Categories
Corruption GOP U.S. Senate

Ted Cruz Caught Using Taxpayer Money To Employ Family Members

Proving that he’s just as corrupt as almost every member of the GOP, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz has been caught employing members of his family with taxpayer money in direct violation of federal law.

According to Business Insider:

“Cruz employed the daughter of his first cousin in his Senate office as a paid press assistant and gave his cousin’s son a coveted Senate internship. Cruz put his cousin on the payroll for his 2016 presidential campaign and later for his Senate campaign, records show.”

Federal law could not be more clear. U.S Code § 3110 states:

“A public official may not appoint, employ,
promote, advance, or advocate for appointment,
employment, promotion, or advancement, in or
to a civilian position in the agency in which he
is serving or over which he exercises jurisdiction
or control any individual who is a relative of the
public official. An individual may not be appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in or
to a civilian position in an agency if such appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement has been advocated by a public official,
serving in or exercising jurisdiction or control
over the agency, who is a relative of the individual.
(c) An individual appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in violation of this section
is not entitled to pay, and money may not be
paid from the Treasury as pay to an individual
so appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced.”

When confronted with the information about his employment of relatives with taxpayer funds, members of his staff resorted to the ad hominem attack line used so often by failed, one-term former President Donald Trump, calling the article “fake news” and refusing further comment.

How do you suppose Cruz and his fellow Republicans in the Senate would act if say the son or daughter of President Joe Biden’s first cousin was suddenly given a plum job in the White House and drew a salary paid for with tax dollars? There’d likely be a hue and cry not heard since the days of the bogus Benghazi hearings, and it’s even safe to suggest that some extremists in the GOP (like Sen. Cruz) would recommend impeachment.

Ted Cruz is a liar, a fraud, and a man who gave aid and comfort to insurrectionists by refusing to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election even though he had no proof of any irregularities in the balloting.

 

Categories
Congress Corruption Crime

Marjorie Taylor Greene Accused Of Violating Federal Corruption Laws

Shortly after she was elected to Congress, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) appeared in an ad for the “Stop Socialism Now PAC” in which she specifically asked for donations.

That ask was in violation of federal corruption laws, according to a report from ProPublica:

“Under federal law, candidates and elected officials cannot ‘solicit, receive, direct, transfer, or spend funds in connection with an election … unless the funds are subject to the limitations, prohibitions, and reporting requirements’ of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.”

Super PACs such as the one Greene appeared in the ad for, are not subject to limitations, but Greene is, and that’s where she could well be in trouble under federal campaign finance laws.

Did Greene break the law?

Paul S. Ryan of Common Cause said the ad Greene starred in is very clearly in violation of the law:

“This communication constitutes an illegal solicitation by a member of Congress of unlimited funds.”

The U.S. Supreme Court agrees with Ryan, and has ruled that there are indeed limitations on candidates soliciting funds outside of the set campaign limits because large contributions lead to corruption and undermine faith in the political process.

Greene appeared in the Super PACs ads at the behest of Rick Shaftan, a political consultant who also made ads for Greene’s 2020 congressional campaign. Shaftan has a history of making racist comments, so it’s no surprise that he and Greene became such fast friends.

Shaftan’s ads were seen as instrumental in helping Green win the GOP nomination in her district, and the TV spots also pandered to right-wing sensibilities. One of them simulated “an explosion at an enormous Confederate monument in Stone Mountain, Georgia, as Greene says, ‘The socialist left won’t stop until America is destroyed.’ In another ad, Greene brandishes an assault rifle and appears to blow up targets labeled ‘gun control’ and ‘socialism.'”

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has received a complaint about Greene’s ad for the Super PAC, but it remains unclear if the often toothless FEC will make a case of the matter.

Whatever happens with the FEC, the ProPublica report is yet more evidence of why Marjorie Taylor Greene needs to be beaten in the 2022 midterm elections.

Categories
Corruption Crime U.S. Senate

FBI Suspects Susan Collins Received Illegal Campaign Contributions From A Defense Contractor: Report

In the 2020 election, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) was considered one of the most vulnerable incumbent Republicans in the U.S. Senate. Many said it to be a miracle that she managed to beat her Democratic opponent, Sara Gideon, by over eight percentage points.

But could Collins have won in part because she took illegal campaign contributions from a major defense contractor that has operations in Maine?

