A major corruption scandal is rippling through the Republican Party right now, with The Cincinnati Enquirer reporting that Ohio’s House Speaker Larry Householder (R) was arrested this morning over his connection to a $60 million bribery case.
Four other individuals were also arrested: Jeffrey Longstreth, an advisor to Householder, Neil Clark, a former GOP staffer turned consultant, former Ohio Republican Party Chair Matthew Borges, Juan Cespedes, a co-founder of the Oxley Group.
Also reportedly arrested:
-Neil Clark from Grant Street Consultants in Columbus
– Matthew Borges, former Ohio Republican Party chair and consultant
-Juan Cespedes, co-founder of The Oxley Group in Columbus
-Jeffrey Longstreth, adviser to Householder https://t.co/EuHOtjcGt8
— Jennifer Smola (@jennsmola) July 21, 2020
The Enquirer reached out to U.S. Attorney David DeVillers’ office to obtain the full details of the case but at this stage the ins and outs of are still being kept under wraps. A source did reveal to The Enquirer that undercover federal agents were involved in the government’s investigatory operations.
Devillers’s spokesperson stated that the charges are related to “public corruption racketeering conspiracy involving $60 million.” A press conference is scheduled for later today and given the massive financial scale of the alleged conspiracy, this is certain to become a massive story.
While most of the details are still to be released, this news represents a crushing blow to the GOP in Ohio. As state House Speaker and one of Ohio’s most prominent Republican officials, Householder wields an enormous amount of influence and political power. The charges are sure to further damage the reputation of a party which has seen its credibility and popularity steadily erode under leader Donald Trump. More bad press is the last thing these people need.
It’s worth noting that this is not Householder’s first run-in with the law. In 2004 he and several of his associates came under federal scrutiny over possible connections to money laundering and corrupt campaign practices. The federal government ultimately declined to officially bring charges, a decision which it appears may have emboldened Householder to engage in further underhanded behavior.
These charges are incredibly serious but not entirely surprising given the rotten state of the Republican Party in general. An organization that elevates a racist game show host to its top position is an organization that cannot be trusted and one which will attract the most unscrupulous of individuals to its ranks. The GOP stands for little more than bigotry, corruption, and the interests of the super-rich. Hopefully, justice is served in this case and more Americans come to see the Republican Party for exactly what it is: a criminal menace.
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