MORE INDICTMENTS COULD BE COMING …
A statewide grand jury tasked with issuing subpoenas, receiving testimony and returning indictments in an ongoing investigation of public corruption in South Carolina state government will reconvene next week, sources tell FITSNews.
Will more Palmetto politicos be charged in connection with this ongoing probe? And if so, how many?
The grand jury’s convening has prompted yet another round of speculation as to #ProbeGate – the joint federal-state investigation that was exclusively uncovered by this website way back in September 2014.
What a long, strange trip it’s been right? Indeed …
The investigation’s first victim was former S.C. Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell, who resigned from his influential position in October 2014 after pleading guilty to six ethics charges. Harrell has since turned state’s evidence, and is cooperating with special prosecutor David Pascoe‘s probe.
Last December, former S.C. House majority leader Jimmy Merrill was suspended from office after being hit with a thirty-count indictment alleging an assortment of pay-to-play schemes. Last month, former S.C. Senator John Courson was suspended after being slapped with a three-count indictment accusing him of illegally converting campaign cash for personal use as part of a “kickback” scheme with his political consultant, Richard Quinn.
Merrill and Courson both claim they are innocent and are fighting the charges against them.
The real target of the investigation? By all appearances, it would appear to be the neo-Confederate political consulting firm of Richard Quinn and Associates. The veteran “Republican” consultant – whose offices were reportedly raided in connection with the investigation last month – was named along with his son, S.C. Rep. Rick Quinn, in a December 2013 investigative report that served as the basis for the probe.
The elder Quinn was summoned to appear before the grand jury in February, prompting some to speculate that he may be cooperating with the investigation in an effort to save himself and his son.
Quinn advises dozens of politicians, state agencies and special interests – including U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, governor Henry McMaster, S.C. Senate president Hugh Leatherman, superintendent of education Molly Spearman and state treasurer Curtis Loftis.
In recent weeks, #ProbeGate has escalated dramatically.
As we reported exclusively last week, agents of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are said to be involved in the investigation – and late Friday it was revealed Pascoe had sworn in three Republican solicitors to assist him in the probe. Meanwhile the mainstream media – which had been ignoring this scandal for months – has finally sunk its teeth into it.
According to our sources, The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier has at least three reporters working full-time on the investigation – researching relationships between the Quinns and various special interests doing business before state government.
“They are DIGGING,” a source familiar with the paper’s efforts told us. “They’ve been all over the state the past three days.”
Specifically, we’re told the paper has pulled records from the S.C. Secretary of State’s office as well as the S.C. State Ethics Commission (SCSEC) in the hopes of establishing various nexuses between the Quinns and these interests.
Over the weekend, the Post and Courier did a big story on the unraveling scandal involving the Quinns and the S.C. State Ports Authority (SCSPA) – which was exclusively reported by this website way back in November 2015. The paper is also reportedly digging on our recent exclusive reporting regarding the Quinns and their lucrative relationship with the taxpayer-subsidized H.L. Hunley Confederate submarine.
Banner via FITSNews