Monday, March 13, 2006

Is there something you're not telling us John Sweeney?

Talking Points Memo reports that according to today's Roll Call (subscription only) the United States Department of Justice began investigating Rep. John Sweeney's financial disclosures last summer. Sweeney was named along with several other congressmen and their staff as being of interest to the DOJ. Many of the names are associated with the Jack Abramoff bribery and corruption scandal that is currently taking down many congressmen, their staffs, and various lobbyists and firms. It is unclear whether the investigation into Sweeney was related to the Abramoff scandal or some other investigation.

Is there something you aren't telling us John?

According to Roll Call:
The Justice Department pulled the personal financial records of at least nine Members of Congress and at least seven former staffers last summer and fall, many of whom have been identified publicly as having links to ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

In a stretch running from June to October, a pair of aides at Justice examined the financial disclosure forms of Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), Reps. Tom DeLay (R-Texas), John Doolittle (R-Calif.) and Bob Ney (R-Ohio), as well as ex-staffers for three of those lawmakers, according to House and Senate records.

These names are not unexpected as it is widely known that these four men are unlikely to return to Congress due to their unethical and apparently illegal actions.

Roll Call says further:
While Justice officials declined to comment, many of the financial searches appear to be connected to the continuing two-year probe of Abramoff’s dealings on Capitol Hill and with the Bush administration. In addition, the agency looked over the financial records of several lawmakers who have had no public connection to the investigation: Reps. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and John Sweeney (R-N.Y.), as well as Del. Eni Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa).

Aides to most of those lawmakers denied their bosses had any connection to the Abramoff probe, suggesting Justice must have been pulling their records for some other, unrelated reasons.

Skiing with lobbyists John? Not too bright but not necessarily illegal all by itself. Is there more to the story John? Why is the DOJ interested in your financial records? Is there more to the story then the massive campaign contributions you receive from corporate PAC's and their lobbyists? Is there "other money" involved too?

Full disclosure is the way to go John. It's good for the soul, the moral and ethical thing to do.

We already know you have received funds from several lobbyists at "the firm Alexander Strategy Group, which was run by DeLay’s former chief of staff, Ed Buckham, a close ally of Abramoff’s," as well as from Ed Buckham himself.

Hmmm... interestingly enough that was during the time frame that the DOJ was doing it's investigation too. Hmmmmm.

Up until now there was no evidence or indications that you were implicated in any of the many on-going Republicans scandals on the Hill (Abramoff, DeLay, Cunningham, Doolittle, Ney, Burns, Libby, Rove, Harris, Pombo, take your pick) but the Department of Justice is obviously interested in something. You gotta wonder now.

Say it ain't so John. Say it ain't so.

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