Sunday, February 26, 2017


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Judicial Watch announced that a federal court judge ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to produce this week any “preservation requests” for emails sent to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Chief of Staff Christian Marrone, and General Counsel Stevan Bunnell. The order from U.S District Court Judge Randolph Moss came in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking agency records in the personal email accounts used by the four top Homeland Security officials (Judicial Watch v U.S. Department of Homeland Security (No. 1:16-cv-00967)).   The court order, issued last week after a hearing, requires DHS to comply by January 12 (Thursday).

At last week’s January 5 hearing, Obama Justice Department lawyers confirmed that nothing had been done to retrieve government records from Jeh Johnson or the other officials’ accounts.  According to the hearing transcript:

THE COURT: But you say to me there’s no reason to doubt that the agency will pursue the records and that they’ll be returned, but it’s been six months. Is there any evidence that anything has been done to retrieve those documents or records?

[Justice Department Lawyer Bailey] HEAPS: I think that the six months though, your Honor, refers to the time in a FOIA request which is independent of any obligations under the Federal Records Act. And I don’t think we would be in this position with respect to the FOIA case had a valid request been filed or submitted.

THE COURT: But put that aside for a second. I mean, the government has been on notice at least since May though that there’s reason to believe that there are e-mails that are residing on individuals’ private servers that are government records, right?

HEAPS: Your Honor, the first thing I would point out — and I think it’s important because we’re going back and forth between FOIA and the Federal Records Act, is we don’t have reason to believe — or let me be clear, we don’t know that there are federal records that are in the personal e-mail accounts.

THE COURT: So has anyone checked to see if there are? Has anyone asked a question, anything to try and figure that out?

HEAPS: I can’t represent one way or the other to that, your Honor.

Judge Moss’s order, issued shortly after the hearing, reads in part:

On or before 1/12/2017, the Government is to produce, under seal, for in-camera submission, the preservation requests that it sent to all four of the individuals; The Government is also to file a notice on the public record, on or before 1/12/2017, regarding the in-camera filing, and to indicate the individuals intentions with respect to abiding by the preservation requests.

The January 5 hearing came in response to a Motion for Preservation Order filed by Judicial Watch . In that filing Judicial Watch asked the court to issue a “preservation order” for the emails of Johnson, Mayorkas and Bunnell because their departure from government service is anticipated upon the installation of the new administration and Homeland Security will no longer have any control over these individuals:

The records at issue are in the physical possession of three current agency officials and one former agency official. With the upcoming change in administrations on January 20, 2017, it is likely that the three officials currently in office (Secretary Jeh Johnson, Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and General Counsel Stevan Bunnell) will leave government service.

Counsel for DHS has informed [Judicial Watch’s] counsel that DHS has “asked” these officials to preserve the agency records in their possession. DHS’ counsel declined to provide any evidence supporting this assertion. Because [Judicial Watch] does not know specifically what DHS asked its employees to do and what, if any, other steps DHS has taken to ensure preservation, Plaintiff is concerned DHS’s mere requests to its employees are insufficient. This will be particularly concerning once the officials possessing the emails leave government employment, as the agency will have no control over the actions of these officials.


A court order requiring preservation of these emails is particularly necessary now as DHS has suggested that these officials may have been acting without authorization by sending emails from these accounts…. As such, there is no assurance that these officials will abide by a “request” by the agency to preserve these emails, particularly after their employment ends.

An order requiring DHS to take steps to preserve the agency records at issue is consistent with an agency’s recordkeeping responsibilities to retain and manage government records subject to the Federal Records Act….If the agency officials are permitted to leave their employment while retaining agency records in their personal email accounts, it risks creating a situation comparable to that of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In that instance, it is undisputed that only a portion of Secretary Clinton’s emails eventually were returned to the agency.

[Judicial Watch] respectfully requests expedited consideration of this motion in light of the likely imminent departure from government service of the three agency officials possessing agency records in their personal email accounts.

“The Obama gang is creating another email scandal with Jeh Johnson and the Department of Homeland Security,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “We know there are likely government records on Jeh Johnson’s and other top DHS officials’ personal email accounts. That the Obama administration hasn’t lifted a finger to retrieve these public records is criminal.”

In June, Judicial Watch in a related case obtained 693 pages of Homeland Security records revealing that Secretary Jeh Johnson and 28 other agency officials used government computers to access personal web-based email accounts despite an agency-wide ban due to heightened security concerns.  The documents also reveal that Homeland Security officials misled Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) when Perry specifically asked whether personal accounts were being used for official government business.

