Abramoff Scandal
The Ticking Time-Bomb

Current News updates on Jack Abramoff

Current News updates on Robert (Bob) Ney

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QUOTE _ "I'd love us to get our mitts on that moolah." Abramoff, in an e-mail to an ally, about an American Indian tribe's contributions to Democrats.

04/30/06 C-SPAN Book TV: "K Street Gang",  Abramoff Scandal & His boss, Preston Gates, Bill Gate's father.
Audio: http://www.apfn.net/pogo/M001I06043006-k-street-gang-4-30-06.MP3  (9.03MB) 39Min 27 Sec


Jack Abramoff's Israeli connections

Abramoff also allegedly convinced Congressman Robert Ney, House Administrative Committee chairman, to award a contract worth $3 million to a start-up Israeli telecommunications firm called Foxcom Wireless. The contract was for the installation of antennas in House of Representatives buildings to improve cell-phone reception. Not surprisingly, such equipment can be designed to have what is known as a "back door" to enable a third party, in this case Mossad, to listen in. That an Israeli firm should be given such a contract through a selection process that was described as "deeply flawed and unfair" is explicable, particularly as there were American suppliers of the same equipment, and it suggest that the private conversations of some of our Congressmen might not be so private after all.

In a previous scandal in 2001, FBI investigators strongly suspected that two Israeli companies, AMDOCS and Comverse Infosys, which had been allowed to obtain U.S. government telecommunications contracts, were able to use back-door technology to compromise the security of DEA, Pentagon, and White House phones.

http://isteve.blogspot.com/2005/11/jack-abramoffs-israeli-connections.html


Abramoff Plea: Digging Up K Street
The history of lobbying shows a web of conflicts

http://www.publicintegrity.org/lobby/report.aspx?aid=774


"No Matter Where The Trail Leads"...

"Abramoff Provided A Full Picture Of What Evidence He Could Offer Against Other Suspects"...
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/


As Congress sweats, Abramoff will tell all
The lobbyist's plea paves the way for him to name names in a scandal that may snare several lawmakers.
By Associated Press
Published January 4, 2006

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WASHINGTON - The plea deal worked out by Jack Abramoff could send seismic waves across the political landscape in this congressional election year.

Republicans, who control Congress and the White House, are likely to take the biggest hits.

The GOP has more seats to lose and has closer ties with the former lobbyist. But some Democrats with links to Abramoff and his associates are also expected to be snagged in the influence-peddling net.

While the full dimensions of the corruption investigation are not yet clear, some political consultants and analysts are already comparing its damage potential to the 1992 House banking scandal that led to the retirement or ouster of 77 lawmakers.

"You don't have to be a political genius to sniff the smell of blood in the water," said GOP consultant Rich Galen.

Abramoff, a former $100,000-plus fundraiser for President Bush with ties to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy, tax evasion and mail fraud.

"I plead guilty, your honor," Abramoff said in flat, unemotional tones, accepting a plea bargain that said he had provided lavish trips, golf outings, meals and more to public officials "in exchange for a series of official acts."

"I only hope that I can merit forgiveness from the Almighty and those I have wronged or caused to suffer," Abramoff said. "Words will not ever be able to express how sorry I am for this, and I have profound regret and sorrow for the multitude of mistakes and harm I have caused."

In one case, he reported payments totaling $50,000 to the wife of a congressional aide to DeLay to help block legislation for a client.

One lawmaker who could be in the crosshairs is Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Administration Committee. In the Abramoff plea agreement, prosecutors detailed the legislative favors that Ney - identified as "Representative No. 1" in court papers - allegedly performed for Abramoff's clients after receiving political contributions, overseas travel and other gifts.

Also facing questions is Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Senate minority leader. Reid has denied that his intercession in an Indian-casino case that would have helped Abramoff was linked to a $5,000 contribution from an Abramoff client. Reid received $40,000 in Abramoff-related campaign contributions.

Abramoff also admitted defrauding four Indian tribes and other clients, taking millions in kickbacks from a one-time business partner, misusing a charity he had established and failing to pay income taxes on millions of ill-gotten gains.

Abramoff faces as much as 11 years in federal prison as well as fines in connection with his guilty pleas on charges of conspiracy, mail fraud and tax evasion. The precise penalty is to be determined in part by the extent of his cooperation with prosecutors. Together with his former business partner, Michael Scanlon, he is expected to face restitution costs of $25-million.

Abramoff is also expected to plead guilty today to additional charges in Miami in connection with the 2000 purchase of a fleet of gambling boats.

The plea cleared the way for Abramoff's cooperation with federal prosecutors in bringing charges against former business and political associates.

At the Justice Department, officials said they intend to make use of e-mails and other material in Abramoff's possession as part of an investigation that is reported to be focusing on as many as 20 members of Congress and aides.

"This investigation continues . .. however long it takes, wherever it leads," said Alice Fisher, assistant attorney general.

"This is going to grow and multiply," said Bill Mateja, a former top official in the Bush Justice Department who's now a Dallas lawyer. "If I were on Capitol Hill, I would be shaking in my boots. Because if anyone knows where the skeletons are buried, it's Jack Abramoff."

The timing couldn't be worse politically, especially for Republicans. Lawmakers who may be indicted could find themselves coming to trial this summer, just ahead of the midterm elections. About the same time, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, is expected to stand trial in the CIA leak case.

DeLay, who had to step down as majority leader in September after a grand jury in Texas indicted him in a campaign finance investigation, is awaiting a trial date.

The impact on DeLay from the Abramoff case is unclear. While DeLay's former aide Tony Rudy is alleged to have accepted $50,000 from Abramoff, the court papers allege no wrongdoing by DeLay.

Regardless, speculation is swirling over whom Abramoff might bring down and on the possible fallout for others.

"Most seats in Congress are relatively safe this year. But they are not safe from a tsunami," said University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato. "Iraq, plus economic problems, plus these scandals, could produce a tsunami."

People need to know "that government is not for sale," Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher said in pledging to pursue the investigation "wherever it goes."

For months, federal prosecutors have focused on whether Abramoff defrauded his Indian tribal clients of millions of dollars and used improper influence on members of Congress. Tribes represented by the lobbyist contributed millions of dollars in casino income to congressional campaigns.

Some lawmakers have already returned contributions. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., on Tuesday joined the list. Others who have done so are Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Okla.; Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.; Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.; Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont.; Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont.; and Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D.

While Abramoff and his clients gave to both Democrats and Republicans, Norman Ornstein, a political analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, said the scandal "will disproportionately affect Republicans. They are the majority party and because Abramoff is a conservative Republican."

Information from the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Dallas Morning News, Knight Ridder news service and Cox News Service was used in this report.


http://www.sptimes.com/2006/01/04/Worldandnation/As_Congress_sweats__A.shtml

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Abramoffukkah - story behind the scandal
Emily Miller - How they got caught:
Thu Jan 5, 2006 13:10

How they got caught: After lobbyist broke off engagement, ex-fiancee told of illicit dealings to FBI


Bang The Manicurist Slowly
Yahoo! News - Jan 3, 2006
... And, as Raw Story reported today, we may only know about Michael Scanlon because of a jilted former lover, Emily Miller, who avenged herself after Scanlon took ...



Ever Consider A Career in Diplomacy?



Getting those trains to run on time: State Department press aide Emily Miller. (Ray Lustig - The Washington Post)
By Richard Leiby
Tuesday, May 18, 2004; Page C03


Despite an outcry among media types, the State Department yesterday offered its full support for controversial press aide Emily J. Miller, who shocked both her boss, Colin Powell, and "Meet the Press" host Tim Russert when she ordered a cameraman to stop filming an interview with Powell that ran a few minutes over schedule Sunday in Jordan.


"I think she's great and she's doing a good job for us," Richard Boucher, State's top spokesman, told us. "Russert went on and on and on. We asked the cameraman to help us cut it off. He did and moved the camera."

After NBC's Jordanian cameraman proceeded to film palm trees instead of Powell, Russert called it "attempted news management gone berserk." He said nothing like it had ever happened in his 13 years as the show's host.

In just six months on the job, Miller, 33, who controls access to Powell, seems to have made more enemies than usual among the reporters who cover the State Department. "Her manner is brusque, abrasive, demeaning," said one, asking to remain anonymous so as not to be frozen out of interviews with Powell. "She's not doing the secretary a service; she's doing him a disservice."

Miller responded: "This is much ado about nothing and overshadows the successful meetings on Mideast peace that the secretary was having. My job was to keep the trains moving so that five interviews could get done."

About six weeks ago, Boucher investigated reporters' complaints about Miller's conduct during a pool-camera shoot. "There were one or two places where she was too aggressive," he acknowledged. "We all make mistakes sometimes."

In 2001 Miller was working as press secretary to then-Majority Whip Tom DeLay when she lashed into Post Magazine writer Peter Perl while he was doing a profile of her boss, screaming: "You lied! . . . You betrayed him! You twisted his words! . . . We don't know you. You don't exist. . . . You are dead to us." A DeLay spokesman told us yesterday, "Tom thinks Emily did a fine job for him."
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As we approach the coming of Abramoffukkah, we learn more and more about the origin story behind the scandal. It goes something like this: Our parents always told us that the problem with Washington was that with all the lobbyists and special interests and money moving hither and yon, there was too much skin in the game. Now we learn that most of that skin was wrapped around the manyly bone structure and vital internal organs of Jack Abramoff, who may have influence-peddled his way into the bosom of a considerable number of well-heeled politicos.

Emily Miller - a jilted former lover


We only have Abramoff on the hook today because his partner, Michael Scanlon, rolled on him. And, as Raw Story reported today, we may only know about Michael Scanlon because of a jilted former lover, Emily Miller, who avenged herself after Scanlon took up with a manicurist by going to the
FBI and dropping the proverbial dime. You may remember Miller from the time she famously attempted to prematurely end a Meet The Press interview with
Colin Powell.

