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By LARRY MARGASAK
Associated Press Writer
Published April 21, 2006, 3:51 PM CDT

WASHINGTON -- The top Democrat on the House ethics committee, Alan Mollohan, will leave the panel -- at least temporarily -- while he defends his own financial conduct, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Friday.

Mollohan's decision comes in an election year when his party is accusing majority Republicans of allowing a "culture of corruption" in Congress.

Mollohan, of West Virginia, will be replaced by Rep. Howard Berman of California, a former ranking Democrat on the panel. Mollohan has denied any wrongdoing.

The only evenly divided panel in the House, the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct has been divided along partisan lines for the past 16 months and unable to launch any major new investigations. If Mollohan had stayed while under his own ethics cloud, the chances for the stalemate to end would have been almost impossible.

The Wall Street Journal reported two weeks ago that Mollohan steered millions of dollars to nonprofit groups in his district -- with much of the money going to organizations run by people who contribute to the lawmaker's campaigns.

Also, a conservative group filed a complaint with federal prosecutors this year questioning whether Mollohan correctly reported his assets on financial disclosure forms.

While Mollohan's troubles threaten to become a major campaign problem for Democrats, Pelosi, of California, said in a statement that Mollohan decided on his own to step down and that she accepted his decision.

"The allegations against Congressman Mollohan originate from the National Legal and Policy Center, which engages in highly partisan attacks on Democrats," Pelosi said.

"The attacks are an attempt to deflect attention from the long list of Republican criminal investigations, indictments, plea agreements and resignations which have resulted from the reported long-term and extensive criminal enterprise run out of House Republican leadership offices," she said.

Using a phrase that has become a Democratic refrain, Pelosi said, "The Republican culture of corruption has been ignored by the ethics committee for a year and a half following the decision of the Republican leadership to fire their own chairman and committee members for doing their job."

While Mollohan and committee chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., had 16 months of friction, Berman had a good working relationship with former ethics chairman Joel Hefley, R-Colo.

Hefley sought to have his term as chairman extended at the start of 2005, but he and two other Republicans were forced off the 10-member committee after having voted to admonish then-Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas.

Since the beginning of last year, the two leaders fought over internal rules and staffing, and in a recent meeting discussed -- but were unable to agree -- on launching any new investigations.


Copyright © 2006, The Associated Press

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-mollohan,1,3561150.story?coll=chi-news-hed
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Come out come out wherever you are Usual Suspects!! Pretty quiet so far.... Maybe Mollohan can share a cell with one of your favorite republican targets DeLay if you guys get your way? I saw a report about Mollohan last night. His net worth has went up like 600% since he has been on the ethics commitee or something like that.
 

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Reverend Arthur Dimmwit
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If he's proven guilty, throw the book at him. I don't give a sh!t which party he represents and, if you were intelligent, neither would you.
 

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Rogue Assassin
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The Congress is a cesspool of corruption -- on both sides of the aisle. So are nearly all the legislative bodies in the world. It's the nature of electoral politics. BFD.

If anyone, of any party, in any electoral office, is found to have abused the public trust, they should be prosecuted. The problem with stories like this one is that most of the elected officials could be accused of the same thing. Everyone feathers his or her own bed. They're all crooks on some level. It's just a matter of degree.
 

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One Democrat....

2 Republican Chiefs of staff, Senate Majority Leader, House majority leader and so on and so on....

Why are you so excited?



Grand Jury Hears Evidence Against Rove
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Report

Thursday 20 April 2006

Just as the news broke Wednesday about Scott McClellan resigning as White House press secretary and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove shedding some of his policy duties, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald met with the grand jury hearing evidence in the CIA leak case and introduced additional evidence against Rove, attorneys and other US officials close to the investigation said.

The grand jury session in federal court in Washington, DC, sources close to the case said, was the first time this year that Fitzgerald told the jurors that he would soon present them with a list of criminal charges he intends to file against Rove in hopes of having the grand jury return a multi-count indictment against Rove.