The waivers were granted to Johnson and other senior staffers after Homeland Security’s Sensitive Systems Policy Directive 4300A was promulgated on April 30, 2014.   The Directive was issued after hackers breached the Office of Personnel Management computer system.  Directive 4300A states, “The use of Internet Webmail (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL) or other personal email accounts is not authorized over DHS furnished equipment or network connections.”

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james o'keefe

No organization has done more to expose political corruption than James O’Keefe and his team at Project Veritas Action.

Some detractors say that O’Keefe is a felon and misleads the public, but the truth is quite the opposite.

James O’Keefe is not a felon and he informs the public of statements made by public officials in private. Project Veritas Action and O’Keefe don’t just tell us the truth, they show us, and that is what makes them so effective.

Over the past four years, Project Veritas has taken down some big names in American politics by exposing their corruption with undercover videos. This is a list of the most powerful people exposed by James O’Keefe and Project Veritas Action.


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Years before Pennsylvania’s first Democrat and first female Attorney General got convicted of crimes, Judicial Watch helped expose the corrupt way in which she ran her public office. The state’s disgraced top prosecutor, Kathleen Kane, was hauled away from a courtroom in handcuffs this week after getting sentenced to 10 to 23 month in jail. In August, a jury found Kane guilty perjury and obstruction for illegally disclosing details from a grand jury investigation to retaliate against a political rival then lying about it under oath.

Philadelphia’s largest newspaper described Kane’s sentencing this week as “capping a spectacular downfall for a woman once seen as one of the state’s fastest-rising stars.” Kane’s first year in office was marked by political and public relations successes, the paper states, but it went downhill from there.

After “her star began to dim in 2014, she leaked confidential grand jury material to a newspaper in a bid to embarrass a political enemy, then lied about her actions under oath,” the story says. At this week’s five-hour sentencing hearing in Montgomery County the judge blasted Kane and rejected calls for leniency. The former prosecutor used and exploited her position to battle perceived enemies instead of focusing on the business of fighting crime, the judge, Wendy Demchick-Alley, said during the hearing.

The leak stems from a feud that Kane had with a former prosecutor in her office named Frank Fina, who Kane accused of planting a damaging media story. Before Kane got elected the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office ran a years-long, undercover sting operation that busted leading state Democrats embroiled in a bribery scheme. At the time the Attorney General was Republican Tom Corbett.

When Kane took office in 2013, she shut the operation down. Before Kane ended the investigation, sources familiar with the inquiry said, prosecutors amassed 400 hours of audio and videotape that documented at least four city Democrats taking payments in cash or money orders, and in one case, a $2,000 Tiffany bracelet.

Back In 2014 Judicial Watch testified before a Pennsylvania House State Government Committee investigating Kane for refusing to uphold Commonwealth laws that she didn’t agree with. Judicial Watch Attorney Michael Bekesha explained to the panel that Kane had consistently failed to honor her sworn oath to uphold the state’s constitution by, among other things, refusing to defend the state’s marriage laws and failing to prosecute elected officials for accepting cash and other gifts in exchange for political favors. Bekesha also pointed out to the committee that the State Ethics Commission concluded that the promotion of Kane’s sister to Chief Deputy Attorney General in the child predator section created a perception that the promotion was not free from Kane’s influence. “Attorney General Kane is lawless,” Bekesha testified, adding that just the appearance of impropriety or misbehavior damages the office.

Kane has close ties to the Clintons and she worked on Hillary’s 2008 failed presidential campaign. In 2012 Bill Clinton endorsed Kane for Attorney General over former Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Murphy. At the time the former president said “Kathleen is a great Democrat who understands that an Attorney General’s job is to stand up for consumers and people,” according to a press release dug up by a news outlet this week. After winning the election and making history as the first woman and first Democrat to hold the office, Kane was considered a rising star in the Democratic Party. Some believed she had a bright future in the U.S. Senate. Instead, the disgraced Attorney General is going to jail and her license to practice law has been suspended.

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wells fargo

Wells Fargo is going to pay $124 million to the person who directed a group that created over two million fake accounts in customer’s name.

Carrie Tolstedt was put in charge of a new Well’s Fargo goal to get account holders to open multiple accounts. Her division performed very well.

So well, she was rewarded handsomely, for her efforts. She was paid around $9 million for her fantastic job. Her division grew by leaps and bounds and she made out like a bandit.

