News and articles relating to the scandal surrounding Washington D.C. lobbyist Jack Abramoff

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Capitol Hill: On DeLay's Trail—The E-Mail Factor - Newsweek Periscope -

April 10, 2006 issue - Federal prosecutors investigating the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal have obtained a road map to the workings of the Republican-controlled House: 1,000 internal e-mails from the office of Rep. Tom DeLay during his time as majority leader. The e-mails were turned over quietly by DeLay late last year as part of an unpublicized effort by the embattled Texas congressman to show he would cooperate with prosecutors. "We didn't hold anything back," says Richard Cullen, DeLay's lawyer, who tells NEWSWEEK the e-mails date to at least 1998 and involve all aspects of the probe. He says the e-mails weren't subpoenaed but were offered as a "Christmas present." Still, it's unclear if thee-mails will clear or help implicate DeLay.

Last week federal prosecutors had one of their biggest coups yet in the probe: a felony guilty plea by Tony Rudy, DeLay's former deputy chief of staff, for conspiring with Abramoff to provide House members and their staff with perks in exchange for legislative favors; Rudy, who left DeLay's office in December 2000 to work for Abramoff, will now cooperate with the Feds. Although court papers filed by prosecutors with the plea contain no direct allegations against DeLay, the documents for the first time refer to an unnamed "Representative No. 2" (who is DeLay) whose office repeatedly assisted Abramoff and his clients. The papers allege that Rudy, while still working for DeLay, arranged for the congressman to sign a letter opposing a postal-rate increase to aid an Abramoff client and helped kill an antigambling bill opposed by another Abramoff client. At the same time, Abramoff arranged for $86,000 in consulting payments to be made to Rudy's wife, Lisa, according to the documents. (She was not charged.) Cullen says DeLay had no knowledge of improper dealings by his aides. (He also says the e-mails he gave the Feds don't include any directly from DeLay because the congressman, unlike his aides, doesn't e-mail.) DeLay "has never taken any official action based on anything other than his conscience," he says.

Still, the Rudy documents suggest prosecutors are far from finished. They name a "Lobbyist B" (DeLay's former chief of staff Ed Buckham) who shared clients with Abramoff and allegedly worked closely with him to arrange the consulting payments to Rudy's wife. (Buckham's lawyer didn't respond to a request for comment.) The documents also may further implicate Ohio Rep. Bob Ney, who, the court papers allege, agreed to support legislation benefiting Abramoff clients in the Marianas Islands and an Indian casino tribe in Texas. Ney then went on an all-expenses-paid golf trip to Scotland funded by Abramoff's clients. Rudy, by then working for Abramoff, e-mailed Ney's chief of staff that the trip would involve "drinking and smoking Cubans," the papers state. Ney's lawyer, Mark Tuohey, says his client denies all wrongdoing and has no intention of cutting a deal with prosecutors. "He will be fully vindicated."

Article links Abramoff, co-defendant to '98 Guam election

by Mindy Fothergill, KUAM News
Sunday, April 02, 2006


On the heels of the sentencing of former powerhouse Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the Wall Street Journal released an explosive article this weekend citing Abramoff's and his co-defendant and former partner Michael Scanlon's involvement in alleged efforts to taint the 1998 gubernatorial election on Guam.

The personal relationships of Scanlon, the former press aide to Congressman Tom DeLay, have opened the doors to information about his wheelings and dealings with former partner Abramoff and his ties to Guam. In the WSJ article, "End of the Affair - Behind Unraveling of DeLay's Team, A Jilted Fiancee", the national newspaper reveals political favors and maneuvers devised by the two men, once raking in millions through lobbying efforts and business dealings.

The article refers to Scanlon and his former fiancee Emily Miller, who both worked in the press office of DeLay, the former majority leader. Assisting in work for delay was former deputy chief of staff Tony Rudy. The Journal obtained numerous e-mails and messages relating to Rudy and Scanlon's activities while working for DeLay and their growing relationship with Abramoff.

The article states, "the two staffers often lent a hand to Mr. Abramoff, according to court documents and former colleagues." Abramoff helped the congressman raise millions of dollars and often treated DeLay and his aides to overseas trips, dinners, casino stays and golf outings.

In return, the aides assisted Abramoff. The WSJ piece further states, "In the fall of 1998, Mr. Abramoff wanted to help a Republican, Joe Ada, get elected as governor in Guam, even though he was trailing incumbent governor Carl Gutierrez badly in the polls." Ada was running with current Guam governor Felix Camacho.

After lunch on October 26, 1998, Abramoff emailed Rudy wanting to know if Congressman DeLay could call for an investigation of the misuse of federal funds on Guam by Gutierrez. The WSJ went on to state that Abramoff suggested he would draft a statement for DeLay, and Rudy could "issue a press release and letter requesting an inspector general, from the Department of Interior, to investigate these matters", saying it should have a major impact on the election next week.

Rudy and Scanlon released a statement from DeLay, along with a letter to the DOI's inspector general, calling for a full federal inquiry into Gutierrez. DeLay said in the letter, "The allegations and materials I reviewed point to serious corruption." The article goes on to state despite their efforts, Ada lost the race and the Department did not conduct an investigation.

DeLay's spokeswoman declined to comment and Rudy's lawyers did not return phone calls made by the national newspaper. KUAM News has also confirmed through sources in Washington, that a congressional inquiry is also underway into Scanlon's involvement on Guam when the Ada-Camacho team disputed the 1998 election results.

KUAM News attempted to obtain comment on the Wall Street Journal article from former governor Ada, however he is currently off-island. Spokesman for Governor Camacho Shawn Gumataotao also did not return calls for comment.


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