The AP has a long story on how Harry Reid "collected a $1.1 million windfall on a Las Vegas land sale even though he hadn't personally owned the property for three years, property deeds show. In the process, Reid did not disclose to Congress an earlier sale in which he transferred his land to a company created by a friend and took a financial stake in that company... The complex dealings allowed Reid to transfer ownership, legal liability and some tax consequences to [the friend's] company without public knowledge, but still collect a seven-figure payoff nearly three years later. Reid hung up the phone when questioned about the deal during an AP interview last week." A former FEC lawyer tells the AP that Reid seems to have violated Senate rules.
Reid spokesman Jim Manley issued a statement: "Obviously, Republicans are in danger of losing the House and the Senate and are desperate to push out any story that takes their troubles off the front page." Manley said that Reid "fully disclosed" his ownership of the land. "If the Ethics Committee requests a technical correction to Senator Reid's disclosure forms we are happy to provide one."
In Illinois, a top adviser to Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) has been indicted for trying to use his influence to receive kickbacks from firms seeking state business, the Chicago Tribune reports. "The governor is not accused of any wrongdoing and the indictment does not mention him by name. But the long-rumored charges have been hanging over Blagojevich's campaign for months."
Also yesterday, for unclear reasons, "[s]everal top House Republicans... asked for an investigation and committee hearings to determine which documents were 'destroyed, removed or are missing' as a result of former National Security Adviser Samuel R. Berger's admitted theft of papers from the National Archives" in 2004, per the Washington Times. "The document theft raised questions about whether Mr. Berger was attempting to cover up the Clinton administration's anti-terrorism policies and actions. The records he took were related to internal assessments of Mr. Clinton's handling of a terrorist threat in December 1999."