How did she do it? She cheated.

Under her supervision, many employees were creating fake accounts for current customers and even forging their signatures.

The new accounts would charge bogus fees to the account holder and making more money for Wells Fargo.

In all, over two million accounts were falsified, and the incredible growth in her division was fraudulent.

What is Wells Fargo going to do with Tolstedt?

When the 56-year-old Tolstedt retires at the end of the year, she will be paid $124 million for the phenomenal work she did at the bank.

There doesn’t look there will be any repercussions for Tolstedt or any of the employees that engaged in forging documents and creating false accounts. Wells Fargo was fined but that is it.

Anthony Try, a former Wells Fargo employee explained what the workers were doing.

“There would be days where we would open five checking accounts for friends and family just to go home early.”

It seems like the culture at Wells Fargo is corrupt. The unrealistic sales goals came from the top, and the employees did what they had to do to reach the goal.

Everyone had their hand in this mess and the bank and the employees should be held accountable.

As of right now, it doesn’t look like anything will happen to Wells Fargo, Tolstedt or any employee.

Apparently it is ok for the banks to sign your name to open an account for you, but try cashing a false check and see what happens.

This is just another example of the Wall Street corruption that has gone unchecked for too many years.

Will you start or continue banking with Wells Fargo? Let us know in the comments below.

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Hillary’s “untrustworthy” number has shot through the roof the past few months, but this takes it to a whole new level.

Former president Bill Clinton runs the Clinton Foundation and through his work, he has managed to raise hundreds of millions of dollars while the actual charities and grants only receive about 15%.

The foundation is under fire because we have learned of the unique access that foundation donors had to Hillary when she was at the State Department.

Some of the largest foreign donors to the Clinton Foundation have been able to receive favorable agreements between them and the U.S. government.

It is no surprise that Hillary doesn’t want this information exposed, mainly because it points to major conflicts of interest if Hillary was to win.

Hillary says it isn’t a problem when she spoke on ABC News.

“I don’t think there are conflicts of interest. I know that that’s what has been alleged and never proven. But nevertheless, I take it seriously.”

During an interview with Tim Kaine and Hillary, the Democratic candidate said this about the Clinton Foundation.

“I’m very proud of the work that the Clinton Foundation has done. It’s a world-renowned charity because of the work that my husband started and many, many people helped him with. … He started this great work. He has made it his life’s work, after the presidency. And he has said, if I am so fortunate enough to be elected, he will not be involved. And I think that is appropriate.”

The biggest question is why would he have to step down at all if there were not conflicts? We know the answer though.

There were conflicts when she was at Secretary of State and those conflicts and the Clinton corruption would only be magnified if she won the top office in America.

Do you think Bill should step down from the foundation if Hillary becomes president? Let us know in the comments below.

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Indicted Democrat

Politicians have a well-earned reputation for being sleazy, but a corrupt Florida congresswoman is in a class of her own for suggesting that federal agents could have prevented the Orlando terrorist attack if they weren’t preoccupied investigating her. Last week the veteran lawmaker, Democrat Corrine Brown, and her chief of staff were slapped with a 24-count federal indictment for using a phony education charity as a “personal slush fund.” The disgraced legislator, who is black, also played the race card by comparing her indictment to the recent fatal police shootings of two black men that have ignited nationwide civil unrest.

First elected to Congress in 1992, Brown represents Florida’s fifth district which spans from Jacksonville to Orlando. The 69-year-old lawmaker and her trusted assistant, Elias Simmons, used a fake charity that was supposed to give scholarships to poor, minority students to get hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, according to the feds. Brown used her position as a congresswoman to solicit charitable donations from corporate entities that she “knew by virtue of her position in the U.S. House of Representatives,” according to federal authorities. The money was used to pay for lavish receptions, luxury boxes for a Beyonce concert and a professional football game, repairs to Brown’s car and several vacations. More than $735,000 of the charitable contributions went to pay a close family member for a job in Brown’s office that involved no work, the indictment states.

After getting slammed with charges of mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, obstruction and filing of false tax returns in Jacksonville, the disgraced congresswoman went on a tirade outside the federal courthouse that she proclaimed was built “without minority participation” as if that was relevant to her case. “I represent Orlando,” Brown said. “These are the same agents that was not able to do a thorough investigation of the agent and we ended up with 50 people dead and over 58 people injured,” she said referring to the massacre carried out by terrorist Omar Mateen in an Orlando nightclub. “Same district! Same Justice Department! Same agents!” Brown also said the prosecution is racially motivated and wrote this on her blog: “I’m not the first black elected official to be persecuted and, sad to say, I won’t be the last.”

