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    20 February 2007

    Following the Accused Terror Financing Republican Fundraiser

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    Since the blogosphere is ahead on this story lets go through the latest (here is a good place to get caught up).

    The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has released a statement reading
    We are extremely concerned and disturbed by these charges but we need to be careful not to rush to judgment as the judicial process moves forward. If the individual in question is actually found guilty of a crime, it is our intent to donate the money to charity. (h/t TPM)

    So they'll just hold on to the money until guilt is found. Much like the last member of a Republican group that was charged with aiding and abetting terrorist, they'll wait. Fair enough, but...

    Wait is there a cycle here?! You ask, you bet!

    The LA Times reported in 2005 (via TPMmuckraker; more from The Agonist):
    Before his federal indictment this week [Yasith Chhun] had raised $6,550 for the National Republican Congressional Committee and was invited to sit on the group's Business Advisory Council, which has tens of thousands of members nationwide, said Carl Forti, a spokesman for the committee....

    Chhun attended the annual meeting of the National Republican Congressional Committee's business advisory council in Washington, D.C., last year. [NRCC Spokesman Carl] Forti said the committee did not know Chhun's group had been designated a terrorist organization, saying it was impossible to do background checks on all its members.

    Clearly now might be a good time to do some checking, guilty or not. We know they have the resources and capacity.

    Paul Kiel reports that Chhun's trial will start next month. In the meantime that cash is safe in Republican coffers; along with Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari.

    But back to Alishtari. Josh Marshall dug up some more muck on the defendant, including this press release from the NRCC Business Advisory Council highlighting the "crucial role" he'll play in the NY Republican party. Marshall also notes that on Alishtari's site he "..apparently had copies of signed photos from President Bush as well as a note from President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush thanking Alishtari for contributing to the Republican party."

    The TPM Media researchers have been all over this. Props and thanks!

    Posted by Geoff

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