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Greenberg Traurig (GT), a major GOP partisan law and lobbying shop, has been indicted on federal charges in the Marianas Islands sweatshop case.  The firm employed notorious political fixer Jack Abramoff.

Abramoff’s firm has a long history as a conduit for illegal foreign campaign contributions.  GT were Bush's Campaign Lawyers during the 2000 Florida Recount, and is now a major donor to HRC's presidential campaign, according to the lastest FEC data.

Greenberg Traurig and the Tan Family, who are the center of the Saipan sweatshop and prostitution scandal, have both made large HRC campaign contributions.

In a odd coincidence, GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain chaired the Senate Committee which investigated Abramoff.  As dengre has informed us, McCain's committee continues to withhold all but 8000 pages of the three-quarter of a million documents turned over to it.

This has the makings of a major presidential campaign blowup, if HRC gets the nomination.

MORE below . . .

Records show that beginning in the mid-1990s, Hillary Clinton developed a donor relationship with the Tan Family, a wealthy Chinese ethnic clan that owns many of the businesses implicated in the Marianas bribery, prostitution, and human trafficking scandal.

Tan money flowed into the HRC campaign coffers as recently as 2005.  This raises two questions, what does John McCain and his staff know about Clinton’s ties to the Tan that the public doesn't?  Why is the US Attorney recommencing the Fraud and Conspiracy trial now after it was shut down in 2002 in the first of the now notorious US Attorney firings?

Source: ABC News

Jack Abramoff's old lobby firm has been slapped with its first indictment stemming from his misdeeds.

The attorney general for Guam issued an indictment Monday against the Greenberg Traurig firm, Abramoff and a former Guam government official on nine felony counts of theft, conspiracy and misconduct.

From 2001 to 2003, the indictment alleges, Guam Superior Court official Anthony P. Sanchez funneled $324,000 in public funds to Abramoff and Greenberg Traurig in a series of $9,000 checks, disguised as payments to a third party. The court reportedly wanted Abramoff to keep it from becoming subject to rulings by the Guam Supreme Court. Abramoff agreed to represent the court at a meeting at his Washington, D.C. restaurant, Signatures, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The payments, which were publicly reported in U.S. papers in 2005, had formed the basis of a 2002 investigation by the U.S. attorney for the region at the time, Frederick Black.

Read more: http://www.abcnews.go.com/...  

Abramoff's Firm Fined for Illegal Foreign Campaign Donations

Greenberg Traurig (GT) has a long history as both a major GOP partisan law firm and as a conduit for illegal foreign campaign contributions.  GT were Bush's campaign lawyers during the 2000 Florida Recount.

That law firm, which hosted Abramoff's lobbying shop, was previously convicted of knowingly accepting illegal foreign campaign contributions. A German paid the largest fine to date for that offense after a foreign contribution went through a GT lobbyist in 1998. Under Federal Election Commission laws, foreign individuals and companies are barred from contributing to American political campaigns and parties.

Under Abramoff’s lead, lobbying pumped more than $26 million into GT’s coffers in 2003, alone, a seven-fold increase over what it had been before Bush-Cheney took the White House.

This raises an obvious question: when are we ever going to hear more about how Jack Abramoff funneled money to the GOP from Islamic banks and fees from groups tied to terrorist finance? According to reports published in The Hill, a respected Washington political newsletter, after 9/11, Abramoff continued to do business at GT on behalf of Islamic banks that had been accused of financing terrorist groups. We must now ask, is this part of the Republican influence-peddling scheme ever going to be revealed in court documents, or is it forever going to be buried as part of Jack's plea agreement with the Bush Justice Department? See, http://www.dailykos.com/... ; http://www.dailykos.com/...

Abramoff’s law firm was aware of his unlawful practices months before The Washington Post first reported on them in 2004. Greenberg Traurig claims it had no knowledge of Abramoff's wrongdoing until it was revealed in The Post.

Reporting in national media, including The Washington Post which has been covering the Abramoff story closely, have virtually ignored foreign sources of fees and funding collected by Abramoff and his various shell companies, money which if it were commingled with Jack's political contributions to the Republican Party would be a violation of federal law.

Greenberg Traurig and the Tan Family are also major HRC campaign contributors

You have to wonder why a big GOP law firm and lobbying shop is giving so much money to Hillary.

Open Secrets: http://www.opensecrets.org/...

HILLARY CLINTON (D)
Top Contributors

DLA Piper  $490,800
Goldman Sachs  $426,100
Morgan Stanley  $368,670
Citigroup Inc  $353,900
EMILY's List  $283,142
Lehman Brothers  $254,400
JP Morgan Chase & Co  $231,220
National Amusements Inc  $217,500
Skadden, Arps et al  $198,610
Greenberg Traurig LLP  $185,400
Kirkland & Ellis  $182,550
PricewaterhouseCoopers  $173,650
Merrill Lynch  $165,750
Time Warner  $163,650
University of California  $161,318
Microsoft Corp  $152,570
Latham & Watkins  $148,788
Cablevision Systems  $146,013
Bear Stearns  $145,090
Patton Boggs  $142,550

What Does John McCain Have Up His Sleave About Hillary & the Tan Family?