In an interview Wednesday, Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, confirmed that Rove remains a "subject" of Fitzgerald's two-year-old probe.

"Mr. Rove is still a subject of the investigation," Luskin said. In a previous interview, Luskin asserted that Rove would not be indicted by Fitzgerald, but he was unwilling to make that prediction again Wednesday.

"Mr. Fitzgerald hasn't made any decision on the charges and I can't speculate what the outcome will be," Luskin said. "Mr. Rove has cooperated completely with the investigation."

Fitzgerald is said to have introduced more evidence Wednesday alleging Rove lied to FBI investigators and the grand jury when he was questioned about how he found out that Valerie Plame Wilson worked for the CIA and whether he shared that information with the media, attorneys close to the case said.

Fitzgerald told the grand jury that Rove lied to investigators and the prosecutor eight out of the nine times he was questioned about the leak and also tried to cover-up his role in disseminating Plame Wilson's CIA status to at least two reporters.

Additionally, an FBI investigator reread to jurors testimony from other witnesses in the case that purportedly implicates Rove in playing a role in the leak and the campaign to discredit Plame Wilson's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, whose criticism of the Bush administration's pre-war Iraq intelligence lead to his wife being unmasked as a covert CIA operative.

Luskin said Rove has not discussed any plea deal with Fitzgerald.

"Mr. Rove's cooperation is not contingent on any plea agreement with the prosecutor," Luskin said. "He has always cooperated voluntarily and unconditionally."

Luskin would not discuss the substance of his most recent communication with Fitzgerald nor would he say whether Rove would testify against his former White House colleague, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, who was indicted in the leak case for perjury and obstruction of justice.

Luskin wouldn't comment on whether the investigation of Rove continues to center on alleged misleading statements to which Rove testified regarding a July 2003 conversation he had about Plame Wilson with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper.

Sources close to the investigation, however, confirmed that is exactly what Fitzgerald has continued to focus on and what he discussed with the grand jury Wednesday.

Luskin said that Rove simply forgot about his conversation with Cooper when he testified before the grand jury because Rove had been dealing with other pressing matters, such as Bush's reelection campaign.

Rove's story began to unravel when Fitzgerald discovered the existence of an email Rove sent to then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley after he spoke with Cooper on July 11, 2003.

Rove did not disclose the existence of the email during his first two appearances before the grand jury. Rove testified that he found out about Plame Wilson after her identity was disclosed in several news stories.

"I didn't take the bait," Rove wrote in the email to Hadley immediately following his conversation with Cooper. "Matt Cooper called to give me a heads-up that he's got a welfare reform story coming. When he finished his brief heads-up he immediately launched into Niger. Isn't this damaging? Hasn't the president been hurt? I didn't take the bait, but I said if I were him I wouldn't get Time far out in front on this."

Hadley, sources said, is also a subject of the investigation.

In December, Luskin made a desperate attempt to keep his client out of Fitzgerald's crosshairs.

Luskin revealed to Fitzgerald that Viveca Novak - a reporter working for Time magazine who wrote several stories about the Plame Wilson case - inadvertently tipped him off in early 2004 that her colleague at the magazine, Matt Cooper, would be forced to testify that Rove was his source who told him about Plame Wilson's CIA status.

Novak - who bears no relation to syndicated columnist Robert Novak, the journalist who first published Plame Wilson's name and CIA status in a July 14, 2003, column - met Luskin in Washington, DC, in the summer of 2004, and over drinks, the two discussed Fitzgerald's investigation into the Plame Wilson leak.

Luskin assured Novak that Rove learned Plame Wilson's name and CIA status after it was published in news accounts and that only then did he phone other journalists to draw their attention to it. But Novak told Luskin that everyone in the Time newsroom knew Rove was Cooper's source and that he would testify to that in an upcoming grand jury appearance, these sources said.

According to Luskin's account, after he met with Viveca Novak he contacted Rove and told him about his conversation with her. The two of them then began an exhaustive search through White House phone logs and emails for any evidence that proved that Rove had spoken with Cooper. Luskin said that during this search an email was found that Rove sent to Hadley immediately and it was subsequently turned over to Fitzgerald.

