Giuliani, Asher and F. Lee Bailey: Never Mind
ABC News has a new Rudy Giuliani tainted friends story, this one about Hank Asher, a one-time drug dealer who cooperated, found redemption (sarcasm) and made a $700 million fortune.
Asher, earlier in his life, had, by his own admission, smuggled plane-loads of cocaine worth millions of dollars from the Bahamas to the U.S. He later cooperated with law enforcement in an effort to end similar smuggling operations.
Since 2005, he has been Giuliani's partner along with the Mayo Clinic in Jari Research, a business set on finding a bone marrow cancer cure and making a profit. Self-educated, worldly, charismatic and larger than life, according to associates, Asher, a high school dropout at age 16, today is worth north of $700 million.
I don't think this is a worthwhile story -- or that it hurts Giuliani. Asher is named but not charged in the indictment of Orange County, CA Sheriff Michael Cardona because he gave the Sheriff and some deputies and their wives Cartier watches.
"On or about December 19, 2002, defendant Deborah Carona and co-conspirator George Jaramillo (assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo) accepted as gifts from H.A., a businessman who owned a data mining software company, yellow gold and diamond Ladies Cartier Watches worth approximately $15,000 each."
Buried on page 3 of the article:
There is no allegation in the document that he [Asher] attempted to influence any purchases or other decisions by the county.
I especially don't think F. Lee Bailey will be happy to be declared dead.
Asher's friends span the spectrum from Rudy Giuliani to Jesse Jackson and the late F. Lee Bailey. His business supporters have included Giuliani, Vice President Dick Cheney, and former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. (my emphasis.)
As far as I know, F. Lee Bailey is still alive. [More...]
Also, it turns out Bailey was his lawyer in the early drug investigation. The article calls them "friends" and maybe they were, but there's nothing in the article to suggest they had more than a lawyer-client relationship.
His business associates include some of the same drug agents who years ago learned of Asher's smuggling when he walked into their lives accompanied by Bailey and began a campaign to convince other smugglers he knew to leave the business or face investigations and jail.
Former offenders should be praised when they successfully re-integrate into society. While I don't approve of Asher's turning in buddies to the feds, he sounds like he turned his life around and is now doing good for society.
There are enough Rudy scandals to go around to do him in politically. This isn't one of them and, worse, could play right into Rudy's hands by serving as an example of how he's a victim of unfounded media attacks.
The real Giuliani story this week is the one the Sunday tv talk shows ignored -- that his affair with Judith Nathan cost the taxpayers of New York big dollars and were dubiously billed to obscure city agencies.
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