But wait, it gets even more enjoyable.

Tom Delay, whose extensive dealings with Abramoff have goosed speculation that his name may be well-suited to appear on the Abramoffukkah bingo card, has loudly complained that all of the scandals surrounding him are baseless and are all "just another seedy attempt by the liberal media to embarrass me." Deliciously, Scanlon and Miller met one another when they both worked for Tom Delay -- he as his director of communications, she as his press secretary -- and soon after, took up their campaign of furtive, secret a-boinking. So I guess these means that the "liberal media" includes Delay's own press mouthpieces. Who knew?

It's all a seven-layer dip of tasty malfeisance with the sourest of creams yet to be added. Still, you have to wonder, with the intricate webs of distrust so clearly on display within the Congress, between members and aides and lobbyists, isn't it just awesome that it will be these people who will try to decide who gets to wiretap who?— DCEIVER

http://rawstory.com/news/2005/How_Jack_Abramoff_and_Michael_Scanlon_0103.html"
How they got caught: After lobbyist broke off engagement, ex-fiancee told of illicit dealings to FBI [Raw Story]

Michael Scanlon found himself at the center of one of the biggest political scandals in Washington history as a result of cheating and lying—but not the type involving the numerous clients he was paid to lobby Congress for, former coworkers and friends of his ex-fiancee say.
Advertisement

Scanlon was implicated in the Abramoff scandal by his former thirtysomething fiancee, Emily J. Miller, whom he met in the late 1990s while working as communications director for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), three former associates who worked with Scanlon at DeLay’s office said. Colleagues say Miller went to the FBI after Scanlon broke off their engagement and announced his intention to marry another woman.

Miller did not return a call seeking comment. Scanlon’s attorney, Stephen Braga, did not respond to phone calls or emails seeking comment. Former coworkers of Scanlon and Miller at DeLay’s office and of Miller at the State Department would speak only under condition of anonymity, saying they did not want to be called as witnesses in a trial.

Miller was DeLay’s young press secretary and as communications director, Scanlon was her boss. The two began a secretive office romance and Scanlon eventually proposed marriage, associates say.

In 2003, Miller left DeLay’s office to work at the State Department. Scanlon departed too, partnering with now-indicted conservative lobbyist Jack Abramoff in lobbying for an array of Indian tribes. As Scanlon’s star rose, troubles between the couple mushroomed.

In May 2004, Miller found herself at the center of attention when—while live on air—she ordered a cameraman for NBC’s Meet the Press to stop filming Colin Powell. A copy of the transcript shows Miller, who also used to work as an NBC staffer, as a brusque press aide. Powell eventually ordered that the interview continue and asked Miller to step aside.

What many people didn’t realize at the time, however, is that during the Powell interview Miller was upset because her fiancee, Michael Scanlon, had broken off their engagement, two of Miller’s former State Department co-workers said. While still engaged to Miller, Scanlon had started an affair with a manicurist and broke up with Miller because he planned to marry the other woman, three of Scanlon’s former associates at DeLay’s office said. They added that the two had numerous public arguments.

But Miller had something on Scanlon. He confided in her all of his dealings with Abramoff, former colleagues said. She saw his emails and knew the intimate details of his lobbying work—work which is now the center of a criminal fraud investigation. After the breakup, Miller went to the FBI and told them everything about Scanlon’s dealings with Abramoff, her coworkers added.

In turning him in, she became the agency’s star witness against her former lover. Scanlon pled guilty in November and is cooperating with prosecutors; Abramoff reached a plea agreement today.

Scanlon's former colleagues did not speak warmly of him, saying he was not a very likable person because of the way he treated others, and that he later became flamboyant with his newfound wealth.

Aside from the Powell interview, Miller also attracted attention after berating a Washington Post Magazine reporter. In 2001, while Miller was working as press secretary to DeLay she told a reporter who was writing a profile about DeLay. "You lied! . . . You betrayed him! You twisted his words! . . . We don't know you. You don't exist. . . . You are dead to us."

A DeLay spokesman told the Post at the time, "Tom thinks Emily did a fine job for him."
http://rawstory.com/admin/dbscripts/printstory.php?story=1656
 

Jack Abramoff and Israel
The American Conservative has some comments about Jack Abramoff and his connections to Israel.


E-mail info, tips, questions or suggestions to girtips@yahoo.com

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One of the more intriguing aspects of the federal investigation into the activities of Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff is his Israeli connections. His large $2.2 million bail is reported to be due to fears that he would flee to Israel, as some of his business associates have already done, to avoid prosecution. Abramoff, an Orthodox Jew and ardent Zionist, set up a charity called Capital Athletic Foundation, which illegally provided $140,000 worth of weapons and security equipment to hard-line Israeli settlers.

Abramoff also allegedly convinced Congressman Robert Ney, House Administrative Committee chairman, to award a contract worth $3 million to a start-up Israeli telecommunications firm called Foxcom Wireless. The contract was for the installation of antennas in House of Representatives buildings to improve cell-phone reception. Not surprisingly, such equipment can be designed to have what is known as a "back door" to enable a third party, in this case Mossad, to listen in. That an Israeli firm should be given such a contract through a selection process that was described as "deeply flawed and unfair" is explicable, particularly as there were American suppliers of the same equipment, and it suggest that the private conversations of some of our Congressmen might not be so private after all.

In a previous scandal in 2001, FBI investigators strongly suspected that two Israeli companies, AMDOCS and Comverse Infosys, which had been allowed to obtain U.S. government telecommunications contracts, were able to use back-door technology to compromise the security of DEA, Pentagon, and White House phones.

Link
http://isteve.blogspot.com/2005/11/jack-abramoffs-israeli-connections.html

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GOOGLE:
Results 1 - 10 of about 352,000 for Jack Abramoff ISRAEL

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DeLay May Face New Jeopardy as Abramoff Probers Target Ex-Aide

Jack Abramoff leaves Federal Court in Washington Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2006.
Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Jack Abramoff's guilty plea yesterday pushed the federal investigation of the lobbyist deep into the office of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay by implicating one of his top ex-staffers.

People close to the investigation identified the ``Staffer A'' mentioned on page 13 of Abramoff's 15-page plea agreement as DeLay's former deputy chief of staff, Tony Rudy. While a member of DeLay's staff, Rudy helped Abramoff stop a measure that would have prohibited Internet gambling, according to the government. In return, Rudy's wife was paid $50,000 through a non-profit group, the government says. DeLay himself isn't named in the agreement.

The link to DeLay is at least the third to emerge in a 20- month investigation of Abramoff's ties with lawmakers, and it comes as DeLay, 58, fights separate money-laundering charges in Texas that forced him to step down as House majority leader.

Abramoff, 46, told a federal judge in Washington he will cooperate with prosecutors investigating political corruption.

``If I were DeLay, I would be very concerned,'' said Bill Mateja, a white-collar criminal-defense lawyer with Fish & Richardson PC in Dallas and formerly a senior counsel in the Justice Department's corporate criminal task force. ``A staffer is certainly a subject of the investigation. Whether it takes them all the way to DeLay, we'll have to wait and see.''

Rudy didn't return a phone call seeking comment.

Legal Cloud

Abramoff's agreement to cooperate may scuttle DeLay's chances of returning as majority leader, because the Texas Republican may continue to be under a legal shadow for many more months. President George W. Bush said in an interview with Fox News Channel on Dec. 14 that he hoped Delay would be able to reclaim the majority leader's post because of his success in passing legislation.

``Do I? Yes, I do,'' the president said when asked whether he thought DeLay was innocent in the Texas case. He added, ``When he's over there, we get our votes through the House.''

Abramoff's plea also increases the political jeopardy for Republicans in general during this election year, since most of the donations from the lobbyist and his former associates and clients went to members of that party.

Abramoff pleaded guilty yesterday to tax evasion, wire fraud and conspiring to corrupt public officials. He is set to plead guilty today to conspiracy and wire fraud in a separate case in federal court in Miami and will cooperate with prosecutors, according to a copy of the plea agreement obtained by Bloomberg News. The government will dismiss four other charges against him in connection with his purchase of a casino cruise-ship line in 2000, the agreement says.

Legislative Favors

The plea agreement in Washington charged Abramoff with conspiring to corrupt ``Representative #1,'' previously identified as Representative Robert Ney, an Ohio Republican, in return for legislative favors for the lobbyist's clients. Neither Ney nor DeLay has been charged.

``The corruption scheme with Mr. Abramoff is very extensive, and we will continue to follow it wherever it leads,'' Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher told reporters. ``This case is very active and ongoing.''

In November, former DeLay spokesman Michael Scanlon, Abramoff's business partner, pleaded guilty to helping the lobbyist defraud Indian-tribe clients of more than $50 million. Scanlon is also cooperating with investigators.

Not Concerned

DeLay's lawyer, Richard Cullen, said DeLay isn't concerned that Abramoff's plea arrangement will put the lawmaker in jeopardy.

``He's not apprehensive about this, because he knows he hasn't done anything wrong and he's confident that will be the ultimate conclusion,'' Cullen said.

Cullen said he couldn't comment on Rudy, saying DeLay has always demanded that his staff ``comply to the highest ethics and violate no laws. He would have no tolerance with staffers that did not obey the law.''

About 220 lawmakers received at least $1.7 million in political donations from Abramoff, his associates and nine tribal clients between 2001 and 2004, according to a review of Federal Election Commission and Internal Revenue Service records. Of those, 201 are still in Congress. Republicans got $1.1 million, 64 percent of the total.

Many lawmakers are giving money back to Abramoff's clients or donating the funds to charity. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, an Illinois Republican, said yesterday he would donate his Abramoff-related money to charity. Hastert received $57,250 from Abramoff, his associates and his clients from 2001 to 2004, ranking fifth among all lawmakers. Republican Senator Conrad Burns of Montana, who ranked first, said last month he'd give donations he got from Abramoff to charity, and Democrat Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, who ranked fourth, said he would send Abramoff-related donations back to the tribes.

