Friday, September 23, 2005

Karl Rove, Jack Abramoff and Timothy E. Flanigan

I had never heard of Timothy E. Flanigan until today. Flanigan, who has been nominated to the position of deputy attorney general, is about to become much better known.
Who is he? The White House announced his nomination on May 24:
Mr. Flanigan currently serves as Senior Vice President and General Counsel - Corporate and International for Tyco International. He previously served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel at the White House. Prior to joining the Administration, Mr. Flanigan was a partner in the law firm of White & Case, LLP. Earlier in his career, he served as Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. Mr. Flanigan received his bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University and his J.D. from the University of Virginia.
The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on his nomination on July 26.
Today's Washington Post reports that sleazebag lobbyist Jack Abramoff claimed ties to Karl Rove. How do we know? Flanigan told the Senate Judiciary Committee:
Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff bragged two years ago that he was in contact with White House political aide Karl Rove on behalf of a large, Bermuda-based corporation that wanted to avoid incurring some taxes and continue receiving federal contracts, according to a written statement by President Bush's nominee to be deputy attorney general.
Timothy E. Flanigan, general counsel for conglomerate Tyco International Ltd., said in a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week that Abramoff's lobbying firm initially boasted that Abramoff could help Tyco fend off a special liability tax because he "had good relationships with members of Congress," including House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.).
Abramoff later said "he had contact with Mr. Karl Rove" about the issue, according to the statement by Flanigan, who oversaw Tyco's dealings with Abramoff and his firm and received reports from Abramoff about progress in the lobbying campaign. Flanigan's statement is the latest indication that Abramoff promoted himself as having ready access to senior officials in the Bush administration.
Flanigan worked in the White House with Alberto Gonzales in 2001 and 2002. He went to work for Tyco in November, 2002, after former CEO and now convicted felon, Dennis Kozlowski had left the company. Flanigan hired Abramoff (now under indictment) to lobby the federal government to allow Tyco to compete for government contracts even though the company is domiciled in Bermuda to avoid paying taxes. And now he is President Sluggo's nominee to the post of deputy attorney general.
The Abramoff investigation involves not only Justice, but the IRS, the Interior Department and the General Services Administration. But don't worry:
Flanigan said he would recuse himself from any Abramoff investigation involving Tyco.
As I said, he is about to become much better known.

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