Still, Rove's account of his conversation with Cooper went nothing like he described in his email to Hadley, according to an email Cooper sent to his editor at Time magazine following his conversation with Rove in July 2003.

"It was, KR said, [former Ambassador Joseph] Wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized [Wilson's] trip," Cooper's July 11, 2003, email to his editor said.
 

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I think he should do what DeLay did.....go on every show he can saying he's unfairly being attacked for partisan reasons, then ask for money. The entire time he must say he's innocent and that he won't resign.

Then, when he has enough saved up to pay the lawyers, resign.
 

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Mollohan isn't worth the trouble. He's done this before, nothing new.
 

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watchout, he'll put Viagra in your M&Ms
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larsensa said:
Come out come out wherever you are Usual Suspects!! Pretty quiet so far.... Maybe Mollohan can share a cell with one of your favorite republican targets DeLay if you guys get your way? I saw a report about Mollohan last night. His net worth has went up like 600% since he has been on the ethics commitee or something like that.
Hmm. I'll bite. Will there be any room left in the pokey after DeLay/Abramoff/Griles and their aides (accomplices?) take up residence there?
 

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Lefties have rights, too!
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Will politicians ever learn???? They write the laws and then feel they are above them. Republicans, Democrats, whatever, they try to skirt the law.

IMHO it's just like speeding. You know you are breaking the law but feel it's OK because you will not get caught, are a fanstastic driver, or are above the law. And it you get caught you plead innocence and do everything to get out of it. Never admitting guilt in the courtroom. Politicians just do it on a grander scale.
 

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Hang on. I missed this thread, but I've been following this news (which you guys have not), and this is basically a hit and run by a conservative group that is running around the country trying to smear various dems and divert attention. From http://www.wvgazette.com/section/News/Today/2006041528
The nonprofit group that has raised questions about Rep. Alan Mollohan’s finances is also waging campaigns against labor unions, endangered-species law and organizations like the AARP seniors lobby.

The National Legal and Policy Center sparked controversy this month with a 500-page report criticizing Mollohan, D-W.Va., for allegedly filing erroneous financial disclosures.

The Falls Church, Va.-based center was founded in 1991 and gets much of its funding from conservative-leaning sources.

It has also mustered campaigns against the rights of poor people to legal representation and corporate leaders who apologize to blacks for past discrimination.

The report criticizing Mollohan was sent to the U.S. Justice Department. But the National Legal and Policy Center refuses to release it to the public, saying some of its contents might not be accurate...(Oh that's just lovely!)

Every two weeks, for instance, it publishes “Union Corruption Update,” part of its Organized Labor Accountability Project, which is devoted to “investigating and exposing corruption,” according to the group’s Web site, www.nlpc.org...

Another project is meant to “end taxpayer funding” for legal services programs. The center’s Legal Services Accountability Project proposes the “provision of legal aid to the poor through private voluntary efforts.”...

Last June, the center blasted Wachovia, the nation’s fourth-largest bank company, when it apologized for its predecessor banks’ links to slavery.

“Nothing required this groveling in the form of an apology,” said NLPC President Peter Flaherty. “Wachovia should instead apologize to its customers and shareholders for caving into the reparations activists who are not interested in racial justice, but in money...

The NLPC itself is funded by a variety of conservative foundations.

Between 1995 and 2005, it got more than $1.43 million in foundation grants. Three foundations affiliated with Pittsburgh’s Scaife family gave $1.18 million of the total, according to Media Transparency, a Web site that does research on conservative-oriented foundations.

Related to the Mellon family that made hundreds of millions from oil and banks, the Pittsburgh-based Scaifes are one of the nation’s wealthiest families and have given millions to other conservative groups including: the Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Cato Institute.
What they are really making hay about is the fact that Mollohan has done well in the real estate market the last few years, buying beachfront property as vacation property, then reselling. They make a big deal about the fact that his personal value has risen a great deal, but he points out that his debt has gone up the same amount. Of course, they don't mention that he inherited property from his dad in the last couple of years and that his wife works in real estate!
http://www.wvgazette.com/section/News/2006041435?pt=10
Mollohan said the value of his property investments — owned by him and his wife — increased sharply because of rising values in Washington, D.C., and the North Carolina shore since 2000. The lawmaker said the value was offset by large mortgages, and the couple borrowed against their existing holdings to acquire new property.

