In a June 21 article on the legal troubles of various members of Congress who have served on appropriations committees, The Politico reported that Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) was "recently indicted on a host of federal corruption charges." By contrast, the article described former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) as simply "under investigation over his ties to [disgraced former lobbyist Jack] Abramoff, as well as for foreign travel and other actions." The article did not mention that DeLay was actually indicted in Texas on money laundering and conspiracy charges relating to a campaign finance probe.
From the June 21 Politico article headlined "Appropriators plagued by corruption":
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), who was also on the Appropriations Committee, is under investigation over his ties to Abramoff, as well as for foreign travel and other actions. DeLay has denied any wrongdoing, but several of his former aides have already pleaded guilty in the probe.
"There is not anything inherently wrong with the Appropriations Committee," said a senior Senate Democrat on the panel. "But is (the Justice Department) targeting members of the committee? That's something that needs to be asked. I am not so sure anymore."
Several appropriators and lobbyists who specialize in appropriations work point out that not all the lawmakers known to be under federal investigation serve on the appropriations panels.
Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.), recently indicted on a host of federal corruption charges, served on the House Ways and Means Committee.
In a June 7 article, The Politico similarly reported that DeLay had retired from Congress, but not that he resigned after indictment, as Media Matters for America noted. Moreover, a June 5 Politico article on the political implications of Jefferson's indictment simply described DeLay as "scandal-plagued," and also baselessly suggested that the "culture of corruption" on Capitol Hill is bipartisan.
The Politico regularly publishes op-eds written by DeLay as part of its "Talking Tactics" feature. In an April 23 piece, DeLay falsely alleged that "George Soros, upset with the slight inroads conservatives have made recently, has funded an organization called Media Matters for America, led by liberal muckraker David Brock." On April 26, The Politico ran a correction of DeLay's op-ed noting that "George Soros has not funded the organization Media Matters for America."