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In which a respected investigative reporter calls Rick Scott a creepy, amoral, Machiavellian criminal

Adam C. Smith, Times Political Editor

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 11:41am

Kurt Eichenwald is a contributing editor of Vanity Fair and a former senior writer and investigative reporter for the New York Times. He has two prestigious George Polk awards under his belt, including one for his coverage of alleged corruption at Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation, the nation's largest hospital chain run by Rick Scott.

If not for his journalistic chops and reputation, Eichenwald, 53, would look like a thoroughly reckless hack doing what he did yesterday: Firing off tweet after tweet about Gov. Scott, essentially calling him a crook and hurling out anecdotes that he he apparently was never comfortable enough to report in the New York Times.

A sampling:

I spoke 2 FBI agent after Rick Scott became gov of FL. Had investigated him earlier. "That man is a crook." But DOJ passed cause case 2 hard

When I was writing bout Rick Scotts company, found sealed deposition from guy linking Rick Scott to fraud. But, because man was the time the event he described took place, I decided that made it too dicey to print. I wish I had listened to others who disagreed.

Had the Columbia/HCA case had broken after corporate fraud cases became huge focus during Bush Admin, Rick Scott would still be in jail.

I have investigated dozens of corporate fraud cases. Rick Scott was one of the 2 creepiest criminals I ever met. Amoral machiavellian.

Rick Scott's campaign slogan: "Sure my company defrauded Medicare of billions. But they didn't charge me! I wasn't doing my job. Vote Scott"

Scott campaign spokeswoman Jackie Schutz responded: "So – Charlie Crist's top fundraisers go to jail…one of them says he had a deal with Crist to sell judges, one he put in charge of the Republican Party of Florida where he defrauded Floridians. Now, there is a quasi-ponzi scheme fraud case tied to Crist and his then-girlfriend who got $80 million directly from the state when Crist was Governor. All the old mudslinging about the past can't hide charlie's corruption problems in the present."

Eichenwald's journalistic practices have come under fire before. You can check out his full Twitter feed here