Top Recipient

DeLay was the top recipient of funds directly from Abramoff, having accepted $17,000 in donations from the lobbyist from 2001 to 2004.

The reference to Rudy in Abramoff's plea agreement suggests that the investigation is also zeroing in on Capitol Hill staff members as well as lawmakers.

Rudy went to work for Abramoff at the Greenberg Traurig LLP law firm in Washington in 2001. In 2000, Abramoff and former DeLay chief of staff Ed Buckham used their credit cards to underwrite a trip to the U.K. attended by DeLay and his wife, the Washington Post reported in April.

Before Rudy left DeLay's office, he helped Abramoff stop legislation curbing Internet gambling on behalf of eLottery Inc., the Washington Post reported in October.

Internet Gambling

Norwalk, Connecticut-based eLottery paid Abramoff's former firm, Preston Gates LLP, $720,000 in 2000. Preston Gates, Abramoff's employer at the time, said it was lobbying on legislation to ban Internet gambling. The legislation was defeated. DeLay was one of 44 Republicans to vote against the measure in July 2000, with 165 Republicans voting for it. The measure, which needed 270 votes to pass the House, failed by 15 votes.

At the time, Rudy's wife, Lisa, was being paid fees by Toward Tradition, a Seattle-based Orthodox Jewish nonprofit organization run by Rabbi Daniel Lapin, a friend of Abramoff's, the Post reported in October.

Rudy in June 2002 also solicited a $25,000 donation for Abramoff's Capital Athletic Foundation charity from a Cyprus- based importer of Russian vodka, the government charged. Abramoff then used that money to help pay for a Scotland golf trip. The foundation's ledgers, released in November by a Senate Committee investigating the lobbyist, showed Abramoff spent more than $160,000 on the August 2002 trip that was attended by Ney and other officials, including Christian activist Ralph Reed.

Representative Chris Shays, a Connecticut Republican, said in an e-mailed statement that ``Jack Abramoff's guilty plea and his close association with Tom DeLay underscore the need for a new majority leader in the Republican Party.''

Shays said that ``it is time we make it clear that ethics are an essential part of how we do business and that our leadership needs to reflect this strong ethical conduct.''


To contact the reporters on this story:
Michael Forsythe in Washington mforsythe@bloomberg.net;
Jonathan D. Salant in Washington at jsalant@bloomberg.net
Last Updated: January 4, 2006 00:01 EST
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=a8Gb7rp3UHv4&refer=us


Scandal cuts both directions
http://www.hendersondispatch.com/articles/2006/01/04/news/opinion/opin01.txt
Jack Abramoff is a sorry symbol of an embarrassing axiom that power corrupts.

Abramoff is a Washington lobbyist who used money to buy influence. He entered a guilty plea Tuesday to three felonies and pledged to cooperate in a criminal probe that edges ever closer to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

Abramoff admitted paying tens of thousands of dollars to influential people, sending an Ohio congressman on a golfing trip to Scotland that was paid for by Indian tribes who were Abramoff's clients, and making a $10,000 donation to the National Republican Campaign Committee at the best of that same Ohio congressman.

It's the latest in a line of scandals to stain Republican political interests.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Abramoff's confession is “not a surprise because this Republican Congress is the most corrupt in history and the American people are paying the price.”

We are likewise not surprised that Pelosi and Democrats will try to score political points on the issue. But we find it implausible if not impossible to believe that Republicans are the only scoundrels in politics.

As reported last week, a former congressman from our own area, Frank Ballance, is serving four years in prison for misappropriating public funds from a nonprofit agency. Democratic politicians on the state and federal level, nationwide, have been accused of everything from improper hiring practices to bribing the Nigerian government to grease the skids for a business deal.

Republicans are getting caught at the moment. And we hope every last one of the guilty pay a serious price for their transgressions.

But Pelosi and the Democrats might not be laughing for long. Eventually, as it always is in politics, the scandal shoe will be on the other foot.

http://www.hendersondispatch.com/articles/2006/01/04/news/opinion/opin01.txt


Search Jack Abramoff + Ralph Reed

Ralph E. Reed, Jr., (born June 24, 1961 in Portsmouth, Virginia) is a controversial conservative American political activist, best known as the first executive director of the Christian Coalition during the early 1990s. He is now a Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia. Reed is currently under investigation by various federal and state authorities probing the activities of Jack Abramoff, Grover Norquist and Reed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_E._Reed,_Jr.

Religious Movements Homepage: Christian Coalition
In addition to founding the Christian Coalition, Pat Robertson also founded the
... Reed, Ralph. 1996. After the Revolution: How the Christian Coalition is ...
religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/xicoal.html

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Ralph Reed played tribes against each other
Monday, June 6, 2005

Republican activist Ralph Reed helped disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff play tribes against each other, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Reed organized campaigns in Texas and Alabama that benefited Abramoff's wealthy gaming tribes. On the other side were tribes that were having legal problems with their gaming operations or wanted to expand.

In Texas, Reed accepted $4.2 million from Abramoff and his partner, Michael Scanlon. The money was used to support the closure of the Tigua Tribe's casino and another owned by the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe. Reed said he didn't know the money came from the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, a gaming tribe.

In Alabama, Reed and Abramoff funneled a $1.15 million donation from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, a gaming tribe, to two anti-gambling groups who used it to launch a successful campaign against a statewide lottery that would have helped the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, who want to expand to Class III gaming.

Reed acknowledges the money came from a gaming tribe but says none of it came from the tribe's casino. But the anti-gambling groups say they wouldn't have taken the money if they had known the source.

The controversy has become an issue as Reed seeks the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor of Georgia.
http://www.indianz.com/News/2005/008564.asp

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The DeLay-Abramoff Money Trail
Nonprofit Group Linked to Lawmaker Was Funded Mostly by Clients of Lobbyist

By R. Jeffrey Smith
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 31, 2005; Page A01
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/30/AR2005123001480.html
The U.S. Family Network, a public advocacy group that operated in the 1990s with close ties to Rep. Tom DeLay and claimed to be a nationwide grass-roots organization, was funded almost entirely by corporations linked to embattled lobbyist Jack Abramoff, according to tax records and former associates of the group.

During its five-year existence, the U.S. Family Network raised $2.5 million but kept its donor list secret. The list, obtained by The Washington Post, shows that $1 million of its revenue came in a single 1998 check from a now-defunct London law firm whose former partners would not identify the money's origins.

Two former associates of Edwin A. Buckham, the congressman's former chief of staff and the organizer of the U.S. Family Network, said Buckham told them the funds came from Russian oil and gas executives. Abramoff had been working closely with two such Russian energy executives on their Washington agenda, and the lobbyist and Buckham had helped organize a 1997 Moscow visit by DeLay (R-Tex.).

The former president of the U.S. Family Network said Buckham told him that Russians contributed $1 million to the group in 1998 specifically to influence DeLay's vote on legislation the International Monetary Fund needed to finance a bailout of the collapsing Russian economy.

A spokesman for DeLay, who is fighting in a Texas state court unrelated charges of illegal fundraising, denied that the contributions influenced the former House majority leader's political activities. The Russian energy executives who worked with Abramoff denied yesterday knowing anything about the million-dollar London transaction described in tax documents.

Whatever the real motive for the contribution of $1 million -- a sum not prohibited by law but extraordinary for a small, nonprofit group -- the steady stream of corporate payments detailed on the donor list makes it clear that Abramoff's long-standing alliance with DeLay was sealed by a much more extensive web of financial ties than previously known.

Records and interviews also illuminate the mixture of influence and illusion that surrounded the U.S. Family Network. Despite the group's avowed purpose, records show it did little to promote conservative ideas through grass-roots advocacy. The money it raised came from businesses with no demonstrated interest in the conservative "moral fitness" agenda that was the group's professed aim.

In addition to the million-dollar payment involving the London law firm, for example, half a million dollars was donated to the U.S. Family Network by the owners of textile companies in the Mariana Islands in the Pacific, according to the tax records. The textile owners -- with Abramoff's help -- solicited and received DeLay's public commitment to block legislation that would boost their labor costs, according to Abramoff associates, one of the owners and a DeLay speech in 1997.

A quarter of a million dollars was donated over two years by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Abramoff's largest lobbying client, which counted DeLay as an ally in fighting legislation allowing the taxation of its gambling revenue.

The records, other documents and interviews call into question the very purpose of the U.S. Family Network, which functioned mostly by collecting funds from domestic and foreign businesses whose interests coincided with DeLay's activities while he was serving as House majority whip from 1995 to 2002, and as majority leader from 2002 until the end of September.

After the group was formed in 1996, its director told the Internal Revenue Service that its goal was to advocate policies favorable for "economic growth and prosperity, social improvement, moral fitness, and the general well-being of the United States." DeLay, in a 1999 fundraising letter, called the group "a powerful nationwide organization dedicated to restoring our government to citizen control" by mobilizing grass-roots citizen support.

But the records show that the tiny U.S. Family Network, which never had more than one full-time staff member, spent comparatively little money on public advocacy or education projects. Although established as a nonprofit organization, it paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees to Buckham and his lobbying firm, Alexander Strategy Group.

There is no evidence DeLay received a direct financial benefit, but Buckham's firm employed DeLay's wife, Christine, and paid her a salary of at least $3,200 each month for three of the years the group existed. Richard Cullen, DeLay's attorney, has said that the pay was compensation for lists Christine DeLay supplied to Buckham of lawmakers' favorite charities, and that it was appropriate under House rules and election law.

Some of the U.S. Family Network's revenue was used to pay for radio ads attacking vulnerable Democratic lawmakers in 1999; other funds were used to finance the cash purchase of a townhouse three blocks from DeLay's congressional office. DeLay's associates at the time called it "the Safe House."

