DoJ drops investigation of Richardson

posted at 10:55 am on August 27, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

What do Bill Richardson and the New Black Panther Party have in common?  Both got let off the hook by Attorney General Eric Holder and the Obama Department of Justice.  Holder, who recently announced a push to investigate and potentially prosecute CIA interrogators, will not prosecute the governor of New Mexico for his pay-for-play activities, which scotched his nomination for Secretary of Commerce:

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former high-ranking members of his administration won’t be criminally charged in a yearlong federal investigation into pay-to-play allegations involving one of the Democratic governor’s large political donors, someone familiar with the case said.

The decision not to pursue indictments was made by top Justice Department officials, according to a person familiar with the investigation, who asked not to be identified because federal officials had not disclosed results of the probe.

“It’s over. There’s nothing. It was killed in Washington,” the person told The Associated Press.

This marks the second time the DoJ has killed a prosecution for political allies of the administration.  This time, though, the connection is a lot more explicit.  Richardson was connected to Obama well enough to get a Cabinet appointment in the transition, later having to decline because of the federal probe into corruption in his administration in New Mexico.

And what were those pay-for-play problems?  Michelle reported them in her book Culture of Corruption, now at the top of the New York Times best-seller list for a fourth consecutive week:

The White House transition team knew about the pay-to-play scandal involving a California company, CDR Financial Products, well before Obama unwisely fêted Richardson’s ability to show “how government can act as a partner to support our businesses.” FBI and federal prosecutors launched their probe of CDR’s activities in New Mexico in the summer of 2008.

The feds had been digging into a nationwide web of favor-trading between financial firms and politicians overseeing local government bond markets. CDR was tied to a doomed bond deal in Alabama which, according to Bloomberg News, threatened to cause the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. CDR raked in nearly $1.5 million in fees from a New Mexico state financial agency after donating more than $100,000 to Richardson’s efforts to register Hispanic and American Indian voters and to pay for expenses at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, the news service reported. The state agency that awarded the money consisted of five Richardson appointees and five members of his gubernatorial cabinet. CDR made contributions both shortly before and after securing consultant work with the state of New Mexico. CDR’s president also contributed $29,000 to Obama’s presidential campaign.

Apparently, the Obama administration and the Holder DoJ condone this activity, while pursuing the people who keep America safe from attack.  It’s an interesting set of priorities, and unfortunately not much of a surprise.

So when do we get to hear protestations from House and Senate Democrats over the politicization of the DoJ? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?


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Comment pages: 1 2

With the Democrats holding majorities in both chambers one would think at least ONE of them could be bothered to slap the administration over this.

What am I saying? That’s crazy talk!

Browncoatone on August 27, 2009 at 11:54 AM

Koa on August 27, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Ah, you may be onto something. Maybe the GOP LIKES being out of power. At least they’d better since they will be for a long long time if they keep listening to losers, lol.

DrAllecon on August 27, 2009 at 11:57 AM

The Jug-eared One is WITHOUT HONOR.

Eric Holder is WITHOUT HONOR.

Chicago on the Potomac indeed.

hillbillyjim on August 27, 2009 at 11:52 AM

I hate getting stuck on the bottom of a page.

hillbillyjim on August 27, 2009 at 11:57 AM

What’s even more disgusting, is the fact that this is all being done in the open. It’s arrogance, and disregard for the citizens of New Mexico, and this country, are repulsive.

Yet there isn’t one, not one on the Democrat side, that will stand up, and say….THIS IS WRONG!!!!!!!

capejasmine on August 27, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Koa on August 27, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Ah, you may be onto something. Maybe the GOP LIKES being out of power. At least they’d better since they will be for a long long time if they keep listening to losers, lol.

DrAllecon on August 27, 2009 at 11:57 AM

It certainly does make one pause for thought doesnt it.

Koa on August 27, 2009 at 12:07 PM

I hate getting stuck on the bottom of a page.

hillbillyjim on August 27, 2009 at 11:57 AM

HAHA. Duly noted.

fogw on August 27, 2009 at 12:08 PM

Sounds like we need a special prosecutor to investigate the DoJ.

Ordinary American on August 27, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Bill should’ve been tried for this. New Mexico politics is basically ALL pay-for-play and all his croneys administration are scared they’ll lose their high paying jobs if they so much as sneeze wrong. Bill must’ve pulled some favor in the White House to avoid this scandal being opened up.

SWChance on August 27, 2009 at 12:57 PM

“Top Justice Department officials” = political appointees.

JM Hanes on August 27, 2009 at 12:58 PM

Where’s the evidence that Richardson did anything illegal? I mean, I’ll admit that there was enough smoke that it made sense to see if there was fire. But it’s at least possible that they investigated it thoroughly and decided there was nothing prosecutable. As the source for the story said, “It’s over. There’s nothing.”

