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Coingate Scandal: My Letter to the U.S. Attorney in Ohio (John Conyers)

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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-05 11:10 PM
Original message
Coingate Scandal: My Letter to the U.S. Attorney in Ohio (John Conyers)
Edited on Wed Jul-06-05 11:11 PM by paineinthearse
John Conyers is a one man Judiciary Committee! :yourock:

p.s. If this is of interest to you, please comment as well in the post in the GD forum - /

Coingate Scandal: My Letter to the U.S. Attorney in Ohio

Many of you not from Ohio may not have followed the growing scandal enveloping the Ohio GOP, also known as "coingate." If ever there was a case of truth being stranger than fiction, or absolute power leading to absolute corruption, this is it. Every single statewide office in Ohio is held by the Repubicans, along with the State Senate, State House, and the Supreme Court (sort of scary, but not too dissimilar from DC). Anyway, a big time GOP fundraiser, Tom Noe, from Toledo, somehow convinced these Republicans that it would be good idea to invest state workers' compensation funds in his rare coins. Not surprisingly, this has proven to be a bad investment for everyone but Noe, and many of the coins are now missing. Noe is under investigation for illegal campaign donations as well. Nearly every Republican in the state is involved in some way or another, and state and federal investigations are pending.

What caught my attention was that the U.S. Attorney in Northern Ohio -- Gregory White -- a Bush appointee, appears to have sat on the investigation for several months. He learned about it before the election, yet did not appear to pursue the matter in earnest until fairly recently. (It goes without saying that if this story had broke before the election, it could have changed tens, if not hundreds of thousands of GOP votes in Ohio to the Democratic column.) Yesteday, I asked Mr. White to explain the delay as well as describe the extent and nature of any contacts he has had with the GOP in DC. The Toledo Blade -- which has done a superb job in investigating and reporting this matter -- has a story on my letter and White's response. I will be interested to see whether and how he responds to me. Given that White was willing to go on the record with the Blade to challenge my letter, I think he owes me the courtesy of a formal response as well.

Blogged by JC on 07.06.05 @ 10:55 PM ET <5 Comments>

Conyers rips Justice Department for 'delayed' Noe probe
Michigan congressman says investigation was stalled until after election


A prominent Michigan congressman is criticizing the U.S. Justice Departments handling of the Tom Noe investigation, saying it delayed its probe until after the re-election of President Bush.

U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D., Detroit), in a letter to Gregory A. White, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, criticized progress on the case that involved one of the Presidents highest-profile fund-raisers in Ohio. In particular, I am concerned that your office delayed investigating this very serious matter until after the 2004 presidential election and as a result prejudiced the governments ability to pursue justice in this case, Mr. Conyers wrote. In his letter, Mr. Conyers asked Mr. White to answer a number of questions, which boil down to: What did he know about Mr. Noe and when did he know it? The congressman also wants to know if officials within the Bush administration talked with Mr. Whites office about the case.

Although he said he wants answers and is not jumping to conclusions, the longtime congressman said he has many questions about the investigation. It begins to appear that there may have been a desire to wait until after the election, Mr. Conyers said during a telephone interview yesterday. He is the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee and has been in Congress since 1965. However, he cannot hold a committee hearing without the approval of Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R., Wisconsin), the chairman of the committee.

Mr. Noe was chairman of the Bush-Cheney campaign in northwest Ohio, one of the most hotly contested areas in the most hotly contested state. President Bushs re-election was assured with his victory in Ohio. Mr. Noe is also a rare-coin dealer who persuaded officials from the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation to invest $50 million in state funds in two rare-coin funds that he set up and managed. Numerous state investigators are dissecting the coin funds following revelations that $13 million from the funds is unaccounted for. He has been removed as manager of the funds.

Federal prosecutors have been trying to determine whether Mr. Noe gave people money in order for them to contribute to the Bush-Cheney campaign. Testimony before a federal grand jury hearing evidence in the matter resumes today. Mr. White defended his handling of the case, saying yesterday that he acted prudently after initially receiving information about Mr. Noe from Lucas County. I think its pretty clear this was handled by the local prosecutor and our office in a very professional, straightforward manner, Mr. White said. The U.S. attorneys office first received information about the case from the Lucas County prosecutors office on Oct. 12, 2004, less than three weeks before the Nov. 2, 2004, election.

much more, must reading!..........

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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-01-05 10:37 AM
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1. Conyers' latest blog entry
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