DeLay made his own fundraising telephone pitches from the townhouse's second-floor master suite every few weeks, according to two former associates. Other rooms in the townhouse were used by Alexander Strategy Group, Buckham's newly formed lobbying firm, and Americans for a Republican Majority (ARMPAC), DeLay's leadership committee.

They paid modest rent to the U.S. Family Network, which occupied a single small room in the back.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nine months before the June 25, 1998, payment of $1 million by the London law firm James & Sarch Co., as recorded in the tax forms, Buckham and DeLay were the dinner guests in Moscow of Marina Nevskaya and Alexander Koulakovsky of the oil firm Naftasib, which in promotional literature counted as its principal clients the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Interior.

Buckham, a graduate of the University of Tennessee, had worked for DeLay since 1995, after serving in other congressional offices and then as executive director of the Republican Study Committee, a group of fiscally conservative House members.

Their other dining companions were Abramoff and Washington lawyer Julius "Jay" Kaplan, whose lobbying firms collected $440,000 in 1997 and 1998 from an obscure Bahamian firm that helped organize and indirectly pay for the DeLay trip, in conjunction with the Russians. In disclosure forms, the stated purpose of the lobbying was to promote the policies of the Russian government.

Kaplan and British lawyer David Sarch had worked together previously. (Sarch died a month before the $1 million was paid.) Buckham's trip with DeLay was his second to Moscow that year for meetings with Nevskaya and Koulakovsky; on the earlier one, the DeLay aide attracted media attention by returning through Paris aboard the Concorde, a $5,500 flight.

Former Abramoff associates and documents in the hands of federal prosecutors state that Nevskaya and Koulakovsky sought Abramoff's help at the time in securing various favors from the U.S. government, including congressional earmarks or federal grants for their modular-home construction firm near Moscow and the construction of a fossil-fuel plant in Israel. None appears to have been obtained by their firm.

Former DeLay employees say Koulakovsky and Nevskaya met with him on multiple occasions. The Russians also frequently used Abramoff's skyboxes at local sports stadiums -- as did Kaplan, according to sources and a 2001 e-mail Abramoff wrote to another client.

Three sources familiar with Abramoff's activities on their behalf say that the two Russians -- who knew the head of the Russian energy giant Gazprom and had invested heavily in that firm -- partly wanted just to be seen with a prominent American politician as a way of bolstering their credibility with the Russian government and their safety on Moscow's streets. The Russian oil and gas business at the time had a Wild West character, and its executives worried about extortion and kidnapping threats. The anxieties of Nevskaya and Koulakovsky were not hidden; like many other business people, they traveled in Moscow with guards armed with machine guns.

During the DeLays' visit on Aug. 5 to 11, 1997, the congressman met with Nevskaya and was escorted around Moscow by Koulakovsky, Naftasib's general manager. DeLay told the House clerk that the trip's sponsor was the National Center for Public Policy Research, but multiple sources told The Post that his expenses were indirectly reimbursed by the Russian-connected Bahamian company.

The DeLay-Abramoff Money Trail
DeLay spokesman Kevin Madden said the principal reason for his Moscow trip was "to meet with religious leaders there." Nevskaya, in a letter this spring, said Naftasib's involvement in such trips was meant "to foster better understanding between our country and the United States" and denied that the firm was seeking protection through its U.S. contacts.

Nevskaya added in an e-mail yesterday that Naftasib and its officials were not representing the ministries of defense and interior or any other government agencies "in connection with meetings or other lobbying activities in Washington D.C. or Moscow."

A former Abramoff associate said the two executives "wanted to contribute to DeLay" and clearly had the resources to do it. At one point, Koulakovsky asked during a dinner in Moscow "what would happen if the DeLays woke up one morning" and found a luxury car in their front driveway, the former associate said. They were told the DeLays "would go to jail and you would go to jail."

The tax form states that the $1 million came by check on June 25, 1998, from "Nations Corp, James & Sarch co." The Washington Post checked with the listed executives of Texas and Florida firms that have names similar to Nations Corp, and they said they had no connection to any such payment.

James & Sarch Co. was dissolved in May 2000, but two former partners said they recalled hearing the names of the Russians at their office. Asked if the firm represented them, former partner Philip McGuirk at first said "it may ring a bell," but later he faxed a statement that he could say no more because confidentiality practices prevent him "from disclosing any information regarding the affairs of a client (or former client)."

Nevskaya said in the e-mail yesterday, however, that "neither Naftasib nor the principals you mentioned have ever been represented by a London law firm that you name as James & Sarch Co." She also said that Naftasib and its principals did not pay $1 million to the firm, and denied knowing about the transaction.

Two former Buckham associates said that he told them years ago not only that the $1 million donation was solicited from Russian oil and gas executives, but also that the initial plan was for the donation to be made via a delivery of cash to be picked up at a Washington area airport.

One of the former associates, a Frederick, Md., pastor named Christopher Geeslin who served as the U.S. Family Network's director or president from 1998 to 2001, said Buckham further told him in 1999 that the payment was meant to influence DeLay's vote in 1998 on legislation that helped make it possible for the IMF to bail out the faltering Russian economy and the wealthy investors there.

"Ed told me, 'This is the way things work in Washington,' " Geeslin said. "He said the Russians wanted to give the money first in cash." Buckham, he said, orchestrated all the group's fundraising and spending and rarely informed the board about the details. Buckham and his attorney, Laura Miller, did not reply to repeated requests for comment on this article.

The IMF funding legislation was a contentious issue in 1998. The Russian stock market fell steeply in April and May, and the government in Moscow announced on June 18 -- just a week before the $1 million check was sent by the London law firm -- that it needed $10 billion to $15 billion in new international loans.

House Republican leaders had expressed opposition through that spring to giving the IMF the money it could use for new bailouts, decrying what they described as previous destabilizing loans to other countries. The IMF and its Western funders, meanwhile, were pressing Moscow, as a condition of any loan, to increase taxes on major domestic oil companies such as Gazprom, which had earlier defaulted on billions of dollars in tax payments.

On Aug. 18, 1998, the Russian government devalued the ruble and defaulted on its treasury bills. But DeLay, appearing on "Fox News Sunday" on Aug. 30 of that year, criticized the IMF financing bill, calling the replenishment of its funds "unfortunate" because the IMF was wrongly insisting on a Russian tax increase. "They are trying to force Russia to raise taxes at a time when they ought to be cutting taxes in order to get a loan from the IMF. That's just outrageous," DeLay said.

In the end, the Russian legislature refused to raise taxes, the IMF agreed to lend the money anyway, and DeLay voted on Sept. 17, 1998, for a foreign aid bill containing new funds to replenish the IMF account. DeLay's spokesman said the lawmaker "makes decisions and sets legislative priorities based on good policy and what is best for his constituents and the country." He added: "Mr. DeLay has very firm beliefs, and he fights very hard for them."

Kaplan did not respond to repeated messages, and through a spokesman for lawyer Abbe Lowell, Abramoff declined to comment.

No legal bar exists to a $1 million donation by a foreign entity to a group such as the U.S. Family Network, according to Marcus Owens, a Washington lawyer who directed the IRS's office of tax-exempt organizations from 1990 to 2000 and who reviewed, at The Post's request, the tax returns filed by the U.S. Family Network.

But "a million dollars is a staggering amount of money to come from a foreign source" because such a donor would not be entitled to claim the tax deduction allowed for U.S. citizens, Owens said. "Giving large donations to an organization whose purposes are as ambiguous as these . . . is extraordinary. I haven't seen that before. It suggests something else is going on.

"There are any number of red flags on these returns."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Buckham and Tony Rudy were the first DeLay staff members to visit the Choctaw Reservation near Meridian, Miss., where the tribe built a 500-room hotel and a 90,000-square-foot gambling casino. Their trip from March 25 to 27, 1997, cost the Choctaws $3,000, according to statements filed with the House clerk.

DeLay, his wife and Susan Hirschman -- Buckham's successor in 1998 as chief of staff -- were the next to go. Their trip from July 31 to Aug. 2, 1998, was described on House disclosure forms as a "site review and reservation tour for charitable event," and the forms said it cost the Choctaws $6,935.

Buckham, who was then a lobbyist, arranged DeLay's trip, which included a visit to the tribe's golf course to assess it as a possible location for the lawmaker's annual charity tournament, according to a tribal source. Abramoff told the tribe he could not accompany DeLay because of a prior commitment, the source said.

One day after the DeLays departed for Washington, the U.S. Family Network registered an initial $150,000 payment made by the Choctaws, according to its tax return. The tribe made additional payments to the group totaling $100,000 on "various" dates the following year, the returns state. The Choctaws separately paid Abramoff $4.5 million for his lobbying work on their behalf in 1998 and 1999. Abramoff and his wife contributed $22,000 to DeLay's political campaigns from 1997 to 2000, according to public records.

A former Abramoff associate who is aware of the payments, and who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect his clients, said the tribe made contributions to entities associated with DeLay because DeLay was crucial to the tribe's continuing fight against legislation to allow the taxation of Indians' gambling revenue.

An attorney for the tribe, Bryant Rogers, said the funds were meant not only to "get the message out" about the adverse tax law proposals but also to finance a campaign by Buckham's group within "the conservative base" against legislation to strip tribes of their control over Indian adoptions. "This was a group connected to the right-wing Christian movement," Rogers said. "This is Ed Buckham's connection."

In March 1999, after the tribe had paid a substantial sum directly to the U.S. Family Network, Buckham expressed his general gratitude to Abramoff in an e-mail. "I really appreciate you going to bat for us. Remember it is the first bit of money that is always the hardest, but means the most," Buckham said, according to a copy. He added: "Pray for God's wisdom. I really believe this is supposed to be what we are doing to save our team."

