Treasury Probing Bush Donor’s Meddling

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What’s that knocking? Ohio’s Coingate scandal has arrived at 1600 Pennsylvania. And it wants in.

The White House appointed Tom Noe, the Ohio Bush “Pioneer” facing 53 felony counts of theft and corruption, to a U.S. Mint advisory committee where he became chairman, gaining influence he could use to make money for himself and others, the Toledo Blade reports.

Not only did Mr. Noe use his federal appointment to cultivate relationships at the Mint, and on Capitol Hill, but e-mails show that he used his post to influence policy and seek access to inside information that could benefit him as a rare-coin dealer.

For those new to the Coingate scandal, here’s how Noe’s scam apparently worked: First, Noe steals millions out of the State of Ohio’s insurance fund for injured workers. Then he launders a cut and funnels it to the Bush re-election campaign. That buys access, which wins him a seat on the U.S. Mint’s advisory board. That gives him more influence, and access to more information, to make more money. Repeat until indicted.

The Treasury Department’s Inspector General is investigating what kind of mischief Noe got into, the Blade says.