Milton "Skip" Ohlsen, whose illegal tactics during Jeff Smith's campaign against Russ Carnahan for Congress, ended up resulting in felony criminal charges against both Smith and Rep. Steve Brown, D-St. Louis, is desperately trying to receive a lighter sentence, according to documents filed this week in U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
Ohlsen, who is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 23 on bank fraud charges, says the presentencing report makes his crimes out to be more than they actually were.
Ohlsen's actions during the Smith-Carnahan race for the Democratic nomination to replace retiring Rep. Dick Gephardt, ultimately led to guilty pleas by Smith, Brown, and campaign treasurer Nick Adams on felony obstruction charges. Smith and Brown resigned their offices the day they entered their guilty pleas in federal court.
Smith revealed his own involvement in conversations with Brown, which were monitored by the FBI, with the information included in court documents. As I wrote in the Aug. 25 Turner Report:
Smith, not realizing his conversation was being monitored by an FBI wiretap June 1 confirmed his connection to an unsuccessful backdoor attempt to derail Russ Carnahan's successful primary bid for the House seat being vacated by Richard Gephardt.
"Did I know (Milton Ohlsen) was going to do something/" Smith told his co-conspirator, Rep. Steve Brown during the telephone conversation. "Yeah, I mean I thought he was going to do something. If I didn't think he was going to do something, hen I would have said to Artie (Harris) and Nick (Adams) don't waste your time talking to that guy."
That post also included this passage:
During that conversation, which was included in documents filed today in U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Smith acknowledged he knew Brown had paid Ohlsen money for the illegal mailing:
"I vividly remember somebody being like well (Ohlsen) wants to do this, and I was like, well, f------ let him do it, sweet. And they're like, well, he's going to need the money to do it, he'll need to get it from your donors, and I said, like hopefully, my donors will give it to him."
The court documents indicate another conversation between Smith and Brown, this one face to face was also monitored. During that conversation, Smith talked about what evidence the FBI had against him "I don't think he (Ohlsen) taped any phone conversations with me. I mean, I pray he didn't. I may have had a phone conversation with him where I acknowledged what he was doing."
Smith then admitted he was fully aware of what Ohlsen was doing. "I'm assuming that I broke the law by having knowledge of what (Ohlsen) was going to do. I don't know how they could prova that."
Smith then told Brown to lie to investigators. "Don't do anything stupid," he said. "Stupid would be telling them that things that are happening in your brain."
As I noted in another post the same day, Smith was also caught on wire attempting to push the blame for the Ohlsen operation on campaign official Arnie Harris, who died shortly after being interviewed by the FBI:
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."