During this period, a fundraising letter on the U.S. Family Network stationery was sent to residents of Alabama, announcing a petition drive to promote a cause of interest to Abramoff's Indian gambling clients in Mississippi and Louisiana, including the Choctaw casino that drew many customers from Alabama: the blocking of a rival casino proposed by the Poarch Creek Indians on their land in Alabama.

"The American family is under attack from all sides: crime, drugs, pornography, and one of the least talked about but equally as destructive -- gambling," said the group's letter, which was signed by then-Rep. Bob Riley (R), now the Alabama governor. "We need your help today . . . to prevent the Poarch Creek Indians from building casinos in Alabama."

Asked about the letter, Rogers said "none of us have seen" it and "the tribe's contributions have nothing to do with it." A spokesman for Riley said that he could not recall the circumstances behind the letter, but that he has long opposed any expansion of gambling in Alabama.

DeLay, meanwhile, saluted Choctaw chief Philip Martin in the Congressional Record on Jan. 3, 2001, citing "all he has done to further the cause of freedom." DeLay also attached to his remarks an editorial that hailed the tribe's gambling income and its "hiring [of] quality lobbyists."

Throughout this period, the U.S. Family Network was paying a monthly fee of at least $10,000 to Buckham and Alexander Strategy Group for general "consulting," according to a former Buckham associate and a copy of the contract. While DeLay's wife drew a monthly salary from the lobbying firm, she did not work at its offices in the townhouse on Capitol Hill, according to former Buckham associates.

Neither the House nor the Federal Election Commission bars the payment of corporate funds to spouses through consulting firms or political action committees, but the spouses must perform real work for reasonable wages.

"Anytime you [as a congressman] hire your child or spouse, it raises questions as to whether this is a throwback to the time when people used campaigns and government jobs to enrich their families," said Larry Noble, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan watchdog group, and a former general counsel of the FEC.

Research editor Lucy Shackelford; researchers Alice Crites, Madonna Lebling, Karl Evanzz and Meg Smith; and research database editor Derek Willis contributed to this report.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/30/AR2005123001480.html

================================================================

Abramoff Pleads Guilty to 3 Counts
Lobbyist to Testify About Lawmakers In Corruption Probe

By Susan Schmidt and James V. Grimaldi
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Jack Abramoff, the once-powerful lobbyist at the center of a wide-ranging public corruption investigation, pleaded guilty yesterday to fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to bribe public officials in a deal that requires him to provide evidence about members of Congress.

The plea deal could have enormous legal and political consequences for the lawmakers on whom Abramoff lavished luxury trips, skybox fundraisers, campaign contributions, jobs for their spouses, and meals at Signatures, the lobbyist's upscale restaurant.



Jack Abramoff, center, leaves Federal Court in Washington Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2006. The once-powerful lobbyist pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges of conspiracy, tax evasion and mail fraud, agreeing to cooperate with prosecutors investigating influence peddling that has threatened powerful members of the U.S. Congress. At right is his attorney Abbe Lowell. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Gerald Herbert -- AP)

About Abramoff
NAME: Jack Abramoff.
AGE: 46; born Feb. 28, 1959, in New Jersey.

EDUCATION: Beverly Hills High School, Brandeis graduate, Georgetown University law degree.

EXPERIENCE: Lobbyist with Greenberg Traurig, Jan. 2001-March 2004; founder of Eshkol Academy, a school for Orthodox Jews in Montgomery County, Md., 2001; lobbyist with Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds, 1994-2001; Hollywood film producer as president of Regency Entertainment Group, 1986-94; director, Citizens for America, pro-Reagan lobbying group, 1985; chairman of college Republicans and member of executive committee, Republican National Committee, early to mid-1980s.

FAMILY: Wife, Pam; five children.

QUOTE: "I'd love us to get our mitts on that moolah." Abramoff, in an e-mail to an ally, about an American Indian tribe's contributions to Democrats.

-- Associated Press

Wednesday, Jan. 4, at noon ET
Abramoff Pleads Guilty to Felony Charges
Washington Post staff writer Susan Schmidt discusses her article in The Post on the plea bargain of former lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the growing political scandal surrounding his dealings with members of Congress.


How Abramoff Spread the Wealth
This graphic charts lobbying fees paid to Jack Abramoff and which lawmakers received campaign donations from Abramoff and his associates.



In court papers, prosecutors refer to only one congressman: Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio). But Abramoff, who built a political alliance with House Republicans, including former majority leader Tom DeLay of Texas, has agreed to provide information and testimony about half a dozen House and Senate members, officials familiar with the inquiry said. He also is to provide evidence about congressional staffers, Interior Department workers and other executive branch officials, and other lobbyists.

"The corruption scheme with Mr. Abramoff is very extensive," Alice S. Fisher, head of the Justice Department's criminal division, said at a news conference with other high-ranking officials of the Internal Revenue Service and the FBI. "We're going to follow this wherever it goes."

Fisher declined to identify the officials under scrutiny. "We name people in indictments," she said, adding: "We are moving very quickly."

Among the allegations in the court documents is that Abramoff arranged for payments totaling $50,000 for the wife of an unnamed congressional staffer in return for the staffer's help in killing an Internet gambling measure. The Washington Post has previously reported that Tony Rudy, a former top aide to DeLay, worked with Abramoff to kill such a bill in 2000 before going to work for Abramoff.

Abramoff's appearance in U.S. District Court came nearly two years after his lobbying practices gained public notice because of the enormous payments -- eventually tallied at $82 million -- that he and a public relations partner received from casino-rich Indian tribes. Yesterday, he admitted defrauding four of those tribal clients out of millions of dollars. He also pleaded guilty to evading taxes, to conspiring to bribe lawmakers, and to conspiring to induce former Capitol Hill staffers to violate the one-year ban on lobbying their former bosses.

Under terms of his plea agreement, Abramoff can expect to receive a jail sentence of 9 1/2 to 11 years, and he is required to make restitution of $26.7 million to the IRS and to the Indian tribes he defrauded. Today he is to plead guilty to fraud and conspiracy counts in a related case in Florida involving his purchase of a casino cruise line.

Standing before U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle in Washington yesterday, Abramoff looked sheepish and sad. "Your Honor, words will not be able to ever express how sorry I am for this, and I have profound regret and sorrow for the multitude of mistakes and harm I have caused," he said softly. "All of my remaining days, I will feel tremendous sadness and regret for my conduct and for what I have done. I only hope that I can merit forgiveness from the Almighty and from those I have wronged or caused to suffer."

Abramoff has been in extensive discussions with government lawyers for months leading up to yesterday's plea.

Ney, chairman of the House Administration Committee, is among the first of those expected to feel the fallout. In the court documents -- which identify him only as "Representative #1" -- Ney is accused of meeting with one of Abramoff's clients in Russia in 2003 to "influence the process for obtaining a [U.S.] visa" for one of the client's relatives and of agreeing to aid a California tribe represented by Abramoff on tax and post office issues.

Ney also placed comments in the Congressional Record backing Abramoff's efforts to gain control of the Florida gambling company, SunCruz Casinos, and offered legislative language sought by Abramoff that would have reopened a Texas tribe's shuttered casino.

Abramoff Lobbying and Corruption Scandal 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/03/AR2006010300474.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abramoff-Reed_Indian_Gambling_Scandal

In 2004, Abramoff resigned from Greenberg Traurig amid a scandal related to spending irregularities in his work as a lobbyist for Native American tribes involved in gambling, namely The Mississippi Choctaw, the Louisiana Coushatta, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Sandia Pueblo, the Saginaw Chippewa and the Tigua of Ysleta del Sur Pueblo.

The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians paid $15 million to Abramoff and Scanlon's organizations. The funds were diverted to a number of projects, including the Eshkol Academy, an all-boys Orthodox Jewish school set up by Abramoff in Maryland, and to a friend who ran sniper workshops for the Israel Defence Forces http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abramoff-Reed_Indian_Gambling_Scandal

========================================================

Alice S. Fisher

New Controversy Brewing: Abramoff
Thu Jan 5, 2006 11:50

Alice S. Fisher, 38 Nominated chief of DOJ Criminal Division Jason Boog ·
The National Law Journal 05-09-2005 After surviving a tumultuous tenure with the ...

GOOGLE:


New Controversy Brewing: Abramoff
FULL REPORT:


Alice S. Fisher was appointed (
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/08/20050831-5.html) by President George W. Bush in a recess appointment August 31, 2005, as Assistant Attorney General to head the Criminal Division in the Department of Justice.

Fisher was nominated March 29, 2005, and her nomination was sent to the Senate April 4, 2005. Her nomination was stalled over interrogation tactics at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, naval facility.

New Controversy Brewing: Abramoff

Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher is "the helm" of the "widest-ranging congressional corruption investigation in more than two decades," Anne Marie Squeo wrote (http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB113642588257438196.html?mod=todays_free_feature) in the January 5, 2006, Wall Street Journal.

Jack Abramoff "had a congressman insert statements in the Congressional Record, had a congressman endorse a wireless telephone contract for the House of Representatives, had a congressman agree to seek passage of legislation to help Abramoff's clients. Government officials and government action are not for sale," Fisher told (
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/congress/jan-june06/abramoff_1-3.html) reporters January 3, 2006.

"Abramoff gave things of value to public officials -- including foreign expensive trips, campaign contributions, expensive meals and entertainment and other things of value -- all with the intent and at time with the understanding that public officials would act to benefit Abramoff and his clients, ... As admitted by Abramoff, his actions often produced the official influence he sought," Fisher said (
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl-alobby05jan05,0,1714613.story?coll=sfla-home-headlines).

"I was more than a little tweaked to turn on CSPAN and see Alice Fisher giving the press conference on behalf of" the Justice Department in the Abramoff case, Jane Hamsher wrote (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jane-hamsher/flippin-jack-and-heckuva_b_13243.html) January 4, 2006, in The Huffington Post.