And, then, there's this item that shows that Hillary Clinton has long been getting big money from the corrupt Chinese-based Tan family, who are at the center of the Abramoff Marianas sweatshop scandal: http://thehill.com/...

Hillary Clinton and the sweatshop tycoon of Saipan  
By Byron York  
Posted: 03/16/06 12:00 AM [ET]  

You may remember news reports a few weeks ago about the nationwide reach of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s fundraising network.

The nonpartisan website PoliticalMoneyLine reported that her biggest political action committee, Friends of Hillary, has raised more than $20 million since the beginning of 2005.

Some of that money came, as it does in any campaign, from donors who gave less than $200. Such contributions do not have to be reported to the Federal Election Commission, and thus we have no information about them.

But of the more than $13 million that came from individuals whose contributions were reported, $5.63 million came from Mrs. Clinton’s "home" state, New York.

Donors in California gave $1.54 million. Washington, D.C., accounted for $603,360. And donors in Sen. Clinton’s actual "home" state, Illinois, gave $554,088.

The list goes on and on. Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan — until it gets to something called "MP."

Do you know what "MP" is? Neither did I.

It stands for Marianas Protectorate, and it refers to the Northern Mariana Islands.

It turns out that Sen. Clinton has some big fans in Saipan. And most of them are in the family of one Willie Tan.

Last year, Tan gave $2,000 to Friends of Hillary. So did Raymond Tan, Siu Lin Tan and Josie Tan, all members of Willie Tan’s family.

FEC records indicate that the $2,000 checks from Willie, Raymond and Siu Lin were all received on Sept. 30, 2005, indicating they were sent together. The check from Josie was received Oct. 2.

Together, the Tan family’s $8,000 contribution to Friends of Hillary was more than the senator’s PAC received, separately, from residents of the entire states of Hawaii, Mississippi, Nebraska, Vermont, Utah, Kansas, Wyoming, Alaska, Idaho, South Dakota, Montana or North Dakota.

You might not have heard of Willie Tan, but he is quite well-known in the Northern Marianas as a garment-industry tycoon. Sometimes he’s also described as a sweatshop operator.

He is also well-known in the U.S. Congress, where some of Sen. Clinton’s fellow Democrats have denounced him and his factories, which pay subminimum wages, for years, mostly because of his tireless efforts to make sure those factories are never subjected to U.S. labor laws.

SNIP

Why was Willie Tan paying Abramoff? Because Abramoff could provide access to U.S. lawmakers. Last year, ABC News reported that Abramoff "arranged a lavish overseas trip to the island of Saipan for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay [R-Texas] over the New Year’s holiday in 1997."

Correspondent Brian Ross reported that DeLay met with Willie Tan during the trip, and ABC played a surreptitiously recorded tape in which Tan claimed that DeLay had promised to stop moves in Congress to reform the island’s garment factories.

Last year, National Journal reported that Tan also met with DeLay and Abramoff during DeLay’s 2000 trip to England and Scotland.

And a few months ago The Washington Post reported that "the owners of textile companies in the Mariana Islands" — that would include Willie Tan — contributed $500,000 to the U.S. Family Network, the big-money, secret-donor group linked to DeLay.

Now, normally one might expect Sen. Clinton to denounce someone like that — if only for his ties to all those terrible Republicans. (In 2000 and 2004, Willie Tan contributed to the Bush-Cheney campaigns.)

SNIP

Of course, he’s an old friend. Several years ago, the Post reported that Mrs. Clinton met with Tan and other like-minded supporters during a quick fundraising visit to Guam in 1995.

But these days Sen. Clinton is being quiet about all that. A spokesman for Friends of Hillary did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the Willie Tan contributions.

But at some point in the coming campaign(s), perhaps she’ll be asked about her friend in Saipan.

In early 2006, Hillary's campaign transferred $2000 of these Tan donations to a NY State charity.  But, she kept the rest.

I think that time to start asking questions about Hillary's more-than-decade-long money ties to the Tan has finally arrived.  Surely, if we don't, McCain will.  He had three-quarters of a million pages of unreleased Abramoff-related documents still under wraps in his committee files.  As Chairman of the Senate commitee that investigated Abramoff, McCain managed to keep all but 8000 pages of documents under seal.  

One may safely wager that the subject of Mrs. Clinton and the Tans will be raised if she becomes the Democratic presidential candidate.  

We don't need this kind of surprise to pop up about the nominee in the midst of the presidential campaign.
_________________________________
UPDATE:

To respond to those comments that questioned the significance of Greenberg Traurig's donation to HRC, may I point out that GT is listed as the #4 donor among 20 top McCain Top Contributors by Open Secrets: http://www.opensecrets.org/...

GT appears right in the middle of the list of 20 HRC Top Contributors. http://www.opensecrets.org/...

But, Greenberg Traurig does NOT appear as a Top Contributor for Barak Obama: http://www.opensecrets.org/...

Furthermore, GT actually gave $35,000 more to HRC than the $150,000 it donated to McCain. The fact that Abramoff's firm gave MORE to Clinton than to McCain tends to strengthen my argument that Hillary is vulnerable on the campaign donations issue.

That's the overriding point of this diary.
 

Originally posted to leveymg on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 06:46 AM PDT.

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