WHAT A SHOCK, FIFA IS CORRUPT …
Seven top FIFA officials were arrested overnight in a posh Zurich hotel. The raid was conducted as a part of a corruption probe allegations of bribery totaling more than £100m over past 25 years.
The most significant arrest was that of Jeffrey Webb, the vice president of the executive committee, who has previously been hailed by Blatter as a potential successor.
Other officials held by Swiss police include Eduardio Li, President of the Costa Rica Football Association, and Rafael Esquivel, President of the Venezuelan Football Federation, Jose Maria Marin, vice-president of the Brazil Football Federation, Costas Takkas, a former general secretary of the Cayman Islands Football Association, and Jose Maria Marin, vice-president of the Brazil Football Federation.
Swiss authorities conducted an extraordinary early-morning operation here Wednesday to arrest several top soccer officials and extradite them to the United States on federal corruption charges.
As leaders of FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, gathered for their annual meeting, more than a dozen plain-clothed Swiss law enforcement officials arrived unannounced at the Baur au Lac hotel, an elegant five-star property with views of the Alps and Lake Zurich. They went to the front desk to get room numbers and then proceeded upstairs.
The arrests were carried out peacefully. One FIFA official, Eduardo Li of Costa Rica, was led by the authorities from his room to a side-door exit of the hotel. He was allowed to bring his luggage, which was adorned with FIFA logos.
The arrests were carried out peacefully. One FIFA official, Eduardo Li of Costa Rica, was led by the authorities from his room to a side-door exit of the hotel. He was allowed to bring his luggage, which was adorned with FIFA logos.
The charges, backed by an F.B.I. investigation, allege widespread corruption in FIFA over the past two decades, involving bids for World Cups as well as marketing and broadcast deals.
Department of Justice announced the unsealing of a 47-count indictment in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York, that detailed charges against 14 people of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy. They include FIFA officials accused of taking bribes totaling more than $150 million and in return provided “lucrative media and marketing rights” to soccer tournaments as kickbacks over the past 24 years.
“The defendants fostered a culture of corruption and greed that created an uneven playing field for the biggest sport in the world,” FBI Director James Comey said in a news release. “Undisclosed and illegal payments, kickbacks and bribes became a way of doing business at FIFA.”
UPDATE II: Sepp Blatter’s FIFA Reign of Shame.
It is not true that everything has gotten worse in global soccer under Blatter. Safety has improved and, yes, the World Cup has been held in Africa. But just about everything has. To conclude that Blatter should quit rather than embark on a fifth term as FIFA president (assuming his seemingly inevitable election to a fifth term on Friday) feels so blindingly obvious that it’s not worth saying. But then the FIFA president is so thick-skinned it’s actually worth saying twice: Mr. Blatter, your time is up.
Why? Because the corruption charges against current and former FIFA vice presidents and others reflect an organization rotten to its core, operating in the absence of any meaningful oversight, without term limits for a president whose salary is of course unknown (but estimated by Bloomberg to be “in the low double-digit” millions), overseeing $5.72 billion in partially unaccounted revenue for the four years to December 2014, governing a sport in which matches and World Cup venues and in fact just about everything appears to have been up for sale, burying a report it commissioned by a former United States attorney into the bidding process for the next two World Cups, and generally operating in a culture of cavalier disdain personified by Blatter, whose big cash awards to soccer federations in poorer countries have turned the delegates from many of FIFA’s 209 member associations into his fawning acolytes.
The 14 people indicted in the global crackdown of FIFA corruption covers a dozen nationalities, although authorities allege the crimes and payments were carried out in the U.S. via American banks.
Seven were arrested in Zurich by Swiss authorities at the request of the U.S. Four other individuals and corporate defendants Traffic Sports USA Inc., Traffic Sports International Inc. and Brazilian sports marketing conglomerate the Traffic Group have already pleaded guilty, according to an indictment unsealed today.
