Congressman’s bribery scandal sees a shocking new shift

Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call / Getty Images

Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call / Getty Images

Scandal wrapping Congressman Marie Newman Sign and then update With a contract to pay political rivals not to go against her — a shocking new turn. According to federal campaign records, after making a secret settlement with her rivals, Illinois Democrats actually put the man in the campaign’s salary.

In October 2018, Newman allegedly signed a contract with Iymen Chehade, promising a six-digit cozy salary to Congressional staff in exchange for his political support. Parliamentary Ethics Bureau (OCE). He complained when Newman eventually did not hire Chehade after winning the 2020 elections.

The two reached a private settlement during the summer. But that’s not the end of the story.

Newman’s latest FEC filing shows that she hired Chehade as a foreign policy adviser. Instead of being paid through the parliamentary office, Chehade was hired through Newman’s campaign.

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Chehade has received a total of $ 54,000 since the second half of 2021. Most are installments of $ 7,500 per month, but in some cases there is an additional $ 2,000. Payments to Chehade began on July 1, 2021, just two days after both sides reached an agreement to resolve the proceedings, according to FEC filings.

Newman’s team now claims that campaign manager Ben Hardin is above Chehade’s salary, which appears to make Chehade the highest-paid employee of the House of Representatives team.

In any case, Newman’s campaign told The Daily Beast that Chehade as a foreign policy adviser is “an important member of our team.”

“Occasionally, Chehade and Marie filed a proceeding in 2021 due to disagreements. They settled the proceedings amicably last year and worked together in a productive manner, Hardin said in a statement. We have agreed to move forward. “

“Democrats should consider this exactly what it is-a tactic from the right-wing playbook to make scandals,” Hardin added.

The campaign refused to comment on whether Chehade’s employment was part of the settlement of the proceedings this summer.

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Newman was a member of the House’s Foreign Policy Committee, although he partially accused Dan Lipinski of failing to dismiss his incumbent in 2018 due to lack of knowledge about Israeli and Palestinian issues. Is not … Still, campaigns to hire foreign policy advisers, especially the highest paid employees over a period of time, are extremely rare.

But this position makes sense in this regard. It was a contract that Newman signed that Chehade would become a foreign policy adviser.

Newman and Chehade agreed in a four-page “employment contract” photocopied in the OCE report that he would be hired as a foreign policy adviser and would remain in that position as long as Newman remained in Congress. Chehade did not “substantially violate” the provisions of the contract, such as working 40 hours a week. Newman also agreed to pay Chehade $ 135,000 to $ 140,000, after which the “Increase in Living Expenses and Benefits” will be applied each year.

However, the OCE reported that “Chehade’s policy expertise was not the only reason she contracted to hire him in the future. Instead, Congressman Newman said in the next Democratic primary, Mr. Chehade. Seems to have had the motivation to enter into an agreement to avoid competing with. “

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Newman told OCE that he had never discussed Chehade’s interest in running for the same seat as Newman, but OCE has never discussed Chehade’s interest in running for the same seat as Newman, but OCE has outlined the draft terms of the contract, that is, this important provision. I found an email to.

“Chehade agrees not to announce or submit election candidates to the Illinois District 3 Parliamentary Representative. In exchange, Newman will hire Chehade as her chief foreign policy adviser.”

Chehade announced its candidacy for the newly created neighborhood in December. And after reorganizing the constituency, Newman is running for re-election against another incumbent Democrat, Sean Casten (D-IL).

Despite all the other clear evidence, Newman’s team continues to categorically claim that ethical complaints are worthless.Complaints First submitted By the Foundation for Accountability and Public Trust, which is an organization Founded by Matthew Whittaker, acting lawyer for former President Donald Trump.

The House Ethics Committee also emphasized in a January press release that the process of investigating complaints “does not indicate that a breach has occurred.”

Chehade, who was contacted by phone on Tuesday, refused to comment on payments and terms of the settlement with Newman. According to the OCE, as part of this summer’s settlement, both Newman and Chehade have signed a nondisclosure agreement.

Chairman Nancy Pelosi’s office also requested comment on whether it was appropriate for Newman to adopt Chehade in this role, given evidence to her that she had signed an ethical investigation and an inappropriate agreement. Did not return immediately.

For more information, see The Daily Beast.

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