Wednesday :: Mar 8, 2006

More Abramoff Revelations Imminent


by Steve

Despite his attorney’s threat last week that his client would start naming names soon if he wasn’t allowed to cut his best deal with the feds for his cooperation, it appears that Jack Abramoff has told part of the story to Vanity Fair for their upcoming edition. And even with this small peek at what he could say, he manages to destroy the reelection chances of Montana GOP Senator Conrad Burns, and undermine any Bush/Rove disassociation attempts.

On President Bush:

President Bush, who claims not to remember having his picture taken with Abramoff. According to Abramoff, at one time, the president joked with Abramoff about his weight lifting past: “What are you benching, buff guy?"

On former Rove deputy Ken Mehlman:

According to documents obtained by Vanity Fair, Mehlman exchanged e-mail with Abramoff, and did him political favors (such as preventing Clinton administration alumnus Allen Stayman from keeping a State Department job), had Sabbath dinner at Abramoff’s house, and offered to pick up Abramoff’s tab at Signatures, Abramoff’s own restaurant.

On Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX):

Abramoff has “admired Tom DeLay and his family from the first meeting with him,” he tells Margolick. “We would sit and talk about the Bible. We would sit and talk about opera. We would sit and talk about golf,” Abramoff recalls. “I mean, we talked about philosophy and politics."


On Newt Gingrich:

Newt Gingrich, whose spokesman Rick Tyler tells Margolick that “Before [Abramoff’s] picture appeared on TV and in the newspapers, Newt wouldn’t have known him if he fell across him. He hadn’t seen him in 10 years.” A rankled Abramoff says “I have more pictures of [Newt] than I have of my wife."

On Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT):

Abramoff says: “Every appropriation we wanted [from Burns’s committee] we got. Our staffs were as close as they could be. They practically used Signatures as their cafeteria. I mean, it’s a little difficult for him to run from that record."

As for Burns, another bombshell hit him this morning.

The advance copy from Vanity Fair is here.

Hat tip to Nico Pitney of ThinkProgress.

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