1. Jeffrey Webb, 50, Cayman Islands:
2. Jack Warner, 72, Trinidad and Tobago:
3. Aaron Davidson, 44, USA:
4. Nicholas Leoz, 86, Paraguay:
5. Eduardo Li, 56, Costa Rica:
6. Alejandro Burzaco, 50, Argentina:
7. Eugenio Figueredo, 83, USA and Uruguay:
8. Jose Maria Marin, 83, Brazil:
9. Julio Rocha, 64, Nicaragua:
10. Rafael Esquivel, 68, Venezuela:
11. Costas Takkas, 58, United Kingdom:
12. Hugo Jinkis, 70, Argentina:
13. Mariano Jinkis, 40, Argentina:
14. José Margulies, 75, Brazil:
Even Democrats who go against the Obama agenda appear to be on Barack’s enemies list …
New Jersey US Senator Robert Menendez was indicted today with on corruption charges in that he used his office to help advance the business interests of a longtime friend and political supporter in exchange for luxury gifts, vacations and campaign donations.? In total, Menendez faces a 14-count indictment consisting of 1 count of conspiracy, 1 count of violating the travel act, 7 counts of bribery, 3 counts of honest services fraud, and 1 count of making false statements. Menendez has denied any wrongdoing and vows to fight the charges, stating that he will be vindicated. While he will not leave office, Menendez will step aside from his position as the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee as he fights the charges.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) was indicted on federal corruption charges Wednesday, accused of using the influence of his office to advance the business interests of a longtime friend and political supporter in exchange for luxury gifts, lavish vacations and more than $750,000 in campaign donations.?
Federal prosecutors laid out the charges in a 14-count indictment charging Menendez with using his office to help Salomon Melgen, a Florida-based eye doctor with whom Menendez had maintained a long personal and political friendship. Menendez intervened on Melgen’s behalf in at least two disputes, one with federal regulators over Medicare charges and the other involving a bid by Melgen to secure a port security contract in the Dominican Republic, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors say that over a seven-year period, Menendez relied on Melgen for free private jets to weekend getaways at resorts in Florida, the Dominican Republic and Paris.
Menendez has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. He was defiant Wednesday night before a boisterous crowd of supporters, saying that Melgen’s gifts were a result of friendship dating to the early 1990s and not in exchange for political favors.
Just curious, how much of the DOJ’s investigation and indictments against Menendez have to do with political wrongdoing and how much has to do with the fact that he has been a political thorn in Obama’s side? The Democrat Senator has been extremely vocal against Obama’s policy in Cuba and with Iran. Obama probably did not appreciate it when Mendeez said in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee back in January 2015, “the More I hear from the Obama administration and its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran.” As much as I am not a big fan of Robert Menendez, his words have proved to be profound as we witness Obama’s disastrous nuclear plan with Iran.
Speaker of the House John Boehner’s Former Bartender Michael Hoyt Indicted on Charges of Threatening to Kill the Congressman by Poisoning His Drinks … Believed Boehner was the Devil & Responsible for Ebola
BOTTOMS UP … Ebola, evil voices and the devil.
44 year old Michael Robert Hoyt was indicted Wednesday on charges of threatening to kill Speaker of the House John Boehner by poisoning his drinks. Hoyt, obviously operating a couple of cards short of a full deck, heard voices that Boehner as evil, was the devil and responsible for the Ebola virus. The 44 year old, nut job Butler County, Ohio, man was indicted last week on charges that he planned to murder Boehner. A plan that he reportedly made after being fired from the Wetherington Golf & Country Club in West Chester.
A plot to poison the House Speaker by his Ohio bartender was thwarted when his aspiring killer called 911 to report his sinister plans and belief that Boehner is the devil, the FBI claims.
Michael Robert Hoyt, 44, was indicted Wednesday on charges of threatening to kill the congressman after serving him drinks for more than five years at a West Chester country club, WCPO reported.
