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Senate Inquiry to Focus on Lobbyist

29 April 2005

WASHINGTON, DC – As reported by the Arizona Republic: "Sen. John McCain on Wednesday said that his Senate Indian Affairs Committee's investigation into disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff's dealings with Native American gaming tribes will not delve into the conduct of lawmakers who may be linked with those activities.

" The responsibilities of my committee are to investigate allegations that have been brought to us which are fairly well substantiated as rip-offs of tribes,' said committee Chairman McCain, R-Ariz.

"…Scandals surrounding Abramoff, once recognized as one of the top lobbyists on Capitol Hill, have mushroomed since revelations emerged a year ago about how he and public relations associate Michael Scanlon collected $82 million from six tribes to protect or restore tribal gambling operations.

"The pair's activities also are the focus of a criminal investigation and federal grand-jury inquiry.

"Among findings of the Indian Affairs committee were that the tribes made millions of dollars in political contributions at Abramoff's direction and that a number of members of Congress or their staffers also have taken trips paid for by Abramoff or tax-exempt organizations for which he was a board member or directed with his wife.

"…Also, several representatives, including Republican J.D. Hayworth of Arizona, failed to report some of the fund-raising assistance arranged in their behalf by Abramoff…"

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