Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D,Nv) and Senator Mike Lee (R,Ut) have become subjects of a likely federal probe into corruption involving gambling interests, according to ABC News on March 13. The federal investigation, which involves the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), is being urged by two district attorneys in Utah who are very concerned about suspicious campaign contributions and other related financial matters that are questionable.
Although the Justice Department has not yet made a commitment to investigate the matter, the two district attorneys are pushing hard for the department to do so because it is perceived as, “The most appropriate entity to review those type of things." The likely probe would look into allegations that the two senators have ties to the world of poker, gambling and other financial interests that involve misconduct.
The Utah district attorneys' probe into this matter began with an investigation into the dealings and actions of Utah State Attorney General John Swallow who is suspected of corruption and had to resign his office within months of being elected. Local Utah officials are strongly considering extending the probe to federal officials, including the two western senators.
In attempting to justify their actions, the local Utah officials stated that they are not afraid to investigate U.S. senators if they can prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that they are involved. District Attorney Troy Rawlings, of Utah's Davis County, stated the following:
“If somebody commits crimes and there's a nexus to the state of Utah and we can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, it doesn't matter who they are, even a U.S. senator. And no, we're not afraid of that. That's our job.”
As with all investigations, a probe does not imply guilt nor indicate an upcoming conviction or even prosecution. As of this point, this matter remains just what it is, a probe that may or may not extend to federal investigators. The story will unfold over the next few months and it is anyone's prediction as to the possible outcome.