A political columnist for the Orlando Sentinel countered Brown’s claim that she’s a victim of racism by pointing this out in a piece published this week: “The Justice Department — which happens to be run by a black attorney general who answers to a black president — targets shady politicians, not black ones.” The column also reveals that “Brown is notorious for getting fat wads of campaign cash from the industries she helps regulate.” For instance, Brown sits on the House Transportation Committee and transportation industries—railroads, trucking companies and transportation unions—account for three of her top four industry donors. Let’s not forget that back in 1998 the House Ethics Committee investigated Brown involving several issues, including a $10,000 check she got from a Baptist official in legal trouble and a pricey car her daughter got from one of the congresswoman’s millionaire Florida pals embroiled in a bribery scandal.

Another interesting tidbit is that the president of Brown’s phony nonprofit, Carla Wiley, pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy to commit wire fraud surrounding the scam. As part of the plea she agreed to cooperate with investigators, so Brown is probably in a boatload of trouble. Under the deal Wiley admitted to conspiring with an unnamed public official—referred to as “Person A”—who used an “official position to solicit contributions to One Door for Education and to induce individuals and corporate entities to make donations to One Door for Education based on false and fraudulent representations that the funds would be used for charitable purposes.” Instead, federal investigators revealed at the time that the money went toward personal gain for the co-conspirators.

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$125 billion dollars.

That’s how much money the General Accounting Offices (GAO) says federal agencies wasted, lost to fraud or spent on duplicative programs despite hundreds of all but ignored GAO recommendations to address these issues over the last five years according to a report published in The Washington Times.

440 GAO recommendations were made involving 180 service areas where federal agencies could cut back on overlapping and duplicative spending programs but only 29 percent of these recommendations were implemented according to the report.

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a private watchdog group, said the GAO survey strengthens their argument that incidences of government waste and abuse are rampant and that taxpayers are footing the bill. ATR tax policy director Ryan Ellis said:

“According to GAO, the federal government made about $125 billion in improper payments in 2014 alone. Solving that would give you enough money to kill the death tax, repeal the federal gas tax and airline ticket tax, end all federal excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco and remove all federal taxes on phone and Internet bills…”

“After that, there would still be enough money left over to give everyone in America a tax cut of $60 just for having a pulse.”

For ignoring these recommendations, federal bureaucrats earned The Washington Times Golden Hammer Award, “a weekly distinction given by The Washington Times highlighting examples of wasteful federal spending.”

Leslie Paige, vice president for policy and communications at the nonpartisan Citizens Against Government Waste said:

“The report just emphasizes for the umpteenth time that wasteful spending is marbled throughout the bureaucracy, and there are hundreds of millions in savings there for the taking, if only Congress would exercise its constitutional mandate to exercise oversight and then act to winnow out the programmatic underbrush and force overdue management changes…”

GAO investigators warned that unless the government takes firm action to end waste fraud and abuse, the government will be forced to cut back through blunt instruments like sequestration to cope with the financial toll. The GAO report highlighted instances where federal agencies with similar or identical programs overlapped in funding.

“For example, (the GAO) reported in 2013 that a total of 31 federal departments and agencies invested billions of dollars to collect, maintain and use geospatial information — information linked to specific geographic locations that support many government functions, such as maintaining roads and responding to natural disasters…”

The GAO report targeted the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for mismanaging programs most responsible for wasteful spending.

“For the first time in recent years, the government-wide improper payment estimate increased in fiscal year 2014, primarily due to significant increases in the improper (IRS) payment estimates for Medicare, Medicaid, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)”.

“These programs combined account for over 76 percent of the government-wide estimate. We have made numerous recommendations that if effectively implemented, could help improve program management, reduce improper payments in these programs, and achieve cost savings.”

The Washington Times could not reach HHS for comment. The IRS blamed budget cuts and manpower shortages to explain away the improper payments cited in the report.

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A release of documents resulting from a Freedom of Information Act request filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by the Washington Free Beacon reveals that former IRS official Lois Lerner received $129,300 in retention bonuses between 2010 and 2013.

This covers the period during which Lerner, a long-term Democrat party activist, ran the tax-exempt division of the IRS and stands accused by members of Congress of using her discretionary power to scuttle applications filed by Tea Party groups for Not-for-Profit status leading up to the 2012 elections.

