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McClatchy: Curt Weldon Under Investigation

The LA Times broke the story back in 2004 that Rep. Curt Weldon’s (R-PA) daughter Karen, then in her late twenties, ran a lobbying firm that was raking in approximately $1 million a year – and by some strange coincidence, her three main clients all had developed a relationship with her father, Curt.Now McClatchy breaks news that the FBI opened an investigation of the matter in recent months. Just out:

The Justice Department is investigating whether Republican Rep. Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania traded his political influence for lucrative lobbying and consulting contracts for his daughter, according to sources with direct knowledge of the inquiry.The FBI, which opened an investigation in recent months, has formally referred the matter to the department’s Public Integrity Section for additional scrutiny. At issue are Weldon’s efforts between 2002 and 2004 to aid two Russian companies and two Serbian brothers with ties to strongman Slobodan Milosevic, a federal law enforcement official said…. But McClatchy Newspapers’ sources said the FBI only over the last few months obtained evidence suggesting that the congressman may have broken the law. One of the sources, a federal law enforcement official, said that Weldon had not yet been told about the inquiry. The official said that the FBI recently sought the assistance of federal prosecutors in pressuring an unidentified person to provide evidence about the 59-year-old congressman. The attempt to “squeeze” this individual appeared to be an early step, the two sources said. It is uncertain whether the current investigation will blossom into a full-blown inquiry that will result in criminal charges being filed. It is possible at this stage of the investigation that nothing will come of it. But the FBI typically does not seek the involvement of the Justice Department unless it finds substance to the evidence it has gathered.

Weldon is locked in a tight re-election race with retired Vice Adm. Joe Sestak.

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October 14, 2006 - Posted by | Scandals

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