Culture of Corruption: Harry Reid Staffer Caught in Sham Marriage to Keep Terror Suspect in the U.S.
And she stayed on Reid's staff for two years after confessing the scam to the feds. What did Harry know, and when did he know it?
October 26, 2010 - 7:06 am
Senator Harry Reid’s office is once again embroiled in a scandal involving a staffer, this time with implications for national security and (surprise) journalism ethics. Two weeks ago, it was revealed that a Reid staffer and other congressional aides were buying or selling shares in companies regulated by Congress.
Now, Reid’s Hispanic press secretary, Diana Tejada, has been implicated in an immigration scam involving a false marriage to a Lebanese national who was under investigation by the Oklahoma City Joint Terrorism Task Force, according to a FoxNews report. A spokesman for the Senate majority leader from Nevada, Jim (“I spin for a living”) Manley, would not comment other than to say that the “staffer at issue is no longer with our office.” Manley refused to provide a timeline as to Tejada’s dismissal or to say when the majority leader found out about the investigation.
Authorities say that Tejada, 37, fraudulently married Bassam Mahmoud Tarhini, who has been investigated for ties to Islamic extremists. “In 2008, sources with knowledge of the case told FoxNews.com, the FBI — working with the Oklahoma City Joint Terrorism Task Force — sent what’s called a collateral request to ICE, asking them to track down Tejada to interview her about Tarhini,” reported FoxNews.
In the summer of 2008, Tejada lied to federal investigators who were interested in Tarhini’s radical ties. She was not employed with Reid’s office at the time; she was employed with La Raza. Tejada contended then to agents that her marriage was legitimate. She joined Reid’s staff in October 2008, and in November “Tejada broke down and confessed that her marriage was a lie, carried out to get Tarhini U.S. residency,” after being presented with new evidence by the feds, according to FoxNews. What’s clear from reports is that for 24 months after confessing to federal agents that her marriage to a man with possible terror connections was a sham, Tejada continued to work for Senator Reid. For reasons as yet unclear, though Tejada faced a possible 25 years in jail on the variety of felony charges at play, the federal government declined to prosecute. And though she says she was paid to enter into the sham marriage, the failure to prosecute means we will probably never know who paid her to engage in a sham marriage involving a man suspected of having ties to terrorists, a marriage that would have given the man an inside track to permanent residency in the U.S. All of this gives rise to a couple of questions that ought to be directed Harry’s way. Why did Tejada remain employed on Reid’s staff for two years after the confessed crimes came to light, and were any strings pulled in relation to scuttling her prosecution?
So let’s go behind the curtain to reveal what the media has to say about it, friends.