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In addition to the excellent reporting here...

Updated: with link from comments to new Wapo article: An Extensive Web of Financial Ties

Cross-posted from The 10,000 Things

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".

Originally posted to Andrew C White on Fri Dec 30, 2005 at 07:22 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Excellent diary!!! (none)
    Where is your tip jar??????
  •  Of all the questions and allegations (none)
    why is no one asking the big one? Why Mohammed Atta was a guest on Abramoff's casino ship?
    •  Do you have (4.00)
      source information on that?
        •  Jesus (none)
          The mind reels.
        •  not really (none)
          all we know is that some SunCruz employees claimed to recognize some of the 9/11 terrorists as former customers.  We don't know the outcome of the subsequent FBI investigation and we don't know if Atta was one of those supposed SunCruz customers.  It's a possibility, but you shouldn't state it as a fact. Also, the way you say he was a guest insinuates that Abramoff personally invited him which is even more conjecture.
          •  Of course I never stated it as fact... (none)
            I simply said the questions need to be asked. However, I get the distinct feeling you dissmiss this out of hand w/out ever bothering to look at the
            evidence provided by the links I posted. Which leads me to suspect you have a preconceived idea of how you think things are. I regard belief as a form of brain damage, the death of intelligence, the fracture of creativity the (B.S.)atrophy of imagination. I have opinions but no Belief System.
            I Don't believe anything. I Regard things on a scale of probabilities. The things that seem most absurd, put under 'Low Probability', and the things that seem most plausible, you put under 'High Probability'. Never believe anything. Once you believe anything, you stop thinking about it. The more things you believe, the less mental activity. If you believe something, and have an opinion on every subject, then your brain activity stops entirely, which is clinically considered a sign of death, nowadays in medical practice. So put things on a scale or probability, and never believe or disbelieve anything entirely."
            •  Well (none)
              You said the big question was "Why Mohammed Atta was a guest on Abramoff's casino ship?"
              You didn't ask "Was Mohammed Atta a guest on Abramoff's casino ship?"
              So yes, you did state it as a fact, even if you didn't mean to.

              I said that it's a possibility, so obviously I'm not dismissing it out of hand.  It's just under "Low Probability", as you put it, until more evidence emerges.

              •  more evidence? (none)
                Daniel Hopsinger wrote a series of articles exploring the Abramoff/GOP/Atta/South Florida links. The big story missed in the media is the mob link to Abramoff and the GOP. Abramoff also is tied into the Cunningham scandal.
                •  i went there via the bradblog link you gave (none)
                  that site is the most visually horrifying "news" site i've seen lately.....i closed it immediately.

                  if somebody wants me to read something, at least make it appealing.....that site is so visually unappealing that i had to sit and look at it and think hard......"i've looked at a lot of sites.....i read thousands and thousands of words a day.....do i want to read this?  it could be important.......holy crap close the fucking window already.....this shit will give me a migraine in 30 seconds flat"

                  C'mon.

                  You can't give a better source than the exact same thing BradBlog linked to in the BradBlog post YOU linked to which doesnt give much credibility to your statement at all?

                  Come the fuck on.

                  George W. Bush, Resign NOW.

                  by tlh lib on Fri Dec 30, 2005 at 10:46:07 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  nice post (none)
              of course technically speaking your belief system is that you are able to exist without a belief system. are you a graduate of the university of maybe? if not how did you develop your (by my belief system, wilsonian) philosophy?

              and for the rest of you remember the borders of Reynoldsrapia are always in flux

              "The pen is mightier than the sword, but only at a range of greater than five feet" Malaclypse the Younger

              by buhdydharma on Fri Dec 30, 2005 at 09:15:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  That;'s it. (none)
          I need to rent a storage 'locker' to hold more tinfoil.

          Geez...

          Curiouser and curiouser.

          "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

          by ogre on Fri Dec 30, 2005 at 08:37:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I gave you a 4 (none)
          But using BradBlog as a primary source is a bit over the line.   I'm not dismissing BradBlog but you need to source better than that if you want to get it investigated and considered legit.

          George W. Bush, Resign NOW.

          by tlh lib on Fri Dec 30, 2005 at 10:37:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  best WaPo quote (4.00)
    besides the scathing criticisms, is this:

    Alan K. Simpson (R), the former Wyoming senator who was in Washington during the last big congressional scandal -- the Abscam FBI sting in the late 1970s and early 1980s, in which six House members and one senator were convicted -- said the Abramoff case looks bigger. Simpson said he recently rode in a plane with one of Abramoff's attorneys, who told him: "There are going to be guys in your former line of work who are going to be taken down."

    •  We'll see (4.00)
      how many and which one's. But it sure is a good sign when someone like Abramoff is not the "big fish." They make plea bargains with guys like him only to get at the big boys. In this case the big boys have all got to be elected officials.
      •  Are you sure? Why can't he bribe the prosecutors? (none)
        What is the offer they make him he can't refuse. Why can't he refuse? Unless he is involved in murder all he faces is prison. How many years?
        Isn't he strong enough to survive a little prison vacation?
        •  Read about his partner (none)
          Kidan and the Suncruz deal... particularly the additional trial of the mod hitmen and the murder of the Boulis. Abramoff may well be facing something a little stronger then bribing congressmen.
          •  I didn't express myself well (none)
            I meant to ask if you think Abramoff is scared of jail time and if so, how many years would make him agreeable to "work with the prosecution".

            Or in other words, could he face the death penalty of life in prison, because he might be linked to the mobsters and the murder of Boulis?

