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Krongard Recuses Himself from Blackwater Investigations
Spencer Ackerman –
Howard "Cookie" Krongard said he's just learned that his brother is on Blackwater's advisory board and has formally recused himself from investigating the company.
Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) asked when Krongard learned his brother, A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard was on Blackwater's board. Krongard said that he just learned about his brother's position, and had a single phone conversation with him in early October -- "about five, six weeks ago" -- in which Buzzy told Cookie that he didn't have "a significant financial interest" in Blackwater. Blackwater has multi-million contracts with the State Department.
Company spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell told me the advisory board was formed in the summer. I'm still trying to learn the exact date Buzzy joined up, but that would be before Buzzy's phone conversation with his brother. Cookie Krongard told Rep. Lynch that his brother didn't mention taking a position on the advisory board, although Buzzy "may have said" that Blackwater approached him about one. "I am not my brother's keeper," Cookie Krongard said.
Update: Cookie has certainly changed his tune from the beginning of the hearing. There, he said that his brother had told him that he wasn't on Blackwater's advisory board. Here's what he said:
"I can tell you very frankly, I am not aware of any financial interest or position [my brother] has with respect to Blackwater. It couldnât possibly have affected anything Iâve done, because I donât believe it. And when these ugly rumors started recently, I specifically asked him. I do not believe it is true that he is a member of the advisory board, as you stated, and that is something I think I need to say."
Late Update: Rep. Lynch's first name is Stephen, not Patrick. I regret the error.