The ongoing scandal over former CIA Director David Petraeus’ affair and the September attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya were two of the main topics when President Barack Obama had his first post-election White House press conference this afternoon. President Obama promised thorough investigations would be done to uncover details about the FBI investigation that unearthed the Petraeus scandal and the circumstances surrounding the Benghazi attack. He also had high praise for Mr. Petraeus and harsh words for anyone who might attempt to block him from nominating diplomat Susan Rice as secretary of state because her role in the widely-criticized shifting explanations for the Libyan embassy attack.
Too Hot For TV
Writers who craft the infamous “ripped from the headlines” plots on Law & Order: SVU are apparently having trouble keeping up with the ongoing scandal over former CIA Director and retired general David Petraeus’ affair with his biographer. Now that the story has grown to include another general and an FBI agent accused of sending shirtless pictures of himself to a woman the man in charge of the sex crimes-focused cop show sent a tweet begging for mercy. He also threw in Sesame Street muppet Elmo, who had a sex scandal of his own break this week.
“Memo to:FBI/CIA/NATO/SesameStreet From:SVU Writers’ Room–Please slow it down, we’re having a hard time getting this all down,” wrote SVU showrunner Warren Leight this morning.
“I’m here today because I’ve been walking our district in Brooklyn and in Staten Island and I’ve been talking to thousands of people,” Mark Murphy, the Democratic candidate against GOP Rep. Michael Grimm, declared at a perss conference earlier today. “I hear so many people ask me so many of the same questions — this is Democrats, this is Republicans, this is Conservatives, this is Independents — ‘Can’t we have honest leadership? Don’t we deserve honest leadership?’”
He added, “I say to them, ‘Yeah, you do.’”
Yesterday, Congressman Michael Grimm declared his love for his pooch Sebastian and encouraged his entire staff to bring their dogs to his Washington D.C. and district offices for Take Your Dog To Work Day, a fairly innocent and non-threatening endeavor. Nevertheless, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, always aggressively eager to highlight the serious fundraising allegations leveled against Mr. Grimm, has done it again and seized upon Mr. Grimm’s puppy love to push their message.
“Congressman Grimm’s latest excuse not to talk about his legal and ethical problems?” the DCCC proclaimed in a statement this morning, pumping up the news of the continuing FBI investigation. “He is too busy playing with his puppy, trying to lighten the mood of staffers worried about impending interviews with the FBI.”
From conversations in and around Congressman Michael Grimm’s orbit, The Politicker has learned the FBI has been speaking to at least one individual about fundraising allegations against his 2010 campaign in the last couple weeks. One such person, who requested anonymity to speak candidly, confirmed that the FBI reached out to him to inquire on the matter.
This continues a New York Times story from earlier this year when the publication reported Mr. Grimm used a combination of straw donors and extortion to illegally raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for his campaign. However, very little until now occurred in subsequent developments outside of an Associated Press report in early March that the FBI was “considering whether to open an investigation” into his fundraising.
“We are of course familiar with the FBI inquiry and we welcome the news that it is heading towards completion,” Mr. Grimm, a former FBI agent himself, said in in a statement provided by his campaign’s lawyer. “We contacted the Justice Department and other appropriate agencies immediately after the false allegations against me first appeared in an irresponsible New York Times story in January. I look forward to a speedy resolution and am confident that I will be fully vindicated. I’ve done nothing wrong and any fair and thorough inquiry will come to the same conclusion.”
fighting fire with fire
There were a flurry of new stories about Congressman Michael Grimm this weekend, most notably an Associated Press report that the FBI is considering setting up a formal investigation into Mr. Grimm’s fundraising, but the Staten Island Republican is pressing forward with his reelection campaign at full speed. He announced his second union endorsement this morning, this time from the Uniformed Fire Officers Association.
“The Unformed Fire Officers Association, representing active and retired New York City Fire Officers, is proud to endorse Congressman Michael Grimm for re-election to the United State’s New York’s 13th District,” UFOA President Al Hagan said in a statement.
Congress is poised to narrowly avert another shutdown.
Senator Liz Krueger discussed the possibility of a Republican coup in the state senate.
Mayor Bloomberg doesn’t think people in wheelchairs are capable of taking cabs.
plus ca change
Some people just never learn.
Just weeks after he beat federal corruption charges describing him as a “a paid advocate in Albany, a politician on the take,” Brooklyn assemblyman William F. Boyland Jr. was arrested by the FBI again this morning – for taking bribes to pay the lawyers defending him in the first bribe-taking trial.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said Occupy Wall Street is following his lead on the “Millionaire’s Tax.”
The FBI was watching former Queens Congresswoman and
Republican Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro.
Democratic State Senator Adriano Espaillat organized a march in Washington Heights in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.
MF Global, a hedge fund brokerage headed by former New Jersey Governor and Senator Jon Corzine, filed for bankruptcy Monday. The New York Times is calling the firm’s collapse “the first American financial casualty of the European debt crisis.”
FBI investigators say the case of the 2001 anthrax attacks is closed, but a new paper by a group of leading scientists suggests the real killers were never found.