The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

CREW calls on FBI to investigate Rep. Vern Buchanan

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (aka CREW) has filed an FBI complaint against Rep.

Iram Martins
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Aug 25, 2011

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (aka CREW) has filed an FBI complaint against Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, asking that the Bureau investigate Buchanan on charges of witness tampering, obstruction of justice and bribery, based largely on a deposition of one of his former business partners, Sam Kazran. #

The Florida Independent first made Kazran’s deposition to the Federal Election Commission public (along with an interview with Kazran) in a piece published on July 29. Buchanan argues that he is the one who brought the matter to the attention of the FEC, but Kazran claims he is only attempting to save himself. In its complaint, CREW alleges that Buchanan “attempted to influence Mr. Kazran’s testimony in the FEC investigation, thereby obstructing it.” #

CREW has also asked the House Office of Congressional Ethics to conduct an inquiry into Buchanan. #

“The more you learn about Rep. Buchanan, the more morally bankrupt he appears,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan in a press release. “Not content with merely coercing employees to participate in a conduit contribution scheme, he offered a former business partner nearly $3 million to lie under oath about it.” #

Kazran has alleged that Buchanan tried to force him to sign an affidavit, clearing the congressman of ties to the reimbursement scheme. Kazran refused to sign that affidavit, but did supply the Independent with a copy. #

Two of Buchanan and Kazran’s former employees backed up Kazran’s allegations that Buchanan pressured his partners and employees to donate to his 2006 and 2008 campaigns, then later reimbursed them with funds from the dealership, Hyundai of North Jacksonville. The FEC fined Kazran nearly $68,000 for the donations. Kazran freely admits he knew about the reimbursements, but was unaware that it was illegal. #

Buchanan, meanwhile, has long maintained that he knew nothing of what the FEC called an “extensive, ongoing scheme” and has placed the blame solely on Kazran. #

“Faced with an investigation of a widespread illegal reimbursement scheme at his dealership, Rep. Buchanan tried to insulate himself from the allegations by coercing one of his former partners into committing perjury,” reads the CREW complaint. “Rep. Buchanan’s apparent conduct would establish a prima facie case that Rep. Buchanan attempted to tamper with a witness and obstruct an agency proceeding. As a result, CREW respectfully requests that the FBI immediately commence an investigation into this matter.” #

The CREW complaint: #


Iram Martins | Personal trainer. Aspiring sommelier. Brunch critic who works part-time. When I'm not competing, you'll find me at dog beaches with my black lab or sipping drinks at the best bars in town. I like to fly a lot.


$1.89 billion given to states to fight HIV

The federal government Monday announced more than $1.89 billion in funding to states to fight the HIV epidemic with access to care and with more cash for the failing AIDS Drug Assistance Program. According to an HHS press release , $813 million of that money will go directly to the ADAP programming. An additional $8,386,340 will be issued as a supplement to 36 states and territories currently facing a litany of unmet needs and access issues.

Army Data Shows Constraints on Troop Increase Potential

If President Obama orders an additional 30,000 to 40,000 troops to Afghanistan, he will be deploying practically every available U.S. Army brigade to war, leaving few units in reserve in case of an unforeseen emergency and further stressing a force that has seen repeated combat deployments since 2002.

1. Brian Schweitzer

As governor of Montana, Schweitzer doesn’t represent one of the most highly populated, high-profile electoral states in the country. But this

$1.3 Million for Brown

The GOP’s candidate in the Massachusetts special election raised more than one million dollars -- double the goal -- in a 24-hour moneybomb on the Ron Paul

$1.3 trillion in federal spending unaccounted for, report finds

Despite calls for independent bodies to keep government accountable, the Sunlight Foundation’s most recent Clearspending report has found the federal

#1 in Conspiracy Theories

Andrew Young’s tell-all biography of John Edwards, hitting shelves next week, is surging in one category in particular. #1 in Conspiracy

1 Brigade and 1 Battalion

ISTANBUL – It’s 10 p.m. in the lowest level of the Istanbul airport. In 20 minutes I’ll be allowed to board my plane to Kabul, bringing me to the

$1 Million for Toomey

Pat Toomey, the former Club for Growth president and leading Republican candidate in Pennsylvania’s 2010 Senate race, has announced a $1 million haul in the

1. Lindsey Graham

Sen. Graham (R-S.C.) is typically regarded as a reliable vote for his party, but he took the bold step of breaking with his fellow Republicans to join Kerry

Bachmann uncomfortable over earmarks ban

Republicans appear to have boxed themselves into a corner with their portrayal of earmarks as wasteful spending, as many of them have backed a moratorium on

Troubled mine holds hope for U.S. rare earth industry

China currently controls 97 percent of the world’s rare earth production. The Mountain Pass Mine could change that -- if it can overcome serious environmental concerns.

© Copyright 2021 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy |