Sunday, January 30, 2005

Catalog of Current and Recent Republican Criminality

Here's a list of current and completed investigations into criminal activity by the GOP over the past four years. And for those that think "they're all corrupt", there are no similar charges or investigations against any Democrat at the national level. Anywhere. Yes Virginia, the GOP is criminal and the Democrats are not. The facts are so startling that it is almost impossible to believe.

"Partisan!" I can hear someone shout. Perhaps, but I'm ok with that when it's true.

* There is a grand jury investigation into the leaking of the name of then-undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame's name to the media by "senior White House officials". John Ashcroft recused himself from the case, and the investigation has so far centered on the Office of the Vice-President.

* Bush's Medicare scam and the circumstances that led the administration to lie to Congress about the cost of that legislation is under investigation by the Health and Human Services Inspector General's office.

* Bribes offered on the House floor to Rep. Nick Smith (R-Mich.) in exchange for his vote on Bush's Medicare plan are under investigation by the House Ethics Committee and the Justice Department.

* Republican staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee are being investigated for stealing thousands of confidential memos from Democratic staffer's computers, a matter that has now been referred to the Justice Department for a criminal probe.

* In 2000, now Attorney General John Ashcroft was found by the Federal Election Commission to have broken campaign finance laws when he accepted $110,000 in what were determined to be illegal contributions.

* An investigation into House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's criminal fundraising schemes in Texas -- which allegedly used corporate funds to help state GOP lawmakers -- is already before a Texas grand jury. DeLay has notified his colleagues that a grand jury indictment is possible, and that he may be forced to step down as Majority Leader.

* Republican Connecticut Gov. John Rowland resigned from office after facing a criminal investigation and an impeachment proceedings after he lied about prominent state contractors and several government aides paying for refurbishments to his lake-front cottage. He was also involved in a failed loan plan involving $220 million in state funds.

* California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was found guilty of violating state campaign finance laws. The state has a $100,000 cap on candidate loans; Schwarzenegger loaned himself over $4 million in the closing days of his campaign.

* Former Rep. Bill Janklow (R-S.D.) was convicted of vehicular manslaughter after running a stop sign and killing a motorcylcist.

* There are several investigations into criminal activities by Halliburton Co., including:

- A Justice Department "inquiry into whether Halliburton Co. was involved in the payment of $180 million in possible kickbacks to obtain contracts to build a natural gas plant in Nigeria during a period in the late 1990's when Vice President Dick Cheney was chairman of the company". (Newsweek, Feb 4 2004)

- An SEC investigation is underway into $180 million worth of bribes paid by Halliburton subisidary Kellogg, Brown, and Root to the government of Nigeria for gas contracts also during a period when Dick Cheney was chairman.

* Also under Cheney's leadership, Halliburton was found by the Treasury Department to have done business with both Iran and Iraq during a period when both nations were under US and (in the case of Iraq) UN sanctions.

* The forged documents that led Bush to inaccurately claim that Iraq had sought to purchase uranium from Niger are under investigation by both a Senate committee and the FBI.

* John Korsmo, Bush's choice to chair the Federal Housing Finance Board, is the target of an ongoing Justice Department criminal probe related to his political fundraising activities and their subsequent cover-up. The scandal cost Korsmo his career; he was forced to resign from his position in March 2004.

* The Texas GOP's decision to seek assistance from the FAA to track down Democratic lawmakers fleeing the state to deny a legislative quorum was the subject of two formal inquiries -- one from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the other from the Department of Homeland Security.

* The General Accounting Office ruled that the White House broke two federal laws when they used $100 million in public funds to pay for the broadcast of "video news releases": fake news pieces which contained false information about the alleged benefits of Bush's Medicare plan.

* The Treasury Department's inspector general's office has launched a "preliminary" investigation into whether officials were misused to calculate data for GOP talking points on John Kerry's tax proposals.

* The Federal Election Commission fined the National Republican Congressional Committee after it determined that the GOP illegally transferred donations to outside independent groups for assistance in the 2000 campaign. The NRCC was fined $280,000.

* There are both Senatorial and military investigations into the torture and murder that occured at Abu Ghraib prison, in military prisons in Afghanistan, and the military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. A legal memorandum drawn up in August of 2002 by White House legal counsel sought to provide a legal basis for the torture, effectively placing the president above the rule of law. More recently, two-star Army General George Fay requested that he be replaced with a more senior officer because he is not high enough in rank to interview everyone necessary (military procedures forbid lower ranking officers from interviewing more senior ones.)


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