Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Jeff Smith: Let's blame it on the dead guy
Not knowing that his conversation was being overheard by the feds, Sen. Jeff Smith, who resigned his seat and pleaded guilty to two felony counts of obstruction of justice, tried to talk his co-conspirator, Rep. Steve Brown, into blaming everything on the late Artie Harris.
During a June 30 meeting at Starbuck's Cafe in Clayton, Smith told Brown, "Can you put it on Arnie?" Smith asked. "If you can just put it on Arnie." Arnie Harris, a key member of Jeff Smith's 2004 Congressional campaign, died shortly after being interviewed by the FEC about accusations, since proven to be factual, that Smith's campaign worked with Milton "Skip" Ohlsen on the direct mailing of attack literature against the eventual winner of the Democratic primary, Russ Carnahan.
Smith continued to take that cowardly approach during another meeting with Brown and 2004 campaign treasurer and co-conspirator Nick Adams June 30 at Smith's home, again with the FBI listening in.
Smith and Adams tag-teamed Brown to get him to lay the entire blame on Harris. Adams said, "I'm alive and Artie's dead. Can was emphasize this was Artie's deal?"
Smith added, "Artie would totally want us to throw him under the bus here."