"Alice Fisher should have recused herself from this matter long ago," Hamsher said. "Fisher is a Republican who in her former job was registered as a lobbyist for HCA, the healthcare company founded by Bill Frist's father. Her appointment was also controversial due to the fact that like her boss Abu Gonzales, Fisher has no trial experience and with [James] Comey gone there would be no senior member of the Justice Department who was an experienced criminal prosecutor. But Senatorial oversight was dispensed with and BushCo. continued on its Brownie-esque rampage to replace experience with cronyism."
[edit]
Connectedness

Fisher "had a substantive law firm career, and she worked for two years in the Criminal Division overseeing the Department’s prosecutions in the high-profile areas of counterterrorism and corporate fraud. She [had] also been a long-time protégé of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff," Vermont Senator Patrick J. Leahy said (
http://www.senate.gov/comm/judiciary/general/member_statement.cfm?id=1500&wit_id=2629) in his May 12, 2005, statement. "I am somewhat concerned, however, that Ms. Fisher is nominated for one of the most visible prosecutorial positions in the country without ever having prosecuted a case, and she brings to the position minimal trial experience in any context," he said.

Leahy also expressed concerns about Fisher's "views on checks of controversial provisions of the Patriot Act and her opposition to the Act’s sunset provision; her participation in meetings in which the FBI expressed its disagreement with harsh interrogation methods practiced by the military toward detainees held at Guantanamo, and her ideas about appropriate safeguards for the treatment of enemy combatants." Leahy was also concerned about "reports that she has had ties to Congressman Tom DeLay’s defense team" and "also [wanted] to know what steps she [intended] to take to avoid a conflict of interest in the Department’s investigation of lobbyist Jack Abramoff and possibly Mr. DeLay." (emphasis added)
[edit]
Nomination

"The President intends to nominate Alice S. Fisher, of Virginia, to be Assistant Attorney General (Criminal Division) at the Department of Justice. Ms. Fisher is currently a Partner with Latham & Watkins, LLP. She previously served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. Earlier in her career, Ms. Fisher served as Deputy Special Counsel to the U.S. Senate Special Committee to Investigate Whitewater Development and Related Matters. She earned her bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University and her J.D. from Catholic University of America." --Personnel Announcement (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/03/20050329-2.html), White House, March 29, 2005.
[edit]
Troubled Confirmation

"Democrats said their hesitation over Ms. Fisher's nomination was driven not by politics but by concerns over her possible role in overseeing detention policies at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. They are seeking access to an F.B.I. agent who wrote an e-mail message in May 2004 about weekly Justice Department meetings to discuss military interrogation tactics that they felt did not produce reliable intelligence," Eric Lichtblau wrote (
http://www.christusrex.org/www1/news/nyt-8-16-05c.html) in the August 15, 2005, New York Times.

"The unnamed agent said that several senior officials, including Ms. Fisher, who was the second-ranking official in the criminal division, attended meetings with the F.B.I.

"But Justice Department officials said Democrats were misreading the memorandum, and they quoted the F.B.I. agent in a follow-up discussion as saying he did not recall any meetings with Ms. Fisher at which the treatment of detainees at Guantánamo Bay was discussed. Ms. Fisher and the Justice Department say she never took part in such meetings," Lichtblau wrote.

Fisher, then working at the law firm of Latham & Watkins in Washington, where she was a partner, was awaiting Senate confirmation of her nomination.

Senator Arlen Specter said "in the interview on Friday [August 12, 2005,] that he had concerns about the depth of criminal prosecution experience at the top of the Justice Department after the departure of" Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey, who left in August 2005 to be Lockheed Martin's new general counsel. Comey had been "a veteran prosecutor in Manhattan."

"Judiciary Committee members said that for the first time in memory, none of the most senior officials at the Justice Department" -- Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, Timothy E. Flanigan, Robert D. McCallum, Jr., or Alice Fisher -- "would have experience as a criminal prosecutor," Lichtblau wrote.
[edit]
SourceWatch Resources

* Abu Ghraib
* Bush administration cronyism and incompetence
* recess appointments made by President George W. Bush

[edit]
External Links

* Statement by Senator Patrick J. Leahy (http://www.senate.gov/comm/judiciary/general/member_statement.cfm?id=1500&wit_id=2629), U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, May 12, 2005.
* Eric Lichtblau, "Tension Builds Between F.B.I. and Congress," (
http://www.christusrex.org/www1/news/nyt-8-16-05c.html) New York Times (christusrex.org), August 15, 2005.
* Ken Thomas, "Bypassing Senate, president appoints a top Justice official," (
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2005/09/02/bypassing_senate_president_appoints_a_top_justice_official?mode=PF) Associated Press (Boston Globe), September 2, 2005.
* Jane Hamsher, "Flippin' Jack and Heckuva Job Alice," (
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jane-hamsher/flippin-jack-and-heckuva_b_13243.html) The Huffington Post, January 4, 2006.
* Anne Marie Squeo, "Fisher Shoulders Sweeping Investigation. Justice Department Lawyer Managing Abramoff Case Vows to Hold Officials Accountable," (http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB113642588257438196.html?mod=todays_free_feature) Wall Street Journal', January 4, 2006.

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Categories: Corruption | Scandals

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http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Alice_S._Fisher
============================================================

After surviving a tumultuous tenure with the counterterrorism office of the U.S. Department of Justice from 2001 to 2003, Alice S. Fisher has been nominated to return and serve as chief of DOJ's Criminal Division.

MORE:>>
http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1115197520932

Former Lobbyist Jack Abramoff Pleads Guilty to Charges Involving Corruption, Fraud Conspiracy, and Tax Evasion

January 3, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. � Former lobbyist Jack A. Abramoff has pleaded guilty to a three-count information charging him with conspiracy, aiding and abetting honest services mail fraud, and tax evasion, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division announced today.

Read More

http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2006/January/06_crm_002.html

Alice Fisher to Be New Head of DOJ Criminal Division. Alice Fisher, a partner at Latham & Watkins and former Deputy AAG to Michael Chertoff when he led the ...
http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/whitecollarcrime_blog/2005/04/alice_fisher_to.html

========================================================

Jack Abramoff is a long-time Washington insider whom Congressman Tom DeLay once referred to as one of his "closest and dearest friends."
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Jack_Abramoff


Gus (Kostas) Boulis

Gus Boulis

By JEFF SHIELDS Sun-Sentinel      
Web-posted: 6:28 a.m. Feb. 9, 2001


Abramoff's ex-partner in the SunCruz (Casinos) deal, 41-year-old Adam Kidan, pleaded guilty on Dec. 15 to two charges and faces sentencing on March 1.
Abramoff and Kidan admitted using the fake wire transfer to secure $60 million in loans they used to buy SunCruz from Miami businessman Konstantinos "Gus" Bouli
Boulis was later murdered in a mob-style hit; three men were charged last fall and have pleaded not guilty. Both Abramoff and Kidan have denied involvement in the slaying.
http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/abramoff04b.html

Miami Subs,
SunCruz founder gunned
down in Lauderdale while driving car

http://durabond.ca/gdouridas/boulis.html

Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konstantinos_Boulis

3 Charged in Killing Of Fla. Businessman
Boulis Slain After 2000 Abramoff Deal

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/27/AR2005092700980.html

3 Charged in Killing Of Fla. Businessman
Boulis Slain After 2000 Abramoff Deal

Anthony Moscatiello (top), Anthony Ferrari (lower left), 48,
and James Fiorillo (lower right), 28,
were arrested in connection with the ambush slaying
of Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/27/AR2005092700980.html

=======================================================

Jan. 3, 2006, 3:08PM
Prosecutor in DeLay case subpoenas Abramoff documents

By SUZANNE GAMBOA
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The prosecutor in the Texas money laundering case against Rep. Tom DeLay issued subpoenas today looking for links between lobbyist Jack Abramoff and fundraising by the former majority leader.

District Attorney Ronnie Earle issued the subpoenas in Austin the same day that Abramoff pleaded guilty in Washington to federal charges of conspiracy, tax evasion and mail fraud.

Abramoff's plea came in a wide-ranging corruption investigation that is believed to be focusing on as many as 20 members of Congress and congressional aides, including DeLay and one of his former aides. Investigators allege Abramoff and his ex-partner Michael Scanlon defrauded several Indian tribes of tens of millions of dollars in a lobbying scheme that also involved bribery of public officials.

In the Texas case, Earle sought records from Abramoff's former employers, legal firms Greenberg Traurig LLP and Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds, LLP. He also subpoenaed records from a lawyer for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, a former Abramoff client, and from a representative for the Barona Band of Mission Indians, a California tribe.

DeLay attorney Dick DeGuerin said Earle "goes where the fish bite."

"Ronnie Earle is an opportunist," DeGuerin said. "He issues subpoenas to try to make a connection between his case and the latest scandal, whatever it happens to be. The Abramoff thing is the latest he's doing. It has nothing to do with the case in Texas. Nothing. Zip."

DeLay is facing money laundering charges stemming from corporate contributions to a fundraising committee he formed for 2002 state legislative elections. Texas law bans using corporate or union contributions for election or defeat of a candidate.

DeLay is accused with two associates of funneling corporate money through Texans for a Republican Majority, TRMPAC, and the Republican National Committee to several state legislative campaigns in 2002.

DeLay has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and labeled the investigation political.

He was forced to step aside as majority leader after he was indicted on money laundering and conspiracy charges in September. No trial date has been set because of pending appeals filed by Earle and DeLay.

Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds contributed $25,000 and the Barona Band, $5,000 to TRMPAC in 2002. The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians contributed $1,000 in 2001, according to TRMPAC records.

In his subpoenas, Earle asks for correspondence between the subpoenaed parties and TRMPAC; Americans for a Republican Majority, DeLay's national fundraising committee; David Safavian, the Bush administration's former chief procurement official indicted in the Abramoff case; Abramoff, former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed and DeLay's co-defendants.
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nation/3562538.html

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Witness May Have Pivotal Role in Probe of Alleged Corruption

By Susan Schmidt and James V. Grimaldi
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, November 20, 2005

Before he hit his mid-thirties, Michael Scanlon played enough roles to fill a lifetime: lifeguard, press aide to a powerful congressman, multimillionaire public relations entrepreneur.

