Disclaimer: This article may contain the personal views of the author.
Corruption is certainly nothing new in politics. The certainty of some sort of scandal or controversy following a politician is as expected as darkness following the sunset.
Just last month, we reported on a former Barack Obama staffer who pleaded guilty to federal charges levied against him on the grounds that he tried to unduly influence the Trump administration. If one wanted to compile a full compendium of political corruption, it would take up far too much space for one humble article.
Well, unsurprisingly, there is another story we can add to the list. This latest feature comes to us, actually, from Puerto Rico.
It is now being reported that Puerto Rico’s Governor, Wanda Vázquez, has been arrested on bribery charges.She was arrested and charged on Thursday.
A press release sent out by the Justice Department went on to say that:
“The alleged bribery scheme rose to the highest levels of the Puerto Rican government, threatening public trust in our electoral processes and institutions of governance,” Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. said.
“The Department of Justice is committed to holding accountable those who wrongly believe there is one rule of law for the powerful and another for the powerless. No one is above the rule of law.”
“According to the indictment, from December 2019 through June 2020, then-Governor of Puerto Rico Wanda Vazquez Garced, 62, of San Juan, allegedly engaged in a bribery scheme with various individuals, including Julio Martin Herrera Velutini, Frances Diaz, Mark Rossini, and John Blakeman to finance Vazquez Garced’s 2020 gubernatorial election campaign,” the DOJ said.
“The criminal actions of the defendants, in this case, strike a blow to the heart of our democracy and further erode the confidence of our citizens in their institutions of governance,” U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow said.
“Our resolve to bring to justice those entrusted by the public to serve with integrity and who violate that trust remains steadfast. Equally steadfast is our resolve to prosecute those who seek to use their wealth and power to enrich themselves at the expense of honest government.
I commend the dedication and hard work of the law enforcement personnel and prosecutors in this case, as well as those individuals willing to come forward and cooperate.”
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“Herrera Velutini, 50, a dual Venezuelan-Italian citizen residing in London, United Kingdom, owned an international bank operating in San Juan. Diaz, 50, of Puerto Rico was the CEO and President of the international bank owned by Herrera Velutini.
Rossini, 60, of Madrid, Spain was a former FBI Special Agent who provided consulting services to Herrera Velutini. Blakeman, 53, of Puerto Rico, is a political consultant who worked on Vazquez Garced’s 2020 campaign,” the DOJ said.
So, politicians, lawmakers, and the like can indeed be proud of this long tradition of corruption. Once again, it is hardly anything new. In fact, just last month, that a former Trump staffer went on a podcast and said that even the top officials at both the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation should be indicted on criminal charges.
If we dug into the depredations of Hunter Biden and the infamous laptop, alone, one wonder how much column space that story would take up.