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FBI Wiretaps Reveal Congressional Corruption

Posted August. 15, 2005 03:05,   


The House of Representative in the U.S. is shaking from a series of corruption scandals involving representatives revealed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) wiretapping.

On August 13, The Washington Post reported that following a long-term secret investigation, including bugging, the FBI has revealed eight-term Democratic Representative William Jefferson’s corrupt activities.

Last week, suspicions were raised that the Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert had received election campaign funds from Turkish lobbyists from the FBI’s bugging of the Turkish consulate in Chicago. Under an agreement with a newly-found advanced technology firm, the FBI secretly recorded the conversations between an official of the firm and Rep. Jefferson.

The Washington Post quoted an anonymous source saying that the recorded tape has contents in which Rep. Jefferson said that he would help the company’s businesses by mobilizing his clout after investing into the company. The FBI conducted a massive investigation of Jefferson’s house and found huge sums of money in his refrigerator based on the above matter, last week.

Regarding the matter, Rep. Jefferson came forward, criticizing the FBI for bugging and entrapment while completely denying the charges against him. However, media outlet reports focused more on the corruption scandal than the wiretapping.

It is the first time that entrapment on a federal congressman was revealed since the Abscam scandal in 1978. The FBI set up an entrapment situation in which a person in the disguise of an Arab businessman offered congressmen bribes in the Abscam scandal. Six representatives and one senator were entangled and caused a big buzz in U.S. politics.

Jae-Young Kim redfoot@donga.com