Friday, April 22, 2005
The Story The SAEN Won't Report
A New Orleans political consultant who is Senator Kennedy's brother-in-law, Raymond Reggie, has been operating in Democratic circles for the last three years as an undercover informant for the FBI, sources close to the matter said yesterday.
At a federal court hearing yesterday morning, Reggie, 43, who organized fund-raisers for President and Mrs. Clinton, pleaded guilty to two felony charges, bank fraud and conspiracy. Prosecutors described check-kiting and loan fraud schemes he operated involving three Louisiana banks, but they did not publicly detail his cooperation with the government.
The New York Sun reported yesterday that an unnamed witness with ties to a prominent political figure has been involved in recent federal investigations of campaign fund-raising violations, including a probe into alleged financial misreporting in Mrs. Clinton's bid for the Senate in 2000. The informant, described in court papers only as a "confidential witness," was part of an FBI plan to secretly audiotape conversations with political operatives, including a well-known person who prosecutors said was seeking to funnel donations from foreigners to federal campaigns.
We know now that Reggie was involved in Senator Clinton's campaign:
The disclosure that Reggie was surreptitiously recording conversations for the FBI may have caused some heartburn yesterday for Democrats who have had contact with him since 2002.
Reggie was a regular presence at Mr. Clinton's side when he visited New Orleans during his presidency and thereafter. Just last September, Mr. Clinton had lunch in that city with Reggie, as the former president swung through town to sign his autobiography and attend a $10,000-a-head Democratic Party fund-raiser, the Times-Picayune newspaper reported. A former congresswoman and ambassador to the Vatican, Lindy Boggs, joined Reggie and Mr. Clinton at the lunch, as did two federal judges whom Mr. Clinton appointed.
When Mrs. Clinton traveled to New Orleans in May 2000 to raise $100,000 for her Senate campaign, Reggie was on the host committee.
I guarantee that if this case involved a person close to Tom Delay, who was also a relative of a Republican Senator, this story would be front page fodder for the SAEN. You can read more about it here.