Abramoff, Scanlon, Reed Fleece Indian Tribe
Jack Abramoff and Mike Scanlon, two Delay associates turned big shot Washington lobbyists, worked with Ralph Reed to stamp out tribal casinos in Texas, then extorted money from the same tribes to fight the positions they had just pushed through. The Washington Post has laid its hands on some damning email exchanges between Reed, Abramoff and Scanlon. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee, chaired by John McCain, is holding a hearing on related issues tomorrow, and the shit should hit the fan. Greenberg Traurig, Abramoff's previous employer, has an internal investigaton underway, and a grand jury is also investigating the situation. [Original Post story; today's editorial; El Paso Times article on outrage at the tribe; Kos diary 1; Kos diary 2]
Less than a month ago, Reed, who is Bush's Southeastern regional campaign chairman, claimed to not know that Abramoff and Scanlon were working for tribal casinos. This contradicts an earlier statement he made to the Mongomery Advertiser, where he noted:
He said Abramoff, a longtime friend, asked him to form a coalition of churches and other anti-gambling groups to defeat casino gambling initiatives in Alabama and other states.Here is the Washington Post's first story on the subject, from back in August. It has more details on the investigation:
Reed said Abramoff told him the money he would be paid would come from Indians who operate casinos and want to eliminate possible competition, but it would not be paid with casino revenues.
"He said I can draw the funds from non-gambling enterprises" operated by the tribes, Reed said.
McGregor, the Alabama dog track operator, laughed at the attempt to draw a distinction between the Indians' non-gambling revenue and gambling revenue." [Also here]
Federal officials have assembled a criminal task force from the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service, the Justice Department's public integrity section, the National Indian Gaming Commission and the Interior Department inspector general's office, according to officials familiar with the investigation. The task force is looking into payments that Abramoff and Scanlon received from an array of clients, including 11 wealthy Indian tribes that operate gambling casinos.Abramoff also happened to have a fraudulent charity nominally focused on teaching kids "sportsmanship." He's an expert on fair play, no doubt learned from Reed.
Task force investigators have subpoenaed records at Reed's firm, Century Strategies, along with records of many other subcontractors for Abramoff and Scanlon, according to sources familiar with aspects of the inquiry.