POLITICS

Harry Reid: I did not take a bribe

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., denies taking a bribe from a Utah businessman who claims the Senate Majority Leader was to use his influence to deflect federal regulators from investigating the Utahn’s business.

Jeremy Johnson claims that he agreed to pay Reid $600,000 in 2010 to make a federal investigation go away. “The truth is the worst thing I think I’ve done was I paid money knowing it was going to influence Harry Reid,” Johnson told the Salt Lake Tribune. “So I’ve felt all along that I’ve committed bribery of some sort there.”

Reid denies the accusation. “Senator Reid has no knowledge or involvement regarding Mr. Johnson’s case,” Reid spokeswoman Kristen Orthman replied. “These unsubstantiated allegations implying Senator Reid’s involvement are nothing more than innuendo and simply not true.”

The evidence Johnson provided the local paper suggests that he agreed to have a third-party negotiate with Reid, but it does not definitively establish that the man (now deceased) ever dealt with Reid as agreed. Ultimately, the investigation that Reid was supposed to avert proceeded against Johnson, who has since been indicted on a mail fraud charge.

National Review’s Betsy Woodruff pointed out that Reid is a multimillionaire despite drawing a salary of less than $200,000. Reid explains that he acquired this wealth through “good investing,” but she detailed some interesting moves he made that proved lucrative.

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