Loose Lips

U.S. Attorney Ron Machen: I Live Here Too

The District's top lawman, U.S. Attorney Ron Machen, was just on the Kojo Nnamdi talking about public corruption.

Machen couldn't and didn't talk about specifics of the three cases that his office is currently reviewing (you know, reviewing whether Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas took $300,000 in city money and spent it on an Audi, golfing and Hooters; reviewing what happened with $170,000 in unaccounted Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown campaign funds that was paid to Brown's brother; reviewing whether Mayor Vince Gray did anything illegal in the hiring of Sulaimon Brown).

But when Tom Sherwood voiced concerns that Machen may be too busy prosecuting terrorists to pay attention to the misdeeds of D.C. pols, Machen said no way, his office is moving aggressively but carefully on local corruption matters.

“It's a big deal to me personally, as a D.C. resident," says Machen. "We read the papers, we know what’s going on.”

As for people wondering what's taking so long on Thomas' case, given the fact that he was already sued by the District Attorney General Irv Nathan in a civil suit and agreed to pay the money back (without giving any explanation about his city money spending habits), Machen noted that it's a lot easier to bring a civil suit than a criminal case. He also said that "offensive" behavior by public officials isn't always criminal behavior.

That being said, Machen also noted that he knows people are anxious to see some action on his part sooner rather than later.

“We understand there’s a sense of urgency," he says.

  • Just Curious

    I missed Machen and the Kojo show today. Was the lottery contract mentioned?

    In my view, the Gray administration engaged in some clearly nefarious activities, in concert with Graham and Gandhi, during the bidding process for the lottery. Anyone think that Gandhi, Gray and Graham (the 3 Gs) might be "perp walked" from the Wilson building based on these dealings? Since Gray has cut Lorraine from his inner circle, along with Brooks, I wonder what they are saying to the Feds these days... I'm Just Curious.

  • NE John

    Put that crook HTJ away in the slammer, and do it now.

  • Drez

    Yeah. The article is remarkably noninformative.
    Perhaps the biggest takeaway is A.S. frames Machen as more political than prosecutorial.

  • truth hurts

    I don't buy Machen's excuses for the delays in moving forward on local political corruption matters. If the FBI was in the midst of a secret undercover investigation, then yeah, delaying action to protect the operation would be reasonable. But in the three matters at hand (especially Thomas) the essential facts have been mostly public for too long not to expect the US ATTY to do something by now. And the longer the delays stretch on, the more cynical the public becomes.

  • Really??

    @ Truth Hurts - Do you think Machen is looking at the 3 Gs and their actions related to lottery?

  • truth hurts

    I'm wondering why you directed this query to me. Seems odd.

  • Really??

    @ Truth Hurts - because I've read your previous posts on this blog and you seem fairly knowledgeable about D.C. In your previous post, you talked about Thomas and alluded to K. Brown and S. Brown/Gray, but you didn't mention the lottery. I'm very much interested in hearing your informed opinion, especially as it relates to Gray, Graham and Gandhi (3gs). I hope this explains my query.

  • truth hurts

    LL's blog, as you surely know, didn't address the lottery contract with regard to Machen's office. That's one reason I found your query odd. And there's been no public indication from any media of a grand jury investigation re the lottery contract. Which is another reason your request for my thoughts seems curious. So I'm not convinced you don't have a hidden agenda here. Understand what I'm saying?

  • NE John

    The answer is simple. Look, I live here too and pay your fukin salary, as a citizen of the USA. I expect you to do your fuking job and prosecute this muther fuker. Now, I do work at a law firm and could tell you how we view government lawyers, but I won't go there now. I hope you do the right thing, which is your fuking job, and have this man convicted and thrown in the slammer asap!

  • Honest Abe

    NE John

    I agree with you all the way. I am a ward 5 resident and have seen first hand HTJ slick and mischievousness behavior. I wish the City Paper and or post would look into the real reason why no prosecution has taken place so far; it's because they Ron Machen & HTJ) are fraternity brothers. It pains me to say, but because of this reason, I believe HTJ will get off from this scott free and not have to explain anything and remain on the Council and collect his salary. The only hope for true justice on this matter is to launch a recall.

  • Really?

    For the record...there is a fake Really? Who really needs to use another name..and I mean really!

  • truth hurts

    Yeah, I knew there was something fishy about those posts. Thanks.

  • SkinsFan83

    Plain and simple, Machen either has an inside deal with those three or he is playing the politics and does not want to be the enforcer. Clearly he is buying those guys time to clean up their image, then will slap them with a fine and call it a day. If he truly cares about the city, he would bring closure to this situation because it is a dark cloud hovering over the city and our image across the nation.

  • Really??

    @ Really? and @Truth Hurts - Didn't know that anyone had dibs on monikers on this website. Nothing fishy about my posts, just wanted to get your thoughts and feedback. Yes, I do have an agenda, but it isn't hidden. I think that there is wide spread corruption and wrongdoing in contracting in D.C. While the grass cutting contracts are the latest example, the still unexplored, most egregious instance in recent years, are the actions of Gandhi, Graham and Gray relative to the Lottery. No, it wasn't mentioned in this post here, but Machen's "non-mention" and LL's failure to include it doesn't mean we should not discuss it. If you disagree, you disagree, but we should not overlook or excuse the failed leadership and suspect morals of our appointed and elected leaders.

  • Really??

    @ Really? - Tried to use other monikers, but kept receiving an "awaiting moderation" comment and they never were posted. Thereafter, I just kept trying monikers that popped into mind. Didn't mean to offend or steal your name.

  • truth hurts

    If you've read my prior posts, as you mentioned, you know I've been criticizing the lottery contract irregularities for more than a year. Given that the IT hasn't even issued a report, we don't yet know whether it'd make a referral to Machen's office. And even if I knew his office was doing an independent investigation, I wouldn't publicly disclose the existence of a grand jury inquiry when Machen's office hasn't done so. There are criminal penalties for revealing grand jury secrets. That's what made me wonder why your query was directed to me.

  • Really??

    @ Truth Hurts - Got it. I have no nefarious intent, nor do I wish you any ill will.

    I am profoundly frustrated that the 3Gs and others continue to get away with brazen crimes. I just read the latest Jaffe article, where he speculates about gray (S. brown affair), K. brown, and H. Thomas and criminal indictments. Yet, there is nary a mention of lottery.

    I have been told that Evans is pressuring Willoughby to conduct an investigation and issue a report before proceeding with I-gaming hearings. I'm just hopeful that it fully explores the conduct of all parties and results in a referral to Machen.

    I've appreciated and enjoyed your insightful posts. I simply wanted to know if you had any additional thoughts on the matter. Keep up the good work!

    @ Really? - I will work to find another suitable moniker.