Sen. Joe Manchin (D) is claiming that he had 21 meetings with the Trump administration on the issue of tax reform and even offered proposals. But he still had no choice but to vote against the bill.
After launching a “Joe voted No” Twitter attack on Manchin, Vice President Pence seems determined to make Manchin’s vote an issue in his reelection campaign. Pence reportedly will be making a stop in West Virginia before April.
“He looked me in the eye, and I looked him in the eye. And I said, ‘I want to work with you.’ And that’s a two-way street. That is so disingenuous from our vice president,” Manchin said. (Politico)
MANCHIN INVESTMENTS. The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a “nonpartisan ethics watchdog organization founded by conservatives,is asking the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate” Manchin over an investment group involved with defaulting hotels in northern West Virginia.”
“Attached to the letter were several stories by West Virginia MetroNews and The Charleston Gazette-Mail looking into the investments at hotels in Morgantown, Clarksburg and Elkins. Each of the hotels has been through both bankruptcy and lawsuits. The state of West Virginia is making a legal effort to gain hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes that were collected by the hotels but not passed on to the state.”
“Manchin and his longtime aide, Larry Puccio, were listed among the borrowers in the original $15,470,000 loan for Hilton Garden Inn Morgantown at Sun Crest Town Center that is now going bad.
The two also were listed as original investors in the case of default over a $19,630,000 loan on hotels in Clarksburg and Elkins.” (WV Metro News)
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Greitens "was indicted by an St. Louis grand jury...The indictment stems from allegations he threatened to release a naked photo of a woman he was having an affair with if she revealed their relationship."
Robert Mueller announced new charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort advisor Rick Gates. "The new indictment contains 32 counts, including tax charges." The pair had been indicted on 12 charges in October. Since then, Gates's attorneys have asked to be excused from the case.
"The House is shortening its Feb. 26 work week, canceling votes that Wednesday and Thursday, for the late Rev. Billy Graham to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda." The Senate still plans on voting all week.
"A federal judge on Thursday sentenced a Florida eye doctor linked to Sen. Bob Menendez to 17 years in prison for stealing $73 million in one of history's largest Medicare frauds. U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra sentenced Dr. Salomon Melgen for 67 crimes, including health-care fraud, submitting false claims and falsifying records in patients' files." In a related case, Menendez was tried for taking bribes from Melgen, but the trial ended in a hung jury.
"As questions about the official travel habits of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt mount, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is demanding documents and other information on his first-class flights, as it looks into whether federal laws were broken."