Lerner’s alleged actions act hobbled the ability of Tea Party and other groups opposed to the Obama Administration to organize effectively and receive tax-deductible contributions from the public – speed bumps that effectively kept these groups from impacting the re-election of President Barack Obama from winning a second term.

Over a three-year period, Lerner received a 25 percent “retention bonus” to stay with the IRS averaging $43,000 a year in addition to her regular salary of $177,000 and a pension pegged at $102,600 annually or $3.6 million over her life expectancy reports CNS News. According to CJ Ciaramella writing for the Beacon:

“Former acting IRS commissioner Steven T. Miller recommended Lerner for a $42,000 retention bonus in December 2009, when she first became eligible for retirement.”

“Ms. Lerner is eligible for retirement and as an attorney with extensive experience would likely command a much greater pay and benefits if she left the Service,” Miller wrote. “Without a retention incentive she will leave the Service.”

Miller said that there was no senior official ready to take over the position if Lerner left, and that “her unique blend of specialized technical expertise, broad organizational knowledge, and leadership skills cannot be matched.”

Ciaramella also writes, “Joseph Grant, the deputy commissioner of the tax-exempt division, approved the bonus. The second-level review of Lerner’s retention bonus was approved by Miller himself.” In 2011 and 2012, Lerner’s retention bonuses were $43,050 and $44,250 respectively.

The Lerner IRS scandal broke on May 10, 2013 when Lerner revealed in response to a planted question during a speech at the American Bar Association that the IRS had singled out groups applying for tax-exempt status that had “tea party” or “patriot” in their names according to Ciaramella. Quoting Ciaramella:

“The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration released a report on May 14, 2013, finding that the IRS “used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention.””

Miller resigned on May 15, 2013. A day later, Grant announced his retirement, effective June 3, 2013.

Readers will recall that Lois Lerner was summoned before Congress to testify under oath about her actions regarding applications filed by Tea Party groups, the numerous lengthy questionnaires they were asked to provide and processing delays that continued past Election Day in 2012.

Lerner opened her testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee with a statement that she had done nothing wrong and broke no law before invoking her Fifth Amendment right not to testify because her testimony might incriminate her before the law. The Fifth Amendment reads in part:

“No person”…“shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

House committee member Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) – a six-year federal prosecutor prior to his election to Congress – said that Lerner had waved her Fifth Amendment rights by giving an opening statement declaring her innocence without cross-examination.

Lerner retired in September 2013 to ensure that she receives a full federal pension even if a court finds her guilty of any crimes she may have committed during her tenure at the IRS.

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President Barack Obama announced his plan today to designate nearly all of Alaska’s 19.6-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as permanent untouchable wilderness lands.

That means there will be no oil drilling, timber harvests, fracking operations, mining, road building, development or any other human activity that would damage the area’s otherwise natural and pristine appearance.

In a statement issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior announced the release of its Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the refuge. Quoting the statement:

“The release of the CCP and the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the refuge, which recommends additional protections”. . .”President Obama announced he will make an official recommendation to Congress to designate core areas of the refuge – including its Coastal Plain – as wilderness, the highest level of protection available to public lands.”

In a piece by Ron Arnold writing for The Daily Signal, “Alaska’s U.S. senators, Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and at-large Rep. Don Young, all Republicans, vowed at a press conference to fight Obama’s offshore decision…”.

Rep. Young is quoted as saying, “It’s becoming undeniably clear that this administration does not view Alaska as a sovereign state, but rather an eco-theme park for the most extreme environmentalist allies of the president and his party.”

Most disturbing is the role that Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin may have played in the decision.

Former Heritage Foundation investigative reporter Lachlan Markay now a staff writer with The Washington Free Beacon reported that:

“Russian money for anti-oil and gas campaigns had been laundered through a Bermuda investment house, bank, and shell corporation and the California-based Sea Change Foundation.

“The Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Food and Water Watch, the League of Conservation Voters and the Center for American Progress were among the recipients of Sea Change’s $100 million in grants in 2010 and 2011. . .”

More evidence.

In July 2014, the U.S Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee issued a report called The Chain of Environmental Command – an in-depth environmental collusion report detailing how a “Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA”

The report revealed that three Russian energy investment firms funded a company called Wakefield Quinn, a Bermuda law firm that laundered the funds through a front corporation called Klein, Ltd. Klein in turn passed it on to Sea Change, which distributed the funds to anti-oil-and-gas green groups based in the U.S.

