Fraudulently manipulate waiting lists, leaving ailing veterans to die? Get a promotion.
Investigate conservative groups seeking tax exemptions? Ho hum.
Jeopardize national security and the lives of overseas operatives by flagrantly using an unsecured email server? Run for president.
Actually do your job and try to block a powerful Washington senator from bending the law to benefit his family and cronies? Get fired, smeared and offered a bribe to keep quiet.
The Daily Caller reports that a Department of Homeland Security agent who tried to block the government handing out green cards to foreign investors with questionable backgrounds — including some who invested in a Las Vegas hotel and casino with ties to Rory Reid, son of Sen. Harry Reid — has been fired, but she refused to accept a $100,000 severance payment that was conditional on her signing a non-disclosure agreement.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Taylor Johnson told Congress this past year that she found gross mismanagement and possible corruption in a program that hands out U.S. visas to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in American companies. She described the abuse as a threat to public safety.
She also said her investigation was shut down and her firearm and credentials confiscated.
A Daily Caller reporter says an ICE press secretary approached him with what she claimed to be confidential information showing Johnson was dishonest in an effort to smear the soon-to-be former employee. Of course, now those officials are mum because it is a personnel matter.
As for Reid’s involvement, in December 2013 Cause of Action, a group that says it advocates for government accountability, filed an ethics complaint against Reid. The complaint has been ignored.
The complaint accused Reid of using his influence to overturn decisions by ICE that denied visas to foreigners who planned to lend financial support to the renovation of the Sahara Hotel, the now renamed and reopened SLS. The agency had turned down the SLS investor visa applications due to “suspicious financial activity.” The decision was ineligible for appeal.
One official reported getting into a shouting match with a Reid staffer over the denial of those visas.
But that Cause of Action complaint was filed before all the chips were on the table.
Four days after that complaint was filed, the Senate voted to confirm the nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas to become the second in command at the Department of Homeland Security. He was the one who granted the visas after personally talking to Reid. The vote was 54-41. Had Reid not just nuked the Senate rules of filibuster the nomination would have failed to achieve the previously required 60 votes.
Mayorkas was confirmed despite the fact he was under investigation at the time for expediting certain visa applications for certain applicants despite the rejection of those visas by career staffers. Among those seeking foreign investors were Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and the brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Anthony Rodham.
Reid had made a personal call to Mayorkas, according to the Washington Times, who promised him his agency would take a “fresh look” at the SLS visa request. Soon after that the agency expedited visas for about two dozen foreign SLS investors. The Washington Times reported that Federal Election Commission records show executives for two companies involved in the hotel project had made $127,000 in political donations over the previous three elections, mostly to Democrats.
The Cause of Action complaint said, “Despite the fact that these applications were ineligible for appeal, Senator Reid’s efforts to lobby USCIS resulted in the reconsideration and approval of those applications … Even more troublesome is the fact that Senator Reid’s son, Rory Reid, and his law firm, Lionel, Sawyer & Collins P.C., are legal counsel to the SLS Hotel and Casino.”
The Senate Code of Official Conduct prohibits members from acting on matters that in which they have “a political, personal, or financial interest.”
Johnson testified that EB-5 visas were approved in as little 16 days and without “lacked basic necessary law enforcement” screening.
ABC News, in its own investigation, found foreign visa applicants were approved despite “allegations of fraud, money laundering, forgery, and other crimes against them.”