ABC Investigates Bribery Case Ensnaring Harry Reid... But Only Online

ABC News chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross on Wednesday looked into a corruption probe that is now connected to Harry Reid. But rather than air the story, the network relegated it to the website. Writing on ABCNews.com, Ross explained that two Utah attorneys general have been charged with bribery and that one of the men "accepted payments to try and help an embattled local businessman make his case to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid." 

In a front page story for the Washington Times, editor John Solomon noted that the "court filing that makes tantalizing references to a possible pay-to-play influence scheme involving U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid." ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday devoted two and a half minute to picking the best potato chip flavor, but ignored the ongoing criminal investigation. Similarly, CBS and NBC have (thus far) skipped it. 

The Times detailed: 

Utah County District Attorney Sim Gill charged former Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff with numerous felony state crimes, including bribery, acceptance of illegal gifts, evidence tampering and a "pattern of unlawful activity."

...

According to the court document, Mr. Swallow told Mr. Johnson "the price to obtain access to Rawle's contact person likely 'won't be cheap.'" Days later, in an Oct. 7, 2010, email message with the subject line of "Senator Reid," Mr. Johnson wrote to Mr. Rawle asking about the connection.

"I talked with John Swallow, and he said you might have some connections to Reid that might be helpful to us," Mr. Johnson wrote in the email to Mr. Rawle, citing his problems with the FTC.

The court records show Mr. Johnson subsequently wired money to an account controlled by Mr. Rawle totaling $250,000, and that Mr. Rawle subsequently sent payments of $8,500 and $15,000 to Mr. Swallow from that same account.

Solomon added, "Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson also refused to answer questions about his boss's relationship with Mr. Rawle, including why the man would have claimed to be a go-between for Mr. Reid." 

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org