Richardson Withdraws Under Cloud of Investigation

180px-bill_richardson_at_an_event_in_kensington_new_hampshire_march_18_2006Bill Richardson has withdraw his nomination to be commerce secretary in the face of a federal grand jury investigation into whether he exchanged government contracts for contributions to three Richardson political committees. At the heart of the controversy is a California firm CDR Financial Products that is accused of pushing through a contract with the state of New Mexico by giving to the Richardson campaign.

Richardson denies any wrongdoing and released a statement: “Let me say unequivocally that I and my administration have acted properly in all matters and that this investigation will bear out that fact. But I have concluded that the ongoing investigation also would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process.”

The allegations raise a question of what the firm means by tauting: “We are unique among boutique capital market groups, in that we take principal positions to facilitate transactions that might not otherwise close.”

One has to wonder if the Obama campaign took a close look at the investigation and prompted the move. Obama expressed “deep regret” at the decision. It is hard to believe that Richardson did not know of the investigation before his nomination, raising a question of flawed vetting or a failure to disclose. With the scandal in Illinois over Obama’s replacement, it could not come as better news for the GOP: the first Obama adviser to fall to scandal and he has not yet taken the oath of office.

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8 thoughts on “Richardson Withdraws Under Cloud of Investigation”

  1. Charity

    I found this at Huffington Post. It’s just the first two paragraphs of an story:

    Sources tell ABC News that officials on the Obama Transition Team feel that before he was formally offered the job of commerce secretary, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson was not forthcoming with them about the federal investigation that is looking into whether the governor steered a state contract towards a major financial contributor.

    Once the investigation became more widely known through national media reports last month, sources tell ABC News, the Obama Transition Team realized the FBI would not be able to give Richardson a clean political bill of health before the new administration is ready to send his nomination up to the Senate for confirmation.

  2. I am glad that Richardson did the right thing by resigning his appointment quickly. Now Obama has to find someone who is squeaky clean. By the way, did everyone hear the news about CARLITO? He is a Troll! I think you have a very short memory Carlito. Prof. Turley, are you available for Commerce Secretary? You would get my vote!

  3. Obama’s likeness paraded at a hate rally in Jakarta, along with those of Mubarak and Olmert. The protesters were blaming Obama for Israel’s attack on Hamas, when he hasn’t even been inaugurated yet!

    Many liberals have a touching faith that the election of Barack Obama will cause America to be better loved by people around the world, including those who are ideologically hostile to the United States. They take seriously the idea that the fact that George Bush is hated in some precincts, and his likeness is a staple of anti-American demonstrations, tells us something about Bush rather than about the people who dislike our country.


    Obama’s 600,000 new GOVERNMENT employees?

    Obama planning major speech on his still undefined stimulus package…

    PAPER: ‘Obama’s silence is damaging’…

    ON SECOND THOUGHT…Richardson’s looming ethics problems

    Charity homes built by Jimmy Carter crumble…

    Reid tells Blago he doesn’t want Jesse Jackson as a Senator..

    and this is just a starter!

  5. Now, if someone can find something on Mr. Ken Salazar!

    I liked Mr. Richardson, but he did a disservice to Mr. Obama by accepting the position because there was talk that Richardson might be a liability before Obama announced his choice.

  6. Wasn’t there supposed to be a question in the form for incoming nominees, “is there anything that might embarrass you or the President?” Wouldn’t an impending investigation fall under that?

    I am SO disappointed in Richardson right now.

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