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Report: Harry Reid aide Diana Tejada lied to FBI, ICE agents over sham marriage to Lebanese. No charges

October 26, 2010 |  2:16 am

Wow, here's one that flew in under the radar on Monday:

"An aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid repeatedly lied to federal immigration and FBI agents and submitted false federal documents to the Department of Homeland Security to cover up her illegal seven-year marriage to a Lebanese national who was the subject of an Oklahoma City Joint Terror Task Force investigation."FBI Logo

The story was broken by Fox News and involves Diana Tejada, the Latina press secretary for the embattled Nevada senator who is seeking a fifth term in a tight reelection battle with Republican Sharron Angle.

According to details, seven years ago Tejada fraudulently married a Lebanese national, Bassam Mahmoud Tarhini, to enable him to stay in the United States and avoid military service back home. She admitted to receiving money for doing so.

Court documents show that Tejada, who has worked for Reid for the past two years, knowingly filed false documents with Homeland Security, lied on multiple occasions to FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and submitted false marriage and immigration documents.

Earlier this year the Lebanese, who was being investigated by a joint terrorism task force, was deported. But for her part, Tejada was not charged with anything. A Justice Department official declined to explain how the aide to the top senator in Congress went uncharged for perjury, among other crimes.

A spokesman for the 70-year-old Reid told Fox News' Jana Winter on Monday evening that the senator's office was unaware of the investigation and referred to the aide as a junior staffer, although she was paid $52,451 by Reid last year.

The aide said Tejada, 28, no longer worked for the powerful senator but declined to specify when her employment was terminated. Fox found her appearing on a Spanish-language program on Reid's behalf as recently as Sept. 21, ironically discussing the do's and don't's of immigration rules.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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