Rep. Gregory Meeks (D., N.Y.) will serve as a surrogate for President Barack Obama in the spin room following tonight’s foreign policy debate, according to Politico.
Vetters for the president’s campaign appear to have missed a report from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) that labeled Meeks one of the most corrupt members of Congress.
Meeks has been under investigation by federal authorities and the House Ethics Committee over a $40,000 loan he received from a Queens businessman, Edul Ahmad. Meeks failed to disclose the loan on his personal financial disclosure reports. Earlier this month, Ahmad pleaded guilty to a $50 million mortgage-fraud scheme. It is unclear whether he provided prosecutors with evidence against Meeks as part of the plea.
Obama chose Meeks to serve as surrogate after the critical foreign policy debate because of his glowing record on international affairs. In 2006, Allen Stanford asked Meeks to go to Venezuela, meet with President Hugo Chavez, and request a criminal investigation into a Venezuelan bank executive who was accusing Stanford of fraud. Meeks agreed, performed Stanford’s bidding, and the executive was indicted for tax evasion. Meeks took at least six trips to luxury resorts in the Caribbean, all funded by Stanford.
Meeks’ record of corruption was so impressive that even the George Soros-funded CREW couldn’t ignore his misdeeds. Meeks may have been chosen because former Rep. William Jefferson (D., La.) was unavailable for the spin room.