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FBI Announces Investigation of GOP Senate Candidate Days Before Election

FBI Announces Investigation of GOP Senate Candidate Days Before Election

Acknolwedgement of investigation is contrary to decades-long FBI practice

Hot on the heels of the Department of Justice’s suddenly-renewed interest in George Zimmerman’s civil rights liability in the self-defense killing of Trayvon Martin (see: FBI Convenes Grand Jury For Zimmerman Civil Rights Case) just days before next week’s election comes another DOJ action timed perfectly for electoral manipulation.

National Review Online is reporting that the FBI (a wholly-owned subsidiary of the DOJ) has made the highly unusual decision to disclose their investigation into Mike Rounds (pictured above), a Republican Senate candidate in South Dakota, less than a week before next Tuesday’s vote.

The alleged misconduct being investigated is somewhat obscure–something involving a work visa program in the state–but it is notable that the alleged misconduct was to have occurred three years ago, and the FBI’s announcement comes a year after the state’s own attorney general closed its own investigation without bringing any charges.

The concern, of course, is that the FBI announcement was timed to influence Rounds’ prospects in next week’s voting.  When asked for more detail, the FBI replied that the agent in charge of the investigation would be unavailable to provide additional information until late next week, after the election, thus leaving a cloud over Rounds’ candidacy through election day.

The National Review Online piece brought in some interesting insight from a career FBI agent, now retired, Jeff Lanza:

Jeff Lanza, who worked for the FBI for more than 20 years, tells National Review Online that the acknowledgement of an investigation is a breach of FBI protocol unless a public official has made the investigation public, knowledge of the investigation is already widespread, or the public admission serves a law-enforcement function. Lanza tells NRO that it remains unclear whether the investigation met any of these standards, and he says he is surprised by the bureau’s acknowledgement of the ongoing investigation. “It’s highly unusual that you would acknowledge an investigation into a political figure who is running for office in an upcoming election,” he says. “I think it deserves an explanation, because it does come off as potentially political when you announce an investigation in a candidate who’s running for office.” The FBI has not identified the specific target or targets of its investigation publicly.

Curiouser, and curiouser.

Color me cynical.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and (paperback and Kindle). He also holds Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and provides free online self-defense law video lectures at the Law of Self Defense Institute and podcasts through iTunes, Stitcher, and elsewhere.


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More political bull.

How can all this be legal?

    Olinser in reply to Exiliado. | October 30, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    It ISN’T legal.

    But when you have a political hack of a yes-man as Attorney General, nobody will ever face legal consequences for blatantly illegal actions.

    Sanddog in reply to Exiliado. | October 30, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Does legality really matter to this administration?

    The rule of law is ignored at the top and only enforced at the bottom, making us more like a banana republic every day.

I confess I haven’t followed the South Dakota polls so I don’t know where that election is.

Recall Alaska 2008, in which the sitting Senator was tried and convicted just weeks before the election on charges that were later tossed. The DoJ prosecutors who committed actual malfeasance in that trial were never punished for it, either. But that’s why we have the current Senator Begich.

So I guess my only surprise is that the FBI and DoJ haven’t indicted six or seven Pub candidates…

FBI: The thug division of the Democratic Party.

9thDistrictNeighbor | October 30, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Send him a donation. Hit ’em where it hurts.

I dunno the whats-what of this, but I DO know that the Do(racial)Justice has been corrupted along with every facet of the Federal government.

This is the Obamabanana Republic. And you can expect more of this.

Andrew, your cynicism is completely justified.

This is a blatant attempt by the FBI (likely [indirectly] at the behest of the President) to influence an election. It’s likely not going to work ,as Rounds is currently up +12 (but the margins of error are generally 3.5+). There is a 3rd party independent. Maybe they’re trying to push enough voters toward the 3rd party in order to sway the election.

They’re trying to make anything they can stick. If it wasn’t so dangerous, it would be very, very sad how far the administrative arm of our great republic has fallen so that a few Statists, as their lords and masters, can desperately cling to their slipping grasp on power.

If I were Rounds, I would immediately file a lawsuit against the responsible official, a dozen John Does, and the FBI itself alleging inter alia that a conspiracy to slander him exists and that the act of publicizing the investigation did in fact libel him with actual intent to harm his reputation.

It doesn’t matter if the lawsuit is later tossed, it will be out there AND he can use it to counter any negative ads that use the FBI investigation against him.

