Thursday, September 11, 2008

Did McCain Tamper with the Drug Enforcement Agency to Protect His

by: Matt Stoller
Thu Sep 11, 2008 at 02:06

A whistleblower is coming forth against John and Cindy McCain, and
the picture he is painting is not a pretty one. You've probably
heard about Cindy McCain stealing prescription drugs from her charity
in the 1990s. Today, Tom Gosinski, her former employee and a close
friend of the McCain's, came out on the record about the entire
sordid episode. And it appears that McCain used his Senate staff and
resources to cover up Cindy's drug use, and potentially to prevent
the Drug Enforcement Agency from investigating his wife's theft of
illegal prescription drugs. John McCain certainly used his political
connections to begin a campaign of intimidation against Gosinski,
because at the time - this was after the Keating 5 scandal - another
major scandal would have derailed his career. Gosinski stayed quiet
out of fear until today; a recent fight with cancer has strengthened
his resolve. As he told me today, if he can beat cancer, he can go
on the record regarding how the McCain's do business.

Gosinski was an employee of Cindy McCain who helped her run her
charity, the American Voluntary Medical Team (AVMT) in the early to
mid-1990s. At the time Gosinski worked for her, Cindy McCain was
addicted to prescription painkillers, taking between 30-50 pills a
day of Vicatem and/or Percocet. She had doctors writing out
prescriptions in other peoples' names, including Gosinski. When
Gosinski found one of the prescription slips, he got angry, and Cindy
had him fired. This part of the story is just kind of sad, but not
damning; Cindy McCain was a lonely and bored wife who turned to drugs
in place of what was a loveless marriage full of fundraisers and in
all likelihood, various infidelities (or so were the rumors Gosinski
heard at the time).

Now, it begins to get dangerous and vicious after Gosinksi was
fired. At first the McCain's said they'd help him find a job, but it
became clear to Gosinksi that McCain was using his political
connections to blackball him from another job in Republican politics
in Arizona. So he sued the McCain's for wrongful termination, and
went to the Drug Enforcement Agency to find out the legal
repercussions of having prescriptions for painkillers written in his
name. To retaliate, McCain then had his political ally, Rick Romley,
open an extortion investigation against Gosinksi. In the course of
that investigation, it was revealed that the DEA was circling around
Cindy McCain and her charity. It's not clear what they were
investigating her for, but it is clear she was bringing illegal
prescription drugs around the world on a diplomatic passport secured
for her by McCain's Senate office.

McCain's Senate staff and Senate resources were intimately involved
in Cindy's work with the charity. John McCain procured her a
diplomatic passport, which meant that her bags were not searched by
customs, and Mark Salter and Torie Clarke were both coordinating with
Gosinski on logistics for the trips abroad. Here's Gosinski on the
coordination with McCain's Senate staff.

The charity was supposed to conduct medical missions abroad, but
Cindy was also stealing from the charity's supply of drugs for her
own personal use. In August of 1994, the story was going to come
out, and so John McCain came out with his side of the story. He
claimed he didn't know that Cindy McCain was using drugs until 1994,
a clear lie. Cindy McCain overdosed in 1991, and John McCain went to
the hospital in Sedona and told the hospital staff not to make the
information about Cindy public. Gosinski heard about the overdose in
1992, after he began work for Cindy McCain.

There are lots of unanswered questions, but the basic contours of the
story are clear. John McCain used his position as a Senator to help
his wife abuse illegal drugs and avoid being searched by customs, and
somehow his wife managed to avoid any charges by the DEA or the state
(which has mandatory minimums in cases like this) on drug charges
despite ample evidence. Did the DEA or the state not file charges
against her because of political pressure? Did they keep this on the
Federal level to avoid mandatory minimums for Cindy McCain because of
political pressure from McCain? Did John McCain and/or his Senate
staff tamper with a criminal investigation of his wife and her
conspiracy to fraudulently obtain illegal drugs?

Whether illegal or not, and an investigation by Congress should
happen, this is clearly a massive and overreaching case of both
corruption on a personal sordid level and an abuse of power. And you
might be seeing Gosinski on mainstream media soon.

We need an investigation into what happened here. What did McCain
know about the investigation of his wife and did he use his power as
a Senator to help her abuse drugs or avoid prosecution? When he was
one of a hundred Senators, it was of minor importance. And now?
Well it would be nice to know if the next President is engaged in
behavior more characteristic of an influence peddling mob boss than
an upright politician.

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