Friday, September 29, 2006

The Jack Pack: White House Edition

Today we learn that convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff had 485 contacts with White House officials over a three year period, at least that is what Abramoff's billings suggest. That is an average of over three per week. Whether or not all of these took place, and I doubt they did, one thing is clear. Ken Mehlman appears to have been Abramoff's fixer at the White House. From TPM Muckraker:

In 2001, he [Mehlman] made sure a State Department official wasn't re-nominated for his post -- the official, Allen Stayman was a long-time foe of Abramoff's.

And according to a report from the Justice Department's Inspector General, Mehlman ordered one of his subordinates at the White House to keep Abramoff updated on issues related to Guam; Abramoff was keen to see the U.S. Attorney there replaced.

TPM Muckraker also notes the $16 million he freed up at the DOJ for the Chocktaw tribe that is referenced in today's Washington Post which clearly looks like criminal activity. What is unclear at this point is whether or not Mehlman performed these activities on behalf of party loyalty or if Abramoff had some dirt on Mehlman, perhaps something Mehlman would prefer to be locked up in some far away closet.

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