An investigator found “insufficient evidence to prove” that Dep. MT state Aud. Walter Schweitzer, brother of MT Gov/DGA Chair Brian Schweizter, “illegally solicited political donations from employees in a state building, as an ex-employee charged.” Investigator Elizabeth Kaleva said she found “insufficient evidence to determine that Schweitzer was handing out invitations and accepting contributions” in the auditor’s office for a fundraiser for House candidate Dennis McDonald (D) (Johnson, Billings Gazette, 10/7).
Don’t Drink And Captain Boats
MT state Sen. Greg Barkus (R) “is facing felony charges” in the Aug. “boating accident that injured” Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) and left his state dir., Dustin Frost, “in a coma for 10 days.” Barkus was charged with “criminal endangerment and two counts of negligent vehicular assault.”
Barkus “allegedly crashed a boat at high speed onto a rocky embankment” after “a night of drinking,” including “scotch and wine.” His blood-alcohol level was “twice the legal limit,” which Rehberg said he was “surprised” to learn, because “he didn’t appear to be impaired to me” (CongressDailyAM, 10/8).
Let The Possibly Fake Record Show
A NY state cmsn “fined” Darren Dopp, ex-comm. dir. for ex-NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D), $10K for having “misused his official position in an effort to discredit Spitzter’s main political foe,” then-NY House Maj. Leader Joseph Bruno (R). The state Public Integrity Cmsn found Dopp “had the State Police create offiical looking documents” about Bruno’s “use of state aircraft” and then “gave the documents, which wouldn’t ordinarily exist, to a reporter.”
Dopp: “With this decision, I become the first public information officer in history to be sanctioned for releasing public records in response to a media request. This decision is unfounded, erroneous and tainted. I intend to sue” the cmsn (Bauman, AP, 10/8).
Fridge Would Be Nice, Boca Burger Boxes Would Be Better
Ex-Rep. Bill Jefferson’s (D-LA) attys “have a lien” on Jefferson’s DC home, “according to recent bankruptcy court filings,” but it’s “not clear whether the lien includes the home’s refrigerator, were buried in soy burger and pie crust boxes” was the infamous $90K in “unmarked bills” uncovered during the ‘05 FBI raid. The fridge “could bring in extra revenue from a collector” (Tilove, New Orleans Times-Picayune, 10/7).
Attys “for the man accused of murdering” ex-federal intern Chandra Levy “are trying to fend off testimony from jailhouse snitches as well as an academic expert” in the “esoteric” field of “geographic profiling,” which “aims to calculate the most likely locations where a serial offender will strike” (Doyle, McClatchy, 10/8).
A cousin of Karla Giraldo testified in NY state Sen. Hiram Monserrate’s (D) assault trial 10/7 that Giraldo “was ‘borracha’ rather than ‘mareada’ — more durnk than tipsy — the night her face was cut.” Monserrate’s attys “sought to cast doubt on the reliability” of statements Giraldo made “incriminating” Monserrate “as her deliberate attacker.” The defense “left open the possibility” it may call Monserrate as its final witness (Blumenthal, New York Times, 10/8).
Spared Some More Embarrassment
Ex-Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-FL) “and his wife of 24 years have agreed to a 50-50 split of their assets, keeping the contentious separation from going to trial,” an atty said 10/7 (Turner, TCPalm.com, 10/7).
What We're Following See More »
President Obama has called for a "full review" of the hacking that took place during the 2016 election cycle, according to Obama counterterrorism and homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco. Intelligence officials say it is highly likely that Russia was behind the hacking. The results are not necessarily going to be made public, but will be shared with members of Congress.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) are threatening to block the spending bill—and prevent the Senate from leaving town—"because it would not extend benefits for retired coal miners for a year or pay for their pension plans. The current version of the bill would extend health benefits for four months. ... Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Thursday afternoon moved to end debate on the continuing resolution to fund the government through April 28. But unless Senate Democrats relent, that vote cannot be held until Saturday at 1 a.m. at the earliest, one hour after the current funding measure expires."
The South Korean parliament voted on Friday morning to impeach President Park Geun-hye over charges of corruption, claiming she allowed undue influence to a close confidante of hers. Ms. Park is now suspended as president for 180 days. South Korea's Constitutional Court will hear the case and decide whether to uphold or overturn the impeachment.
Participants in the women's march on Washington the day after inauguration won't have access to the Lincoln Memorial. The National Park Service has "filed documents securing large swaths of the national mall and Pennsylvania Avenue, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial for the inauguration festivities. None of these spots will be open for protesters."