In 2001, Mollohan added, the couple increased their holdings after the lawmaker inherited a share of his father’s real estate holdings in West Virginia.

Mollohan said the Legal and Policy Center appeared to assert that he should have valued his holdings without regard to his liabilities.

The lawmaker said he can’t address allegations that he made 250 errors in his reporting since 1996, because the center has not provided him with details...

Mollohan’s 2000 report indicated he had assets worth between $170,012 and $562,000 and liabilities between $170,000 and $465,000. The disclosure reports let congressmen report their finances within broad ranges.

His 2004 report indicated he had assets of $6.3 million to $24.9 million and liabilities of $3.66 million to $13.5 million.
So basically, they make a big deal out of the increase after he inherited a bunch from his old man. But like all these smear campaigns, they won't reveal their info to the public.

Basically Mollohan stepped down because the panel couldn't get anywhere.
The committee has been unable to launch new investigations because its five Democrats and five Republicans have blocked each other from moving forward. The partisan split might become more bitter with GOP calls for Mollohan to leave the panel.
 

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This is a hit job by NLPC. If you search their site for "Tom Delay" there will be nothing about his indictment, but the only references to him will be in articles about Ted Kennedy's hypocracy. :thumbdown


Meanwhile:

<snip>Republican County Constable Larry Dale Floyd was arrested on suspicion of soliciting sex with an 8-year old girl. Floyd has repeatedly won elections for Denton County, Texas, constable.

Republican judge Mark Pazuhanich pleaded no contest to fondling a 10-year old girl and was sentenced to 10 years probation.
Republican Party leader Bobby Stumbo was arrested for having sex with a 5-year old boy.

Republican teacher and former city councilman John Collins pleaded guilty to sexually molesting 13 and 14 year old girls.
Republican campaign worker Mark Seidensticker is a convicted child molester.

Republican Mayor Philip Giordano is serving a 37-year sentence in federal prison for sexually abusing 8- and 10-year old girls.
Republican Mayor John Gosek was arrested on charges of soliciting sex from two 15-year old girls.

Republican County Commissioner David Swartz pleaded guilty to molesting two girls under the age of 11 and was sentenced to 8 years in prison.

Republican legislator Edison Misla Aldarondo was sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping his daughter between the ages of 9 and 17.

Republican Committeeman John R. Curtain was charged with molesting a teenage boy and unlawful sexual contact with a minor.
Republican anti-abortion activist Howard Scott Heldreth is a convicted child rapist in Florida.

Republican zoning supervisor, Boy Scout leader and Lutheran church president Dennis L. Rader pleaded guilty to performing a sexual act on an 11-year old girl he murdered.

Republican anti-abortion activist Nicholas Morency pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography on his computer and offering a bounty to anybody who murders an abortion doctor.

Republican campaign consultant Tom Shortridge was sentenced to three years probation for taking nude photographs of a 15-year old girl.

Republican racist pedophile and United States Senator Strom Thurmond had sex with a 15-year old black girl which produced a child.
Republican pastor Mike Hintz, whom George W. Bush commended during the 2004 presidential campaign, surrendered to police after admitting to a sexual affair with a female juvenile.

Republican legislator Peter Dibble pleaded no contest to having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old girl.
Republican advertising consultant Carey Lee Cramer was charged with molesting his 9-year old step-daughter after including her in an anti-Gore television commercial.

Republican activist Lawrence E. King, Jr. organized child sex parties at the White House during the 1980s.

Republican lobbyist Craig J. Spence organized child sex parties at the White House during the 1980s.

Republican Congressman Donald "Buz" Lukens was found guilty of having sex with a female minor and sentenced to one month in jail.