Now the sandy-haired, buttoned-down Republican -- author of e-mails detailing wildly brash schemes to make money in politics -- is likely to take a turn as a star witness for the prosecution in the Justice Department's investigation of lawmakers, lobbyists, Capitol Hill staffers and executive branch officials.


Michael Scanlon, a former business partner of ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, is to plead guilty tomorrow in a deal with prosecutors. (Gerald Herbert - AP)

Scanlon's help could be important to the probe, which focuses on the activities of former influential lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Scanlon was Abramoff's closest business partner at the height of the lobbyist's power, joining in an enterprise that collected $82 million in fees from Indian tribes between 2000 and 2004.

On Friday, Scanlon was charged with conspiracy, accused of plotting with Abramoff to defraud the tribes and bribe government officials, including a member of Congress. He is to appear in court tomorrow to enter a guilty plea worked out with prosecutors who have spent nearly two years sifting through the deals that made Scanlon a rich man almost overnight.

His cooperation also increases pressure on Abramoff to make his own deal with the prosecution. Abramoff has told his legal team that despite the millions of dollars he brought in, he is all but out of money, lawyers in the case said. Abramoff and another business partner are facing trial in Florida on separate fraud charges.

Scanlon has more to show from his alliance with Abramoff. He was a reporter-friendly spokesman for then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) in 2000 when he quit Capitol Hill to join forces with Abramoff. Soon he was raking in a seven-figure salary, astounding former colleagues as he shed his student loans and picked up a mansion on the Delaware shore, an estate in St. Barts and an in-town apartment at the Ritz-Carlton in the District.

E-mail released by Senate investigators shows that Scanlon and Abramoff referred to their secret partnership as "gimme five" -- code for their arrangement to split tens of millions of dollars in profits Scanlon's firm was taking in from the tribes. Abramoff, who cultivated a reputation as the best-connected Republican lobbyist in Washington, typically urged his tribal clients to hire Scanlon, never telling them he would be getting a chunk of the fees they paid Scanlon.

As a witness in the wide-ranging, influence-peddling probe of Abramoff and government officials, Scanlon may have knowledge of many areas of interest to investigators. In addition to Abramoff's dealings with the tribes, Scanlon was in a position to know whether lawmakers and their aides provided legislative favors for Abramoff's lobbying clients, including the tribes. E-mail shows Abramoff often talked of gaining sway over key officials at the Interior Department, which plays a regulatory role in tribal land issues and Indian gambling operations.

Scanlon's cooperation is crucial to helping prosecutors prove that any favor to a lawmaker was in explicit exchange for an official act, said Leonard Garment, an attorney for President Nixon during Watergate.

"It is important because you have direct evidence from someone who was involved who can testify with respect to the payment of money or some other thing of value to the legislator," Garment said.

"Scanlon presumably is in a position to say that it wasn't just ordinary assistance of a neutral or innocent character, that it was a quid pro quo, that if you vote a certain way or introduce a certain bill, I will pay you money or give you a brace of tickets to a Washington Redskins game. That is the way a case is proved."

Scanlon, a relatively junior member of DeLay's staff -- he refers to his former boss as "Mr. DeLay" -- may not have been privy to all of DeLay's dealings with Abramoff, a lobbyist the Texas lawmaker once called "one of my closest and dearest friends." But Scanlon could be a guide to the activities of top House GOP staffers, some of whom are now lobbyists and political consultants who work closely with DeLay, now the former majority
Witness May Have Pivotal Role in Probe of Alleged Corruption
The criminal charge against Scanlon shows that the lawmaker of most immediate interest to prosecutors is House Administration Committee Chairman Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio). Prosecutors charged that Scanlon and Abramoff conspired to bribe Ney -- referred to in the charging document as "Representative #1" -- by providing him and staff members with a golf trip to Scotland, sports tickets, meals, and campaign contributions.

From Ney, prosecutors allege, Scanlon and Abramoff "sought and received" a series of official acts, including meeting with clients, sponsoring legislation and approving a license to install wireless communications in the U.S. House for an Abramoff client.

Ney also placed comments in the Congressional Record favorable to Abramoff's 2000 purchase of the Florida casino boat company, SunCruz Casinos. Scanlon handled SunCruz's dealings with Ney and his chief of staff, Neil Volz, who later also went to work for Abramoff.

Ney has denied wrongdoing, and his lawyer said that any official acts Ney performed had no connection to favors from Abramoff's team.

Solomon L. Wisenberg, a former federal prosecutor, said a guilty plea and cooperation agreement often are announced to pressure other potential witnesses to cooperate. He said it also is a signal that investigators think Scanlon has told them what they need to make their bribery cases.

"The government would not enter into a plea agreement with somebody and offer to give them credit for cooperation unless they were getting something in return," Wisenberg said.

Scanlon's cooperation will be a key element incriminal trials that rely heavily on documents, such as e-mails and memos. "You have to have someone who can tell the story," Wisenberg said.

Scanlon was also a link between Abramoff's SunCruz dealings and DeLay's office.

On Inauguration Day 2001, Scanlon and Abramoff's SunCruz business partner Adam Kidan were guests at a reception in DeLay's Capitol Hill office celebrating the swearing in of George W. Bush, according to two people who were at the reception who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

A week later, Abramoff and his partners leased a corporate jet to ferry congressional staffers to the Super Bowl in Tampa and a night of gambling aboard a SunCruz ship. Among those aboard were DeLay aide Tim Berry, who left this year as DeLay's chief of staff, and DeLay's former deputy chief of staff, Tony Rudy, by then a newly minted lobbyist working for Abramoff. Two staff aides to Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) also went on the trip.

Scanlon could help investigators learn more about the purpose of gifts and nearly $3 million in campaign contributions Abramoff and his tribal clients lavished on members of Congress and their staffers, who night after night filled the lobbyist's four sports skyboxes. Scanlon may also be able to elaborate on e-mails that have been made public by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, in which Abramoff discussed job offers to public officials and his efforts to get political appointees at the Interior Department to intercede on issues affecting clients.

Scanlon may also be knowledgeable about Abramoff's direction of tribal funds to several charitable foundations and advocacy groups and tax-exempt organizations, including one run by anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist. E-mail shows that Scanlon was intimately familiar with some of the financial dealings of anti-gambling activist Ralph Reed, former executive director of the Christian Coalition.

Reed, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor in Georgia, has acknowledged receiving $4 million in dealings with Abramoff to whip up anti-casino campaigns in the South, but has maintained he did not know the funds came from the gaming proceeds of tribes that wanted to scuttle competition.

E-mails and other documents obtained by The Washington Post, and some released by the Indian Affairs Committee, show that Reed was routinely paid with tribal funds that were sent to Scanlon's firm, then routed to an Abramoff company called KayGold, and then sent to one of Reed's Atlanta-based political consulting firms.

Scanlon's e-mails and memos often reveal an aggressive, take-no-prisoners style. In a 2001 memo to a representative of the Louisiana Coushatta tribe, Scanlon said his political program was "designed to make the Coushatta Tribe a politician's best friend -- or worst political nightmare."

Abramoff, polished and soft-spoken in public, often showed contempt for his clients in private communications with his young partner. It was in an e-mail to Scanlon that Abramoff infamously referred to members of one tribe as "monkeys." In another exchange about a new client, the Tigua tribe of Texas, Abramoff said, "Fire up the jet baby, we're going to El Paso!!" Replied Scanlon: "I want all their MONEY!!!" Said Abramoff: "Yawzah!"

Abramoff turned to Scanlon when he wanted to disguise the origins of money from foreign entities, including the Malaysian government, e-mails and records show -- another area of likely interest for prosecutors and the Internal Revenue Service. Scanlon set up the American International Center, a Rehoboth Beach foundation that claimed on its Web site to be "a premiere international think tank."

Scanlon, who friends say never shook off the lure of summer days in the lifeguard stand even when he was making millions, staffed it with two longtime beach buddies -- one a former lifeguard and another a yoga instructor.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/19/AR2005111900937.html
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Excellent Links from Indianz.com :
http://www.indianz.com/News/2005/010796.asp

The Secret World of Jack Abramoff
How did Jack Abramoff get lucky enough to be the guy passing out all that long
green? ... Both men have strong ties to Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, ...
www.madcowprod.com/06202005.html

Get the Story:
Abramoff investigation has GOP holding its breath (The Austin-American Statesman 10/16)
Storm Clouds Hanging Over Republicans (The Los Angeles Times 10/17)
Username: indianz@indianz.com, Password: indianzcom

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Saginaw Chippewa Tribe hires new lobbying firm (3/9)
McCain begins investigation into high tribal fees (3/4)
Pueblo governor says $1M fee to PR firm not worth it (3/3)
McCain calls for investigation into tribal spending (2/27)
Four tribes spent $45M on lobbying and PR firms (2/23)
GOP lobbyist scores big with tribes (04/03)
Embattled tribe gets new lobbyist (12/13)

http://www.indianz.com/News/2005/010796.asp
 


Cheryl Seal
END TO END EVIL: The Real Abramoff Story
Wed Jan 4, 2006 22:54

(To get to embedded links, go to http://cherylsealreports.com/endtoendevil.html

Before the White House, its creepy pals in Congress, and its sell-out cohorts in the media succeed in spinning the Abramoff scandal as a "bipartisan" problem, a few irrefutable facts about Abramoff must driven home. Like so many sleazebags in high places, Abramoff has so far escaped the full public consequences of his despicable actions through a slick little system of “trickle, spin, and deny.” Trickle, as in the media’s focus on a few select aspects of the criminal’s “career.” Spin and deny, as in the media allowing said criminal and his supporters to self-righteously spin off or tearfully deny these minimized charges. This system worked for Tom Delay for years! It is only when the evil deeds are laid out end to end that the real picture is allowed to come into focus for the public and hit home with the force it should.

