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).
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In a statement, Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH 12) confirmed a New York Times report that he would resign to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable. "While I have not yet determined a final resignation date, I will be leaving Congress by January 31, 2018."
"The number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level" since March 1973. According to the Labor Department Thursday, "claims for jobless aid dropped by 22,000 to 222,000." Additionally, "the less volatile four-week average slid by 9,500 to 248,250, lowest since late August."
"President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appeared on Capitol Hill for a closed-door interview with the Senate intelligence committee Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the matter. Lewandowski is the latest senior official in Trump's orbit who has met with the committee as part of its investigation into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign."
"Former President Barack Obama is returning to the campaign trail to stump for Democratic gubernatorial candidates in New Jersey and Virginia as they gear up for next month’s elections. Thursday’s events mark the first time the former president is stepping back into the political spotlight since leaving the White House. Unlike more low-key appearances earlier this year, Obama’s foray into two states won’t be a one-and-done. He is planning more public appearances as the year closes, and preparation for the 2018 midterm elections begins."