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Monday, October 25, 2010

SCANDAL? Harry Reid Aide Lied To FBI About Fake Marriage to Alien With Possible Terrorist Ties

Fox News uncovered a scandal involving Harry Reid's Press Secretary to the Hispanic Community.

Diana Tejada, (the Reid aide) admitted she took payment for “some of her expenses” in exchange for fraudulently marrying Bassam Mahmoud Tarhini in 2003 so he could obtain permanent U.S. residency, according to court documents.

Apparently the fake groom was under investigation for terrorist ties,
Following Tarhini’s arrest in 2009, he was interviewed by FBI agents who sources say asked about his ties to extremists groups. Some sources said they determined he did not have ties to any terror group, but other sources close to the case said that could not be ruled out.

“Not all of my cases involve the FBI,” said Tarhini’s immigration attorney, Timothy Lee Cook. “Certainly, there was something out there that caught their attention.”

Also strange was the fact that Tejada was never charged for her role in the crime, did the majority leader "get her off?"
“We did not charge the woman, and of course we don’t discuss the reasons we don’t charge people,” said Bob Troester, spokesman for the Western District of Oklahoma U.S. Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted the case, which began as an FBI investigation out of the Oklahoma City Joint Terrorism Task Force.

“There’s multiple factors that go into charging decisions. She wasn’t charged and we can’t go beyond that.”
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement would not comment on why it took five years to investigate the couple's marriage.
Tejada was still employed by Reid, at the end of September,  on Sept. 21, 2010, she appeared as a guest on a Spanish-language radio program in her official capacity as a spokeswoman for Harry Reid. But when Fox called Reid's spokesman today about the impending story,  Jim Manley said Tejada was no longer employed by Reid’s. When asked when Tejada left Reid’s services, the spokesman had no comment (but a good guess would probably be 15 minutes before the phone call).

Manley provided this statement to

“Our office was not previously aware of these allegations and, following an internal investigation, the staffer at issue is no longer with our office. The conduct alleged, which took place several years before the staffer worked for Senator Reid, was clearly wrong. But the bottom line remains that this story was a desperation measure by partisan Republicans, who have stooped to slinging mud about junior staffers to score points in the waning days of her campaign.”

In court documents, Tejada, who was also the Press Secretary of Hispanic Media for the Senate Majority Conference Committee, is referred to as “an uncharged coconspirator in the crime of perjury, filing false immigration documents, the crime of sham marriage.”

According to interviews and court records obtained by, Tejada knowingly filed false documents with the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services; lied in in-person interviews with ICE and FBI agents; and submitted fraudulent visa application affidavits and marriage license documents — all in attempt to use her status as an American citizen to get Tarhini permanent residency.

As a result of her actions, according to court documents, Tarhini was able to obtain a work permit.

“I don’t honestly know the reason why they chose to prosecute Bassam and not her,” said Jeffrey Byers, Tarhini’s criminal attorney.
Maybe because her boss was the majority leader?
A Justice Department source familiar with the investigation said:

"As exhibited in the court documents, the case prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's office in Oklahoma City was a straightforward case involving two individuals who entered into a fraudulent marriage during college in order for one to evade immigration laws and obtain lawful residence."
Tarhini entered the U.S. in 2000 on a student visa to attend Oklahoma City University, where Tejada was also a student. They became friends and married in September 2003 so he could avoid compulsory service in the Lebanese National Army, Tejada later told officials. She was 21 years old at the time; he was 30.

Court records show that Tejada signed numerous affidavits fraudulently representing her marriage, including forms documenting her financial and employment information along with a signed obligation to support Tarhini.

As part of the process, documents show, she and Tarhini attended an August 31, 2004, meeting at Citizenship and Immigration Services in Oklahoma City, where they misrepresented their marriage to immigration officials.

The next year, Tarhini stayed in Oklahoma while Tejada moved to Washington D.C., where she began working as a spokeswoman for the National Council of La Raza, court and public records show.

In 2008, five years after he filed his visa application, Tarhini filed a suit against ICE officials to force a decision regarding the application — a strategy commonly employed when visa decisions appear to be taking an inordinate amount of time.
In 2008, members of the Oklahoma City Joint Terrorism Task Force,  sent what’s called a collateral request to ICE, asking them to track down Tejada to interview her about Tarhini. When Tejada was interviewed by ICE and FBI agents in Washington, and she maintained that her marriage was legitimate.
On Nov 3, 2008, ICE and FBI agents re-interviewed Tejada in Washington, according to documents and interviews. This time, sources said, agents presented a slew of evidence against her and Tarhini, and Tejada broke down and confessed that her marriage was a lie, carried out to get Tarhini U.S. residency.

According to court records, she also told authorities that she and Tarhini had never dated nor consummated their marriage.
The highest level of management inside the Department of Homeland Security was aware that she worked for Reid, multiple sources confirmed, and following protocol, the majority leader should have been informed of the investigation through those channels, as well.

But in July 2009, when an ICE agent testifying at Tarhini’s preliminary deportation hearing was asked specifically about Tejada’s employer, the agent did not say it was the U.S. Senate.

ICE Special Agent Rebecca Perkins: “Currently she is employed with the — a Hispanic center organization.”

Tarhini's Defense Counsel, Jeffrey Byers: “Is that La Raza? Does that sound familiar?"

Perkins: “I don’t know.”

Byers: “It’s a — it’s a — it's something that is a public service group for the Hispanic community. Is that a fair statement, or something to that degree?”

Perkins: “Yes”
Why would ICE lie about Tejada's employer? They knew it was Reid and by protocol they were to have told Reid.  Were they asked by the Majority leader to commit perjury to protect his ass-ets?
According to sources with knowledge of the November 2008 meeting, Tejada also told ICE and FBI agents that she was concerned about some of Tarhini’s associates, including the best man at her wedding, a Pakistani national named Amer Awli, whom she described as “very secretive.” Awli's current whereabouts are unknown.
Following Tarhini’s arrest in 2009, he was interviewed by FBI agents who sources say asked about his ties to extremists groups. Some sources said they determined he did not have ties to any terror group, but other sources close to the case said that could not be ruled out.

“Not all of my cases involve the FBI,” said Tarhini’s immigration attorney, Timothy Lee Cook. “Certainly, there was something out there that caught their attention.”

When asked what that might be, Cook said: “FBI’s not going to tell anybody that. And believe me, I asked.”

FBI spokesman Paul Bresson told Fox via email, “We have no comment.”
Of course they don't have a comment. There are a lot of holes in this story, lots of unanswered questions.  Look for the folks at FOX to keep on it. We will soon find out who is involved getting Tejada off, and why it was done.


Rich Vail said...


You raise some very interesting points. Now the real question is:

"Why did some guy in his pajammas have to raise these points?"

MSM sources should have raised them. Oops! I fuggot, Mr. Reid is a Democrat. All's forgiven, nothing to see, move along...

Libertarian Advocate said...

Well if this isn't fatal to Harry the Dweeb, nothing will be. Perfect, "La Raza", Immigration Fraud, FBI perjury.


AngelEyesGBU said...

Every reporter and commentator who's made a big deal out of Meg Whitman's nanny, needs to be put on the spot about this issue.