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View Diary: 5 Members Of Congress In Bribery Probe. Katherine Harris, Karma (152 comments)

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  •  This is about Bush-era intelligence crimes (13+ / 0-)

    That passage in the investigative report references the intel falsification/domestic spying ring that involved MZM and a number of prominent GOP figures, including Congressmen, lobbyists, and White House officials.

    The case was put on hold, but there has already been  a major housecleaning that followed the CIA and FBI investigations of the intelligence falsification that justified the Iraq invasion. MZM and other defense contractors cooked up phony Iraq WMD intel, and were involved in domestic spying.  To top it off, they also funneled kickback money to GOP figures. Abramoff was tied into this, as well. See,

       Results 1 - 10 of about 644 for Abramoff GOP One-Stop Shop for Domestic Spying. (0.37 seconds)
       Search Results

       Scoop: The FBI Busts Goss, Wilkes & GOP Spy Industry
       MZM: Private One-Stop Shop for Domestic Dirty-Tricks. Originally published on Daily Kos. .... Abramoff’s NSA and Domestic Spying Scandal ... - 73k - Cached - Similar pages -
       Is it possible that the GOP or Bush Administration is hiring ...
       Abramoff’s NSA and Domestic Spying Scandal by leveymg .... MZM: Private One-Stop Shop for Domestic Dirty-Tricks by leveymg ... - 96k - Cached - Similar pages -

    Also, here’s what Josh had to say a while back about Harris’ tie-in with Wade, Wilkes and Cunningham:

    thehill/ export/ TheHill/ ...all/ 030906...

       The little lie that may sink Katherine Harris

       Josh Marshall
       March 9, 2006

       Is karma catching up with Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.)?

       All you need to do is read the home-state headlines to know that Harris for Senate is in serious trouble.

       "If you heard a big implosion during the weekend, it may have been the sound of Katherine Harris’ campaign," writes Scott Maxwell in the Orlando Sentinel.

       Scripps Howard’s Amie Parnes puts it more prosaically: "Katherine Harris has seen better days."

       As regular readers of this column know, for going on a year now, I’ve been closely following the saga of now-imprisoned Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.) and the band of merry crooks he’s now leading to the slammer. But I have to say that Rep. Harris was pretty far down the list of politicians I expected would have their careers ended over the Duke-Wade-Wilkes bribery scandal. There are probably half a dozen members of Congress with closer ties to the crooks in question — Reps. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Tom DeLay (R-Texas), Virgil Goode (R-Va.), John Doolittle (R-Calif.), Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) and a few others.

       But if you watch the newspapers down in Florida this week, it really does look as if Harris might be the first after Duke to be brought down — not legally perhaps, but at least politically. The most recent sign was Dick Cheney’s much-noticed failure to mention Harris’s name when publicly hoping to swear in a new Republican senator from Florida next year.

       And it all comes down to a simple fact: Harris may not have done anything all that bad in the Duke-Wade-Wilkes scandal, but she appears to be the first pol caught in a fairly open-and-shut lie.

       Just to refresh everyone’s memories, Harris’s ties to Mitch Wade were comparatively mundane. In addition to giving all those bribes to Duke Cunningham, Wade had conspicuous ties to two other members of the House —Goode (R-Va.) and Harris. In both cases, in addition to giving money himself, Wade illegally compelled employees of his company, MZM Inc., to contribute money in return for help setting up MZM plants in their districts. (The totals were $90,000 for Goode and $42,000 for Harris. According to Wade’s plea agreement filed last year, neither Goode nor Harris knew the contributions were illegal.)

       Goode helped Wade set up the Foreign Supplier Assessment Center plant Martinsville, Va.

       Wade wanted to set up the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service Project in Harris’s district. But according to the plea agreement, she missed the deadline for the earmark. So nothing ever came of it.

       In both cases, Wade wanted help setting up facilities in the politicians’ own districts, so both can make the case that this was all in the course of constituent service, helping bring jobs to their districts.

       That’s what Goode’s arguing, and he’s been fairly clear from the get-go that he was trying to get the facility located in his district. (Goode released a statement over the weekend saying he hasn’t been contacted by federal investigators, hasn’t hired a lawyer and doesn’t think he needs one.)

       From the start, though, Harris took, well ... a slightly different approach.

       There was no denying that MZM’s PAC gave $10,000 and its employees gave $32,000 to Harris’s campaign.

       OK, actually it was a little worse than that. Of that money from Wade’s employees, $28,000 came in 14 checks for $2,000 each on the same day. Two more came a week later. So Harris’s claims that these were just folks from around the country who supported her positions always rang a tad hollow. But I digress.

       Point being, the story about the money has been out there for a long time. The question was, what did Harris know about it? Did she know what Wade wanted in return for the money?

       Here’s where Harris got tripped up and made the mistake which may now bring her career to an end. Harris insisted she hadn’t a clue why Wade’s company and employees gave all that money to her. Yes, she had some vague sense he was interested in opening a plant in the district, but she didn’t know anything more than that.

       But, as Sarasota Herald-Tribune columnist Tom Lyons put last week, Harris "lied."

       Not only did she know what Wade wanted but, according to details revealed in Wade’s plea agreement, she and Wade chatted about it during a snazzy dinner at Citronelle in Georgetown.

       Over fancy eats, Wade talked to Harris about holding a fundraiser for her campaign. And more to the point, he told Harris he wanted her help getting funding for something he planned to call the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service Project. The price tag was supposed to be $10 million.

       Harris was happy to comply. And Wade’s office followed up with a proposal that it submitted to her office.

       As it happened, Harris apparently missed the deadline and nothing ever came of it. But the lie is what has Harris in trouble in Florida and her Senate campaign on life support.

       True, the fact that this single fib would have generated such a feeding frenzy and prompted Harris to cancel a series of campaign appearances was probably a sign of her campaign’s pre-existing weaknesses and the lack of love for her in GOP circles. But if you’re wondering about the collateral damage from the Cunningham case, look no further than the Harris campaign. And don’t be surprised if the story gets worse for her in the coming days.

    On top of that, there's CIA Hookergate and the Palfrey death, the surface of which has barely been scratched.

    There's a lot more to come, once the Justice Department's hands are untied.

    - Mark

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