Friday, February 08, 2008

Theory: A New Canary About To Sing A Tale of DeLay?

Now this kind of sordid tale generally doesn’t drop in my lap, and I usually don’t touch ones like them until I have read about them somewhere else, but this story is one that I can’t leave alone. Thanks go to Susan who unloaded this little oeuvre from her DC mole on me last night.

What I propose here is a theory that federal investigators of former congressman Tom DeLay (and maybe associated others) in their continuing government corruption probe, have a new canary. Whether that canary is now singing for them or not isn’t known, but from the information Susan’s source has been gleaning, if the concert has not started yet, he may be just now clearing his throat.

Former Congressman John Sweeney, formerly of New York Congressional District 20, a congressman named in the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) report “Beyond DeLay” as “one of the 20 most corrupt members of Congress”, has had a change of heart vis-à-vis his lawyerly representation.

Former Congressman Sweeney (he lost his seat in 2006 in a squeaker to Democratic freshman Congresswoman Kirstin Gillibrand) shared with Tom DeLay an acquaintanceship with Jack Abramoff, an all expenses paid trip to the Northern Marianas Islands (the sweatshop and prostitution capitol of the western Pacific), and . . . and a Virginia law firm with specialists in white collar crime defense and federal investigations.

Yes, including the other two above, John Sweeney and Tom DeLay shared an apparent appreciation for the legal services of McGuire Woods LLP. DeLay was the far more active client, having laid out to McGuire Woods in one October 15, 2006 payment, $175,000. Sweeney’s paltry charge of $6,262.20, paid to McGuire in September of that year, confirms that Sweeney and DeLay were both clients of the same law firm.

But now Sweeney has had a change of heart, and not at an entirely convenient time, it seems. Late last year, Sweeney plopped down what must be one of the last $10,000 checks that he could write from his dwindling campaign fund, made out to DC law firm DLA Piper, US, LLP. DLA Piper also has specialists in “white collar criminal defense”. So Sweeney may still be feeling a need to retain these kinds of services, but apparently not at Tom DeLay’s place of legal representation.


Well, given the worst case scenario, what if the concert was about to begin, and John Sweeney started singing the sweet tunes of corruption to federal investigators? What if those tunes led in directions that would put McGuire Woods in a conflicting position with their other client(s)? What better way to head off those unpleasantries than just to take your game to another law firm.

But why Sweeney? Aren’t there just a whole bunch of these fish out there? Yes, there were ten or so who lost their seats in 2006, but maybe none who have had such recent personal and legal troubles as Sweeney. It almost sounds like a soap opera, but this has all been in the news.

Apparently late last year John Sweeney was pulled over for erratic driving on the turnpike. He was accompanied by a 23-year old woman who was observed sitting in his lap, which might itself cause some erratic driving, but apparently he had a blood alcohol content of .10 as well and so was arrested for DWI . . . AND driving erratically.

And then just a month ago Sweeney was involved in a misunderstanding with a local taxi company. It seems Sweeney engaged the services of a taxi to take him home from an upstate New York strip club at around 2 AM on January 8th, but upon arriving at his house, he refused to pay the cab fare. That got the state police involved, and it was all settled the next day when he (soberly, I guess) sent his son down with a check.

There are other stories, such as alleged wife beating and drunken carousing at frat houses, but that’s just titillation and I won’t bore you with these details.

Now this is all speculation on my part (and, let’s face it, the DC source’s), but doesn’t it look like some government investigators have gotten their hooks in a guy who might have some knowledge, as in confirmation knowledge, of some of the scandalous activity that spelled the beginning of the end of the Republican hegemony in America? A guy who really can’t say “no” right now?

This can’t be good news for Tom DeLay or any of the others who are still out roaming free. Their former associates Jack Abramof, Tony Rudy, Bob Ney, Duke Cunningham and the like have all had their turn with the judge as well as the turnkey. Can it be this canary that, so down on his luck, vulnerable, and willing to sing in exchange for some immunity, will turn the rest of them into jailbirds?

Can there be more to come courtesy of our man Sweeney? More revelations? Some tasty little treats for us? If so, I think I am safe in saying that our anticipated canary has a most apt surname.
"God, that's good that is de have you
Licious ever tasted smell such
Oh my God what perfect more that's
Pies such flavor
God, that's good!!!

(From “Sweeney Todd”, God That’s Good!)

1 comment:

Julia B. said...

Did you forget John Doolittle on your list of congresscritters?