“Hoyt told the officer he was Jesus Christ and he was going to kill Boehner because Boehner was mean to him at the country club and because Boehner is responsible for Ebola,” U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) Special Agent Christopher M. Desrosiers stated in the indictment.
Just a note to Michael Robert Hoyt, Speaker Boehner (R-OH) was not responsible for the Ebola virus, although he is responsible for helping fund Obamacare and Obama’s illegal amnesty after he and Republicans campaigned against both of them in 2014. Boehner may not be the devil, but pretty damn close.
“Hoyt told the officer he was Jesus Christ and he was going to kill Boehner because Boehner was mean to him at the country club and because Boehner is responsible for Ebola,” United States Capitol Police Special Agent Christopher Desrosiers reported. “Hoyt advised he had a loaded Beretta .380 automatic and he was going to shoot Boehner and take off.”
Police said Hoyt also emailed Boehner’s wife, Debbie, twice.
“If I had any intention of hurting Mr. Boehner, I could have poisoned his wine at Wetherington many, many times,” police said he wrote in one of his emails.
Police said Hoyt told them he heard voices that told him Boehner is evil, and that he wanted to expose the Ohio Republican as the devil. He blamed Boehner for the Ebola outbreak and believed the speaker was among a group of country club patrons who complained about his service and cost him his job.
Ben Franklin John Boehner is the Devil!
Hoyt called police on Oct. 29, a week after being fired from the club, and blamed Boehner for his woes, police said.
When officers visited Hoyt at his home on Matson Avenue in Deer Park, they said the plot thickened.
“Hoyt told the officer he was Jesus Christ and he was going to kill Boehner because Boehner was mean to him at the country club and because Boehner is responsible for Ebola,” United States Capitol Police (USCP) Special Agent Christopher M. Desrosiers said. “Hoyt advised he had a loaded Beretta .380 automatic and he was going to shoot Boehner and take off.”
Following the NYC Grand Jury Decision on Eric Garner, Barack Obama Fans the Flames … “When Anybody in This Country Is Not Being Treated Equally Under the Law, that’s a Problem”
Following today’s grand jury decision in NYC not to indict NYPD officer President Obama weighed in on a grand jury’s decision Wednesday not to indict a New York City Police Department officer in the choke-hold death of an unarmed black man, calling the episode an “American problem, not just a black problem.” Hmm, an American problem, eh?
Earlier Wednesday, a grand jury opted not to bring charges against the officer for his role in the death of Eric Garner, which was captured on video. It represented the second racially-charged case in recent weeks that required the president’s attention, following the lack of an indictment against Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of teenager Michael Brown.
“We’re seeing too many incidences where people do not have confidence that folks are being treated fairly,” Obama said. “This is an issue we’ve been dealing with for too long, and it’s time for us to make more progress than we’ve made.”
Obama declined to comment directly on the grand jury’s decision, saying only that Attorney General Eric Holder would address the matter more extensively.
The WAPO has an interesting take on the NYC grand jury no indictment of officer Daniel Pantaleo … ‘With Eric Garner, Obama’s body camera argument just took a big hit.’
President Obama announced this week that, in response to Ferguson and other cases of cops killing unarmed black men, the White House would call for $75 million to make 50,000 body cameras available to police departments across the country.
But on Wednesday, a grand jury declined to indict New York police officers in the choking death of Eric Garner — a case in which there was footage. And the timing couldn’t really be worse for the White House.
One activist who attended a White House meeting with Obama on Monday and talked with NBC News suggested that cameras weren’t exactly a cure-all:
Staten Island Grand Jury Declines to Indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in Chokehold Death of Eric Garner
BREAKING … NYC grand jury clears NYPD cop in the chokehold death of Eric Garner …
A Staten Island grand jury voted a “no-bill” and dismissed all charges against NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the choke-hold death of Eric Garner. Coming off the racially charged Ferguson, Mo grand jury “no-bill” vote, this could get really ugly. Eric Garner, while being arrested on July 17, 2014 for selling “loose” untaxed cigarettes died after being placed in a chokehold by Daniel Pantaleo. Hopefully the reaction to this with protests will be peaceful. One of the reasons why the protests might be more peaceful than what we saw in Ferguson, MO is because the MSM and race merchants were too busy focusing on Ferguson and not this one.