Ken Vogel of the New York Times noted Tuesday on Twitter that he’d run across a search warrant for the phones of two executives of the Martin Defense Group. The FBI, it should be noted, obtained the search warrants back in April:

It remains unclear if either Collins or her campaign knew about the contributions from the two men who work for Martin Defense.

 

Categories
Corruption Crime GOP Justice Department

Here’s How Merrick Garland Is Becoming Every Republican’s Worst Nightmare

Though he’s only been on the job for a few months, Attorney General Merrick Garland has already made it clear that he plans to start dismantling some of the most disgusting tenets of the Trump administration and run the Department of Justice (DOJ) in strict adherence with the U.S. Constitution.

For example, the DOJ announced recently that it would be restoring the use of consent decrees for abuses committed by police departments across the country:

“In easing restrictions placed on the use of consent decrees, the Justice Department is making it easier for its prosecutors to use the tool to force changes at police departments and other government agencies with widespread abuse and misconduct.”

The DOJ under Garland is also going after longtime Trump stooge Roger Stone, who owes nearly $2 million in back taxes to the IRS. Justice filed suit against Stone demanding immediate repayment of the money he and his wife owe the government, which means that Stone can either comply or face imprisonment for failure to comply.

Those two moves alone are antithetical to everything Republicans have been pushing for the past four years with Trump as president: That police can abuse or kill anyone and get away scot-free and that friends of the Donald are immune to facing any consequences for their actions. Under Trump, the GOP ran roughshod over the rights of anyone who wasn’t on their side while coddling those who supported their neo-fascist agenda of hatred, scapegoating, and grift.

What does this tell us about what to expect from Merrick Garland and the DOJ in the months ahead? Well, consider what remains on the agenda:

  • The conclusion of an investigation into the January 6 Capitol insurrection, which could well result in criminal charges being filed against Donald Trump and his son, Don Jr., along with some Congressional Republicans such as Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley.
  • A second look at the Russia investigation and the release of the full, unredacted report from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller
  • Possible criminal charges against the Trump family, the Trump Organization, and others associated with the Trump corporation.
  • Charges being filed against Rudy Giuliani, Steve Bannon, and other close Trump associates who may have served in the administration, i.e. Stephen Miller.
  • Filing suit against states such as Georgia and Texas that have passed new voter suppression legislation.
  • A return to the rule of law without interference from the White House and in accord with the way things are supposed to be done.

Attention, Republicans: The days of lawlessness that existed for you under Trump are over with. Merrick Garland is going to flush some of you right down the crapper.

 

Categories
Corruption Justice Department U.S. Senate

Is Merrick Garland’s DOJ About To Investigate Mitch McConnell And His Wife For Corruption?

We recently learned that the Inspector General for the Department of Transportation recommended that the Department of Justice investigate the then-Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao, for using her office to personally enrich herself and her family.

According to the New York Times:

“In a report made public on Wednesday, the inspector general said the Justice Department’s criminal and public integrity divisions both declined to take up the matter in the closing weeks of the Trump administration, even after the inspector general found repeated examples of Ms. Chao using her staff and her office to help benefit her family and their business operations and revealed that staff members at the agency had raised ethics concerns.

“’A formal investigation into potential misuses of position was warranted,’ Mitch Behm, the department’s deputy inspector general, said on Tuesday in a letter to House lawmakers, accompanying a 44-page report detailing the investigation and the findings of wrongdoing.”

Not surprisingly, the Trump DOJ refused to open a criminal investigation of Chao, who just so happens to be married to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who may have also enriched himself as a result of his wife’s actions.

However, there’s about to be a new, ethical AG leading the Justice Department: Merrick Garland, who is expected to be confirmed by the Senate within the next few days. Will Garland’s DOJ take a closer look at Chao and McConnell?

Keep in mind that McConnell refused to even hold confirmation hearings for Garland when he was nominated to serve on the Supreme Court by Barack Obama. Might that still be sticking in the craw of the new attorney general?

More importantly, however, is a much more fundamental issue: Should public officials be subject to the same laws and rules as the rest of us? If not, then there’s clearly two tiers of justice: One for the connected and one for everyone else.

Merrick Garland needs to take a hard look at the Chao file and make his own determination. And if the evidence suggests filing charges against the former head of the Department of Transportation and her husband, then they should be held accountable.