by John Hawkins | November 12, 2007 8:02 am
As most of you probably already know, Bernard Kerik is facing some rather severe legal troubles,
“Bernard Kerik lied, schemed and sold out the city – all under the nose of his mentor and pal, presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.
That is the stark portrait painted in the 16-count indictment unsealed yesterday in White Plains Federal Court almost exactly one year before Election Day 2008.
While the political fallout remains uncertain, the effect on Kerik’s image as a Sept. 11 hero is devastating.
In meticulous detail, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia assembled count after count painting Kerik as a money-grubbing liar who tried to cover his tracks.
The indictment says the misdeeds took place as Giuliani promoted his former driver to the top levels of his administration, from running city prisons to heading the largest police force in America.
Yesterday, Kerik, 52, stood ramrod straight in a white shirt, red tie and navy blue jacket to declare “not guilty, your honor” in court, moments before being freed on a $500,000 bail bond backed up by his New Jersey mansion.
Outside, he could not resist bringing up Sept. 11: “The worst challenges until this time were my challenges during and after 9/11. This is a battle I’m going to fight.”
The indictment charges Kerik with conspiracy, tax fraud, making false statements and depriving the city of his honest services. If convicted, he faces up to 142 years in prison and up to $4.75 million in fines.”
Folks, this doesn’t just reflect poorly on Bernard Kerik, it raises serious questions about Rudy Giuliani.
Bernard Kerik is not just some tangential figure in Rudy Bernard Giuliani’s life: Rudy was Kerik’s patron, business partner, and friend. Not only did Rudy promote him in his administration in New York, he recommended him to be the Secretary of Homeland Security.
People have taken shots at Hillary — and rightfully so — over the sleazy people she’s connected to like Norman Hsu and Sandy Berger, but this is far worse, because Kerik is so tightly tied to Giuliani.
It raises a lot of troubling questions, like was Giuliani aware that he was working closely with someone faced with troubling ethical questions? If not, why wasn’t Kerik properly vetted and how many other people with ethical problems are connected to Rudy? If Rudy was aware that Kerik may have been dirty, does that mean Rudy has ethical issues of his own or is tolerant of people who are dirty? Either way, you have to admit that it’s entirely possible that there are more people with serious ethical issues surrounding Rudy.
Folks, you should be aware that Rudy now has an enormous bullseye on his back on the ethics issue and every mainstream media publication in America is probably assigning people to go through his background and the background of everyone associated with him using a fine tooth comb.
If you think you’re tired of hearing the words “culture of corruption” now, you just wait and see how you feel about it if Rudy’s the nominee and there turns out to be 3 or 4 characters as shady as Kerik connected to him. It will be a disaster — and, yes, it may very well happen.
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