Washington Examiner: Reid retirement follows call for probe of his role in visas-for-cash mess

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Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s announcement Friday that he won’t seek re-election in 2016 came at the end of a week in which his role in pressuring Department of Homeland Security officials on behalf of foreign investors in his home state of Nevada sparked one investigation and calls for another.


On Thursday, the nonprofit government watchdog Cause of Action called for a review by the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section of allegations that a top Homeland Security official improperly intervened on behalf of friends and political associates of Reid, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Anthony Rodham, brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.


The review by Justice Department’s top anti-public corruption staff is needed, according to Cause of Action Executive Director Daniel Epstein, because “federal employees were pressured to make decisions that financially or politically benefited certain applicants and left many visa applicants feeling deprived of a fair process from their government.”

Fox News: Misuse of power in the Department of Homeland Security?

Watch: Cause of Action’s letter to DOJ on Fox News

Watchdog.org: Criminal investigation sought in McAuliffe-Mayorkas dealings

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A government accountability group says “unanswered questions” warrant a criminal investigation into actions by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and others involved in the EB-5 visa program.


Cause of Action called for the investigation after the federal Office of Inspector General confirmed this week that McAuliffe repeatedly lobbied the director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for visa approvals.

Washington Free Beacon: Watchdog Asks DOJ to Investigate Reid, McAuliffe Over Immigration Favoritism

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Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and Gov.  Terry McAuliffe (D) of Virginia may have illegally facilitated that process at the expense of less politically connected applicants for the same program, according to Cause of Action, a conservative legal watchdog group.


In a letter to the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section, Cause of Action alleges that Reid and McAuliffe used their considerable political clout to expedite consideration of visas for investors in the SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino and GreenTech Automotive.


McAuliffe founded GreenTech; he resigned from the company before running for governor. The former’s parent company hired Reid’s son Rory in 2012 to help it obtain government incentives. Its executives donated thousands to Sen. Reid after its Chinese investors obtained U.S. visas.


Cause of Action’s letter comes on the heels of, and relies in large part on, a report from the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general released on Tuesday.

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Will Congress have to tighten investor visa program?

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Dan Epstein, executive director of Cause of Action, charged Reid crossed the line between an elected official inquiring about agency actions on behalf of constituents to actively seeking to influence an adjudicative matter of determining who should be granted a U.S. visa.


Read the full story: Breitbart

“Cause of Action, a nonprofit, government oversight group, is calling on the Department of Justice to “immediately investigate” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Governor Terry McAuliffe (D-VA), and Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas “for their participation in unlawful political activity, possible coercion and fraud related to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.”


Cause of Action Executive Director Dan Epstein will provide details in a media conference Thursday about a letter the group sent “calling on the Acting Chief Public Integrity Officer at the Department of Justice to investigate Department of Homeland Security Deputy Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas, Sen. Harry Reid, Gov. Terry McAuliffe and potentially others,” according to a statement released by the group. “The letter . . . comes on the heels of a report from the DHS Inspector General which revealed potential fraud in a well known visa-for-cash program administered by DHS. The IG’s investigation found that Mr. Mayorkas “exerted improper influence in the normal processing and adjudication of EB-5 immigration program benefits,” the statement read.”