Pay-to-play Scheme Catches up With Harry Reid: Bribery Investigation Begins

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U.S. Senator Harry Reid going to prison.  The only thing that could make that a better picture in my mind is Harry sharing a cell with Hillary.

In what is emerging as a titanic struggle between Utah and the federal government, a local prosecutor has confirmed he is investigating a U.S. Senator in Washington, D.C.

In response to emailed questions, Davis County District Attorney Troy Rawlings confirmed to City Weekly that he is investigating U.S. Senator Harry Reid, D-Nevada, as part of his office’s prosecution of former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff on corruption charges.

This could be really tasty.  Rawlings is in the process of prosecuting two Republicans – Shurtleff and his heir apparent John Swallow – and up pops Dirty Harry.

15-1121 HarrySM

Could Rawlings really have Harry in the bag?

According to charging documents in 2014, both Shurtleff and his heir apparent as Attorney General, John Swallow, allegedly had dealings and received donations from indicted St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson. Court documents referenced in both cases detail how Johnson sought Swallow’s help to ward off civil and criminal investigations into his company’s IWorks’ business interests. Johnson went on to implicate Reid in two bribery schemes.

Is Harry dirty?  There’s been speculation for a couple of decades about how a U.S. Senator could become a multimillionaire on a Senator’s salary.  Senator Harry Reid has managed to do that one with apparent ease.

That wasn’t the only time the name of the Mormon Democratic Senate leader—who grew up dirt poor in Searchlight, Nevada—was mentioned in corruption investigations relating to the Utah Attorney General’s office.

In charging documents filed in 2014 by Davis County and the Salt Lake County District Attorneys, prosecutors laid out a series of email exchanges between Johnson, Swallow and the late Provo payday-loan magnate Richard Rawle. The charging documents allege that Swallow was helping Johnson send funds through Rawle to a contact close to Reid in hopes of securing a meeting with the Senator. Johnson claimed he needed Reid’s help to make a Federal Trade Commission case against him disappear. According to court documents, Johnson sent Rawle $250,000, some of which allegedly went to Swallow.

This time they may actually have Harry on a pike.

Jeremy Johnson claims that Reid was involved in a pay-to-play bribery scheme focused on gambling, the details of which were published in The Salt Lake Tribune in October 2014.

A transcript of a conversation that Johnson recorded between himself and Shurtleff included allegations about a group of online poker business owners who had funneled $2 million to Reid in 2010 to get Senator Reid to introduce legislation legalizing online poker.

My former Senator John Kyl was a co-sponsor of the online poker bill.  It was eventually withdrawn.  I wouldn’t mind seeing Kyl (or maybe John McCain) hauled into the prosecution as well, but I’m not holding my breath.

Could Harry Reid actually be charged in this case?  Let’s only hope.  We’ll be following it.

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