by Brian Hayes | Top Right News
Sen. Harry Reid announced on Friday that he will not seek re-election in 2016 — bringing a combative, three-decade congressional career to a close.
But the timing of the announcement — coming just days after Reid was named in a visa scandal — is making some question whether Reid was coaxed to leave under a cloud of possible Congressional or legal action.
On Tuesday, Reid, along with the number two official at DHS, was implicated in a scheme to approve visas for non-qualified foreigners — specifically wealthy Chinese investors of his son Rory’s casino clients. As Breitbart reported:
(The) Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General’s report reveals Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) abuse of his political office in 2012 and 2013. Through a brazen intervention, Reid ultimately forced the Department of Homeland Security to bend to his will in a way that benefited his political allies and family.
The report concluded that Reid pressured a compliant DHS official to override normal departmental procedures and rush through 230 EB-5 foreign visa applications, thereby freeing up $115 million the applicants invested in the SLS Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The report did not, however, reveal the now confirmed fact that the owner of that casino project had hired Reid’s son, Rory Reid, to provide legal representation for the project.
The Senate and House are now planning hearings to investigate both Reid and DHS Deputy DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, amid talk of potential criminal charges.
Just three days later, Reid announced he will not seek re-election.
Reid, 75, made the announcement on his website, saying the injuries he sustained in a January exercise accident allowed him to “have a little down time.”
“The decision that I’ve made has absolutely nothing to do with my injury, it has nothing to do with my being minority leader and it certainly has nothing to do with my ability to be re-elected because the path to re-election is much easier than probably has been any time that I’ve run for re-election,” he said.
Reid, who has led the Senate Democrats since 2005, said he wanted to got out “on the top of my game.”
But some hill staffers told Top Right News they are “shocked” by the announcement,saying Reid had “reveled” in his recent “outsmarting” of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) over his failed effort to defund Obama’s executive action amnesty. Reid was also ratcheting up the tension in the batle over controversial Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch, and seemed hungry for a fight.
All that changed after the report on the visa scandal this week, staffers claim.
The move leaves Senate Democrats in disarray, with rivals Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), both far less popular than Reid among colleagues, vying for control over the caucus.