Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's announcement Friday that he won't seek re-election in 2016 came at the end of a week in which his role in pressuring Department of Homeland Security officials on behalf of foreign investors in his home state of Nevada sparked one investigation and calls for another.
On Thursday, the nonprofit government watchdog Cause of Action called for a review by the Department of Justice's Public Integrity Section of allegations that a top Homeland Security official improperly intervened on behalf of friends and political associates of Reid, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Anthony Rodham, brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The review by Justice Department's top anti-public corruption staff is needed, according to Cause of Action Executive Director Daniel Epstein, because "federal employees were pressured to make decisions that financially or politically benefited certain applicants and left many visa applicants feeling deprived of a fair process from their government."
Epstein told Raymond Hulser, the acting chief of the Public Integrity Section, in a letter Thursday that there is evidence "of unlawful political activity [and] possible coercion and fraud related to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program."