Jack Abramoff

Early ties between Russia and the Religious Right, most known for extreme corruption as a Washington DC lobbyist. For $1million, he escorted Russians Koulakovsky and Nevskaya to Capitol Hill and funneled Russian donations through the Evangelical Christian charity US Family Network to his friends and pay for his lifestyle.

JACK ABRAMOFF

NRA leader, Jack Abramoff and GOP operative tied to alleged Russian spy Maria Butina have long history as foreign agents lobbying together Open Secrets By

December 10, 2018 “Meanwhile, David Keene — a paid member of the NRA’s board of directors and former president of the gun rights organization who has faced scrutiny over ties to Butina’s alleged Russian influence operation — has registered as a different type of foreign agent lobbying for Algeria’s government.

Keene and Erickson have a long history together dating back to the 1990s when they were registered foreign agents lobbying, in collaboration with Jack Abramoff, for a well-known “dictator” [Mobutu, 1995] to gain entry into the United States.”

Disgraced ex-lobbyist Abramoff goes to Africa — to fight Islamic terrorists Politico The convicted felon teams up with a Congolese strongman and a controversial GOP congressman. By , and  02/28/2017. “After Jack Abramoff was released from prison in 2010, he began pitching himself as a self-styled political reformer looking to tell the truth about a system he illegally exploited for personal gain. Now the disgraced D.C. lobbyist is back and immersed in a stranger-than-fiction project with an African strongman, controversial Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and “friends in Europe” in his telling, to defeat Islamic terrorists. Abramoff agreed to act as a liaison between his European friends whom he declined to name, the president of the Republic of Congo, and Rohrabacher to try to establish a coalition of African states to defeat the terrorist group Boko Haram. Abramoff’s friends — who Abramoff said he believes have financial investments in Congo — were in talks with the country’s controversial president, Denis Sassou Nguesso, to try to enlist the United States to support the coalition. Abramoff approached Rohrabacher, whom he has known since the 1980s, with a proposal: Could the California Republican, who at one point was mentioned in news reports in relation to a position in the Trump administration, help secure U.S. backing for the African alliance to defeat Boko Haram? At the behest of his European friends, Abramoff also wanted to see if Rohrabacher could arrange for a meeting between Sassou Nguesso and then President-elect Donald Trump.

“[Abramoff] said the guy would like to get a meeting with President Trump and I said, ‘Well, I will pass it on that he’s available and that this is something he has expressed a willingness to try to destroy Boko Haram, which would be a real plus for the administration when and if that happens,'” Rohrabacher said.

Rohrabacher added, “He had someone who had been talking to the president of the Congo who indicated to Jack that [Sassou Nguesso] was willing to act against Boko Haram and help the United States destroy this horrible terrorist organization. And this friend of Jack’s said, ‘This is a really great opportunity and see what you can do with it.’ Abramoff hasn’t returned to lobbying since his release from prison. Instead, he’s focused on speaking out against Washington corruption and the lobbying community of which he once was an integral part.”


Jacked Up How Abramoff’s global antics prefigured today’s right-wing Russian collusion Chris Lehmann,  July 23, 2018

“Abramoff’s International Freedom Foundation was a brazen effort to defend an authoritarian racist regime in the name of ‘freedom.’ “Butina trail leads to Republican political operative —known as “U.S. Person 1” in the filing—who came to political prominence as treasurer of the national College Republicans, under the esteemed leadership of , the convicted lobbying fraudster””


The Council for National Policy (to which Kellyanne, Bannon, the DeVos family, the Mercers, Pence, Ken Blackwell, and two men whose families funded the largest voting machine vendor in the U.S.) has set a deadline of 2020 for restoring “religion and economic freedom and Judeo-Christian values” under the Constitution. Dec 27, 2017 By Jennifer S. Cohn December 27, 2017 Citations updated July 20, 2018.

THREAD CONTINUED FROM THIS PAGE

“27. Another prominent early member of the CNP was GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who later served time for corruption involving his lobbying work and for defrauding the former owner of a fleet of casino boats.