Best case scenario – the FBI quickly reverses its decision to investigate AND he wins the election. Sweetest revenge scenario – he wins the election by a greater margin than the polls show.

I am almost ashamed to be an American. Almost.

    Sue ’em until their ears bleed, and then sue ’em some more. From my non-lawyer viewpoint, I hold hopes that Discovery would go up the email chain of command in the (in)Justice Department like a lit fuse. (actual legal opinion may vary)

      Aonghus in reply to georgfelis. | October 31, 2014 at 12:21 am

      (Coming soon to a News outlet near you–)In further news, the FBI has just announced that there were multiple hard drive crashes that have destroyed any communications regarding the investigation into Mike Rounds…

Forget suit, series of commercials pointing to DOJ and Stevens. One of the DOJ lawyers did commit suicide after the mess was exposed. So many die for the dem cause… Ron Brown, Vince Foster, DOzj lawyer, list keeps ever expanding. FBI has been tainted …. this is more than tragic….the FBI better take back the FBI before it completely morphs to the KGB.

This administration is rapidly becoming right and truly tyrannical. So now the FBI is a subdivision of the Democrats along with the IRS and the CDC…etc

Upstanding Americans will not long stand for this sort of abuse. The only thing forestalling a bona fide riot is the fact that the press refuses to report and highlight the abuses.

I do not have good feeling about the future.

A Republican controlled Congress can and should launch a series of investigations against the DOJ, IRS, and FBI. Then in 2016 the new Republican AG should clean house and indict a broad range of Federal officials who used government power to illegally advance partisan interests. They should also change the law to allow individual bureaucrats to be held personally liable for financial losses due to illegal action. Only when some of these douchebags end up behind bars or paying serious bucks to victims will the abuse of power be stemmed. Government should fear the people, not the other way around.

And the best thing to do would be to get rid of the IRS and go to the Fair Tax. As long as the IRS exists, there is a grave threat to liberty and a marvelous tool for would-be tyrants.

    Estragon in reply to cosmicray. | October 31, 2014 at 12:52 am

    Obama and whoever replaces Holder will stonewall, obstruct, and destroy all the evidence they can.

    The best we can do is announce all employees will be held responsible for evidence which disappears. Most them hope to keep their jobs.

    Cosmicray, all due respect to you: the GOP won’t do sh-t. Ever. Never. The GOP logo should be a picture of John Boehners crying.

    If the GOP wins the Senate and keeps the House, we’ll all be wearing t-shirts that say “I won the election, but all I got was this lousy Squeaker.” (Squeaker Boehner, that is.) The GOP establishment controlling Congress will bring us democRAT control of the House or Senate — or both — in 2016, just like George Bush and his idiot adviser Karl Rove gave us ‘Barack Hussein Obama’ (or whoever he really is.)

    The Tea Party is our only hope for rolling back the damage done to this nation by the fraud our corrupt news media, education union/democRAT party systems so easily perpetrated upon the country.

    Think Ronald Reagan. Now, think Ted Cruz.

Mentioned in a comment at “Protein Wisdom” is that ” the United States attorney for South Dakota is the son of the soon to be retired Democratic Senator Tim Johnson.

There will be career agents involved in this stuff who will still be around when Obama leaves office.

If they expect to keep working, I suggest they keep meticulous notes – dates, places, names, who told who to do what, and when.

The stench of President Ebola has even reached the FBI.

There isn’t a single U.S. government agency that has not been corrupted and rendered untrustworthy by the leftists controlling our government. Not a single one. This includes Congress (Who could argue against the fact that hack Squeaker Boehner is being extorted to betray the people who voted him in — without sounding as dumb as Hillary Clinton? (There is no other explanation: no man whoever lived has had such little balls, yet displayed such vigor to attack his own side.)

Just imagine if the democRATS and Crazy Nancy Pelosi remained in control of the House: this blog would be banned. And the authors of likes of, shot.(Or at least sent to bed without supper — in a FEMA camp.)

They should consider themselves lucky that the details of the investigation weren’t leaked.

That’s Obama’s usual MO.

Thank you Eric Holder for causing more Americans to be suspicious and/or distrust our system of justice since Mitchell.

not_surprised | October 31, 2014 at 9:55 am

So at this point one has to think there must be a WHOLE government entity dedicating to finding dirt on those who criticize or are a threat to Obama and coordinates with other departments for enforcement (IRS, FBI, EPA).

The same group creates cover and spins for all the miss-haps and lapses in the administration, a monumental task!

