Jack Abramoff Strikes Back!
The Left Coaster reads Vanity Fair and summarizes:
The Left Coaster: More Abramoff Revelations Imminent: Despite his attorney's threat last week that his client would start naming names soon if he wasn't allowed to cut his best deal with the feds for his cooperation, it appears that Jack Abramoff has told part of the story to Vanity Fair for their upcoming edition....
On President Bush:
President Bush, who claims not to remember having his picture taken with Abramoff. According to Abramoff, at one time, the president joked with Abramoff about his weight lifting past: "What are you benching, buff guy?"
On former Rove deputy Ken Mehlman:
According to documents obtained by Vanity Fair, Mehlman exchanged e-mail with Abramoff, and did him political favors (such as preventing Clinton administration alumnus Allen Stayman from keeping a State Department job), had Sabbath dinner at Abramoff's house, and offered to pick up Abramoff's tab at Signatures, Abramoff's own restaurant.
On Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX):
Abramoff has "admired Tom DeLay and his family from the first meeting with him," he tells Margolick. "We would sit and talk about the Bible. We would sit and talk about opera. We would sit and talk about golf," Abramoff recalls. "I mean, we talked about philosophy and politics."
On Newt Gingrich:
Newt Gingrich, whose spokesman Rick Tyler tells Margolick that "Before [Abramoff's] picture appeared on TV and in the newspapers, Newt wouldn't have known him if he fell across him. He hadn't seen him in 10 years." A rankled Abramoff says "I have more pictures of [Newt] than I have of my wife."
On Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT):
Abramoff says: "Every appropriation we wanted [from Burns's committee] we got. Our staffs were as close as they could be. They practically used Signatures as their cafeteria. I mean, it's a little difficult for him to run from that record."
As Abramoff says:
firedoglake: For a guy who did all these evil things that have been so widely reported, it's pretty amazing, considering I didn't know anyone. You're really no one in this town unless you haven't met me.