"Team Abramoff"

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Team Abramoff" was the "more than a dozen lobbyists who were members of ... the tight-knit group who worked under" Jack Abramoff "when he was at the lobbying helm of the Washington office of Greenberg Traurig LLP and, before that, Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds LLP." [1]

"Members of that influence dream-team continue to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars as registered lobbyists, often lobbying for former Abramoff clients -- unimpeded by the taint of scandal and revelations of suspicious deal-making in the brash and sometimes salty e-mails exchanged with Abramoff," James V. Grimaldi wrote in the June 26, 2005, Washington Post.

"Bolting" Preston Gates for Greenberg Traurig

On January 8, 2001, after nearly seven years at Preston Gates, Abramoff and seven members of his "lobbying team" "bolted from Preston Gates to become Senior Director of Governmental Affairs" at Greenberg Traurig, The Buzz reported March 28, 2001.

When asked by The Buzz why he had made the move, Abramoff's "response was that he liked the vision of Greenberg. 'They have a dominant presence,' he continued. Abramoff added, 'This move is an excellent opportunity for me and my clients with the new Administration.'"

Abramoff's "team" of people at Greenberg Traurig in March 2001 were listed as Michelle Diedrick, Shawn Vasell, Tony C. Rudy, Alan Slomowitz, Todd A. Boulanger, Amy F. Berger, Padgett Wilson (Pat Wilson), Sara Rizzo, Kevin A. Ring, Julie Plocki, and Susan B. Ralston.

Questionable Hiring Patterns

"With a federal corruption case intensifying, prosecutors investigating Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist, are examining whether he brokered lucrative jobs for Congressional aides at powerful lobbying firms in exchange for legislative favors," Anne E. Kornblut, reported in the December 2, 2005, New York Times.

"Investigators are said to be especially interested in how Tony Rudy, a former deputy chief of staff to Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, and Neil G. Volz, a former chief of staff to Representative Bob Ney of Ohio, obtained lobbying positions with big firms on K Street," Kornblut wrote. "The hiring pattern is 'very much a part of' what prosecutors are focusing on, a person involved in the case said. Another participant confirmed that investigators were trying to determine whether aides conducted 'job negotiations with Jack Abramoff' while they were in a position to help him on Capitol Hill."

"Also under examination are payments to lobbyists and lawmakers' wives, including Mr. Rudy's wife, Lisa Rudy, whose firm, Liberty Consulting, worked in consultation with Mr. Abramoff, people involved in case said," Kornblut wrote.

"Of particular interest, according to several people involved in the case, are how Mr. Rudy, who left Mr. DeLay's office in 2001 to join Greenberg Traurig, and Mr. Volz, who left Mr. Ney's office in 2002 for that firm, obtained their positions. Investigators believe Mr. Abramoff may have solicited help from both men and their supervisors on Capitol Hill while helping arrange for high-paying positions, people familiar with case said."

"As investigators try to unravel the web of relationships between the lawmakers and the lobbyists, they are considering spouses' roles, people involved in the case said," Kornblut wrote.

Members of "Team Abramoff

The "A" Team

On December 12, 2005, the Washington Post stated that the "following individuals lobbied for tribal clients of Jack Abramoff and, along with some of their spouses, contributed money to politicians." The Washington Post article was accompanied by a chart citing members of the "A" Team as follows:

September 2002

In September 2002, the following were listed in the Greenberg Traurig Washington, DC, office.

Others Known to Have Worked with Abramoff

External links