"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!" - Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) -

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

GOP Consultant On Tape Offering Access To Senior Bush Officials For Library Gift

Waxman (D-CA) has initiated his own investigation. “If true, this raises serious concerns about the ways in which foreign interests might be secretly influencing large donations to the library,” Waxman wrote in a letter to Payne.

Hell ; don’t waste your time investigating Steve Payne; Impeach Bush and Cheney and put an end to all of this out house material! (Ed.)

And Don’t Miss The Ending Piece; A Late Entry…IT BELONGS IN THE LIBRARY

The Sunday Times of London (hat tip: Think Progress) has some fascinating videotape of a GOP consultant named Stephen Payne offering to set up meetings with Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other senior Bush administration officials in return for a donation to the new library for President Bush, as well as much as $500,000 for his firm, Worldwide Strategic Partners.

http://www.worldwidestrategic.com/ Not Very Online Friendly…But!

You can see the videotape and read the Sunday Times story in full here.


If You Do Not Have an Updated Adobe media Player You May Prompted To Add or Update The Player. It Is Well Worth Having. http://www.adobe.com/products/mediaplayer/?sdid=CDWJB

Update: The Chicago Tribune has a good follow-up here, including a statement from Cheney's office on this controversial story.

On the Sunday Times tape, Payne. a major fundraiser for the Bush campaign in 2000 and 2004, is seen telling "Eric Dos," a Kazakh politician whose full name is Yerzhan Dosmukhamedov, that he can help arrange meetings with top Bush officials for Askar Akayev, the former president of Kyrgyzstan, who is now in exile in Moscow.

The Sunday Times reported: "'I think that some things could be done,' said Payne, adding that seeing Bush himself might be more difficult. With barely a pause, he continued:

“I think that the family, children, whatever [of Akayev], should probably look at making a contribution to the Bush library.

“It would be like, maybe a couple of hundred thousand dollars, or something like that, not a huge amount but enough to show that they’re serious.”

Unfortunately for Payne, the Sunday Times had a reporter secretly videotaping his meeting with Dos.

Dos and Payne have had some previous dealings, Dos claims, including a trip Cheney paid to Kazakhstan, Dos' home country, back in 2006.

"Dos said that in the autumn of 2005 he had been asked by the Kazakh government, via [Timur] Kulibayev [son in law to Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev], to arrange a visit by Cheney. The intention was to improve the country’s international standing," the Sunday Times reported.

"Dos had spent several days negotiating with Payne. A deal was eventually agreed, he said, and he understood that a payment of $2m was passed, via a Kazakh oil and gas company, to Payne’s firm.

The following May, Cheney made a brief trip to Kazakhstan. His visit was remarked upon in the media at the time, both for the lavish praise which he publicly heaped on Nazarbayev and for the stark contrast between this and a speech he had made just a day earlier at a conference in Lithuania in which he had lambasted Russia for being insufficiently democratic. Now he was lauding Nazarbayev, who has effectively made himself president for life and in whose country it is an offense to criticize him."

A brochure obtained by the Sunday Times from Payne's firm included this bio information: "The White House; Senior Presidential Advance Representative: Traveled with President Bush to Jordan for the Red Sea Summit in June 2003, with Vice President Cheney to the Middle East in 2002 & 2005, Korea in 2004, Kazakhstan in 2006, and Afghanistan for the historic inauguration of Afghan President Karzai."

When confronted by the Sunday Times with the videotape, Payne denied any wrongdoing, the newspaper reported.

"When confronted, Payne insisted that the payment to the Bush library was not a 'quid pro quo' and that his company had performed many 'good things' for the world that were 'ethical and always above board.'

He said that making a payment to the library would have had no impact without the client’s cause having merit and being advocated effectively.

Payne, who had confirmed to Dos that he had organized Cheney’s visit, denied having received any payment from any entity connected to Kazakhstan, although he admitted having been paid to help other foreign interests in the past, including people from Pakistan and Azerbaijan."

http://www.propublica.org/ Everyone NEEDS to visit this link!

