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Suspected Ringleader Supposedly Threatened to Kill Govt Witness

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Federal prosecutors say one of the suspected ringleaders in the growing D.C. bribery scandal threatened to kill a government witness.

One day after FBI agents arrested the a D.C. councilman's chief of staff on bribery charges prosecutors say Yitbarek Syume met with an undercover federal agent and promised to "permanently eliminate" a man helping the FBI with the case.

Syume and 38 others were arrested the following week on bribery charges. Prosecutors allege Syume helped organized the scheme and paid the city's taxi cab commissioner more than 300-thousand dollars. In exchange, he wanted operator licenses, which would become more valuable if the city imposed a limit on the number of cabs.

Syume is expected in court this afternoon for a pre-trial detention hearing.

Patrick Madden reports...

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The Politics Hour - July 31, 2015

Join us for our weekly review of the politics, policies, and personalities of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

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