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Firm Says House Lawyers Approved Payments for Trips(Delay/Abramoff)
NYTIMES ^ | 06/21/05 | PHILIP SHENON

Posted on 06/21/2005 6:45:34 AM PDT by Pikamax

Firm Says House Lawyers Approved Payments for Trips By PHILIP SHENON

WASHINGTON, June 20 - A law firm under scrutiny for its role in arranging overseas trips for members of Congress says House ethics lawyers advised the firm several years ago that it could pay for some Congressional travel, an assertion that may bolster the argument of Representative Tom DeLay that he did nothing wrong in accepting lavish trips organized by the firm's star lobbyist.

Internal memorandums and e-mail messages from the Seattle firm, Preston Gates & Ellis, say that the firm contacted two lawyers on the House ethics committee in 1996, when it began organizing large numbers of trips, and was told House rules probably allowed lobbyists to pay for a lawmaker's travel, as long as a client reimbursed the firm.

The memorandums and e-mail messages report that the ethics committee specifically addressed trips that the firm's chief lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, arranged for Mr. DeLay and other lawmakers to the Northern Mariana Islands, an American commonwealth in the Pacific that was among Mr. Abramoff's clients.

In 1997, a year after the firm's contact with the ethics committee, Mr. Abramoff arranged trips for Mr. DeLay to the Marianas and to Russia.

Mr. Abramoff also paid expenses for at least one other overseas trip for Mr. DeLay, a $70,000 visit in May 2000 to England and Scotland by Mr. DeLay, a Texas Republican, his wife and aides that may have been in violation of House rules. A House ethics manual issued a month earlier explicitly barred lobbyists from covering the travel costs of lawmakers, even if they were reimbursed.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: turass

1 posted on 06/21/2005 6:45:35 AM PDT by Pikamax
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To: Pikamax

Sounds like the Rats have quietly backed off of this one, not wanting their transgressions to see the light of day.


2 posted on 06/21/2005 6:47:05 AM PDT by dfwgator (Flush Newsweek!)
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To: Pikamax
Sounds like the dems got the rug pulled out from under them over this issue.
3 posted on 06/21/2005 6:51:14 AM PDT by b4its2late (FOOTBALL REFEREES: Best seat in the house, and we're paid to be there.)
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To: Pikamax

And although you would never know it by the stretched and plastered expression on her face, Nancy Pelosi is really, really, really, really sad.


4 posted on 06/21/2005 6:54:12 AM PDT by federal
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To: Pikamax

Preston Gates & Ellis

A bit of useless information for those who don’t know, Preston Gates is Bill Gates father.


5 posted on 06/21/2005 6:57:53 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: dfwgator

Exactly!


6 posted on 06/21/2005 8:31:36 AM PDT by CyberAnt (President Bush: "America is the greatest nation on the face of the earth")
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