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 »
As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."
President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.
In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is "is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates", including "Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008."
"A Senate bill to gut Obamacare would increase the number of uninsured people by 32 million and double premiums on Obamacare's exchanges by 2026, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The analysis is of a bill that passed Congress in 2015 that would repeal Obamacare's taxes and some of the mandates. Republicans intend to leave Obamacare in place for two years while a replacement is crafted and implemented."