imvho) Federal corruption and the resultant ongoing perversion of justice, or what?

      Just askin’. MUST ask. Obligated, in fact.

      Offended by that attitude? So sorry but that little problem on others’ part is NOT my problem! Prior comments today from YT demonstrate why, fwiw. And that is all. 0{;-)o[

  4. Angela says:

    THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE is a private corporation. THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (IRS) is a private corporation housed in Porto Rico. THE SHADOW GOVERNMENT OF THE WORLD aka the Corporation called THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, the Cabal, the Crowns of England, Holland, Belguim, the Vatican, the Jesuits, the Zionists, the “elite”, the CIA, the NSA, etc, etc had the money from various sources to include the above via Banksters around the world including the privately owned Federal Reserve as they create money out of thin air. A great portion of the money was from the blood, sweat, and tears of the common citizen and that was used to bring down nation after nation in the name of “democracy”.

    WE THE PEOPLE need to create GRAND JURIES (see TRAINING MANUAL FOR HOW TO CREATE A COMMON LAW COMMUNITY http://jhaines6.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/common-law-community-training-manual/ )

    WE THE PEOPLE need to create INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNALS to bring to trial all those elected officials who are engaging in fraud, corruption, abuse of power, and TREASON. ALL MERIT INVESTIGATION, whether they are Sheriffs, Police Chiefs, police officers, local, state, or federal elected officials.

    WE THE PEOPLE need to understand that the computer voting machines can be corrupted with a flip of a switch AND NOT WAIT FOR ELECTIONS to make changes in local, state, and federal “public servants”.
    WE THE PEOPLE NEED TO COWBOY UP LIKE THE BUNDY FAMILY.
    OR
    WE THE PEOPLE WILL BE LIKE THOSE AT WACO when the us Army, tanks, soldiers, and paid-for media stood by and watched as children, women, and men were MASSACURED. WE THE PEOPLE DID NOT BAT AN EYE AS THE MILITARY BROKE THEIR OATH.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE – THE TIME IS RUNNING OUT.
    THE SENATOR FROM NEVADA, HARRY REID, DARED LABEL THOSE BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN “DOMESTIC TERRORISTS” AS THEY DEFENDED THE CONSITUTION AGAINST DOMESTIC ENEMIES AS WELL AS THEIR HOMELAND.
    WE THE PEOPLE need to investigate Harry Reid, son, et al. He should have been protecting the rights of the Bundy Family instead of incorrectly labeling them. Something is seriously wrong with that picture and the greed of Reid has been at the center of his actions, ALL of his actions since he has been in politics – and his political career should come to an immediate end.

  5. Hegelian says:

    Start with Reid and go straight to Kissinger, Brzezinski, and the Bush family. The parity is they created Gitmo and they will get to us it. I’d love to see them water boarded.

    • “Start with Reid and go straight to Kissinger, Brzezinski, and the Bush family.”

      Heavens, YES! GOOD idea!

      “I’d love to see them water boarded.”

      Heavens NO! BAD idea. Reducing ourselves to the perps’ savagery accomplishes NOTHING but a STAIN on ALL of us, thank you. I don’t want to become ANYTHING like THEM birds. Who does?

      Fact: Under Common Law, there is the gaol for lesser felonies and the noose for the greatest ones. Other pains and penalties with benefit to all parties are embedded therein too when it comes to torts – damages done and misdemeanors committed – so there really is plenty plenty of well-graduated Genuine Justice to go around, all torture be damned.

      But as to torture: Common Law is based on Natural Law, which is in turn based on a sense of Heaven’s Law under the everloving auspices of Kind Holy Creator, Who is indeed ALL throughout all! (You too, yes…) So pray tell: HOW on EARTH can TORTURE ever count as ANY form of loving Heaven from one’s Heart, let alone loving one’s God nor one’s neighbor as ones’ own self, HM? Reliably defeats Justice’s very purpose and contributes to the degraedationof the species in every instance, imvh&long-observent_o.

      So: Not on your life – and for my own part, over my dead cold body, thank you very much. Let’s do it RIGHT instead, shall we not just? And that is all. 0{:-|o[

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