View Full Version : Ex-House Speaker Hastert Finds New Home

06-03-2008, 07:17 PM
Ex-House Speaker Hastert Finds New Home
Former House Majority Leader Will Now Work for DC Lobbying Firm


June 3, 2008

Former House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert settled in yesterday to new digs in the Washington, D.C. offices of Dickstein Shapiro, a law/lobby firm.

Hastert was said to have been the longest-serving Republican House Majority Leader in history, holding the post from January 1999 to November 2006, when Democrats wrested control of the House away from the GOP in the midterm elections.

Hastert's time as a leader on Capitol Hill was brushed by multiple scandals. Perhaps the most damaging came from Hastert's reported failure to act on knowledge of inappropriate contacts between then-Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., and teenaged former House pages, as confirmed by the House ethics committee's report on the matter. Hastert disputed the report's conclusion.

A 2003 letter Hastert wrote aiding certain Indian tribes threatened to draw him into the Abramoff scandal; Hastert denied wrongdoing. ABC News reported in May 2006 that Hastert had come under investigation in connection with the Abramoff probe. Justice Department officials initially denied he was under investigation, but later said he was "in the mix." No charges were brought.

In 2006, reporters and good government groups made hay over Hastert's involvement in funding a highway project, which helped him make $2 million when he sold land he owned nearby. Hastert's lawyer said there was no connection between the highway project and the land deal.

A 2005 Vanity Fair article alleged Turkish groups and individuals at the Turkish Consulate in Washington, D.C. had discussed funneling tens of thousands of dollars to Hastert in exchange for political favors; his spokesman at the time denied Hastert had any knowledge of Turkish groups and had done no favors.

Hastert's new firm has done work for the government of Turkey and Turkish companies, a spokesperson confirmed Monday. She could not say whether or not Hastert would be working on projects involving that country.

06-03-2008, 07:45 PM
Sibel Edmonds Case: Dennis Hastert to receive payoffs for 'services rendered'


By Luke Ryland
Mon Jun 02, 2008 at 04:59:07 AM PDT

So, former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds is again proved right. For more than a year Sibel has been predicting (http://www.hairenik.com/HairenikTV/HA_TV_Clip65.htm)that Dennis Hastert will join a lobbying firm involved with Turkey, and now we learn (http://tinyurl.com/5pg6mq)that Hastert is joining Dickstein Shapiro.

In the "Representative Engagements" section (http://http//tinyurl.com/6kbad8) of Dickstein's website, we learn that they represented "the government of Turkey in connection with the development and financing by private sponsors of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline and TransCaspian gas pipeline spanning from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean."

Dennis Hastert, who is listed in Sibel's "Rogues Gallery (http://letsibeledmondsspeak.blogspot.com/2008/01/sibel-names-names-in-pictures.html)," was caught on FBI wiretaps accepting bribes from Turkish criminal elements associated with the Turkish government, as documented in Vanity Fair (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article9774.htm) in 2005 and elsewhere (http://www.democracynow.org/2005/8/10/did_speaker_hastert_accept_turkish_bribes).

The following clip from Kill The Messenger, a documentary about Sibel's case, discusses some of Hastert's involvement as mentioned in Vanity Fair.

Click Here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5utAAfuAo-A&e) (GooTube)

In researching the Vanity Fair article, journalist David Rose interviewed various congressional staffers and counter-intelligence officials who are familiar with the case. He reported that there were three separate types of bribes paid to Hastert:

"(T)ens of thousands of dollars to be paid to Hastert’s campaign funds in small checks."

"(T)ens of thousands of dollars in surreptitious payments in exchange for political favors and information."

"(A)t least $500,000"
Hastert was lucky that there was literally zero follow-up in the mainstream media to these most serious charges. Hastert did not sue Vanity Fair for libel, instead, Hastert got his spokesman to send Vanity Fair a bizarre Letter to the Editor in response, 6 months later. BradBlog has the letter here (http://www.bradblog.com/?p=2386), along with Sibel's effective debunking of Hastert's response.