Jack_Abramoff:_Republican_Activism SourceWatch Abramoff became a member of the Council for National Policy in Citation added 7/20/18] http://watch-unto-prayer.org/database1.html [Citation added 7/20/18]

  1. Abramoff’s ties to Russia appear to have been even more substantial than [Paul] Weyrich’s [of the CNP]:

Abramoff Ties to Russians Probed By Michael Kranish The Boston Globe  Thursday February 23, 2006 US inquiry widens to Abramoff’s work on Russian affairs [which] began in the mid-1990s, according to J. Michael Waller, the former editor of a Washington-based newsletter, Russia Reform Monitor. Waller said he was contacted by two Abramoff associates in 1997, and was asked to help organize Abramoff’s trip with [Tom] DeLay to Russia.I was told by two of Abramoff’s colleagues that he wanted to represent the Russian governmentWaller said. He said Abramoff’s colleagues explained that Abramoff was working for Naftasib, the Russian energy company, and that if he performed well on Naftasib then the Russian government would retain him.  That made Waller uncomfortable, he added, because he had read Russian documents that said Naftasib supplied oil to the Russian military, so he declined to help Abramoff plan the trip. I was concerned that Abramoff was going to become an agent of influence for the Russian government and that he would mask that relationship Waller said.

Confirmations in E-mails

E-mails released in the course of a Senate investigation into Abramoff confirm that he had Russian clients. In one, he mentions receiving payments from unnamed Russians. In another, he wrote that he was surprised that unnamed Russians often came to the United States and visited his luxury suite at FedEx Field, the Washington Redskins’ stadium.

”The Russians, oddly, came quite a bit,” Abramoff wrote. ”Weird.” One reason may be that the Russians helped pay for the suite through a now-defunct Abramoff-related nonprofit group called the US Family Network.That group, established by an Abramoff colleague, was supposed to provide money to evangelical Christian charities. But much of its money went to other Abramoff’s friends, and some of it went to pay for Abramoff’s luxury suite at FedEx Field, according to the group’s former president, a church pastor in Frederick, Md., named Christopher Geeslin.

Geeslin said he was told by the group’s founder that Russian investors gave $1 million to US Family Network, a link first reported by The Washington Post last year. At first, Geeslin said, he could not believe the Russians would want to donate $1 million. Then, he said, he learned that Abramoff was escorting them to Capitol Hill.

”The Russians came over and Abramoff was ushering them around town,” Geeslin said. ”I said: ‘Man, this is true. It is just incredible.’

‘A shell operation’

Geeslin, who said Abramoff personally thanked him for paying for the FedExField suite, said he now feels ”duped” into heading the US Family Network. ”We had no idea it was just a shell operation for Abramoff,” Geeslin said, referring to himself and other volunteer board members. He said he thought the money would be used for evangelical purposes. ”We were stupid enough to believe everything,” he said. The Russians, Koulakovsky and Nevskaya, did not reply to a request for comment. Ellen Levinson, who is registered to lobby for Naftasib in Washington, declined to comment”

 Watch Unto Prayer Database: Jack Abramhoff– CNP Membership Roster (1984-85. The International Freedom Foundation (IFF), an organization founded by “conservative” activist, Jack Abramoff, was recently exposed by senior South African military personnel as a cut-out of the South African military and Special Branch. IFF functioned as a propaganda arm for South African STRATCOM (strategic communications) counter-insurgency operations directed against the African National Congress and the trade union confederation. [A Small Circle of Friends]

The Biggest Congressional Scandal in Over a Century? Democracy Now

“Jack Abramoff became a Washington lobbyist after the Republicans won control of the House in 1994. He has ties that reach to all parts of Washington. He played a key role in what was called the K Street Project — a Republican attempt to essentially take control of the D.C. lobbying world. By 1995 he would befriend Tom Delay— who would later call Abramoff  ‘one of his closest and dearest friends.’ He became a key fundraiser for President Bush and served on Bush’s transition team in 2000. His former assistant became Karl Rove’s personal assistant. He was accused of offering Congressional staffers lucrative jobs in exchange for legislative help. Abramoff ordered lobbying clients to give millions in political contributions to key lawmakers. The Wall Street Journal reports Abramoff could implicate as many as 60 lawmakers in the corruption inquiry.

