A U.S. grand jury in Guam opened an investigation of controversial lobbyist Jack Abramoff more than two years ago, but President Bush removed the supervising federal prosecutor and the inquiry ended soon after. [...]
The transactions were the target of a grand jury subpoena issued Nov. 18, 2002, according to a copy obtained by The Times. The subpoena demanded that Anthony Sanchez, administrative director of the Guam Superior Court, release records involving the lobbying contract, including bills and payments.
A day later, the chief prosecutor, U.S. Atty. Frederick A. Black, who had launched the investigation, was demoted. A White House news release announced that Bush was replacing Black. [...]
Abramoff, who then represented the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, alerted his clients in a memo about the expected report and warned: "It will require some major action from the Hill and a press attack to get this back in the bottle."
There can be no crime more serious than bribery. Other offenses violate one law while corruption strikes at the foundation of all law. Under our form of government all authority is vested in the people and by them delegated to those who represent them in official capacity. There can be no offense heavier than that of him in whom such a sacred trust has been reposed, who sells it for his own gain and enrichment...he is worse than the thief, for the thief robs the individual, while the corrupt official plunders an entire city or state. He is as wicked as the murderer, for the murderer may only take one life against the law, while the corrupt official and the man who corrupts the official alike aim at the assassination of the Commonwealth itself.
"Abramoff arranged for the hiring of several Congressional wives, including Christine DeLay, wife of the Majority Whip. (Christine DeLay took four years to research the favorite charity of each member of Congress, for which she was paid $115,000....) Abramoff frequently used his D.C. charity, Capital Athletic Foundation, as a pass-through organization to run lobbying efforts and to pay for expenses, including retaining the services of a firm owned by Republican California Rep. John Doolittle's wife Julie, Sierra Dominion Financial Solutions Inc. Abramoff is also accused of misusing his charity to fund activities like an Israeli sniper school on the West Bank.
Abramoff also allegedly misused a conservative D.C. think tank on whose board he served, the National Center for Public Policy Research. The group was allegedly used to launder $50,000 to pay for a May 2000 trip by DeLay, his wife, Rudy, and another DeLay aide to Scotland....
And in May 2000, DeLay, his wife, aide Tony Rudy, and another DeLay aide took a trip to Scotland sponsored by the conservative D.C. think tank the National Center for Public Policy Research, one day after two Abramoff clients each donated $25,000 to the group....
At about the same time, a Virginia consulting firm registered to Rudy's wife Lisa received money apparently laundered from a $25,000 donation received by a charity of Abramoff and DeLay friend Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Toward Tradition....
[Rep. John] Doolittle's wife, Julie, owned a consulting firm, Sierra Dominion Financial Solutions Inc., that was hired by Abramoff and his firm to do fundraising for a charity he founded, Capital Athletic Foundation, at about the time Doolittle undertook legislative actions favorable to Abramoff's clients....
In 2000, [Rabbi Daniel] Lapin's religious charity received a $25,000 donation from an online gambling company, eLottery, a lobbying client of Abramoff and Preston Gates Ellis. That money was then allegedly used to pay a Virginia consulting firm, Liberty Consulting, registered to Lisa Rudy, the wife of DeLay's deputy chief of staff, Tony Rudy. At that time Rudy had been instrumental in scuttling an antigambling bill, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, that eLottery and Abramoff wanted killed." [source]
"New York Times reporter Anne E. Kornblut falsely stated that Democrats accepted campaign contributions from indicted former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In fact, only Republicans received contributions directly from Abramoff....a Media Matters for America 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....In fact, while Democrats have received contributions from Abramoff's lobbying groups and his clients, Kornblut's statement ignores the difference between accepting contributions from groups linked to Abramoff, which is legal and proper, and taking contributions in exchange for official actions, which is illegal, and which is at the heart of the ongoing investigations."
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