The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Trey Radel Plans To Resign House Seat After Cocaine Bust

By Michael A. Memoli, Tribune Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Trey Radel plans to resign, two months after the Florida Republican pleaded guilty to drug possession, prompting a congressional investigation and primary challenges in his district.

Radel, 37, planned to inform House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, of his decision in a letter Monday, a spokesman said.

The first-term congressman, a former radio and television host in the southwest Florida area he represents, agreed to one year of probation after pleading guilty in November to a misdemeanor charge of possession of cocaine.

Radel had come to the attention of the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration during an investigation of drug trafficking in the Washington area. The congressman purchased 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover officer during an October “buy and bust” sting.

After his plea, Radel took a leave of absence from the House to begin undergoing treatment for what he said was a struggle with alcoholism. He returned to the Capitol this month, but at the time did not address his future, saying a possible reelection bid was “the absolute last thing on my mind.”

The House Ethics Committee created an investigative subcommittee in December to determine whether any of Radel’s actions violated the chamber’s rules.

Prominent Republicans in Florida, including the state party chairman and leaders of county committees, had called on Radel to step down. Multiple candidates have already announced plans to
challenge him in the August GOP primary and the November general election. Connie Mack IV, who had represented the district until he pursued a U.S. Senate campaign in 2012, is also considering running again.

Radel’s decision to resign early would likely lead to a special election in the coming months to fill the seat for the rest of the year. Republicans would be favored to hold the 19th District, where Mitt Romney won 61 percent of the vote in the 2012 election.

Photo: Realtor Action Center via Flickr.com

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Mike Lindell

Ronna McDaniel secured a fourth term as chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC) on Friday with roughly two-thirds of the votes cast, leaving her challengers in the dust, including millionaire conspiracy-monger Mike Lindell, who had projected a winner’s confidence on the campaign trail.

Keep reading...Show less

Charles McGonigal

Youtube Screenshot

The arrest of Charles McGonigal, chief of the FBI counterintelligence division in New York from October 2016 until his retirement in 2018, reopens festering questions about the troubled election that put Donald Trump in the White House. Among the crimes charged against McGonigal in two lengthy federal indictments is a secret financial relationship with Oleg Deripaska — a Russian oligarch close to dictator Vladimir Putin and associated with Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign manager, himself convicted of crimes and pardoned.

During his FBI career, McGonigal oversaw investigations of Deripaska and other oligarchs suspected of various crimes, including espionage. Now the exposure of his illegal connection with Deripaska may provide fresh insights into Trump's tainted victory.

Keep reading...Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}