Thursday, May 11, 2006

Connecting the dots
Rove implicated in Abramoff, Safavian scandals

The Associated Press (AP) is reporting on some juicy e-mails between the convicted felon Jack Abramoff, once the GOP's uberlobbyist, and the indicted former White House aide David Safavian.

The unprecedented removal of Safavian, by then administrator of federal procurement policy at White House Office of Management and Budget, from his office in handcuffs has received scant attention compared to the sexier Rove and Abramoff stories, but this week the media seem to be connecting the dots to find the three all tied together.

According to the AP, on the very day that the Washington Post broke the Abramoff story, Safavian reached out to the black-hatted-Jack with offers of help:

'Let me know if there is anything I can do to help with damage control,'' David Safavian, who is now under indictment, messaged Abramoff on Feb. 22, 2004.

At the time, Safavian was working at the White House Office of Management and Budget. He later became administrator of federal procurement policy at OMB.
Meanwhile, The New York Times is reporting that Karl Rove, deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, met with Abramoff regarding the potential hiring of two Abramoff picks at the Department of Interior -- the agency that houses the Bureau of Indian Affairs. You'll recall, mes amis, that Abramoff got snagged in his fraudulent dealings ostensibly on behalf several American Indian tribes. You'll also note that Gail Norton, who headed the agency at the time, left to spend more time with her family just as the feds homed in on Abramoff. From the article, Abramoff Visits in White House Logs Are Linked to Rove and a Budget Aide , by Philip Shenon:
[An administration] official said the visitor logs also referred to a 2004 meeting in which Mr. Abramoff talked with an official at the Office of Management and Budget to discuss his hopes of buying the Old Post Office building in Washington from the federal government.

The proposed purchase, which never occurred, is a focus of criminal charges brought against another former White House budget official, David F. Safavian. Mr. Safavian faces trial this month on charges of lying about his relationship to Mr. Abramoff, who pleaded guilty in January to charges of seeking to corrupt public officials.

The administration official's comments came several hours after the Secret Service made the visitor logs public in a settlement of a freedom-of-information lawsuit filed by a private legal group.
Now, can anybody tell your blogstress what happened with Gail Norton?

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