Teamsters: Memo Shows Carey Knew About Violations

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Documents obtained by TIME show new action in the Teamsters union investigation and could signal fresh problems for the White House. Last week federal investigators handed over to the union’s court-appointed overseers a “highly personal and confidential” memo written in January 1997 by Jere Nash, campaign manager for Ron Carey, a month after he was re-elected Teamsters president. The memo, addressed to Carey, details how union employees helped his election. For example, the union’s chief organizer turned his entire staff into an arm of the campaign, which is illegal. Nash has pleaded guilty of conspiracy to divert union funds, and is assisting in the FBI’s probe. Carey, his election overturned, has denied wrongdoing.

The overseers also received a letter from the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan asking them not to question a key witness about “any matters involving the Democratic National Committee (or) the Clinton/Gore Election Committee... because it could harm the active, ongoing criminal investigation.” Investigators say the letter shows that the New York grand jury has targeted an alleged scheme in which Democrats would direct campaign contributions to Carey in return for contributions to state Democratic parties out of Teamster union funds.