Josh Marshall notes an Associated Press story on the Armstrong Williams propaganda investigation:
Sheesh! It never rains but it pours.The AP reports that the this may be about more than just propaganda
A criminal referral in the Armstrong Williams goofball propaganda case?
The action was disclosed by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who has pressed for a criminal fraud investigation focused on questions about whether Williams actually performed the work cited in his monthly reports to the Education Department.These are not the results of an active opposition party, this is the result of standard operating procedure under this administration.
The Government Accountability Office has concluded that the Education Department engaged in illegal "covert propaganda" by hiring Williams to promote the No Child Left Behind Act without requiring him to disclose that he was being paid. The Education Department's inspector general has also reviewed the Williams deal, which was part of a broader contract that the education agency had with Ketchum, a public relations firm.
Now the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia is investigating whether Williams accepted public money without performing his required duties, said Dan Katz, chief counsel for Lautenberg. The attorney's office has a range of potential remedies, from suing to recover the money to possible criminal charges, Katz said.