WASHINGTON – Skeptics have begun to openly doubt the explanation Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., has given about the severe injuries to his face, and the questions have become especially pointed as possible new information has come to light.
Some have said his concussion, swollen-shut eye, facial cuts and broken ribs look less like the result of the exercise accident Reid has claimed caused the injuries and more like the result of a beating.
And now, numerous publications are picking up on a report that points the finger of blame at Reid’s brother, Larry.
John Hinderaker of the Powerline blog reported an account he said was given to him Friday by a Las Vegas-area businessman that is now getting much attention.
Hinderaker said a man who called himself Easton Elliott told him he attended an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting on New Year’s Eve in Henderson, Nevada, when a man named Larry entered.
“His appearance was striking: there was blood on his clothing, beginning around his midsection. His left hand was swollen. He appeared to be somewhat intoxicated and was visibly agitated,” Elliot reportedly said.
Larry said he’d had a fight with a family member, didn’t remember much because he had blacked out, and was now worried the Secret Service would come after him, according to Elliott.
Weeks later, Elliott said he saw a newspaper story about the arrest on Monday of 73-year-old Larry Reid, Harry’s brother, for DUI and assaulting a highway patrolman, near Searchlight, Nevada.
Larry Reid was also charged with driving across a median, resisting arrest, not wearing a seat belt and possession of a gun while under the influence of alcohol.
Elliott said he immediately recognized the photo of Larry Reid as the same Larry who attended the AA meeting on New Year’s Eve.
Harry Reid was hospitalized on New Year’s Day.
Even though participants in AA meetings pledge to keep their identities anonymous, Elliott said he then consulted with several others who attended the AA meeting and said they recognized the man in the photo as the Larry at the meeting.
The senator’s office said Reid’s Capitol Police security detail was with him at the time of the injuries, and they accompanied him to a hospital in Henderson, Nevada, on New Year’s Day.
Breitbart News asked Capitol Police to verify Reid’s injury claim by providing an incident report by that security detail, but the news organization reported it had been stonewalled.
After numerous phone calls and emails, Lt. Kimberly Schneider, public information officer for the Capitol Police, sent a statement on Monday to Breitbart:
“The U.S. Capitol Police does not discuss security or law enforcement sensitive information regarding the operations of the U.S. Capitol Police, or the security of Members of Congress.”
The website has since asked “both the Inspector General of the Capitol Police and the Capitol Board to provide the public with the details surrounding Reid’s New Year’s Day injuries as well as into the conduct of the Capitol Police in failing to properly report those details.”
Breitbart has asked: If the possibility of assault on a member of Congress, a federal crime, has not been ruled out, why is the FBI, which has jurisdiction over such matters, not currently investigating?
Reid has claimed an exercise band attached to a shower door “broke and spun me around and I crashed into these cabinets and injured my eye.”