Wednesday, April 12, 2006

E-mails show Abramoff used donations to spur GOP help

When Jack Abramoff's lobbying team wanted to press Republican leaders for help with a tribal client, they minced no words. The help was deserved because Abramoff's clients overwhelmingly donated to Republicans.

E-mails that have become important evidence in the Abramoff corruption probe state the lobbyist's team bluntly discussed with a Republican Party official using large political donations as a way to pressure lawmakers and the administration into securing federal money for the Saginaw Chippewa of Michigan.

Abramoff's team ultimately prevailed in securing federal school building money for the Saginaw, overcoming opposition from a single Republican congressional aide and a federal agency along the way. And the lawmakers who helped get thousands of dollars in fresh donations.

Federal bribery law prohibits public officials from taking actions because of gifts or political donations and bars lobbyists from demanding government action in exchange for donations.

Abramoff's team repeatedly discussed donations as the reason Republican leaders should intervene for the Saginaw, the e-mails show.

FULL STORY

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