Christie’s Sting Shows Horrid Legacy of ‘Loyal Bushies’

Chris ChristieThe Justice Department this week resumed its massive New Jersey political corruption “Bid Rig III” case with a trial that continues the self-inflicted damage from its 2006 political purge of U.S. attorneys.

The bribery trial of former state assemblyman Harvey Smith in Newark continues the DOJ’s disgraceful 46-defendant sting that New Jersey’s U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, right, concocted years ago in consultation with the Bush DOJ headquarters.

These actions helped Christie win his state’s governorship last year with the public image of being a crime-fighting, cost-conscious reformer. Similarly, he’s now positioning himself as a contender for the presidency in 2012.Eric Holder

But a review of the Bid Rig case illustrates the bipartisan way that Christie and other DOJ officials waste vast sums to help their cronies and themselves, and then cover-up for each other. For these reasons, the Bid Rig case helps show why President Obama shouldn’t have decided that his administration would “need to look forward, as opposed to looking backwards” on potential prosecution of the gravest Bush-era crimes. All criminal cases look “backward.”

Obama, Attorney Gen. Eric Holder, left, and the rest of their team have made a mockery of justice to exempt law enforcement from the tough review they routinely impose on others, as I argued at the beginning of his presidency in, “Probe the Past To Protect the Future.”

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Feds Drop Tainted Witness In NJ Political Witch-Hunt

The Justice Department is dropping its disreputable star witness in the latest trial of the 46-defendant “Bid Rig III” corruption case that helped propel former New Jersey U.S. Attorney Chris Christie to his state’s governorship last year. Christie’s image as a crime-fighting, cost-conscious reformer worthy of 2012 Presidential consideration has taken big hits during the last month.

More generally, the case illustrates a bipartisan pattern by which DOJ officials waste vast sums to help their cronies and themselves, with scant meaningful oversight by leaders of either party or career officials who lend their names to whitewashed internal investigations.

The first image-blow to the DOJ was the Oct. 27 acquittal of a Ridgefield mayor after the defense exposed mind-boggling ways that Christie’s team funded bank fraudster and brothel owner Solomon Dwek to inveigle local political candidates, rabbis and others into corruption schemes. Then the DOJ’s Inspector General Glenn Fine exposed Christie, right, on Nov. 9 as the nation’s leading abuser among federal prosecutors of wasting taxpayer money on government-funded trips that exceed spending limits.

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TSA Boondoggle Defies Logic, Decency


Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is escalating the nationwide controversy over U.S. airport security – while President Obama, his team and their media apologists tried to quell criticism over the new full-body scanners and hand-searches. Jesse Ventura

Ventura, a Navy SEAL combat veteran of Vietnam, told broadcaster Alex Jones that he’d never fly again on a U.S. commercial airline under the new procedures, which are rolling out across the nation beginning this month. Ventura, elected as an independent in 1998 for one term as governor, said the indignities and what he described as increased cancer risk forced his self-imposed flight-ban even “if it means the end of my career” as a TV show host and commentator.

The crackdown includes potential for many arrests at airports for those who fail to submit to the unprecedented and unwarranted intrusion on privacy and health rights.

Such liability illustrates why our Justice Integrity Project (JIP) announced this month we cannot fully address legal reform without identifying decisive factors in national politics, media coverage and national security.

That’s especially true now that the security-intelligence sector has so greatly expanded beyond the mere “military-industrial complex” that President Eisenhower, the former World War II Allied European commander, denounced as too powerful in his 1961 farewell address.

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Thanksgiving 2010 Reflections on Our Political Prisoners

Thanksgiving is an apt time for those of us enjoying family and freedom to reflect about those being prosecuted in the United States primarily for political purposes.

Let’s examine the Justice Department’s crusades against former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, a Republican, and former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, his state’s leading Democrat. They are among those in the nation’s two million under lock-and-key who are punished far out of proportion to any offense. Victims include Siegelman’s Alabama co-defendant Richard Scrushy, shown at a right in a family photo of a visit at prison. The former HealthSouth CEO is a Republican businessman and father of nine imprisoned on a seven-year term solely because he donated in 1999 and 2000 to Siegelman’s favorite non-profit, the Alabama Education Foundation.

Recent developments in the Kerik and Siegelman/Scrushy cases last week underscore the Obama administration’s shameful efforts to torment defendants, their families and whistleblowers at vast taxpayer expense, thereby extending and covering up previous abuses.

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News Roundup: DOJ Absolves Stevens Prosecutors

The Justice Department’s investigation of prosecutorial misconduct in the 2008 trial of the late Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, left, on corruption charges has found no basis for criminal contempt charges against the prosecutors, according to National Public Radio.

Henry Schuelke, a Washington attorney named by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan as special counsel to probe the case, and the Justice Department declined immediate comment after the report Nov. 15 by NPR’s DOJ correspondent Carrie Johnson. The investigation was prompted by Sullivan, who became outraged that veteran prosecutors withheld evidence required to be submitted to the defendant in advance of his trial.

NPR’s Johnson reported further:

Separately, department ethics watchdogs at the Office of Professional Responsibility have completed their own report into alleged prosecutorial failings in the Stevens case. The OPR review took a broader look at problems among the trial team and supervisors.

But the two sources said OPR did not make misconduct findings against William Welch, who led the Justice Department's Public Integrity unit at the time of the trial, or his deputy, Brenda Morris, who joined the Stevens prosecution team only weeks before the trial. Welch and Morris recently appealed to erase a civil contempt finding by Judge Sullivan. That proceeding is pending and could take some time to complete. Another government lawyer, Ed Sullivan, also emerged from the investigation without major trouble. Ed Sullivan took a back seat during the Stevens trial.

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New York Times Reveals Justice Report On Nazis

A recently exposed Justice Department report about how the United States created a “safe haven” here for Nazis after World War II shows a secret double-standard: The government invited some elite Nazis to help U.S. Cold War military programs after the war but aggressively expelled others beginning a quarter century later.

On Nov. 13, the New York Times revealed highlights of a secret Justice Department report about its so-called Nazi Hunt, which I covered closely during its first years in the 1970s. The Times said:

WASHINGTON — A secret history of the United States government’s Nazi-hunting operation concludes that American intelligence officials created a “safe haven” in the United States for Nazis and their collaborators after World War II, and it details decades of clashes, often hidden, with other nations over war criminals here and abroad.

The 600-page report, which the Justice Department has tried to keep secret for four years, provides new evidence about more than two dozen of the most notorious Nazi cases of the last three decades. (See details here.)

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