“Lobbyist Jack Abramoff admitted to defrauding at least four Native American tribes of tens of millions of dollars, bribing government officials and evading taxes. Abramoff has reportedly agreed to testify against several members of Congress who received favors or donations from him or his clients. Washington analysts say the corruption scandal could take down as many as twelve lawmakers.”

Continue Jennifer Cohn Thread on the Electronic Voting Page



Continued from the Electronic Voting Page

“52. HAVA’s chief sponsor, Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio, received expensive bribes from Abramoff and defeated legislation that would have required voting machines to include a paper audit trail.

[discussing bribes from Abramoff] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/19/AR2007011900162.html …

[identifying Ney as chief sponsor of HAVA]  https://www.congress.gov/bill/107th-congress/house-bill/3295 …

[Letter from Ney opposing paper audit trail and using people with disabilities as a scapegoat] http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2004/3111hava_debate.html …

[discussing how Ney defeated a subsequent paper audit trail bill as well] https://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=364×3154915 …

53. At the time, Diebold’s machines were paperless, and Diebold had paid Abramoff’s firm at least $275,000 to lobby for its machines.

[Describing Diebold as “among the country’s biggest suppliers of paperless, touch-screen voting machines.”] http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/09/business/machine-politics-in-the-digital-age.html

[Diebold paid the lobbying firm of Greenberg Traurig at least $275,000].  https://harpers.org/blog/2012/10/an-excerpt-from-how-to-rig-an-election/

An Excerpt From “How to Rig an Election” Harper’s Magazine October 22, 2012 By Victoria Collier

Editor’s Note: The full text of “How to Rig an Election” is now available to all readers for free here.

Unraveling Abramoff Key Players in the Investigation of Lobbyist Jack Abramoff Washington Post Compiled by washingtonpost.com Updated June 26, 2007 “Neil G. Volz was Chief of Staff to Representative Bob Ney (R-Ohio) from 1995 to 2002 . He left the congressman’s staff to work for Abramoff at Greenberg Traurig LLP. On May 8, 2006, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, including wire fraud and violating House rules, stemming from his work both for Ney and Greenberg Traurig… former top aide to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), (Tony C. Rudy was central to Abramoff’s efforts to scuttle an anti-gambling bill in July 2000. He e-mailed Abramoff internal congressional communications and advice, according to documents and the lobbyist’s former associates. On March 31, 2006, Rudy pleaded guilty in federal court to a conspiracy charge related to the federal investigation into corrupt lobbying practices. He also agreed to aide prosecutors as they continue their probe. There were no allegations against DeLay in the plea agreementRudy went to work for Abramoff when the lobbyist moved to a new law firm, Greenberg Traurig LLP, in January 2001. Abramoff also arranged for a client, eLottery, to pay $25,000 to a Jewish foundation that hired Rudy’s wife, Lisa, as a consultant, according to documents and interviews. Months later, Rudy himself was hired as a lobbyist by Abramoff.”  

[“In January 2001, lobbyist Jack Abramoff left Preston Gates & Ellis to join Greenberg Traurig. Abramoff brought a book of business then worth more than $6 million annually to Greenberg Traurig, according to his own estimates. At the firm he assembled “Team Abramoff“, a lobbying team that was involved in the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal and the monetary influence of Jack Abramoff.

