Friday, December 30, 2005

Prosecutors make Abramoff an offer he can't refuse

Update: link from DailyKos comments to new WaPo article: An Extensive Web of Financial Ties

AP is now reporting "Lobbyist, prosecutors said close to deal" that may be finalized as early as Tuesday.

Yesterday in "The Fast Rise and Steep Fall of Jack Abramoff" the Washington Post reported that Abramoff likened himself Michael Corleone of The Godfather. But it appears this might be a horse of a different color and that prosecutors are making Abramoff an offer he can't refuse.

Jack Abramoff is up to his eyeballs in scandals and court cases. The wide ranging investigation into his bribing of congressmen may be the least of his problems. The Post also provides an outline of:

Abramoff's Career
1958
Jack Abramoff is born in Atlantic City. Family moves to California and he grows up in Beverly Hills.
1981
Abramoff graduates from Brandeis University, comes to Washington and runs for national chairman of the College Republicans, where he forges lifelong bonds with Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist and Adam Kidan.
1985
Abramoff and Norquist take charge of Citizens for America, conservative advocacy group created by drugstore magnate Lewis E. Lehrman. They are asked to leave after a dispute about finances.
1986
Abramoff graduates from Georgetown law school, joins brother in film company and goes to Africa to work on "Red Scorpion," a Cold War thriller released in 1989.
1994
GOP wins control of House for the first time in 40 years. Abramoff joins lobbying firm of Preston Gates & Ellis. He begins lobbying for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and quickly strikes up a political relationship with Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas).
1995
Abramoff signs up the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians as a client, the first casino-rich tribe he solicits.
1997
Abramoff arranges for lawmakers and aides to take trips to the Marianas. On one such trip, DeLay calls the lobbyist "one of my closest and dearest friends."
1999
Abramoff uses tribal money to hire Ralph Reed to run anti-gambling campaigns in the South to discourage competition for the tribes' casinos.
2000
Abramoff arranges more lawmaker trips. They include week-long visit to England and Scotland in May with DeLay, his wife and two aides, and a June trip for DeLay aides to golf's U.S. Open aboard corporate jet belonging to SunCruz Casinos. Abramoff and partners buy SunCruz in the fall.
2001
Abramoff switches lobbying firms to Greenberg Traurig in January. He leases corporate jet to ferry congressional staffers to the Super Bowl in Tampa. He and Michael Scanlon form partnership they call "Gimme Five" to share extraordinary fees charged to tribal clients. In February, the seller of SunCruz, Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis, is shot to death gangland style in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
2002
Abramoff and Scanlon are collecting tens of millions of dollars in fees from Indian tribes. In one case, they quietly work with Ralph Reed to help Texas shut down a tribe's casino, then persuade the tribe to pay $4.2 million to try to get Congress to reopen it.
2003
Internal audit by the Louisiana Coushatta tribe finds that tribe spent $18 million in one year on lobbyists and lawyers, mostly to Abramoff and Scanlon.
2004
The Washington Post reports in February that Abramoff and Scanlon have received at least $45 million from tribes with casinos. Abramoff quits Greenberg a week later. Shortly thereafter, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) begins investigating Abramoff's Indian activities.
2005
August:
Abramoff and Kidan are indicted on fraud and conspiracy charges in Florida in connection with their purchase of SunCruz.
September:
Three men, including two associates of Kidan's, are indicted on murder and conspiracy charges in the killing of former SunCruz owner Boulis.
October:
Former Abramoff associate David H. Safavian, head of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy and the White House Office of Management and Budget, is indicted on charges of lying to federal investigators in the corruption investigation.
November:
Scanlon pleads guilty to conspiring to bribe a congressman and other public officials and agrees to pay back more than $19 million he fraudulently charged Indian tribal clients.
December:
Kidan pleads guilty in the SunCruz case. Both Scanlon and Kidan are expected to testify against Abramoff and will cooperate in the investigation of at least half a dozen lawmakers including Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio).

Ummm... mob hitmen and murder on casino deals? Perhaps Mr. Abramoff and his associates took that whole Corleone thing a little too far.

As these graphics and the various reports show as many as 20 congressmen and their staffs could be implicated in various parts of the Abramoff crime family. His two primary associates have already turned and Abramoff appears to be next. 20 Congressmen and their staffs. That amounts to one twentieth of the House of Representatives. Is your Representative involved? Have they taken money from one of Abramoff's firms, Greenberg, Traurig, et al, Preston, Gates, et al, or been involved in legislating for one of their clients?

And, of course, at the top of the food chain (or is that bottom of the human chain) we use the likes of Republican heavy hitters Tom Delay (wait a minute... isn't he already indicted on other charges), Ralph Reed (wait a minute... casino's, murder, bribery and mr. family values?), John Doolittle (wait a minute... isn't he involved in the Cunningham scandal - whoops looks like someone is tracking his involvement here as well), and Grover Norquist (how's that bathtub drowning thing going anyhow), and Speaker of the House, second in line to the Presidency, Dennis Hastert.

The list of Republican corruption goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and....


(oh... and for those republican talking points about equal involvement of Democrats and republicans in this... "The Abramoff scandal is an entirely GOP owned and operated affair".

2 comments:

mikevotes said...

I like the horse head in the bed reference. Looks like the fresh start Bush was looking for in the new year will last until early afternoon on the first day of business.


Mike


http://bornatthecrestoftheempire.blogspot.com/

Eddie said...

What a great new year gift!!

The Post has been kicking ass during the holidays

As a lawyer I was worried about the Austin case. Earle is either a politician or a fool.

Now we got him. I don't like the Government as a lawyer but see how they are letting DeLay get just a taste of what ABE is going to do to him.

Believe me they will all rat one another out. The hypocrites.

The best part is the "eneterprise of the RICO was a right wing religious group.

What say you?