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Feds Investigate Reid’s Abramoff Dealings

From Brian Ross at ABC News (so take it with a large grain of salt):

Abramoff Reports to Prison; Officials Focus on Reid, Others

November 15, 2006

Brian Ross and Rhonda Schwartz Report:

As convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff reported to federal prison today, a source close to the investigation surrounding his activities told ABC News that Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was one of the members of Congress Abramoff had allegedly implicated in his cooperation with federal prosecutors.

A spokesperson for Reid, elected yesterday as the Senate Majority Leader, said the senator had done nothing illegal or unethical.

"We have no idea what Abramoff is telling prosecutors to save his skin, but I do know that these kind of old allegations are completely ridiculous and untrue," Sen. Reid’s spokesman Jim Manley told ABC News.

A source close to the investigation says Abramoff told prosecutors that more than $30,000 in campaign contributions to Reid from Abramoff’s clients "were no accident and were in fact requested by Reid."

Abramoff has reportedly claimed the Nevada senator agreed to help him on matters related to Indian gambling.

The Associated Press reported earlier this year that Reid wrote at least four letters helpful to the tribes that had contributed money to his campaign.

Reid has denied there was any connection between the letters and the contributions and has said he is a longtime opponent of certain kinds of Indian reservation gambling.

The AP reported that Reid acknowledged "routine contacts" with Abramoff’s lobbying partners and intervening to block rival tribal casinos.

The AP also reported that Abramoff’s billing records showed extensive contact with Reid’s office over a three-year period in which Reid collected more than $68,000 from Abramoff’s firm, partners and clients.

Prosecutors have said that Abramoff’s cooperation is essential to the corruption investigation, but, so far, they have brought only one prosecution against a member of Congress connected to Abramoff, Republican Bob Ney of Ohio, who resigned…

So why couldn’t this have been reported before last Tuesday?

We know why of course.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, November 15th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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