Friday, February 03, 2006

Money Laundering 101 – By Lawyers for Lawyers

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2 Democrats Call for Special Prosecutor in Lobbying Case

Most Senate Democrats called on the Justice Department today to appoint a special prosecutor to take over the criminal investigation centered on the Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who has pleaded guilty to conspiring to corrupt members of Congress and other public officials. The Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid [ed. received $47,000 laundered money] of Nevada, said he signed the letter because "we need an independent investigation, not a whitewash led by Attorney General Gonzales, President Bush's best friend."

Here is the Washington Post’s detailed graphic of who received what. In summary, the party in power got $3.4 million mostly unlaundered, and the Democrats got $1.9 million – all money laundered.

Let's see if we can draw a realistic parallel to direct and indirect money:

Jack Abramoff (lawyer-lobbyist, not a bank robber) gave funds directly to some Republicans. Some Democrats, however, received their money after it was laundered through other organizations. Sure am glad we can trust those Democrat lawyers to remove the taint on something.

Many of you are having trouble with the term money laundering applied to lawyers, so here is a quick primer, also from yesterday's (February 2, 2006) news:

Prominent L.A. Attorney Pleads No Contest

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A prominent attorney pleaded no contest Thursday to using a false name while making political contributions to the election campaign of former Mayor James Hahn in 2000 and 2001, officials said. Pierce O'Donnell, 58, was accused of collecting $25,500 in political contributions from employees and associates and then reimbursing them.

Here is what the news article DID NOT say:
+ Both Pierce O’Donnell (ostensibly) and Mayor Hahn are DEMOCRATS
+ Both O'Donnell and Hahn are LAWYERS, and
+ What O’Donnell pleaded No Contest to is called MONEY LAUNDERING

The problem IS bipartisan. The culprit, Abramoff, like 98% of lobbyists, is a LAWYER. Any questions?