Belmont Club


The senior Justice Department official who sent a letter to a Republican senator falsely claiming that the department did not allow guns to be “walked” to drug smugglers in Mexico during the Fast and Furious investigation left the department Wednesday to become dean of the Baltimore School of Law.

Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich told Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa — who had initiated Congress’s Fast and Furious probe — that accusations that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser who then transported them to Mexico were “false.”

Attorney General Eric Holder said “I am proud of the work done by the Office of Legislative Affairs under Ron’s watch to advance legislation vital to ensuring justice.”

Weich was also mentioned in connection misleading Congress in regard to a bribery scandal involving officials in the US Virgin Islands. Those officials were said to have accepted bribes to favor the proposal of a certain company which needed their approval to do business. “On April 24, 2012 the Daily Caller reported that U.S. Department of Justice official Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich plans to resign his position shortly for allegedly providing misleading information to congress relative to the Virgin Islands bribery scandal and other matters.” According to another Daily Caller article:

In February, Weich denied the Justice Department’s involvement in another scandal. The Daily Caller learned that the DOJ had failed to arrest and prosecute several indicted financial criminals because of an alleged bribery scheme. Weich said the DOJ had no knowledge of any bribery.

But TheDC’s investigation unearthed allegations that two DOJ prosecutors on a team of more than 25 accepted cash bribes from indicted finance executives in the U.S. Virgin Islands. And USVI Gov. John de Jongh allegedly accepted part of at least $20 million in cash bribes in exchange for favors from his administration. At least five other prosecutors, according to TheDC’s well-placed source in the DOJ, were compromised.

The scandal involved not only Virgin Islands officials, but impinged on circles frequented by Barney Frank, who took free rids on a Virgin Island’s power broker’s private jet. Frank denied any wrongdoing saying it was no crime to have pals with money.

The Maine News Wire Dot Com, recently published an article headlined, “Sussman associates entangled in Virgin Islands bribery scandal,” that reads: “Associates of Congreewoman Chellie Pingree’s husband, billionaire hedge fund investor, S. Donald Sussman, have become key players in a bribery scandal that is rocking the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Sussman has been a resident of the USVI for years, and uses a controversial tax shelter managed by the Virgin Islands Economic Development Commission (EDC) for his company, Trust Asset Management. Though parameters of the tax shelter require his residence in the USVI, Sussman has recently claimed that he is a resident of Maine, since his 2011 marriage to U.S. Congresswoman Pingree. Pingree and Sussman continue to frequent their multiple mansions in the islands, and have entertained notable figures on their private jet vacations, including Congressman and former chair of the Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank. Details of Sussman’s tax shelter use were reported by the Weekly Standard in 2010.”

Even Barack Obama has been dragged into the mess. Sussman is a major donor to left wing and Democratic Party causes. “Sussman sits on the board of the Center for American Progress, the Democracy Alliance and the dovish Israel Policy Forum, and he’s been one of the top contributors to left-leaning 527 organizations during the 2010 election cycle. ”

Gary James, who recently relocated to St. Croix from New York, has contacted Congressmen, Rangel and Conyers concerning the perception of political collusion between particular members of the US Department of Justice and VI government officials under indictment, which is why execution of the federal sealed indictments was truncated. In his (James) letter to the congressmen, he said, “I am concerned that there are efforts underway to link President Obama’s reelection campaign with short circuiting movement on the alleged VI government corruption case, for political reasons.”

James is heading up a coalition of Republicans and Democrats in New York City, on behalf of the reelection of President Obama, and they are formulating a fundraiser a fall fundraiser for the Obama campaign. A spokesperson for Gary James said, “We trust that President Obama will in short order distance his reelection the campaign in order to avoid any perception of collusion with the administration of the non-voting Virgin Islands governor.”

Given the degree of incivility and partisanship rampant in Washington today, it is probably wise for Weich to get out of the line of fire and retire to the sedate and rarified atmosphere of academia. Otherwise people might get the wrong idea about a lot of things.

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