Putting together the whole picture is much more difficult than it should be, however. The mainstream media and its “subdomains” – the blowhard rightwing talkshow hosts like Chris Matthews and Brit Hume and phony “foundations” like the American Enterprise Institute and Heritage Foundation – are dedicated to making sure that their “golden boys” are screened from scrutiny and their lies promoted. Thus the coverage of NeoCon criminals is inevitably heavy on the White House propaganda and light on the chronology of facts. I had to search through several sources that included both political blogs and newspapers that still believe in real reporting (Miami Herald, Texas Observer, etc.) to put together the basic facets of the Abramoff case in one place so that they could be laid end to end. And even still, I sense there are still holes in the chronology large enough to drive Reggie the Rig (the GOP’s mascot 18-wheeler) through.

But here’s a crash course – “Abramoff 101,” if you will.

Looking at the assembled "pieces," the Abramoff scandal can be divided into five main categories, each being an aspect of this multifaceted and truly evil slimebag. Here they are:

1. Abramoff the traitor. As the generic definition of treason is "an effort to undermine a nation's government," then we can safely assign to Jack Abramoff (forthwith JA) his premier title: TRAITOR. Since the early 1980s, JA's primary agenda has been to turn the US government into a one-party system - ie., a rightwing dictatorship. In short, JA has sought to overturn the US government as we know it in order to insure the financial goals of himself and other NeoCons. Here's an Abramoff quote from the 1983 College Republican "manifesto": “It is not our job to seek peaceful coexistence with the Left. Our job is to remove them from power permanently”:

While head of the College Republicans (1981-1985), JA turned this organization into a sort of neo-brown shirt outfit, cranking out mean-spirited, unscrupulous powermongers like Karl Rove. The organization was not just mean-spirited, it was corrupt. Years after leaving the position as top dog, Abramoff was raking in kick backs from the CR. In 2002, he received about $10,000 for what was "officially" described as "accounting and legal services." The group laundered hundreds of thousands of dollars to itself through other organizations. The Seattle Times reported "Some of the most prolific donors said they were unaware they had been giving so much money to the group because the fund-raising letters often came under the names of other official-sounding organizations, such as "Republican Headquarters 2004," and led some to believe the money was going to Bush's re-election campaign." Instead, most of the funds went back to a money-laundering outfit called Response Dynamics Inc. (RDI).

The goal of all of these intrigues, of course, was to fuel the takeover of the US government at all levels, from the White House to the House of Representatives with rightwing Republicans. There was no "ideology" involved, except as a surface "hook" to reel in the clueless. The only objective was POWER, plain and simple. The issues tossed about by the "new GOP" - issues like "family values," "democracy," and "fiscal responsibility" - were simply phony "promos." lThey were thrown out like bait, just like the plasma TVs or stereo systems offered to lure the gullible to signing onto a rip-off timeshare scheme.

Those who say that Abramoff was an "equal opportunity, bipartisan" crook with no such agenda are just as dishonest and intentionally misleading as JA himself. JA has had a partisan agenda from day one. Media Matters reports that "a search of the Center for Responsive Politics database of campaign contributions did not find any contributions from Abramoff to Democrats or Democratic leadership political action committees." Abramoff may have peddled his influence to a few corrupt blue-dog Democrats, but he had no intention of furthering the Democratic party in any way, shape or form.

2 Abramoff the White Supremacist:

JA was one of the driving forces in shoving the GOP further to the right, and in a direction that can only be described as a "neo-confederate" mind set. In the 1980s, Abramoff had close relationships with South Africa's aparthied government, even taking funding for an anti-Communist movie project from the fascist South African army. In addition, Abramoff treated native Americans with cold contempt - ripping them off as cynically as any "Indian hater" of the 19th century. Not only did Abramoff steal tens of millions from six different tribes while he purported to be helping them lobby for casinos, he actually took money from one Texas tribe as a pro-casino lobbyist while sucking up millions more from another tribe in LA that was lobbying against the TX tribe's efforts. Seems like the only thing JA DIDN'T try was install smallpox-infected slots (as a 21st century version of blankets) on reservations.

In addition, Abramoff ran sweatshops in the Marianas Islands, in which native workers were outrageously exploited. Activist writer Geoff Parrish described this nightmare: "Conditions in the Marianas' sweatshops are horrific. Women are lured from China, Thailand, the Philippines, Bangladesh, and other Asian countries--often with the promise of living and working in the United States. Once they reached Saipan, the main island in the Northern Marianas chain, workers found themselves toiling eight hours a day for $3 an hour, then being forced to "donate" an additional four hours each day (reducing the gross pay to $2 an hour). In off hours the workers were not allowed to leave a crowded housing compound patrolled by armed guards. The Women were forced to live 20 per room, eat poor-quality food, and were charged by the company for housing and food through further reductions in their pay. Women were not allowed to date or marry, and pregnant women were forced to have abortions. Those who broke the rules were beaten."

Guess who insured that Abramoff's slave labor camps would be exempt from any regulation? G.W. Bush . Oh, yes – his aid bought and paid for by Abramoff. Of course, Bush is allowing the same slave labor system to prevail in Iraq and Afghanistan now, too.

3. "Casino Jack" the Mob Crime Boss: Abramoff was able to buy the SunCruz casino fleet in 2000 through fraudulent means. The Miami Herald reported how JA paid GOP Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio (you know - the state that fixed the 2004 presidential election) to smear the original owner in high places: " Ney placed critical remarks of former SunCruz owner Konstantinos ''Gus'' Boulis in the Congressional Record in 2000. He called Boulis a ''bad apple'' and praised [Abramoff right-hand man] Kidan as a businessman with a ``renowned reputation for honesty and integrity.'' " The Herald continues, "After the SunCruz sale, according to law-enforcement sources, Abramoff and Kidan approved contributing $10,000 in SunCruz money -- on behalf of Ney -- to a national campaign fund to help elect Republicans to Congress. Prosecutors in Washington and South Florida believe that the partners donated the SunCruz money in Ney's name as an illegal payback for his critical comments of Boulis." Once Abramoff had control of the SunCruz fleet, he proceeded to defraud the company of tens of millions of dollars in money-laundering and wire-fraud schemes.


There is direct - but currently totally covered-up - evidence linking "Casino Jack" to the murder Boulis in 2001. Boulis was killed by Mafia hit man 'Big Tony' Moscatiello and two other mobsters, Anthony Ferrari and James Fiorillo. Moscatiello, his daughter, and Ferrari, cashed, between them, $240,000 in payments from Abramoff's Casino, paid out for no discernible reason. Of course, only a few bloggers like Mad Cow have put all these nasty facts end to end in their real succession.

4. Abramoff as White House Puppeteer:

Records from JA's own firm reveal that JA began working on cultivating his power base with Bush as early as 1997. JA and his assorted "interests" directly paid out tens of thousands to Bush and the GOP in campaign contributions. As a Bush "Pioneer," JA personally raised $100,000 for Bush's 2000 campaign. USA Today reports, "In President Bush's first 10 months, GOP fundraiser Jack Abramoff and his lobbying team logged nearly 200 contacts with the new administration as they pressed for friendly hires at federal agencies and sought to keep the Northern Mariana Islands exempt from the minimum wage and other laws....The meetings between Abramoff's lobbying team and the administration ranged from Attorney General John Ashcroft to policy advisers in Vice President Dick Cheney's office, according to his lobbying firm billing records."

Oh, but it gets worse.

JA planted his own "eyes and ears" in the White House. In 2001, Sue Bonzon Ralston became Special Assistant to the President & Assistant to the Senior Advisor Karl Rove. According to Ralston's bio, "Ms. Ralston assists Mr. Rove in overseeing the strategic planning, political affairs, public liaison, and intergovernmental affairs efforts of the White House." What makes Ralston particularly despicable is that although she herself is a Philippine American, she has assisted JA in insuring that conditions for workers in the Marianas Islands, many of them Philipinne women, remain abysmal and exploitive. But Ralston is swimming in White House crap up to her eyebrows. The New York Times reports, "It was Ms. Ralston who patched through a phone call from Matt Cooper, the reporter for Time magazine, to Mr. Rove on the day in July 2003 that they discussed Mrs. Wilson, then known by her maiden name, Valerie Plame. And Ms. Ralston, while in Mr. Abramoff’s employ, drafted a memorandum about his suites at local arenas, which he used to entertain clients and public officials who have since gotten in trouble for accepting his favors."

5. Abramoff as GOP Money Launderer: First and foremost, JA is the GOP's chief money launderer and influence buyer. This should not be "breaking news," as the networks this week are spinning the story. As Lou Dubose of the "Texas Observer" points out, since the JA story first broke, "the media has focused on the stunning $82 million Abramoff and Scanlon billed six tribes for lobbying and public relations work. Far less attention has been paid to the political contributions, by Abramoff’s account $10 million, made by the six tribes. That piece of the story involves the K Street Project, which moves the money of corporate lobbyists and their clients into the accounts of Republican candidates, PACs, and issue advocacy groups." If to this you add the cumulative amount of GOP-driven legislation "purchased" by lobbyists with money funneled through Abramoff and power funneled through the White House, the net "benefit" to the GOP is staggering.

So as you listen to the mainstream media's version of the Abramoff tale in the coming days, you may find yourself stunned by just how few questions - and answers - are forthcoming.

see http://cherylsealreports.com/endtoendevil.html


Abramoff and al-Arian: Lobbyist's "Charity" a Front for Terrorism
by Juan Cole, a Professor of History at the University of Michigan
http://www.juancole.com/2006/01/abramoff-and-al-arian-lobbyists.html

Dean: White House Must Tell the Truth About Abramoff Ties
http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=58947

 


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