The infamous GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff may be cooling his heels in Club Fed, but for Democrats eager to bury everyone ever associated with him, he’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Key to Abramoff’s “success” in fleecing Native American tribes of millions of dollars in lobbying fees was his connections inside former Colorado Attorney General Gale Norton’s Department of the Interior. Norton brought her closest Colorado political allies with her to Washington when she was made Interior Secretary in 2001. Which is where the fun began, as we’ve discussed here repeatedly, and according to today’s Denver Post:
A one-time Colorado political activist and ex-girlfriend of a convicted Interior Department official has been informed by the Justice Department that there is “substantial evidence” linking her to criminal activity in the Jack Abramoff scandal.
In a January 2007 letter obtained by the publication Legal Times, a federal prosecutor urged Italia Federici to hire an attorney to defend against allegations that she used a tax-exempt organization to lobby for Abramoff’s clients and lied about its activities to Congress.
The letter also recommended Federici meet with prosecutors to negotiate a resolution requiring her to plead guilty to at least one felony charge.
“The investigation is focused on the allegedly illegal manner in which you operated the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, commonly known as CREA,” a Justice Department tax division attorney wrote to Federici, a former aide to former Interior Secretary Gale Norton.
CREA became ensnared in scandal after evidence emerged that Abramoff’s Indian casino clients gave the group almost $500,000 to gain influence within the Interior Department…
The Post article neglects to mention that CREA was in fact founded by Norton along with anti-tax crusader and known Abramoff consort Grover Norquist. Or that the scandal resulted in the Bush administration’s quiet, reluctant termination of Norton’s political career…