In 2001, Victor Reyes, who headed the Hispanic Democratic Organization and had close ties to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, joined Greenberg Traurig and led the firm’s Chicago lobbying practice. After Reyes’s arrival, from 2001 to 2005, Greenberg earned $3.5 million in city-related legal fees, including for representing the city in the United Airlines and RCN Cable TV bankruptcies.” Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenberg_Traurig]

54. Ney later pled guilty to accepting bribes from Abramoff between 2001 and 2004.

Ney Sentenced to 30 Months In Prison for Abramoff Deals Washington Post By Susan Schmidt and James V. Grimaldi January 20, 2007. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/19/AR2007011900162.html?noredirect=on.  Former Ohio Republican congressman Robert W. Ney was sentenced to 30 months in prison yesterday, becoming the first elected official headed for jail because of corrupt dealings with now-convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

U.S. District Judge Ellen S. Huvelle handed down a tougher sentence than the 27 months recommended by prosecutors…The former chairman of the House Administration Committee admitted that he performed official acts for Abramoff’s lobbying clients between 2001 and 2004, receiving in exchange luxury vacation trips, skybox seats at sporting events, campaign contributions and expensive meals. Ney also admitted receiving tens of thousands of dollars in gambling chips from a businessman who sought his help with the State Department.

In the continuing investigation, Ney and seven others have pleaded guilty or have been convicted, and several are cooperating as witnesses. In addition to the government’s chief witness, Abramoff, they include Ney’s former chief of staff, Neil G. Volz, and two other Capitol Hill staffers who once worked for former congressman Tom DeLay (R-Tex.). All three were part of Abramoff’s lobbying team.

More charges are expected. Prosecutors recently notified a former deputy secretary of the interior, J. Steven Griles, that he is a target, sources familiar with the probe said.

The gifts Ney accepted from Abramoff included a golfing trip to Scotland and other travel that prosecutors valued at more than $170,000. In return, Ney sought to insert four amendments to benefit Abramoff’s clients into a 2002 election reform bill. Ney also admitted helping another Abramoff client win a multimillion-dollar contract to provide wireless communication services to the U.S. Capitol.

The congressman twice inserted comments in the Congressional Record aimed at bolstering a bid by Abramoff to take ownership of a Florida casino company.

Along with acknowledging his dealings with Abramoff, Ney admitted accepting free air travel, luxury accommodations and thousands of dollars worth of gambling chips in 2003 from a foreign businessman who has been identified by Ney attorney Mark H. Tuohey as Fouad al-Zayat, a high-rolling London gambler. Zayat has been described in the media as an arms middleman. He sought Ney’s help in getting a visa and an exemption to a U.S. law that bars the sale of airplane parts to other countries.

Ney and his staff also offered to aid Abramoff’s clients in the summer of 2003 as Ney prepared for a trip to Russia. Abramoff’s team got the congressman to intervene with the U.S. Consulate in Moscow to help resolve a passport issue for the daughter of an Abramoff client. Volz, then working for Abramoff, later paid for Ney’s stay at a luxury hotel in Lake George, N.Y.

Huvelle is the second judge to show little sympathy for federal officials convicted in the scandal.

Earlier this month, Magistrate Judge Alan Kay issued a stiffer sentence than the one worked out by prosecutors and defense attorneys in the case of Roger G. Stillwell. An Interior Department employee, Stillwell gave Abramoff copies of internal agency documents and accepted football tickets from him. Prosecutors had sought six months of probation, but Kay extended it to two years, saying there is “no such thing as a free lunch, particularly as provided by lobbyists.”

In response to what Democrats have dubbed the “culture of corruption,” the House and the Senate this month passed ethics packages that would prohibit lawmakers from accepting gifts, meals and travel from lobbyists, and force them to put their names on the “earmarks” that they tuck into bills, often benefiting lobbyists’ clients. Also pending is a measure that would take away congressional pensions from members convicted of corruption, but it would not be retroactive. Ney could collect up to $33,000 a year by age 62.”/

CONTINUE Jenny Cohn Thread on Voting Machine Issues Page

Robert Ney certified the CO electoral votes for Bush/Cheney January 6, 2005.