A Staten Island grand jury cleared an NYPD cop in the chokehold death of Eric Garner during his caught-on-video arrest for peddling loose cigarettes, the Staten Island district attorney confirmed Wednesday.
The panel voted a “no-bill” and dismissed all potential charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo.
The blockbuster decision capped weeks of investigation by the special grand jury, which was empaneled in September specifically to review evidence in Garner’s racially charged death.
In a statement released by his union, Pantaleo said: “I became a police officer to help people and to protect those who can’t protect themselves.”
“It is never my intention to harm anyone and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner,” he added.
“My family and I include him and his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal condolences for their loss.”
Honestly, I have to admit I did not know that selling individual cigarettes was a crime.
UPDATE I: From PJ Media, this answers my question about the criminalization of selling loose cigs.
An FDA rule issued on June 22, 2010 — well within the Obama era, under a president who has unleashed bureaucracy on the entire country — mandates that individual cigarettes cannot be sold without their original packaging. You must not sell an unhealthy product that everyone knows is unhealthy unless it’s still in the polluting box that it originally came in.
If you sell cigarettes, you must comply with the following bullet points. Note the bold.
Check photo ID of everyone appearing under age 27 who attempts to purchase cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, or smokeless tobacco.
Only sell cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, and smokeless tobacco to anyone age 18 or older. **
Only sell cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, and smokeless tobacco in a direct, face-to-face exchange. ***
Do NOT break open cigarette or smokeless tobacco packages to sell products in smaller amounts.
Do NOT sell cigarette packages containing fewer than 20 cigarettes.
Do NOT sell single cigarettes, also called “loosies”.
Do NOT give away free samples of cigarettes.
Do NOT give away free samples of smokeless tobacco except from a “qualified adult-only facility.”
Do NOT sell flavored cigarettes or flavored cigarette tobacco (other than menthol).
* This is only a summary of the laws. For the full list of federal laws, visit: www.fda.gov/BreakTheChain.
Ferguson, MO Grand Jury’s Decision in the Shooting Death of Michael Brown … NO INDICTMENT AGAINST OFFICER DARREN WILSON, “No True Bill” Returned
BREAKING NEWS: GRAND JURY DECISION … THEY HAVE DECIDED TO NOT INDICT OFFICER DARREN WILSON.
No indictment against officer Darren Wilson.
ABC NEWS VIDEO – Ferguson Grand Jury Does Not Indict Officer Darren Wilson
At a live press conference tonight from Ferguson. MO, St. Louis County Prosecuting Atty. Bob McCulloch announced that grand jury no indictment for Officer Darren Wilson. Bob McCulloch said,”They determined that no probable cause exists to file any charge against Officer Wilson, and returned a ‘No True Bill’ on each of the five indictments.”
Live Feed from Streets of Ferguson, Mo
UPDATE I: ABC News – Ferguson Grand Jury Does Not Indict Officer Darren Wilson in Death of Michael Brown
A Missouri grand jury has decided not to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson for the Aug. 9 shooting of unarmed Ferguson teenager Michael Brown, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said tonight.
McCulloch said that the grand jurors ruled that “no probable cause exists” to indict Wilson on any of the five possible charges that they were asked to consider. He said that the jury was “presented with five indictments” ranging from “murder in the first degree to involuntary manslaughter.”
The prosecutor repeatedly stressed the physical evidence that the 12 jurors considered, saying that it “tells the accurate and tragic story of what happened.”
“All 12 jurors were present for every session and all 12 jurors examined every piece of evidence,” MuCulloch said, adding that the jurors are “the only people who have heard and examined every witness.”
UPDATE II: Reaction following the no indictment decision.
