Details about the Abramoff trip to Scotland have emerged. Does it surprise anyone that these details have been released on Friday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend?
Details after the jump.
From the story:
In the first case arising from the Abramoff influence peddling probe, an FBI agent read out the names of the participants on a weeklong golf excursion to Scotland and London that Ney, R-Ohio, Reed and two congressional staffers went on with Abramoff in August 2002.
The records show that the private jet chartered by Abramoff cost $92,000, while the golfing party enjoyed accommodations at luxury hotels in Scotland and London that cost thousands of dollars for each participant.
Ney's chief of staff, William Heaton, was on the trip, as was Paul Vinovich, counsel to the House Administration Committee, which Ney chaired. Ney has stepped down from that post amid the ongoing Abramoff investigation. Also on the Scotland trip was Neil Volz, Ney's previous chief of staff who in 2002 had just gone to work for Abramoff. Volz has pleaded guilty in the criminal investigation of the lobbyist and is slated to testify in the criminal trial.
So we now have details in the public record about this trip. How much it cost, who was on it.
Also, there are records about what the lobbying interests were between Reed, Ney and Abramoff.
Abramoff's Native American clients wanted to develop the Old Post Office Building - which Safavian, as chief of staff to the GSA administrator, had influence over.
Reed, of course, had influence over fundamentalists who might object to competitors to competitors to Abramoff's client's casinos.
So I don't know who decided that this information should be released on Friday afternoon - but I have to assume that the hope is that this information will not be discussed this weekend, because reporters have already filed their stories and loaded up their cars for the trip to the Eastern Shore, and on Tuesday it will be old news and nobody will care any more.
But here it is, in black and white.
A bunch of crooks.