ABRAMOFF: Shooting Bushies in a Barrel
“BN had a great time and
is very grateful but is not going to mention the trip to Scotland for obvious
reasons. He said he’ll show his thanks in other ways, which is what we
Of course “BN” is Republican Representative Bob Ney,
who just might be the next one to fall, that is after Tom Delay is ousted as leader for good.
Once-powerful lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty
in federal court Wednesday to conspiracy and wire fraud stemming from his
2000 purchase of a gambling boat fleet.
The plea by Abramoff, 46, before U.S. District Judge
Paul C. Huck came a day after Abramoff entered guilty pleas to three other
federal charges as part of an agreement with prosecutors requiring him to
cooperate in a broad corruption investigation into members of Congress.
Like a business partner did last month, Abramoff pleaded
guilty to concocting a false $23 million wire transfer making it appear the
pair contributed a sizable stake of their own cash into the $147.5 million
purchase of SunCruz Casinos.
The story of SunCruz gambling taxis is quite a doozy. You've got
the mob entangled twit, who Republican
Representative Bob Ney said was “well known as a solid individual
and a respected member of his community.” Seriously, where do the
Republicans get these people, Idiots 'R Us?
But nothing surpasses Black Jack Abramoff, who today said “Guilty,
your honor,” in response to a fraud indictment over a bogus $23 million
wire transfer that was to go to Gus Boulis, the guy who was murdered by the
mob over the sale.
By 2002 the investigation into
the murder of Gus Boulis had stalled. “Boulis Slaying Investigation Loses
Impetus,” read the front-page headline in the Sun-Sentinel. The problem
was that police had not been able to secure the cooperation of key witnesses.
Moscatiello and Ferrari refused to talk to the authorities. Kidan answered
questions, but Ft. Lauderdale police told the Sun-Sentinel that they felt
he had not been “totally candid with us.” The police had also scheduled
several appointments to talk to Jack Abramoff. Abramoff broke each appointment.
Years passed. Then last summer Abramoff and
Kidan were arrested, and things began to look different. Within a week of
his arrest police sent Abramoff's attorney a letter requesting his cooperation
in the Boulis case. The attorney, Neal Sonnett, told the Miami Herald that
Abramoff had “always been willing to cooperate.” The problem was
that the police “never followed through.” The story reporting Abramoff's
cooperation appeared in the Miami Herald on August 17. A little over a month
later Moscatiello and his co-defendants were under arrest.
Anyone wondering who dropped a dime on Moscatiello & Co.? Black Jack, baby,
so if he's going to rat out mobsters, can Republicans be far behind?
But Jack Abramoff didn't start at SunCruz, though the sale and drama surrounding
it shows how far he'd fallen and how low he would stoop when the end came.
In February 2002, Abramoff and Scanlon signed up the
tribe as a client, trading in part on their close ties to DeLay and on Abramoff’s
claim that he would work for free to win the tribe’s business later.
By March, Abramoff had enlisted the Ohio congressman. As he told Scanlon in
an e-mail: “Just met with Ney!!! We’re f’ing gold!!!
He’s going to do Tigua.” A week later, Abramoff wrote
to Texas-based lobbyist Marc Schwartz, explaining that the tribe needed to
contribute to Ney’s campaign and political action committees — and
tribal leaders soon forked over $32,000. By April, Scanlon indicated to Schwartz
that Dodd was on board, too.
Soon, however, the congressman required still more
favors. In June, Abramoff wrote to Schwartz again: “Our friend [Ney]
asked if we could â€¦ cover a Scotland golf trip for him and some staff
â€¦ and members in August,” just like the trip DeLay had taken two
years earlier. Brie?ng Scottish parliamentarians about an American charity
doesn’t seem to have been a top priority of Ney’s trip (although
he did actually visit the Parliament in Edinburgh for what a staffer there
describes as a “brief courtesy call”).
… in his best David Mamet tough-guy style, Abramoff
called Schwartz to complain. “Dodd fucked us!” he said.
“Ney is fuming that the bastard went back on his word. We were fucked
by a Democrat!” He then urged Schwartz and the tribal of?cials
to scramble to ?nd other legislators who could persuade Dodd to support the
measure, but those last-ditch efforts failed.
Yeah, damn Senator Chris Dodd and those Democrats, they get in the way every time.