The decision set off a new wave of anger among hundreds who gathered outside the Ferguson Police Department. Police in riot gear stood in a line as demonstrators chanted and threw signs and other objects toward them as the news spread. One woman said: “The system failed us again.”
Mr. Brown’s family issued a statement expressing sadness but calling for peaceful protest and a campaign for body cameras on police officers nationwide. “We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions,” the statement said. “While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen.”
UPDATE III: Legal Insurrection has a very good analysis of the reasons why Officer Wilson was not indicted.
As has been widely anticipated for weeks, the Ferguson MO Grand Jury has DECLINED to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of black adult Michael Brown.
This result has not been unexpected, as the overwhelming weight of both the eye witness and forensic evidence has been entirely consistent with Officer Wilson’s narrative of self-defense, including:
Wilson being attacked by Brown and his accomplice Dorian Johnson in his patrol vehicle
a struggle over Wilson’s service pistol
shots fired inside the vehicle (which forensic examination confirmed caused a contact gun shot wound to Brown’s right hand)
the temporary flight of Brown upon those initial gunshots
the return of the 292 pound Brown re-engage the much smaller officer
the firing of additional defensive rounds as necessary to halt Brown’s violence
A white police officer will not face charges for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager in a case that set off violent protests and racial unrest throughout the nation, an attorney close to the case said Monday night.
A St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict officer Darren Wilson, 28, for firing six shots in an August confrontation that killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, said Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the family. The decision had been long awaited and followed rioting that resembled war-zone news footage in this predominantly black suburb of St. Louis.
“The jury was not inclined to indict on any charges,” Crump said after being informed of the decision by authorities. Prosecutors scheduled an news conference to announce the decision.
Grand Jury Decision on Whether Or Not To Indict Officer Darren Wilson in Shooting Death of Michael Brown To Be Announced Monday at 8 p.m. CT (Live Feed)
The fate of officer Darren Wilson to be determined tonight …
LIVE FEED FROM STREETS IN FERGUSON
A decision by the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri in the shooting death of Michael Brown has been reached. The announcement of their decision is to be announced tonight at 9 pm ET, 8 pm CT.
While protesters chanted late Monday for an indictment in the shooting death of Michael Brown, officials called for calm as the world awaits word of the grand jury’s decision.
“No matter what is announced, people will be emotional. I want people to think with their heads and not with emotion,” said St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley. “This is not the time to turn on each other. It is a time to turn to each other.”
Protesters were gathering outside the police department in Ferguson. Darren Wilson, a white police officer with the department, shot and killed Brown, a black teenager, on August 9.
The grand jury’s decision on whether to indict Wilson will be announced at about 8 p.m. (9 p.m. ET) Monday, according to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of St. Louis County.
Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri called for “peace, respect and restraint” on Monday as the region nervously awaited an announcement of the grand jury’s decision on whether a white police officer should face charges in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in nearby Ferguson.
Mr. Nixon said that he did not know whether the grand jury had decided to indict the officer, Darren Wilson, for the Aug. 9 shooting of the teenager, Michael Brown, but he and other officials said that peaceful protesters would be respected, and even allowed to potentially slow down traffic on streets.
“Our shared hope and expectation is that regardless of the decision, people on all sides show tolerance, mutual respect and restraint” he said.
I wonder whether this is why they delayed the announcement until 9 pm tonight. Was it to make sure businesses could close and commuters could get home from work so that the police and National Guard only had to deal with potential rioters.
Employers, restaurants, retailers, libraries and other venues around the St. Louis area closed early ahead of tonight’s grand jury announcement.
Several said they will remain closed Tuesday as a precautionary measure.
Plaza Frontenac and The Galleria both closed their doors at 6 p.m. today. The Galleria usually closes at 10 p.m.; Plaza Frontenac at 9 p.m.
Customers who called the main number at the Macy’s at The Galleria Monday afternoon were greeted with this message: “Due to circumstances beyond our control, our store is currently closed.” The Galleria 6 motion picture theater also closed at 6 p.m.
