Tales from the Trail

FBI releases files on ex-Senator Stevens, little on corruption case

February 11, 2011

The FBI released some of its expansive files on former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens who died last year in a plane crash, offering tidbits about threats against him, accusations of corruption and some correspondence he had with the FBI.

U.S. officials seek to shelve Karzai tensions

April 16, 2010

Tensions, what tensions?

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Jack Lew arrived back from Afghanistan and Pakistan on Friday, touting the performance of several ministers in Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government.

Blago says he’s “blacker than Barack Obama”

January 11, 2010

Believe it or not, Rod Blagojevich is African-American — and more so than President Barack Obama. At least, that’s what the former Illinois governor tells Esquire magazine in a new interview.
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“It’s such a cynical business, and most of the people in the business are full of (expletive deleted) and phonies, but I was real, man — and am real. This guy, he was catapulted in on hope and change, what we hope the guy is. What the (expletive deleted)? Everything he’s saying’s on the teleprompter,” Esquire quotes Blago as saying about the president, without the expletives deleted.

Ex-House Republican aide pleads not guilty to corruption charges

September 9, 2009

An aide to former House Majority Leader Richard Armey pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges of receiving valuable sports and concert tickets as well as free meals in a corruption case related to disgraced U.S. lobbyist Jack Abramoff.Horace Cooper, through his lawyer, pleaded not guilty during a brief arraignment in U.S. District Court, and while he will have to surrender his passport, Cooper won’t have to post any bail and will still be able to travel around the country giving speeches.CRIME ABRAMOFFWearing a pink dress shirt, sport coat and slacks, Cooper hastily put on a necktie as he appeared before Judge John Facciola who informed him of his rights to a speedy trial and to counsel if he could not afford one.Cooper was indicted last month on five counts of conspiracy, making false statements, concealment and obstruction of justice from his time working with Armey as well as later at the Voice of America and the Labor Department.In one titillating detail in the indictment, Cooper complained to Abramoff that he was charged $141 at the lobbyist’s restaurant Signatures, saying “I think there may have been a little glitch at the restaurant.”Cooper’s attorney, white collar crime defense lawyer Sol Wisenberg, asked the court to permit his client to continue traveling throughout the United States without advance court approval so he can give speeches which is one of his current sources of income.  He said that Cooper was “not in any way a flight risk.”Facciola approved the request, but ordered that Cooper give a week’s advance notice of his travel plans.Click here for more Reuters political coverage.- Photo credit: Reuters/Carlos Barria (Abramoff outside a Florida courthouse.)

Aide to former House Republican leader indicted in Abramoff case

August 21, 2009

An aide to former U.S. House Majority Leader Richard Armey was indicted on corruption charges in connection with disgraced U.S. lobbyist Jack Abramoff, including taking free sports tickets and helping  his clients with a government contract.

Attorney General warns prosecutors after Stevens debacle

July 22, 2009

(UPDATE: clarifies first two paragraphs about Holder talking to prosecutors)

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder had some pointed words for prosecutors on Wednesday after the fumbling of the corruption case against former Republican Senator Ted Stevens that the government ultimately had to drop because evidence was withheld from the defense team.