Republican fundraiser Richard A. Delgaudio was found guilty of child porn charges and paying two teenage girls to pose for sexual photos.

Republican activist Mark A. Grethen convicted on six counts of sex crimes involving children.

Republican activist Randal David Ankeney pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault on a child.

Republican Congressman Dan Crane had sex with a female minor working as a congressional page.

Republican activist and Christian Coalition leader Beverly Russell admitted to an incestuous relationship with his step daughter.

Republican Judge Ronald C. Kline was placed under house arrest for child molestation and possession of child pornography.

Republican congressman and anti-gay activist Robert Bauman was charged with having sex with a 16-year-old boy he picked up at a gay bar.

Republican Committee Chairman Jeffrey Patti was arrested for distributing a video clip of a 5-year-old girl being raped.

Republican activist Marty Glickman (a.k.a. "Republican Marty"), was taken into custody by Florida police on four counts of unlawful sexual activity with an underage girl and one count of delivering the drug LSD.

Republican legislative aide Howard L. Brooks was charged with molesting a 12-year old boy and possession of child pornography.

Republican Senate candidate John Hathaway was accused of having sex with his 12-year old baby sitter and withdrew his candidacy after the allegations were reported in the media.

Republican preacher Stephen White, who demanded a return to traditional values, was sentenced to jail after offering $20 to a 14-year-old boy for permission to perform oral sex on him.

Republican talk show host Jon Matthews pleaded guilty to exposing his genitals to an 11 year old girl.

Republican anti-gay activist Earl "Butch" Kimmerling was sentenced to 40 years in prison for molesting an 8-year old girl after he attempted to stop a gay couple from adopting her.

Republican Party leader Paul Ingram pleaded guilty to six counts of raping his daughters and served 14 years in federal prison.
Republican election board official Kevin Coan was sentenced to two years probation for soliciting sex over the internet from a 14-year old girl.

Republican politician Andrew Buhr was charged with two counts of first degree sodomy with a 13-year old boy.

Republican politician Keith Westmoreland was arrested on seven felony counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition to girls under the age of 16 (i.e. exposing himself to children).

Republican anti-abortion activist John Allen Burt was found guilty of molesting a 15-year old girl.

Republican County Councilman Keola Childs pleaded guilty to molesting a male child.

Republican activist John Butler was charged with criminal sexual assault on a teenage girl.

Republican candidate Richard Gardner admitted to molesting his two daughters.

Republican Councilman and former Marine Jack W. Gardner was convicted of molesting a 13-year old girl.

Republican County Commissioner Merrill Robert Barter pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual contact and assault on a teenage boy.

Republican City Councilman Fred C. Smeltzer, Jr. pleaded no contest to raping a 15 year-old girl and served 6-months in prison.

Republican activist Parker J. Bena pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography on his home computer and was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and fined $18,000.

Republican parole board officer and former Colorado state representative, Larry Jack Schwarz, was fired after child pornography was found in his possession.

Republican strategist and Citadel Military College graduate Robin Vanderwall was convicted in Virginia on five counts of soliciting sex from boys and girls over the internet.

Republican city councilman Mark Harris, who is described as a "good military man" and "church goer," was convicted of repeatedly having sex with an 11-year-old girl and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Republican businessman Jon Grunseth withdrew his candidacy for Minnesota governor after allegations surfaced that he went swimming in the nude with four underage girls, including his daughter.

Republican director of the "Young Republican Federation" Nicholas Elizondo molested his 6-year old daughter and was sentenced to six years in prison.
Republican president of the New York City Housing Development Corp. Russell Harding pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography on his computer.

Republican benefactor of conservative Christian groups, Richard A. Dasen Sr., was found guilty of raping a 15-year old girl. Dasen, 62, who is married with grown children and several grandchildren, has allegedly told police that over the past decade he paid more than $1 million to have sex with a large number of young women.

Republican Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld authorized the rape of children in Iraqi prisons in order to humiliate their parents into providing information about the anti-American insurgency.

All well documented here: armchairsubversive.com
 
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