Skip to comments.(3rd Houston Chronicle hit-piece today) What real smoking memo might mean to Tom DeLay
Posted on 04/13/2005 1:07:24 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Will Jack Abramoff be Tom DeLay's Monica Lewinsky?
No, not that way. Get your mind out of the gutter.
But remember two things.
First, Bill Clinton skirted serious trouble (regarding womanizing in his instance) until Lewinsky produced the stained blue dress. Then all his finger-wagging protestations (not to mention perjured deposition) were for naught. The DNA was damning.
Second, even after the dress, Clinton hung on despite Republican efforts to dethrone him.
That's the good news, bad news as we contemplate what it could mean to DeLay if a lobbyist starts singing for the feds.
Jack Abramoff is the once-high-flying lawyer-lobbyist at the heart of much of the recent disclosures about the House majority leader's own high flying on foreign trips.
Abramoff also is the focus of federal and congressional investigations into influence-peddling in relation to his big-bucks representational dealings (alongside a former DeLay aide) with Indian tribal casinos.
DeLay, R-Sugar Land, has denied any knowledge of the real source of funds that paid for foreign travel by himself and associates.
But DeLay defenders, both in Washington and Texas, are reading closely and with some trepidation the latest issue of Newsweek, which raises the question of whether Abramoff, if he faces indictment, might deal with prosecutors.
According to the Newsweek report (by Michael Isikoff, a leader in Lewinski reportage), Abramoff has been less than happy with denials from DeLay and associates.
"Those S.O.B.s," Abramoff is quoted as telling "a luncheon companion." "DeLay knew everything. He knew all the details."
An Abramoff spokesman Tuesday e-mailed the Chronicle a statement saying Abramoff "strongly denies" the comments. He would, wouldn't he, until a deal, if one is to be made with the feds, is reached.
Mindful, perhaps, of Lewinsky's dress, Newsweek asks the key question about what Abramoff could offer: "Does he really have the goods ... ?"
"The goods" could be any number of things. "The goods," most likely, would not be simply Abramoff's testimony. The feds almost certainly would be looking for paper. Without paper, Abramoff would be no better a witness than some of the tainted folks in the Michael Jackson case whom the entertainer's defense has shredded on cross examination (at least according to reports by trial mavens on The Coast).
"The goods" will probably have to be more even than a transparent reference to "you know who" in an e-mail between Abramoff and one of the tribes, as cited by The New York Times. The paper said a tribal official had identified the hinted-at person as DeLay.
Newsweek quotes Abramoff's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, as saying there had been "no negotiations" with the Justice Department, but that does not negate reports that Abramoff could, at some point, be open to a deal.
He's dead meat, as of now, and might not be averse to taking DeLay with him.
Could DeLay, following the Clinton model, hang on? It would be harder. For all the Republicans' high dudgeon about Clinton, it was largely a question of really bad personal judgment. If Abramoff can implicate DeLay, it would be about a question of public policy.
But as things stand now, don't put a lot of money on DeLay being seen off soon.
So while waiting for the Abramoff investigation, as well as other inquiries that touch on DeLay, to unfold, another eye has to be kept on any Republican defections from the majority leader on either end of Pennsylvania Avenue. So far, the troops have remained in tight formation.
Would DeLay prefer that Rep. Chris Shays, R-Conn., shut up? Almost certainly. But Shays reflects such an infinitesimal (as well as predictable) slice of the Republican caucus in the House, that his disowning of DeLay barely registers on the political seismic scale.
Shays' comment over the weekend, in a town meeting in his up-market district, that DeLay is "an absolute embarrassment" to him is true. But Shays' comments were designed to protect himself from the wrath of moderate constituents.
More worrying for DeLay will have been the call of Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., for the majority leader to "lay out what he did and why he did it" regarding foreign travel on a lobbyist's dime. But Santorum, too, was doing a little posturing, ahead of a re-election campaign next year in which he will be one of the most targeted Republicans incumbents.
The biggest test for DeLay is continued support from the White House. So far, so good for DeLay unless you're willing to parse the continuing statements from spokesman Scott McClellan more finely than I am.
If Bush decides to back off from DeLay, we'll know it when we hear it (or, more likely, when we do not hear it).
Hines is a Houston Chronicle columnist based in Washington, D.C. (email@example.com)
||Rush has had it with Phony Republicans today! -- I have a message for the Republicans in Washington. If you want to be the minority Party we'll MAKE you the minority Party or run ordinary citizens against you. People that don't care what the MSM or Dems have to say. Get off your butts and start representating US!|
By the end of each business day Rush uploads most of that day's show to the free side of his website. Click on Rush's logo to go to his site.
|The Truth About DeLay (The outrages against him must stop. -Ben Stein)|
|-- The attack against him in the Texas courts are an outrageous -- but sadly emblematic -- Democrat attempt to use the judicial system to defeat the electoral process. The DA who is tormenting him is the same one who made up an indictment of Kay Bailey Hutchison out of whole cloth to try to reverse the results of a solid electoral victory by the Republican party in Texas. He may not be perfect, but, he is one of the best of the current crop, one of the few that really understand the problems that face our Nation and willing to take the hits from not only the Demos, but many of the wimpy RINOS that are supposed to be on the same side to see that America stays strong and safe.|
Rush rocked yesterday!
He's absolutely right!
What a shameful article, entirely composed of innuendo and speculation. Tabloids have more meat than did the article for this thread.
It's not the substance of the charge, it's the seriousness of the accusation.
I heard some of it, and he is absolutely right. It's time for us peasants to revolt, and show some of these perfumed, decadent princes the door.
Tom DeLay swelled the ranks in the House, we can afford to cut out some of the infected herd.
The Chonicle is nothing more than a LIBERAL rag - a hatchet machine for the Democrat Party.
How can you quote someone using heresay?
Not much of a paper.
democrat speculation is news now.
Gotta love how the (fifth) columnist basically admits that they can't get DeLay, lays out more innuendo and prays for it to stick.
Fag Hines ping.
Craggy Chronic from yesterday's media.
This is a stellar example of what the msm has been doing to Democratic Party opposition for decades.
Jack Abramoff on Google
Yeah, I'm concerned about Rush too. News has been rough lately. We are so close to a historic victory, and we are meeting so much resistance, I think it's a strain on everyone. FReegards....
Barf alert, related:
A Lobbyist's Progress (Jack Abramoff and the end of the Republican Revolution)
In a way, I do wish Rush would strongly consider evacuating the US. It's a legal/beaurocratic minefield out here. He would not feel right talking about US politics if he did, I suppose.
But to me, for a statesman to be so hated he's driven into exhile, that only adds to his stature. I can't imagine how much time is taken up in his life with all the beaurocratic BS out here. How much more time would he have to focus on politics if he left?
And apparantly, the number of chickens involved too - *bump*