Friday, November 04, 2005
DeLay's Staff Tried to Help Abramoff
Rep. Tom Delay's staff tried to help lobbyist Jack Abramoff win access to Interior Secretary Gale Norton, an effort that succeeded after Abramoff's Indian tribe clients began funneling a quarter-million dollars to an environmental group founded by Norton.
'Do you think you could call that friend and set up a meeting,' then-DeLay staffer Tony Rudy wrote to fellow House aide Thomas Pyle in a Dec. 29, 2000, e-mail titled 'Gale Norton-Interior Secretary.'...
...Rudy wrote Abramoff that same day promising he had 'good news' about securing a meeting with Norton, forwarding information about the environmental group Norton had founded, according to e-mails obtained by investigators and reviewed by The Associated Press. Rudy's message to Abramoff was sent from Congress' official e-mail system.
Within months, Abramoff clients donated heavily to the Norton-founded group and the lobbyist and one of the tribes he represented won face-to-face time with the secretary during a Sept. 24, 2001, dinner sponsored by the group she had founded.
Abramoff's clients were trying to stop a rival Indian tribe from winning Interior Department approval to build a casino.