Jack’s Back!

Published: July 12, 2017

By Jim Lichtman
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In 2005, New York Times Magazine described him this way:

“ ‘Can you smell money?!?!?!” Jack Abramoff wrote.

“The scent of money was coming from the Saginaw Chippewa, the owners of the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort — a $400-million-a-year enterprise in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. Abramoff and his informal business partner, Michael Scanlon, an independent public-relations consultant who had been a spokesman in DeLay’s Congressional office, had begun to specialize in representing Indian tribes with casino operations. They hoped for a contract with this tribe.

“ ‘Did we win it?’ Scanlon wrote back.

“ ‘The [expletive] troglodytes didn’t vote on you today,’ Abramoff responded.

“ ‘What’s a troglodyte?’ Scanlon asked.”

What illegality was Abramoff involved in? Wikipedia has a separate file page on each of them:

The Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal.

The Jack Abramoff Guam Investigation

The Sun/Cruz Casinos Investigation

Multi-Billion Dollar Homeland Security Contract

Abramoff also made several payments to writer Doug Bandow at the Cato Institute to write favorable op-eds.

Ohhhh, THAT Jack Abramoff.

And now, apparently, he’s back in business.

According to The Center for Public Integrity (June 22), Abramoff was, for several months “during late 2016 and early 2017… attempted to schedule a meeting between Donald Trump and the controversial president of the Republic of Congo, according to Department of Justice records obtained by The Center…

“Abramoff, the documents detail, was aiding an Italian national hoping to earn a consulting contract with the Republic of Congo that, in part, sought to polish its image in the United States.

“There’s no evidence,” The Center reports, “that a meeting or phone call between Trump and Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso ever took place.

But the revelation that Abramoff formally registered as an agent working to advance the interests of a foreign government stands in stark contrast to the political reformist image Abramoff has cut for himself since he emerged from federal prison in 2010.

“Abramoff this month filed his retroactive lobbying disclosures at the request of the Department of Justice and promptly terminated his association with the Italian national — Costel Iancu of the firm Global Scructures Group in Bucharest, Romania — and the Congolese government.

“Abramoff, reached Wednesday evening, referred questions to his lawyer, Peter Zeidenberg of law firm Arent Fox.

“Zeidenberg said he and Abramoff didn’t believe the filing under the Foreign Agent Registration Act was necessary, but submitted the disclosures after the Department of Justice, which administers FARA, requested them.

“Under FARA, a person working on behalf of a foreign government to influence the U.S. government must file disclosures within 10 days of agreeing to act as a foreign agent — and before doing anything to benefit a foreign government. …

“In a letter to the Department of Justice that Zeidenberg provided to the Center for Public Integrity, Zeidenberg said Iancu ‘sought to assist the Republic of Congo in helping the Congo to, among other things, defeat the terrorist organization Boko Haram.’

“Abramoff never had a written or oral agreement,” The Center says, “with either Iancu or the Congolese government, Zeidenberg said. Nor did Iancu.

“Nevertheless, the colorful narrative detailed in the new Department of Justice documents shows Abramoff going to great lengths to secure a meeting with Trump for Sassou Nguesso, whose more than three-decade rule has been marred by accusations of corruption and nepotism.

“Abramoff ‘flew to Palm Beach on his own initiative, and without any compensation’ the filing says.

“While there, Abramoff called Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., ‘to see if he could assist with setting up a meeting with President-Elect Trump since Rep. Rohrabacher has been a leader in Congress opposing radical Islam.’

“Abramoff then drafted a letter for Rohrabacher, who once visited Abramoff in prison, to send to Sassou Nguesso.

“Rohrabacher in February told Politico, which first reported details of Abramoff’s latter-day lobbying efforts, that he transferred Abramoff’s wording onto congressional stationery and sent it. …

“In 2006, Abramoff pleaded guilty to felonies and his name became synonymous with corruption in the nation’s capital. The scandal spurred the passage of new lobbying laws and ethics rules.”

Sounds like Jack’s back and trolling for work to “help” more politicians.


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