Sunday, January 15, 2006

What Wouldn't Bob Ney Do?

I don't think that investigators are asking the right questions of Ohio Representative Bob Ney. Maybe they should be asking if there is anything Ney wouldn't do for money, or for a nice, all expense paid, foreign trip?

Newsweek say that Ney is under investigation for trying to help a con man named Nigel Winfield.

"... a thrice-convicted felon who ran a company in Cyprus called FN Aviation. Winfield was seeking to sell U.S.-made airplane spare parts to the Iranian government—a deal that would have needed special permits because of U.S. sanctions against Tehran."

After Winfield provided Ney and an aide an expense paid trip to Londay, "Ney personally lobbied the then Secretary of State Colin Powell to relax U.S. sanctions on Iran."

One of Ney's legal team says that their was nothing improper about Ney's actions.

"Ney's lawyer, Mark Tuohey, said Ney had no idea of Winfield's criminal past, which included a 1982 conviction for trying to swindle Elvis Presley in an airplane deal and two more in the late 1980s for tax evasion. Tuohey said there was "absolutely nothing improper" about Ney's raising the issue of Iranian sanctions with Powell and other Bush administration officials."

Who introduced Ney to Winfield? Good question.

"Ney was introduced to Winfield by lobbyists Roy Coffee, a former legislative aide to the then Gov. George W. Bush, and David DiStefano, who had previously been Ney's chief of staff. Coffee and DiStefano (who did not respond to requests for comment) arranged for Ney and a staff member to fly over to London, where Winfield and his Syrian-born business partner, Fouad Al-Zayat, pitched the congressman on their business plan. Back in Washington, Ney talked to Powell, Tuohey said."

Ney's pal tried to cheat Elvis. That's not going to play well in the Red States. More Republican corruption revelations to come.

(hat tip to Down With Tyranny)