Shawn Vasell

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Shawn M. Vasell, a former senior aide to Senator Conrad Burns (R-Montana), joined the Hewlett-Packard Company's "government relations team in Washington," Washington Technology reported May 23, 2005. "Vasell most recently was director of government affairs at government relations specialist Greenberg Traurig LLC."


Conrad Burns hired Greenberg Traurig lobbyist Shawn Vasell "as his State Director in 2001. After a year-long stint with Burns, Vasell returned to Greenberg Traurig in January 2003. Vasell was listed as a lobbyist for the Saginaw Michigan Tribe in 2003," according to Roll Call March 1, 2005, and the December 18, 2003, Washington Post.

Vasell was a member of "Team Abramoff", 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," James V. Grimaldi wrote in the June 26, 2005, Washington Post.

Vasell was of Preston Gates and a former staffer for both Porter Goss (R-Florida) and judiciary subcommittee chair Senator Spencer Abraham (R-Michigan), Ken Silverstein wrote in the January/February 1998 issue of Mother Jones.

2000 Florida Recount

"Four of Abramoff’s colleagues—all of whom have left Greenberg in the wake of investigations surrounding Abramoff’s activities—were foot soldiers in the Florida recount. Two of them bragged of their recount work on their official online Greenberg biographies, which have since been removed," John Byrne reported in the May 5, 2005, Raw Story.

"Shawn Vasell noted that he was a 'team leader' in Broward and Duval counties in his bio; Duane Gibson was photographed in the acclaimed Brooks Brothers riot of Republican operatives outside the Miami-Dade County polling headquarters; Todd Boulanger boasted of being on the Broward and Duval recount team in his profile. Also on the ground was former DeLay deputy chief of staff Tony Rudy.

"Boulanger drafted a letter DeLay signed urging the Interior Department to favor Abramoff’s client in June 2003—a letter cosigned by the House Republican leadership, including Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO)," Byrne wrote.

Fundraising with Abramoff

On June 3, 2003, Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert’s political action committee held "a $1,500-a-plate lunch at [Abramoff's restaurant] Signatures at which Hastert [was] the featured speaker. Abramoff and two other members of his staff may have been in attendance, as Hastert’s PAC records contributions of $6,250 from the lobbyist and six other members of his firm"--Todd A. Boulanger, Duane R. Gibson, Kevin A. Ring, Shawn Vasell, Neil G. Volz and Padgett Wilson--"shortly thereafter–including a $500 contribution from Boulanger," John Byrne reported in The Raw Story, March 29, 2005.

Abramoff-Reed Indian Gambling Scandal

The Oversight Hearing Before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on the In Re Tribal Lobbying Matters, Et Al., June 22, 2005. Witness List: Panel II: Statement of Shawn Vasell ("former Abramoff associate"). Vasell asserted his privilege under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.

Lobby Watch

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External links





  • Gwen Florio, "Burns' opponents keep kid gloves laced up for now," Great Falls Tribune, January 4, 2006.
  • "Abramoff Prosecutor Shuns Spotlight," Legal Times (Crowell & Moring LLP), January 9, 2006: "White Collar & Securities Litigation partner Philip T. Inglima is quoted regarding his former Office of Indpendent [sic] Counsel colleagues, the Department of Justice's Mary Butler. Inglima represents Shawn Vasell, a former Abramoff colleague, in the investigation."