Illinois House committee investigating Speaker Michael Madigan set to hear testimony from Exelon executive

An executive from Commonwealth Edison parent company Exelon is set to testify Tuesday before a special Illinois House committee investigating Speaker Michael Madigan in connection with a bribery case involving the utility.



a man sitting at a desk looking at a laptop: David Glockner, Exelon s executive vice president for compliance and audit, answers questions at a meeting with the Illinois Commerce Commission in Chicago on July 29, 2020. nn


© Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
David Glockner, Exelon s executive vice president for compliance and audit, answers questions at a meeting with the Illinois Commerce Commission in Chicago on July 29, 2020. nn

The six-member special investigating committee, formed this summer after federal prosecutors alleged ComEd engaged in a “yearslong bribery scheme” aimed at currying favor with Madigan, has become a partisan flash point ahead of the November election.

The panel was formed at the request of House Republican leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs to determine whether Madigan engaged in “conduct unbecoming to a legislator” and should face potential discipline. The speaker and the panel’s Democratic chairman, state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch of Hillside, have accused the GOP of political posturing. Republicans accuse Democrats of acting in defense of Madigan, who has not been charged and has denied wrongdoing.

Madigan was one of several witnesses the committee’s three Republicans asked to testify, but all declined the invitation, with the exception of ComEd. Set to testify on the utility’s behalf on Tuesday is David Glockner, Exelon’s executive vice president for compliance and audit.

The six-member panel could subpoena witnesses, but that would require one of three Democrats to vote with the three Republicans to compel testimony. One Democrat also would have to side with Republicans for the special committee to approve a charge against Madigan.

As part of a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. attorney’s office announced earlier this summer, ComEd agreed to pay a $200 million fine and cooperate with investigators after federal prosecutors alleged in July that the utility offered jobs, contracts and payments to Madigan allies in the hopes of winning support for favorable legislation.

The agreement with federal prosecutors focuses specifically on two major pieces of energy legislation approved in the legislature in the past decade: the 2011 Energy Infrastructure and Modernization Act and the 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act, both of which resulted in major benefits for the state’s largest utility.

In a letter Friday declining the invitation to testify, Madigan argued that “House Democrats won significant concessions, much to the chagrin of ComEd and Exelon, likely costing the companies millions of dollars in profits.”

Seeking to turn the tables on Durkin, Madigan noted the key role the House GOP leader and then-Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner played in negotiating the 2016 legislation, which opponents characterized as a bailout for two Exelon nuclear power plants.

“If Rep. Durkin were to put aside his current political agenda and speak honestly about his experiences with this energy legislation in which he was personally involved, I am certain he would attest that the process of negotiating that bill was bipartisan and his input was likely more valuable than mine,” Madigan wrote.

Following Madigan’s cue, Welch said in a statement Monday that he

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White House slams FBI chief Wray over voter fraud testimony

By Doina Chiacu



a man wearing a suit and tie: FILE PHOTO: Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on "Threats to the Homeland", on Capitol Hill in Washington


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FILE PHOTO: Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on “Threats to the Homeland”, on Capitol Hill in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – FBI Director Christopher Wray faced criticism from the White House for the second time in a week on Friday when President Donald Trump’s chief of staff questioned his ability to detect voter fraud as the November election draws near.

Wray told lawmakers on Thursday he has not seen evidence of a “coordinated national voter fraud effort,” undercutting the Republican president’s unfounded assault on mail-in balloting before his Nov. 3 contest against Democrat Joe Biden.

Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, denigrated Wray during an interview with CBS “This Morning.”

“With all due respect to Director Wray, he has a hard time finding emails in his own FBI, let alone figuring out whether there’s any kind of voter fraud,” he said without elaborating.

A top federal prosecutor in the battleground state of Pennsylvania on Thursday said his office and the FBI were investigating whether nine military ballots cast for Trump had been handled improperly.

Meadows suggested to CBS that Wray “drill down on the investigation that just started … Perhaps he needs to get involved on the ground and then he would change his testimony on Capitol Hill.”

The FBI had no comment on Meadows’ remarks.

Trump appointed Wray as FBI director after he fired James Comey in 2017 during a federal probe into ties between the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and Russia.

Last week, Wray testified before a House of Representatives committee that his biggest concern in the 2020 election was the “steady drumbeat of misinformation” coming from Russian interference.

That prompted Trump to retort, “I did not like his answers yesterday.”

Wray’s statements run contrary to the Republican president’s stances as he seeks re-election on Nov. 3 in the race against Democrat Joe Biden. Trump continues to downplay the threat from Moscow and argues that mail-in voting, which many states are relying on during the coronavirus pandemic, poses a threat to election security.



a man wearing a suit and tie: FILE PHOTO: Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on "Threats to the Homeland", on Capitol Hill in Washington


© Reuters/POOL
FILE PHOTO: Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on “Threats to the Homeland”, on Capitol Hill in Washington

Asked if Trump had confidence in Wray, Meadows told reporters on Friday he has not spoken to the president about it.

Trump himself has repeatedly and without evidence questioned the increased use of mail-in ballots, an established method of voting in the United States.

He also continues to bristle at U.S. intelligence agencies’ finding that Russia acted to boost Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and undermine his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Additional reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Cynthia Osterman)

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White House Slams FBI Chief Wray Over Voter Fraud Testimony | Top News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Friday denigrated FBI Director Christopher Wray’s ability to detect voter fraud in the U.S. election and suggested that if he “drill down” more he would change his congressional testimony on the issue.

Wray told lawmakers on Thursday he has not seen evidence of a coordinated national voter fraud effort, undercutting President Donald Trump’s unfounded assault on mail-in balloting as a threat to election security.

“With all due respect to Director Wray, he has a hard time finding emails in his own FBI, let alone figuring out whether there’s any kind of voter fraud,” Meadows said on CBS “This Morning.” It was not clear what missing emails he was referring to.

A top federal prosecutor in the battleground state of Pennsylvania on Thursday said his office and the FBI was investigating whether nine military ballots cast for Trump had been handled improperly.

Earlier in the day, Wray told the Senate Homeland Security Committee that, “We have not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it’s by mail or otherwise. We have seen voter fraud at the local level from time to time.”

Meadows suggested on CBS that Wray “drill down on the investigation that just started … Perhaps he needs to get involved on the ground and then he would change his testimony on Capitol Hill.”

The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Meadows’ remarks.

Trump appointed Wray as FBI director after he fired James Comey in 2017 during a federal probe into ties between the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and Russia.

Earlier this month, Wray testified before a House of Representatives committee that his biggest concern in the 2020 election was the “steady drumbeat of misinformation” coming from Russian interference.

Both statements run contrary to the Republican president’s stances as he seeks re-election on Nov. 3 in the race against Democrat Joe Biden. Trump continues to downplay the threat from Moscow and argues that mail-in voting, which many states are relying on during the coronavirus pandemic, poses a threat to election security.

Asked if Trump had confidence in Wray, Meadows told reporters on Friday he has not spoken to the president about it.

Trump himself has repeatedly and without evidence questioned the increased use of mail-in ballots, a long established method of voting in the United States.

The Republican president has long bristled at that U.S. intelligence agencies’ finding that Russia acted to boost now-Trump’s 2016 campaign and undermine his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

Trump repeatedly referenced Clinton’s “missing emails” during that campaign, mockingly asking Russia to help find them. A State Department investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state has found no evidence of deliberate mishandling of classified information.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Additional reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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