Men in High Castles. Putin/Trump Congress ShitCans Ethics Rules in First Act
January 3, 2017
In it’s first act of the new session, the Trump session, the first Post-Russian hack session, the session where millions of Americans are asking if we have just suffered the greatest attack on America since Pearl Harbor, and an actual intrusion, if not takeover, of the White House by a foreign power – Congress asks – is it possible to gag a maggot?
These are not men that believe there will ever be a fair election in America again.
If you don’t know why Congress has ethics rules, your Reps just cut loose the regs brought on by the Jack Abramoff Scandal.
The federal investigations into Jack Abramoff and his political and business dealings are among the broadest and most extensive in American political history, involving well over a dozen offices of the FBI and over 100 FBI agents tasked exclusively to the investigation. Given the extent and complexity of the suspected corruption, an entire inter-governmental task force, involving many federal governmental departments and agencies, has been established to aid the federal investigation. The U.S. Justice Department has announced that it will not reveal the details of the investigation, or who specifically has been targeted for investigation, until indictments are issued. Under his plea agreements, Abramoff is required to answer all questions by federal investigators and prosecutors.
The investigations led to several plea agreements by those involved, including Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH). Abramoff himself also plead guilty to federal corruption charges, including tax fraud and bribing public officials. Abramoff’s activities also became an issue for many Democratic candidates in the November 2006 House and Senate elections, as many challengers painted the incumbent Republican Congress as corrupted by Abramoff and his powerful allies. On March 29, 2006, he was sentenced to five years and ten months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of more than $21 million.
As a result of Abramoff’s criminal behavior, prominent politicians with close ties to Abramoff as well as hundreds of Congressional politicians who have received money from his clients (see the monetary influence of Jack Abramoff) came under media scrutiny (with some even donating the money to charity), with lobbying reform proposals presented by both parties. In September 2006 both the Senate and House passed bills and rules changes to make public earmarks but not make other substantive lobbying reforms.
Defying the wishes of their top leaders, House Republicans voted behind closed doors Monday night to rein in the independent ethics office created eight years ago in the wake of a series of embarrassing congressional scandals.
The 119-to-74 vote during a GOP conference meeting means that the House rules package expected to be adopted Tuesday, the first day of the 115th Congress, would rename the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) as the Office of Congressional Complaint Review and place it under the oversight of the House Ethics Committee.
Under the proposed new rules, the office could not employ a spokesperson, investigate anonymous tips or refer criminal wrongdoing to prosecutors without the express consent of the Ethics Committee, which would gain the power to summarily end any OCE probe.
The OCE was created in 2008 to address concerns that the Ethics Committee had been too timid in pursuing allegations of wrongdoing by House members. Under the current House ethics regime, the OCE is empowered to release a public report of its findings even if the Ethics Committee chooses not to take further action against a member.
The move to place the OCE under the Ethics Committee’s aegis stands to please many lawmakers who have been wary of having their dirty laundry aired by the independent entity, but some Republicans feared that rolling back a high-profile ethical reform would send a negative message as the GOP assumes unified control in Washington. President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to “drain the swamp” and has proposed a series of his own ethics reforms.
If you don’t know how this relates to climate, Mr Abramoff makes a brief appearance in this video about Climate, Tobacco, and Congressional Lies.