May 5, 2005
Powerful Lobbyist Appointed To Serve on Ethics Panel Investigation of Tom Delay

Pledges to Vigorously Prosecute Case

Jack Abramoff, a powerful lobbyist who is himself being investigated for allegations of corruption, was appointed to investigate allegations that Congressman Tom Delay improperly permitted Abramoff to pay for Delay's airfare.

"I'm going to look into it very thoroughly," said Abramoff.

Abramoff was asked to substitute for two congressmen who today recused themselves from the House ethics committee because they had donated money to Delay's legal fund. "We want everyone to understand that there's no funny business going on here,' said Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas, who again donated $5000 to Delay's legal defense fund as he gave the press conference announcing his recusal.

Members of the ethics committee who have received money from Tom Delay's Political Action Committee are staying on the panel, however, "just to balance everything out," said a Congressional spokesperson.

Abramoff rejected the suggestion that he would be too biased to fairly investigate Delay. "I'm not at all partisan,' he said. "I pay for Democrats' trips, too."

Posted by Tom Burka at 2:01 PM in News