IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
- Council Punts on What to Do About HTJ
- Defending Harry Thomas
- What the Vehicle Seizures Might Mean
- FBI, IRS Agents Raid Harry Thomas Jr.’s House
- Fact: Constituent Service Funds Are a Joke
Good morning sweet readers! Would that federal agents would raid the Cowboys’ coach’s house. Who ices his own kicker? News time:
The Day Before the Day of Reckoning Arrives: Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. must have had a hard time staying positive, pumped, and focused on Friday as federal agents rifled through his things for more than eight hours. By the end of the day, we learned that both the FBI and the IRS are keenly interested in Thomas’ affairs, that the feds have enough evidence against Thomas to get a judge to sign off on search and seizure warrants, that Thomas likely traded in his $69,000 Audi SUV for a $39,000 Chevy Tahoe, that said Tahoe and Thomas’ $24,000 motorcycle are now in the procession of federal authorities, and that the rest of the council is still trying to wrap its head around how to move forward. We learned that Thomas’ aide Neil Rodgers has lawyered up with A. Scott Bolden and has already been interviewed by the feds. We learned that Thomas recently lamented that too many people focus on buying luxury cars instead of the things that matter (really?!!?!?). We also learned that Karl Racine, a lawyer who worked as “key player” on Mayor Gray’s transition team and works for a firm competes for city contracts, is now part of the HTJ legal defense team. If U.S. Attorney Ron Machen was trying to send a message to Thomas that he’s in a world of trouble, Racine appeared to respond by asking Machen if he’s so sure he can get a jury to convict. “At the conclusion of the matter, we sincerely believe that there will be no finding of any criminal violation,” Racine told reporters Friday. Over the weekend, the Post added some details: HTJ found out the feds were in his house via an early morning phone call and then went to his mom’s house for support after the feds left. The Post also notes that race is likely to play a big factor in things as this case moves forward, as plenty of Thomas’ supporters believe that a black U.S. Attorney is picking on a black councilmember. “People know it’s political. It’s racial. We know what the Thomas family has done in the District of Columbia.”
AFTER THE JUMP: Pundit Pundit; Speak Ill of the Dead; Gray Dances…
Pundits Pundit: Jonetta Rose Barras writes that it’s well past time for the council to summon some backbone and call for Thomas to resign. Colby King eviscerates Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser‘s ethics proposal: “Muriel Bowser, chairman of the D.C. Council’s Government Operations Committee, says this about the committee’s ethics bill and the Wednesday hearings on the bill: She feels ‘pretty good about where we landed.’ And well she should. The ethics bill, which the full council will consider this month, is likely to please her colleagues to no end. It is a toothless wonder.”
Speak Ill of the Dead: John Hill, head of the Federal City Council, unloads on the dearly departed William Lockridge and the mayor’s sneaky play to name a library after him. According to Hill, Lockridge is responsible for much of Ward 8’s sad shape, was racist, and hung out at least on one occasion in the kiddie section of a public library until the police were called. Therefore, says Hill, Lockridge’s name doesn’t belong on a new library.
In Other News:
- The HTJ raid can’t stop the mayor from dancing. Hizonner, his squeeze Linda Greene, Jack Evans, and former Mayor Anthony Williams boogied down Friday night at the Citizens Association of Georgetown gala held at the Russian Embassy.
- Gray orders travel freeze, hiring freeze.
- Brightwood Neighborhood Preservation Association sues over Wal-Mart location.
- Contracting shenanigans at the Park Service?
- Park police can’t abide barns being built on public parks.
Gray sked: 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.: Redskins Nation Taping; 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.: Wilson Building Holiday Tree-Lighting Ceremony; 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.: Cabinet Meeting; 6:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.: D.C. Education Consortium on Research and Evaluation Dinner.
Council sked: Ethics markup at 10:30 a.m.