There’s plenty of evidence that CIA interrogators and contractors committed illegal acts, so it’s not surprising that they would be investigated and Richardson wouldnt.

orange on August 27, 2009 at 1:33 PM

orange on August 27, 2009 at 1:33 PM

Not at all surprising that you conveniently believe that there is evidence where you want it and there is no evidence where you don’t. No biases at work there… I’ll bet you said there was no evidence against Bill Clinton right up to the famous blue dress, probably even afterwards.

So I’m sure there was no evidence of voter intimidation by those Black Panther’s who case was also dropped by the DoJ. Right? Or is there ever any evidence when it comes to a lefty being investigated? Please, do give examples.

Scrappy on August 27, 2009 at 2:00 PM

Republic of the USA: “killed in Washington”

wepeople on August 27, 2009 at 2:07 PM

Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

Johan Klaus on August 27, 2009 at 2:13 PM

orange on August 27, 2009 at 1:33 PM

Proof?

Johan Klaus on August 27, 2009 at 2:14 PM

Yet there isn’t one, not one on the Democrat side, that will stand up, and say….THIS IS WRONG!!!!!!!

capejasmine on August 27, 2009 at 12:01 PM

They don’t like looking into the mirror.

Johan Klaus on August 27, 2009 at 2:17 PM

Where’s the evidence that Richardson did anything illegal? I mean, I’ll admit that there was enough smoke that it made sense to see if there was fire. But it’s at least possible that they investigated it thoroughly and decided there was nothing prosecutable. As the source for the story said, “It’s over. There’s nothing.”

There’s plenty of evidence that CIA interrogators and contractors committed illegal acts, so it’s not surprising that they would be investigated and Richardson wouldnt.

orange on August 27, 2009 at 1:33 PM

What the hell is wrong with you people? Is there anything worthy beyond partisan politics with your kind? What is it going to take?

Sheesh…

anuts on August 27, 2009 at 2:21 PM

Sounds like we need a special prosecutor to investigate the DoJ.

Ordinary American on August 27, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Ditto

BigMike252 on August 27, 2009 at 2:26 PM

as a former chicagoan, i take great insult in comparing the current obama administration to the daley machine(s) in chicago. old man “boss” daley, and by default, his son, both surrounded them selves with crooks and cronies. BUT, “boss” daley and his son demanded that if anyone got caught with their hand in the cookie jar, they were on their own and had to jump on their own sword.

not so with this white house. they are actively protecting their own. richardson, the new black panthers, and that guy out in california that got the inspector general canned with malicious claims of having dementia.

this ain’t your father’s chicago politics.

photoboy74 on August 27, 2009 at 2:46 PM

Quick image illustrating Holder’s DOJ.

BKeyser on August 27, 2009 at 3:23 PM

Where’s the evidence that Richardson did anything illegal?

orange on August 27, 2009 at 1:33 PM

The investigation was killed from the top, not from the bottom.

James on August 27, 2009 at 3:33 PM

Nothing here…move along. Talk about a culture of corruption. WOW what hypocrites.

generouse on August 27, 2009 at 3:35 PM

Wow, why does’nt Holder just come right out and say that he is not going to prosecute any democrat, only republicans, and white people!
Same thing.

patriotparty1 on August 27, 2009 at 3:42 PM

Greg Fouratt (the US Attorney General for New Mexico) is the one who was doing the investigating. He is an acquaintance of mine and a republican, and he’s known for his ability to stand up to anyone, no matter the risk to himself. He’s spent his career out here in New Mexico taking down some pretty high-profile folks while dealing with more than his share of threats to his life and his livelihood.

This is a rather unusual situation if there really is something to the Richardson pay-to-play scandal, because Fouratt would probably blow the whistle if he was told by Holder to sweep something under the rug. As an appointee under the Bush Adminstration, he’s also got a target over his own forehead because he can be replaced any time. My money would be on him coming out with guns-a-blazing rather than keeping quiet to keep his job.

Chuckie on August 27, 2009 at 3:43 PM

Well, since 0bama and some of his intimates received dirty money from some of the same guys that were “pay to play”ing with Richardson, this wasn’t JUST a magnanimous reward for Richardson’s jumping ship from the Clintonitania to the 0bamatanic during the primaries….

He also did it to cover his own butt from any potential blowback that might have come to light if Richardson was prosecuted.

LegendHasIt on August 27, 2009 at 5:43 PM

Transparency with Hope and Change

someone tell Nanzi that the swamp is infested again and its worse now than ever.

bluegrass on August 27, 2009 at 7:36 PM

My Ex-mother-in-law lived out in Santa Fe and had her hair done by a stylist that one time got off the phone all exaserbated while getting her hair colored. When she asked what that was all about the stylist said that was Bill Richardson warning me not to call him at such and such times or he will get busted for their affair together.

Bill Richardson is a man-whore. What is worse is that lots of people in New Mexico now it but shill for the guy by covering for him.

Heftyjo on August 27, 2009 at 11:35 PM

Obambis Attorney General gives Janet Renos tenure a positive
twist. Shes even better lookin than that racist freak.

bluegrass on August 28, 2009 at 9:29 AM

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