Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid accepted donations from key Clinton Chinagate fundraiser John Huang – and later pushed for Senate confirmation of the judge who let Huang off with a slap on the wrist.
News of Reid’s Chinagate donations resurfaced this week in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which detailed the top Democrat’s relationship with a Nevada church whose pastor has been indicted for misusing federal grants obtained by the powerful Senate Democrat.
A federal grant of $423,000 was arranged by Reid for the Alliance Collegiums Association of Nevada, which was run by the Rev. Willie Davis, the longtime pastor of Second Baptist Church.
Reid – a Mormon – has attended Davis’s church infrequently in recent years.
Prosecutors charge that Rev. Davis spent most of the money – $330,000 – on personal expenses.
But in addition to obtaining the grant for Rev. Davis’ organization, Reid gave his church “$100 in December 1999, $500 in November 2002, $200 in September 2002 and $500 in February of this year from his campaign and political funds,” the Nevada paper said.
At least some of that money came from Chinagate’s Huang. Sen. Reid donated $250 he received from Huang to Rev. Davis’s church in 1997, and another $250 of Huang’s money to the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Las Vegas.
But Reid’s relationship with the controversial Chinagate figure doesn’t end there.
In June 1999, Huang’s case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Richard Paez, who had six months earlier been nominated to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals by President Clinton.
Critics says the assignment presented a massive conflict of interest for Judge Paez, a concern fueled by the sentence he meted out to the Clinton donor in Aug. 1999.
Sen. Reid’s former donor received a mere $10,000 fine, 500 hours of community service and one year probation.
When Paez’s 9th Circuit nomination came up for Senate confirmation, Republicans cried foul.
Sen. Jeff Sessions complained that Paez had violated Justice Department sentencing guidelines that required Huang to serve jail time, calling the plea bargain “a dangerous agreement” and “a debasement of justice.”
But Sen. Reid went to bat for Huang’s judge, after being asked to reach out to other Mormon Senators by Mrs. Paez, a fellow Mormon.
“That’s what I did,” Reid told the New York Times.
The argument appears to have worked with Sen. Orrin Hatch, who told Utah’s Deseret News, “I cannot accept, in the absence of any supporting evidence, that two branches of the government engaged in a conspiracy” to give Huang a light sentence.
The News reported that Paez won confirmation “thanks largely to a late conversion to his cause by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch. Ironically, Hatch, R-Utah, helped block votes on Paez last year.
But it is Delay under indictment by a huge partisan hack of DA.
Check out this .pdf done by the LA Times that outlines Sen. Reid’ connections: (h/t Mike’s America)
And can you believe it? The MSM isn’t touching this story. What a surprise.
Check out Hard Starboard for more great info.