Thomas D'Alesandro was sworn into a position in the Kennedy administration on March 28, 1961, while his wife, along with JFK and a young Nancy, looked on.
/ February 21, 2021
While the nation's attention was focused on the events transpiring at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the FBI was quietly releasing files from 60 years ago concerning an investigation into the father of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The files detail a two-month investigation into Thomas D'Alesandro Jr., a Maryland politician who served in a long career in Congress and as mayor of Baltimore, Just the News noted in a Feb. 19 report
on the FBI files.
The investigation was ordered by the White House after President John F. Kennedy has said he planned to appoint D'Alesandro to a position on a government watchdog board that reviewed defense contracts.
A routine FBI name check revealed "allegations" against D'Alessandro, according to a Feb. 6, 1961 teletype from "FBI Director." The director at the time was J. Edgar Hoover.
"The White House has requested that we proceed with a special inquiry investigation but that if substantial derogatory information were developed, we should report this and discontinue any further inquiries because substantiation of any of the allegations would eliminate Mr. D'Alesandro," the FBI director wrote in the teletype that is located on page 19 of the files (which can be viewed here
"Assign immediately," Hoover wrote, instructing the Baltimore and Washington field offices to "afford continuous attention" to the investigation.
An FBI agent wrote on page 14 of the files: "There have been allegations that D'Alesandro has associated with the Baltimore criminal element and [redacted] and the son, Franklin Roosevelt D'Alesandro, had been arrested for rape." The allegations may have been rumor, the agent noted.
Agents had written that Franklin Roosevelt D'Alesandro was arrested and acquitted on charges that saw others convicted of raping two girls aged 11 and 13. The young D'Alesandro, who died in 2007, also was tried and acquitted of perjury in relation to that case.
Just the News noted that "in the 1961 inquiry into the senior D'Alesandro, the G-men delved decades into their subject's past."
"In 1945 it was alleged that one Charles F. Cammarata had been able to get away with all sorts of criminal activities in Baltimore, Maryland, and had operated almost unmolested due to his friendship with and the protection of Congressman D'Alesandro," one unnamed agent wrote in a Jan. 30, 1961 memo to the White House.
In the same memo, which begins on page 38 of the files, the agent summarizes allegations that D'Alesandro took payoffs from applicants to the police force, and that he helped to hinder the investigation and prosecution of crimes.
Elsewhere, the memo cites a "confidential source, who has furnished reliable information in the past," reporting that D'Alesandro appeared onstage at a 1943 rally for the National Council of American-Soviet Friendship, which was formed in 1943 by the Communist Party USA as a Soviet front group, according to the FBI.
The following year, the memo notes, D'Alesandro was reported as the main speaker at an event for the International Workers Order, an insurance organization placed on a list of subversive organizations by the U.S. attorney general in 1947 and later disbanded by order of the New York State Insurance Department for being too closely aligned with the Communist Party, in violation of regulations prohibiting political activity in the industry.
Following the investigation, the Senate confirmed D'Alesandro for the contract oversight position. He was sworn into office on March 28, 1961, while his wife, along with JFK and a young Nancy, looked on. D'Alesandro served on the Renegotiation Board, which later was disbanded.
Thomas D'Alesandro died in 1987, at age 84.
Free Press International