Arizona Congressman Rick Renzi [photo] pleaded not guilty Tuesday to federal charges including insurance fraud, extortion and money laundering.Lupita Murillo reports for KVOA News 4 Tucson:
Congressman Renzi arraigned in federal court
On February 21, Renzi and his former business partners were indicted after a lengthy investigation.I don't mind commenting.
It focused on the land development and insurance businesses owned by Renzi's family.
Renzi and his business partners James Sandlin and Andrew Beard are all accused of concealing at least $733,000 that Renzi allegedly took for helping seal the land deals.
Renzi and Beard are also accused of embezzling more than $400,000 in insurance premiums to fund Renzi's first congressional campaign.
Renzi says he's not resigning his position. That's the message congressman Rick Renzi sent to his constitutients from court.
Congressman Renzi sat stoically next to his attorneys as he entered his 'not guilty' plea.
The judge released Renzi on a promise to appear in court and didn't set bond.
Renzi was ordered by the judge to stop at the U.S. Marshall's office to be fingerprinted and photographed.
Outside the courthouse, Renzi and his team of attorneys were met by the media. Renzi's attorney did all the talking.
Reid Weingarten told the media, "There is a presumption of innocence in this country and it applies to congressmen. And Congressman Renzi is fully prepared to continue serving his constitutients [sic] while we fight for his rights in court. And there's plenty of rights to be fought for."
The FBI spent 26,000 man-hours on this case.
Prosecutors declined to comment.
How is it that I can read this whole article without once finding any allusion to the name of the political party to which Rick Renzi is attached?
Why can I go to his website, and read "About Rick", and still find no mention of his party affiliation?
Could it be because he's an elephant? YES.
Are the elephants so rotten that they no longer publicly identify themselves as such? YES.
Are the American "news" media sufficiently corrupt to go along with this distortion-by-omission? YES.
If the indicted congressman were a donkey, would the media be singing a different tune? OF COURSE.
Anybody who didn't get all these answers on the first try is welcome to stay late today for some review.
As for presumption of innocence, there are more than 350 people incarcerated at Gitmo who have never even been charged with any crime of any nature, let alone betrayal of the supposedly sacred trust of public service. Some of them were captured by lawless tribesmen when they tried to escape the American bombing of their homeland, then sold into eternal captivity. And they aren't entitled to any presumption of innocence. They aren't entitled to anything -- not even a hearing!
So why does "presumption of innocence" apply to a congressman who's been indicted after 26,000 man-hours of investigation, and against the prevailing political winds, when it doesn't apply to people who have never even been charged?
Because "presumption of innocence", like every other aspect of the rule of law, is now a political weapon, to be used against enemies of the regime, and on behalf of their friends. Pakistan is the model.