New Charges In Abramoff Investigation

7 de junio de 2007

<body><div id="article"><tr><td height="23" valign="middle" width="184"></td><td valign="middle" width="185"></td></tr><h1>New Charges In Abramoff Investigation</h1><p>June 7, 2007 (LPAC)--Italia Federici, a low-level figure in the Abramoff/DeLay apparatus <em>,</em> has reportedly agreed to plead guilty to tax evasion and obstructing the Senate's investigation of Abramoff. <em>The Washington Post</em> says she's agreed to cooperate in the ongoing corruption probe. Federici co-founded, with Gale Norton and Abramoff-crony Grover Norquist, the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, the tenets of which were to let mining, timber, and oil companies decide land-use policies. Norton went on to become Pres. George W. Bush's Secretary of the Interior; her deputy secretary, coal-company lobbyist J. Steven Griles had been a leading figure in VP Cheney's "energy task force," and reportedly continued to collect his lobbying salary while regulating his clients.</p><p>The Interior Dept. is also the agency which contains the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which has oversight on matters such as "Indian casinos." The Senate Indian Affairs Committee which investigated the corruption involved in Abramoff's representation of casino-managing tribes, brought in Federici for questioning. Federici chose a confrontational course, and she's now been charged with lying about her relationship with Griles and Abramoff in her testimony. Griles pleaded guilty to similar charges in March of this year; Abramoff pleaded guilty and is serving his sentence in a Florida-venue corruption case, and is awaiting sentencing in the District of Columbia, pending his testimony in the corruption trial of former Cong. Bob Ney. It remains to be seen, whether the deal with Federici serves to forward the deeper investigation, or merely serves to clean up the minor players strewn about the landscape.</p></div></body>