The only action taken in response to the startling revelations in Vanity Fair was by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) which filed a complaint (http://www.citizensforethics.org/node/19089) with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) asking them to investigate the "(T)ens of thousands of dollars to be paid to Hastert’s campaign funds in small checks." According to the Vanity Fair article, these bribes were funneled into Hastert's campaign in amounts less than $200, which would mean that the contributions were below the threshold for reporting. The Federal Election Commission dropped (http://www.citizensforethics.org/node/25738) the investigation in early 2006 without answering the specific charge.

The bribes identified in Vanity Fair are probably just the tip of the iceberg, merely down-payments on what was promised to him when he left office, and could 'earn' a multi-million dollar salary as a lobbyist.

Sibel described (http://www.hairenik.com/armenianweekly/fea05120701.htm) how the process works, using another member of her "Rogues Gallery (http://letsibeledmondsspeak.blogspot.com/2008/01/sibel-names-names-in-pictures.html)," former State Dept official Marc Grossman as an example:

"For example, look at Mr. Marc Grossman. He used to be the U.S. ambassador in Turkey and used his position within the State Department to secure future higher-level positions while in office—and I would like to emphasize this—while in office and with several agencies knowing about it. Some people in these agencies wanted to investigate these cases but they were prevented from going forward.

..And just take a look at where Mr. Grossman is today. Within a few months after he gave his resignation, he obtained a position with a semi-legitimate Turkish company that is supplying him with a very attractive monetary reward, (and) he obtained (another) position with a lobbying firm that represents (Turkey)."
And Sibel has made the same case elsewhere (http://nswbc.org/Op%20Ed/Part2-FNL-Nov29-06.htm):
"Please do not make the grave and naive mistake of assuming that Grossman found and obtained his highly lucrative and questionable positions after his resignation in January 2005."
It appears that these arrangements aren't the typical 'Revolving Door' retirement packages, but rather specific quid pro quo deals. People like Hastert and Grossman and the others quite literally sell out their government while in office on the specific promise that they will be rewarded when they leave.

Hastert won't actually be a 'Lobbyist' according (http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2008/05/hastert-joins-d.htmlhttp://nswbc.org/Op%20Ed/Op-ed-Part1-Nov15-06.htm) to Dickstein Shapiro, he'll be "providing strategy advice to the firm and its clients" - spending half his time in Chicago and half his time in DC.

Most likely, some of that 'strategy advice' will include advice on how to corrupt some of the sitting congressmen: The people who bribed Hastert and the others (http://letsibeledmondsspeak.blogspot.com/2008/01/sibel-names-names-in-pictures.html) need to ensure the continuity of their operations, regardless of who is sitting in Congress. Sibel says (http://nswbc.org/Op%20Ed/Op-ed-Part1-Nov15-06.htm) that the foreign entities who are successful in this business simply need to follow a basic recipe:
"Get yourself a few ‘Dime a Dozen Generals,’ bid high in the ‘former statesmen lobby auction’, and put in your pocket one or two ‘ex-congressmen turned lobbyists’ who know the ropes when it comes to pocketing a few dozen who still serve."
Dickstein Shapiro, Hastert's new employers, were deeply involved with Turkey and the Central Asian region during the time that Hastert was caught taking these bribes - 1996 to 2001. For example, It was Dickstein Shapiro, in conjunction with the Baker Botts law firm, who put together the 'contract of the century' (http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1032128875209) - the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (or BTC) pipeline which was to carry oil from Azerbaijan to the West, via Georgia and Turkey.

Some of Dickstein Shapiro's other claims to fame include:
1 (http://www.dicksteinshapiro.com/Services/ServiceDetail.aspx?firmService=35)) Defending "former Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams in connection with the Iran-Contra investigations."
2 (http://extranet.insuredsinstitute.org/people/detail.aspx?attorney=97f752bc-123d-4d71-8d61-7666dc27ff31&view=longbio)) "(S)uccessfully defended and represented prominent clients in a number of other high-profile cases such as...BCCI Bank"
3 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Libby)) Employing convicted felon Lewis Scooter Libby (and his wife), who was a partner at the firm from 1986 to 1989.

If there's any justice in the world, Dickstein Shapiro will soon be adding Dennis Hastert to their 'Ex-employees who are now convicted felons' Hall of Fame.

UPDATE: Has Fox News turned on Hastert? They are running a piece (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,361061,00.html) about Hastert's shady land deals.