            Is that possible charge what made him willing to cooperative in your opinion? Because if he just faced a couple of years in prison, I don't believe it would bother him too much. For some reason I still doubt that he plays straight with the prosecutors and the whole thing might be a set-up. Well, late-night paranoia and too much of reading weird stuff.

            •  I don't think it (none)
              is a set-up and he isn't directly implicated in the murder trial yet which consists solely of the mob guys... so far. I'm thinking that the fact that Scanlon and Kidan have already turned is the reason he turned. Kidan because it means he can concentrate on the murder trial (which he is one step away from being pulled into - it is already known he did some previous business with one of the hitmen) without juggling multiple trials at once. But for Abramoff I doubt he would make a plea if it wasn't that it is all going to come out regardless of whether he clams up or not. He may as well get the best deal he can for himself.

              And snakes rarely protect other snakes.

              And these guys are the slimiest of snakes.

  •  Aren't any of you worried that, (none)
    With a Bush Juctice Department, Abramoff being a Republican and scum like Cheney and Rove in the White House, that you will see a ton of Dems indicted and hardly any Republicans?
  •  How far down... (4.00)
    ... the Order of Presidential Succession do we have to impeach and/or convict in order to find and honest President?
    •  Modify the list... (4.00)
      put Howard Dean in there...and that would be how far down we need to go :>
    •  Beyond our view. (none)
      I can't find one.

      Need to get the 2006 election squared up... and get a Democratic Speaker.

      Bush and Cheney can then sweat WMD.

      "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

      by ogre on Fri Dec 30, 2005 at 08:32:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  *shudders* (none)
      Why does Ted Stevens have to be so near the top?

      What a nightmare that would be.

      "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." -Gandhi

      by midvalley on Fri Dec 30, 2005 at 09:09:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  of course that won't be the way it works (none)
      if bush is near impeachment, cheney will resign for 'health reasons' bush will have to appoint a new vp who is confirmed by both houses. it will gum up the works and position whoever they choose for 2008. only roves paranoia and cheneys appetite for evil can get in the way. btw this is karl's last election, at least in front of the curtain. look for new improved nastiness

      "The pen is mightier than the sword, but only at a range of greater than five feet" Malaclypse the Younger

      by buhdydharma on Fri Dec 30, 2005 at 09:23:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's another way (none)
        first off, no bush nominee will make it out of the Senate

        and just to cover all the bases, you have to consider that 14 repuglicans will join the democrats in a deal to elevate a new Representative to the Speaker's Chair, Impeach Cheney, and Impeach bush, making the new Speaker next in line to the presidency

        a deal on a "Reform" Speaker and a discharge petition for impeachment is the best way for the repuglican party to save what little credibility it has left

        Ben Masel had proposed a repulican name for the speaker when he first offered this idea, but I can't remember who it was

        I think this type of deal is the most probable

        •  More likely (none)
          given the craven nature of the House and Senate powerplays...

          If Cheney went down and it was clear that Bush and Hastert were soon to follow then an agreement would be reached (not easily) on a compromise "caretaker" member of the House to be "nominated" by bush and confirmed by the Senate as the new Vice President. This "caretaker" would be a Gerald Ford or Bingo Bob. Someone that would not be threatening to those Senators and Representatives with Presidential aspirations of their own. Either a milquetoast candidate or an aging one that would not run for re-election but would mearly keep the Presidential seat warm.

          From the age perspective Sen. Byrd would be perfect but perhaps Sen. John Warner would fit the bill? Haven't really thought it through potential candidates for the caretaker role.

  •  Abramoff is the tip of the iceberg (4.00)
    The vast majority of the Bush/DeLay corruption regime is more related to defense/Iraq contracting than to ripping off casino Indians.

    But Abramoff is a softer target than Bush's oil/defense buddies, so his shit will be the first to hit the fan.

    But he won't be the last.

    The Republicans want to cut YOUR Social Security benefits.

    by devtob on Fri Dec 30, 2005 at 07:56:09 PM PST

    •  Notice the cross-over (none)
      between Abramoff, Delay, Doolittle and into the whole Duke Cunningham business which is defense industry related. Doolittle may be the dot that connects it. I'll be surprised if that one gets pursued all that far into the nitty gritty though.
    •  Abramoff was the iceburg (4.00)
      as it related toward DeLay's indictment in Texas (a scene still unravelling); but I agree with you that there are larger scandals in defense and contracting than even Abramoff will unveil.  We haven't really caught the big fish yet, and I am not clear we ever will.  

      What a tangled web we weave is so tangled I am not clear we will ever get to the heart of it.  We all know that the corruption is rooted deeply, and involves many layers in Congress, the White House, the various layers of the Executive, and deeply into huge household names like GE; but can it be proven without a big fish?

      The big fish could be Ken Lay...or Dick Cheney...but neither are in such hot water than they will open the Pandoras box of scandal...

  •  "Family Values" (4.00)
    Looks like the Abramoff/DeLay/Ney et. al. folks "Family Values" were those of Michael Corleone...
    An Extensive Web of Financial Ties
    Nonprofit Group Linked to DeLay Was Funded Mostly by Clients of Abramoff

    By R. Jeffrey Smith
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Saturday, December 31, 2005; Page A01

    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.
    ...
    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.
    ...
    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.
    (Emphasis added.)

    Sounds like the Bug Man better start getting some prison reform funding measures passed - he'll be appreciating the need for it soon enough. I wonder whether this snake-in-the-astroturf organization has any clones running about?  Might be interesting to dig around and see...

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