Now that President Obama has walled off the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil and gas exploration at the behest of environmental groups that make their budgets with Russian money, Putin is asserting vast claims to oil and gas reserves for Russia in the Arctic.

That’s an astonishing return on the investment that Russia has made in eco-organizations that may not have America’s best interests at heart – something that might change when President Obama leaves office in 2017.

Until then, when the cats away, the Russian bear will play.

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Sheldon Silver

In a development that some believe may be a little housekeeping before President Barack Obama leaves office is the arrest of New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on charges that he traded influence for millions in kickbacks and bribes over the past 10 years.

Mr. Silver, a Democrat who represents the Lower East Side of Manhattan area of the Empire State has served as speaker for more than 20 years. During that time, he has used is his power to intimidate colleagues, reward allies and allegedly enrich himself in the process.

The charges arise from what prosecutors say was a series of schemes to collect bribes and kickbacks from a prominent cancer doctor and a personal injury law firm in exchange for research grants, official state recognition and referrals – an amount of money that the charging documents say exceeded $6 million during the life of the schemes.

Prosecutors allege that Silver used his position to direct state research grants to a prominent oncologist who referred asbestos related cancer patients to a law firm where Silver said he worked that paid him for the referrals even though he provided no legal services to the firm.

Another charge involved helping real estate developers win tax breaks.

Mr. Silver, 70, turned himself in to federal authorities at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) last Thursday in Lower Manhattan. Preet Bharara, United States attorney for the Southern District of New York brought the charges.

Mr. Bharara said Mr. Silver made “a nice profit on being a public official” adding “politicians are supposed to be on the people’s payroll, not on secret retainer to wealthy special interests they do favors for.”

Prior to the federal investigation but after evidence surfaced that Silver was involved in illegal activity, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a fellow Democrat and political ally, created a special anti-corruption group known as the Moreland Commission to root out corruption in state government.

This past March, Gov. Cuomo abruptly shut down the commission after it had issued subpoenas in an investigation into the outside income earned by lawmakers including Silver that Silver sought to challenge in court.

It was apparent to many observers that Cuomo saw where the investigation was going and pulled the plug before evidence could be presented against Silver or depositions taken under oath.

The plot thickens.

Back in 2008, when the Senator’s Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were locked in a no holds barred battle to win the Democratic Party presidential nomination, Speaker Silver – already the most powerful Democratic establishment politician in the state – through his weight behind Clinton. Silver’s action allowed Clinton’s candidacy to remain viable in the weeks leading up to the 2008 Democratic Convention in Denver, Colorado.

So when Gov. Cuomo ended the political corruption investigation just as investigators were closing in on Silver, Obama’s Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder was passed the baton in the investigation.

Some believe this is payback for Silver’s early support for Clinton during the 2008 nomination fight – and investigation and prosecution launched while there is still time to sink Silver while President Obama remains in office.

The New York State Assembly canceled its session last Thursday so Democratic leaders could plan their course of action in the wake of the indictment.

Silver’s lawyers, Joel Cohen and Steven Molo, said in a statement: “We’re disappointed that the prosecutors have chosen to proceed with these meritless criminal charges. That said, Mr. Silver looks forward to responding to them — in court — and ultimately his full exoneration.”

In a statement, Richard Frankel, the F.B.I. special agent in charge, said:

“Those who make the laws don’t have the right to break the laws.” …“As alleged, Silver took advantage of the political pulpit to benefit from unlawful profits.” … “When all was said and done, he amassed nearly $4 million in illegitimate proceeds and arranged for approximately $500,000 in state funds to be used for projects that benefited his personal plans.”

The charging document accuses Mr. Silver of “using the power and influence of his official position to obtain for himself millions of dollars of bribes and kickbacks masked as legitimate income.”

Quoting a story by William K. Rashbaum, Thomas Kaplan and Marc Santora in last Thursday’s issue of The New York Times, Silver is “charged with honest services mail and wire fraud, conspiracy to commit honest services mail fraud, extortion “under the color of law” — using his official position to commit extortion — and extortion conspiracy.”

The authorities seized approximately $3.8 million of Mr. Silver’s money on Thursday morning adding credence to the old adage – what goes around, comes around.


John McCain

In the recent weeks, Republican Senator John McCain has taken such a stance against Donald Trump that it begs the question, is McCain a...