QuikTrip and Best Buys are among other major retailers that decided to temporarily close some local stores.
UPDATE III: LIVE FEED FROM COURTROOM FOR DECISION
Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson Indictment in Child Injury Case … Warrant Issued for His Arrest (Update: Peterson Booked on Child Abuse Charge, Posts Bond)
AND ANOTHER BLACK EYE FOR THE NFL …
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been indicted in Montgomery County, Texas for reckless or negligent injury to a child. The indictment is in regards to Peterson hitting his 4 year old son this past summer with a branch, referred to as a switch, as a form of punishment. Peterson states that this is how he was punished as a child. A grand jury seated earlier this summer decided not to charge Peterson with a crime. However, that was not the case with the new one. According to accounts, the incident resulted in multiple injuries to the child. The boy lives with his mother in Minnesota but was on a visit to Texas several months ago when Peterson disciplined him with the switch. Peterson was taken into custody at 1 a.m. Saturday in Montgomery County, Texas, and was released on $15,000 bond, according to NFL.com. If convicted, Adrian Peterson could face two years in prison.
Adrian Peterson has been deactivated by the Vikings and will not play this Sunday against the New England Patriots.
According to law-enforcement sources, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson beat his 4-year-old son with a tree branch as a form of punishment this summer, an incident that allegedly resulted in multiple injuries to the child. According to reports, Peterson has been indicted in Montgomery County, Texas for injury to a child.
The “whooping” – as Peterson put it when interviewed by police – occurred in Spring, Texas, in May. Peterson’s son had pushed another one of Peterson’s children off of a motorbike video game. As punishment, Peterson grabbed a tree branch – which he consistently referred to as a “switch” – removed the leaves and struck the child repeatedly.
The beating allegedly resulted in numerous injuries to the child, including cuts and bruises to the child’s back, buttocks, ankles, legs and scrotum, along with defensive wounds to the child’s hands. Peterson then texted the boy’s mother, saying that one wound in particular would make her “mad at me about his leg. I got kinda good wit the tail end of the switch.”
Adrian Peterson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin later released the following statement:
Adrian Peterson has been informed that he was indicted by a grand jury in Montgomery County, Texas for Injury to a Child. The charged conduct involves using a switch to spank his son. This indictment follows Adrian’s full cooperation with authorities who have been looking into this matter. Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son. He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas. Adrian has never hidden from what happened. He has cooperated fully with authorities and voluntarily testified before the grand jury for several hours. Adrian will address the charges with the same respect and responsiveness he has brought to this inquiry from its beginning. It is important to remember that Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement on Friday evening:
On Thursday, September 11, 2014, a Montgomery County Grand Jury, “true billed”, Adrian Lewis Peterson on a charge of injury to a child. On today’s date at 2:47 PM, a warrant was issued and entered for the arrest of Adrian Peterson for that charge.
Since the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office has referred the case to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, and the investigation has led to a, “true bill”, on a criminal offense, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office will not discuss details in reference to the case or investigation.
At the time of this release, Adrian Peterson is not in custody at the Montgomery County Jail and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office does not have any details in the arrest of Adrian Peterson.
Peterson’s team, the Vikings, released the following statement on Friday evening:
The Vikings are in the process of gathering information regarding the legal situation involving Adrian Peterson. At this time, we will defer further questions to Adrian’s attorney Rusty Hardin.
One of the darkest weeks in NFL history took another disturbing twist Friday when a warrant was issued in Texas for the arrest of Adrian Peterson, the face of the Vikings, over his treatment of one of his children.
Peterson faces an indictment accusing him of reckless or negligent injury to a child stemming from Peterson’s decision earlier this year to discipline his 4-year-old son by beating him with a ‘‘switch.’’
The Vikings responded by quickly deactivating Peterson for Sunday’s home opener against New England at TCF Bank Stadium. Peterson will surrender to Houston police, his attorney said.
Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson turned himself in to Montgomery County, Texas, authorities early Saturday morning.
He was booked into the Montgomery County jail at 1:06 a.m. CT and released at 1:35 a.m. CT after posting the $15,000 bond.
Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) Indicted for Abuse of Power by Travis County Grand Jury (Update: Perry Fires Back Calls it Partisan Politics)(Update: Even Obama Political Adviser David Axelrod Thinks Indictment is ‘Sketchy’)
Travis County, Texas grand jury proves once again Judge Saul Wachler’s famous saying that a prosecutor can get a grand jury to ‘indict a ham sandwich.’”
Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been indicted by a Travis County grand jury for abusing the powers of his office by carrying out a threat to veto funding for prosecutors investigating public corruption. However, the indictment reeks of political payback and political disagreements being handled via the courts. The indictment stems from when Perry promised publicly to veto $7.5 million over two years for the Public Integrity Unit run by the office of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. DA Lehmberg, a Democrat, was convicted of drunken driving with a blood-alcohol nearly three times the legal limit. Perry had asked for her to resign; however, she refused.
Fort Worth Star Telegram: Gov. Perry indicted, accused of coercion, abusing power.
A Travis County grand jury indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday, accusing him of abusing the powers of his office by carrying out a threat to veto funding for prosecutors investigating public corruption — making the possible 2016 presidential hopeful his state’s first indicted governor in nearly a century.
A special prosecutor spent months calling witnesses and presenting evidence that Perry broke the law when he promised publicly to veto $7.5 million over two years for the Public Integrity Unit run by the office of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.
Lehmberg, a Democrat, was convicted of drunken driving, but refused Perry’s calls to resign.
Although the Republican governor now has been indicted on two felony counts, politics dominates the case. Lehmberg is based in Austin, which is heavily Democratic, in contrast to most of the rest of conservative Texas. The grand jury consisted of Austin-area residents.
The unit Lehmberg oversees investigates statewide allegations of corruption and political wrongdoing. It led the investigation against former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican who in 2010 was convicted of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering for taking part in a scheme to influence elections in his home state — convictions later vacated by an appeals court.
Mary Anne Wiley, Perry’s general counsel, predicted Perry ultimately will be cleared of the charges against him — abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant.
“The veto in question was made in accordance with the veto authority afforded to every governor under the Texas Constitution,” she said.
UPDATE I: Gov. Rick Perry Fires back at the bogus indictment that he abused his power.
Gov. Rick Perry fired back at the indictments and called it nothing more than outrageous and partisan politics.
“We don’t settle political differences with indictments in this country. It is outrageous that some would use partisan, political theatrics to rip away at the very fabric of our state’s Constitution. This indictment amounts to nothing more than abuse of power. And I cannot and I will not allow that to happen … I am confident that we will ultimately prevail. That this farce of a prosecution will be revealed for what it really is and those responsible will be held accountable.”
UPDATE II: KXAN Video – Jailers had to restrain DA Rosemary Lehmberg when she was nearly 3x’s the legal limit for DUI.
DA Rosemary Lehmberg initially denied that she was drunk to police as seen by dash cam.
DA Rosemary Lehmberg blames the police for pulling her over for DUI and ruining her career. In fact, the police did not pull her over, she had pulled over on her own in a Church parking lot. The police deputies could not believe they had the chief law enforcement officer in the country on DUI. Since then, not only did Gov. Rick Perry ask her to step down, the Austin police association asked for her to resign as well.
Honestly, how in the hell did this woman not have the common decency and respect for those who enforce and uphold the law, not resign?
“David Axelrod said that this was a very sketchy indictment,” Perry said. “Professor [Alan] Dershowitz, who’s not exactly my cheerleader, said that it was outrageous. So across the board you’re seeing people weigh in, reflecting that this is way outside of the norm…When you’ve got David Axelrod and Harvard law professor Dershowitz saying the things as they’ve said, I think it’s pretty reflective of what we’re working with here.”