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Phillip Swarts

Phillip Swarts

Phillip Swarts is an investigative reporter for The Washington Times, covering fiscal waste, fraud and political ethics. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and previously worked as an investigative reporter for the Washington Guardian. Phillip can be reached at pswarts@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Phillip Swarts

** FILE ** U.S. President Ronald Reagan, left, and Vice President George Bush go horseback riding at Camp David, Md., July 1981. (Associated Press)

Best presidential vacation spots

For many presidents, vacations have allowed them to get away from the political craziness of the Beltway. President Barack Obama has said that his many golf trips help him to clear his head, but he's not the first Commander-in-Chief who's wanted to take a break from life in Washington. Published August 23, 2014

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announces a $16.65 billion settlement with Bank of America over the sale of toxic mortgage-backed securities. (Associated Press)

Bank of America looks ahead after levied $16 billion fine

Bank of America's top executive said Thursday he hoped a record-setting $16.65 billion penalty officially announced by the Justice Department over the sales of bad mortgages and securities ahead of the 2008 financial global panic will remove a major cloud from the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank's future. Published August 21, 2014

Protesters march in the street as lightning flashes in the distance in Ferguson, Mo. on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. On Aug. 9, 2014, a white police officer fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year old, in the St. Louis suburb. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Eric Holder: The truth will come out about Ferguson

Saying that few things have affected him as greatly as his visit to Ferguson, Missouri, Attorney General Eric Holder expressed his sympathy for everyone involved in the deadly shooting which has disrupted life in the town. Published August 21, 2014

Attorney General Eric Holder arrives on US Military aircraft at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport in St. Louis, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. Holder is traveling to Ferguson, Mo., to oversee the federal government's investigation into the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a police officer on Aug. 9th. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Pool)

Eric Holder hopes to have a 'calming influence' in racially charged Ferguson

Calling trust in law enforcement "all-important, but ... fragile," U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Wednesday that the people of Ferguson, Missouri, need to "have confidence" in the Justice Department during its investigation of the shooting of black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer, an incident that set off riots and protests and drew the nation's top law enforcement officer to the still-tense St. Louis suburb. Published August 20, 2014

Investigators inspect the body of Michael Brown, after he was shot, in Ferguson, Mo. (Associated Press)

Cops cleared more than 400 times each year for justified homicides

More than 400 fatal police killings a year are sanctioned by local, state and federal authorities as justified homicides, but the FBI doesn't specifically track how many times officers are prosecuted for improperly causing a person's death. Published August 19, 2014

Denver FBI spokesman Dave Joly says that it's still too soon to tell if states like Colorado and Washington, where recreational marijuana usage is now legal, are experiencing overall shifts in crime statistics. (associated press)

What does legal pot mean for crime?

The citizens of Colorado and Washington may have gotten a lot higher since marijuana was legalized. The question is, has the crime rate followed suit? Published August 13, 2014

The seal affixed to the front of the Department of Veterans Affairs building in Washington is seen here on June 21, 2013. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Georgia VA hospital closes contracts, stranding vets without needed care

Rather than go through a time-consuming evaluation process, a Veterans Affairs center in Georgia decided to simply close all of its consulting contracts en masse, leaving vets without access to many specialized doctors and health workers, a watchdog report found Tuesday. Published August 12, 2014