21 Legislators from 109th Congress Investigated for Corruption

Worldwide Strategic Shakedown Partners
Harper's Magazine, NY - 2 hours ago
The Times posted a glossy confidential brochure for Payne’s firm, Worldwide Strategic Partners, which detailed its alleged prior activities on behalf of the ...
Amidst Possible National Security Breech, Waxman Opens Probe Into ... Huffington


White House Denies Knowledge Of Homeland Adviser's Soliciting ... AHN

Waxman Questions Lobbyist Alleged to Have Traded Access for ... FOXNews

Houston Chronicle

Times Online

all 58 news articles » (In The Swamp, Cesspool or Shit Pile)

DHS And House Oversight Committee Open Investigations Into Payne’s ...
Think Progress, DC - 2 hours ago
By Ryan at 10:17 am House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) has initiated his own investigation. “If true, this raises serious concerns about ..

DHS And House Oversight Committee Open Investigations Into Payne’s Cash-For-Access Scandal»

Stephen Payne, a longtime Bush associate who was revealed to be selling access to top Bush administration officials in return for contributions to the Bush library, is now under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Payne currently serves on the Homeland Security Advisory Council. A spokesman for DHS called the revelations a “horribly unfortunate story” and said the Department is currently “looking into the facts.”

House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) has initiated his own investigation. “If true, this raises serious concerns about the ways in which foreign interests might be secretly influencing large donations to the library,” Waxman wrote in a letter to Payne.

Additionally, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is urging the Justice Department to begin an “investigation into whether…Payne violated any criminal laws.” Yesterday, CREW explained the legal basis for a criminal investigation of Payne and his relationship with the White House:

Federal law prohibits public officials from directly or indirectly demanding, seeking, receiving, accepting, or agreeing to receive or accept anything of value in return for being influenced in the performance of an official act. If Mr. Payne was authorized by any member of the Bush administration to trade meetings with top level officials in return for financial contributions to the Bush library, those officials may have violated the bribery statute. Similarly, by offering to serve as a conduit to deliver contributions to the Bush library in exchange for meetings with administration officials, Mr. Payne may have violated federal law.

While Payne has admitted that his actions could be “perceived to be bribery,” he insists they are legal. Both Payne and the Bush administration deny that he had “top-level access” to the White House. Noting the six-figure sums Payne solicited, CREW executive director, Melanie Sloan said, “He wouldn’t get paid that way if he couldn’t deliver.”

The public record demonstrates clearly that Payne did, in fact, have “top-level access,” as he has been photographed on several occasions working and relaxing with President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and foreign leaders, and has served Bush in a number of capacities on campaigns and in the executive branch. As ThinkProgress noted yesterday, any “perceptions” of impropriety on the part of Payne and Bush administration officials could be up by giving the public access to the White House visitor logs.

Conyers may hold hearings, but plans no action on impeachment

Nick Juliano

Conyers said he wants a public discussion of the issues being raised by Kucinich, but does not plan to take any action on the resolution. “We’re not doing impeachment, but he can talk about it,” the chairman said.

He said such a hearing would continue oversight of the executive branch that has included hearings on the exposure of the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame and the firing of U.S. attorneys.

Conyers appears to be of mixed opinions about impeachment. Prior to the Democrats' takeover of the House in 2006, he penned a Washington Post editorial in which he all but promised he wouldn't. But by August of this year, he seemed to have warmed.

"Nancy Pelosi has impeachment 'off the table,' but that's off her table, it is not off John Conyers' table," the Michigan Democrat said during a town hall meeting in his district Aug. 28. "Nancy Pelosi, who I actually supported, cannot prevent me from introducing an impeachment resolution against, well I've got a long list of people who are eligible."

A Conyers spokesman did not immediately respond to RAW STORY's request for clarification of the congressman's comments at the time.