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  • Roll Call reports that the Justice Department subpoenaed the e-mails of Rep. [sw: William Jefferson] (D-La.) in the ongoing bribery investigation. Jefferson will have the chance to challenge the release of certain e-mails under the Speech and Debate Clause. The congressman could "be allowed to review them and decide whether he wants to try to assert his privilege under the Speech or Debate Clause and withhold them from the federal prosecutors. Jefferson would then have to file a legal motion in federal court in Alexandria outlining the reasons for why they should not be turned over to federal investigators."
  • The manager of MZM, Inc., Richard A. Berglund, was accused of violating FEC rules by illegally donating money to Rep. [sw: Virgil Goode] (R-Va.). MZM, Inc. was one of the chief defense contractors charged with bribing Rep. [sw: Duke Cunningham] and the owner, Mitchell Wade, has since pled guilty to the charges. In this case Berglund stands accused of ""aiding and abetting" a scheme by MZM's owner to donate the funds in the name of others."
  • The money paid to Julie Doolittle, the wife of Rep. [sw: John Doolittle] (R-Calif.), by Jack Abramoff to do fundraising for a charity event is receiving new scrutiny after the Senate Indian Affairs Committee report detailed the dates that she received the payments. Julie Doolittle "received the lion’s share of her monthly retainer fees long after a canceled charity event, which had been the principal reason cited for her $5,000-a-month retainer deal with the admitted felon’s ex-lobbying firm". Julie Doolittle received just $27,000 around the time of the charity event, but later received a seemingly unconnected $40,000 from Abramoff "three weeks after Rep. Doolittle, an avowed anti-gambling Mormon, wrote a letter of support for a tribal client of Abramoff’s seeking to reopen its casino."

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  • Will Bunch reports in the Philadelphia Daily News, “A faith-based Philadelphia group at the center of a flap over whether tax-exempt religious groups are aiding the re-election campaign of U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum has won more than $250,000 in federal grant money pushed for by Santorum over the last three years.” The group, the Urban Family Council, participated in a training session held by the ad-hoc group Pennsylvania Pastors Network, “which pushed a church-based get-out-the-vote drive for November.” Santorum addressed the meeting by video and spoke about stopping same-sex marriage raising questions about the political purposes of the tax-exempt group.
  • The New York Times reports on the auction of jailed ex-Rep. Duke Cunningham’s goods. The auction netted $94,625 or, “about two-thirds of the $150,000 that the military contractors who gave the items to Mr. Cunningham as bribes reportedly paid for them.” TPM Muckraker has the full list of items and what they sold for in their document collection. The San Diego Union-Tribune has the pictures of the auction that even includes bidding paddles with the face of Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert glued on.
  • Adam Kidan and Jack Abramoff will be subpoenaed by the defense in the Gus Boulis murder case, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. In 2001, Boulis was ambushed and slain in his car following a bitter, months-long sale of his SunCruz casino lines to Kidan and Abramoff. Anthony Moscatiello and two associates, hired to provide security for the casino boat line, were indicted in Boulis’ murder last year. Moscatiello was hired by Kidan and Kidan “has not been eliminated as a suspect in the murder case”.
  • The Washington Post looks deeper into the activities of MZM and Duke Cunningham as the Pentagon prepares to look for earmarks that Cunningham may have written for MZM:
    "…prosecutors said that in fiscal 2003 legislation, the congressman, who was a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, set aside, or earmarked, $6.3 million for work to be done ‘to benefit’ the Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA), created in 2002. …

     

     

    In 2004, three MZM employees served as staff consultants to the presidential commission investigating prewar Iraq intelligence, which was run by federal Judge Laurence H. Silberman and former senator Charles S. Robb (D-Va.). One of the three was retired Lt. Gen. James C. King, who then was a senior vice president of MZM for national security. King, who before joining MZM had been director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, played a consultant's role in the establishment of CIFA in 2002 before MZM received its first contracts from that agency.

     

    The Silberman-Robb commission report in 2005 recommended that CIFA play a bigger role in the government's counterterrorism activities.”

    Silberman denies that King and the other two MZM employees played any role in recommending a bigger role for CIFA.

  • The Christian Science Monitor provides yet another story that ethics reform is stalling in Congress. Norm Ornstein says, “Some members are pulling the blanket over their heads and hoping the storm will pass. For others, there is also a genuine belief that if you just jump in a spasm of reaction, you could do some things detrimental to a good deliberative process.”

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