Senator Harry Reid, D-Nev., is in hot water again. This time, he is being investigated by the state attorney general of Utah in a pay-to-play scheme involving two former Utah attorneys general, John Shurtleff and John Swallow.
Troy Rawlings, a Davis County, Utah, attorney, said that he’s looking into allegations against Reid. Rawlings wouldn’t comment on the allegations, but said they were related to the case involving the attorneys general.
Since 2013, Reid has been denying any involvement into fixing an investigation into a software business of one of the attorneys general. At the time, U.S. Department of Justice investigators decided not to charge Reid with criminal wrongdoing.
Salt Lake City’s City Weekly raised questions about Reid’s involvement that Rawlings alluded to in a statement to the Associated Press: “To simply ignore and run from what has been presented by multiple witnesses and sources, and the potential impact on the Mark L. Shurtleff case, would mean I am either intentionally blind, or overly worried.”
Shurtleff and Swallow were arrested in the summer of 2014 and have pleaded not guilty to charges of bribery.
Rawlings voiced his criticism of apparent stalling within the U.S. Department of Justice by limiting his access to information related to his investigation.
The Justice Department concluded their investigation in 2013 without filing charges, but the FBI has continued to work with Rawlings in the investigation. Rawlings told the AP: “It is not up to the DOJ to tell me who can and who cannot be investigated and what evidence is relevant and material to a state case.”
Stephen Dark of the City Weekly reported on the investigation. He wrote that a businessman named Jeremy Johnson recorded a conversation between himself and Shurtleff.
Jeremy Johnson claims that Reid was involved in a pay-to-play bribery scheme focused on gambling, the details of which were published in The Salt Lake Tribune in October 2014. A transcript of a conversation that Johnson recorded between himself and Shurtleff included allegations about a group of online poker business owners who had funneled $2 million to Reid in 2010 to get Reid to introduce legislation legalizing online poker. According to a June 6, 2013, AP story, Reid as well as Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., ‘pursued federal law to legalize Internet poker but ultimately gave up before even introducing the legislation.’