I’d venture to guess it’s all the thousands on staff at the civil rights group within the DOJ, who have nothing better to do than harass Zimmerman and keep his 9mm gun in a locker.

J. Edgar Hoover must be turning over in his lingerie.

Andrew, sorry I haven’t added a comment before now. I’m a SD resident, and I live 4 mi west of Rapid City in Pennington County, the 2nd most populous county in SD. This territory is crimson red, as are most counties west of the Missouri River here, with the exception of those containing Indian Reservations, which can be counted on to most always vote Democratic. The other Democratic stronghold in SD is Minnehaha County, its most populous, which contains the city of Sioux Falls. Former Senator Tom Daschle is from “East River”, as the region east of the Missouri is known, and Minnehaha County tends to vote Democratic, although I am unsure if they supported obama in 2008 or 2012.

The 2014 Senate race in SD is complicated by the fact that Republican (and former Governor) Mike Rounds is running not only against Rick Weiland, the Democrat (and an East River guy), but also against Larry Pressler (former SD Republican senator who preceded Daschle, running as an independent, and an East River type also), and a “gadfly” named Gordon Howie, who I think is somewhere way out on the fringes of the Right Wing. (Howie’s vote count will probably be in the single percentage digits.)

Wieland has benefited from a magabucks campaign waged by “EveryVoiceAction” PAC as well as Larry Lessig’s “MayDay PAC”, both of which have run untold hundreds of commercials beating the so-called “EB-5” scandal to death. EveryVoiceAction has spent >$837K against Rounds and even >$309K against Pressler. They really want their boy Weiland in there. MayDay PAC has spent >$813K on Weiland, as well. And Weiland advertises himself as someone who “doesn’t take big money” and who “wants to take it [i.e., DC] back”. Rounds did not wish to run “negative” ads but the buildup of the EB-5 negative ads over the past 2 months caused him to reverse course, and I don’t blame him. (I obtained my numbers from

I’m not (never have been) optimistic about a Republican takeover of the Senate, and I’d almost bet that if Rounds loses to Wieland, Harry Reid will still be in charge. Many of the letters to the editor in our local paper are anti-Rounds, but they do tend to be written by those individuals who espouse their progressive beliefs and praise obama.

We’re just getting rid of Tim Johnson, a definite party-line Democratic voter, and I’ll be highly irritated if this state places that idiot Wieland in office. If Pressler is elected, he will most likely vote with the Democrats as well. I moved out here in 2009 from Virginia, which is taking on a political character more like that of Maryland, and I sure don’t want to see Democrats representing my new state in either the US Senate or House. I hope Rounds kicks butt. I contributed to both his and Scott Walker’s campaigns.


    dhmosquito in reply to dhmosquito. | November 1, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    To give other readers here yet another idea of how desperate the Democrats are to hold onto their majority in the Senate, today I received a color flyer in the US Mail, specifically addressed to me, headlining that “Mike Rounds is Busted”. The usual crap about the “EB-5 Scandal” is of course summarized in a paragraph or two (although the claim that “… now there is an active FBI investigation examining the scheme” does not seem to comport with the facts as Andrew presents them above). Of interest is the fact that the flyer specifically indicates that it is “Paid for by USW Works” of Five Gateway Plaza in Pittsburgh. And so, even the United Steelworkers’ Union is going all-out to “inform” SD voters, “On Nov 4, tell Mike Rounds we don’t need him in the US Senate hurting South Dakota” in a state over halfway across the continent! And Rick Weiland just smiles. What losers these Democrats are. Absolute losers.

Under Holder it’s now the Federal Bureau of Intimidation.

Henry Hawkins | October 31, 2014 at 4:43 pm

All federal agencies become politicized to some degree. The differences are in how much and to what awful degree. The Obama administration is breaking all the world records set by Nixon, Clnton, Carter, etc.

There’s also the possibility that the FBI are jealous of the IRS and want to prove they are just as corrupt as them.

amatuerwrangler | October 31, 2014 at 9:51 pm

The best defense is quick offense. — Knute Rockne

Rounds should flood the airways with the announcement of this development, thus taking it away as a plus for the opposition. Why else would the Obama administration’s DOJ hit team, aka FBI, weigh in like this other than that Rounds was a good bet to win and thus turn the Senate… He was bad for the administration and good for America in general.

Make this a plus….

At this point ANYONE being targeted by any aspect of this government has got to be considered a good guy.